12 Things To Do To Guarantee Your Success

I recently wrote a post 13 Ways To Make Sure 2013 Doesn’t Suck For Your Photography Business. I’ve been doing a lot internal planning with my own business for 2013, and I used that post as a trigger for all of you to start thinking about what you want the New Year to bring into your own lives. In order to stick with that theme, I’ve decided to run a “13 Days Of Photography” feature throughout December to help provide you with a ton of ideas and tips on things you can do for your own business starting on January 1st. Here is 12…

Here is a question for you.

How do you know 2013 will be more successful for your photography business than 2012 will be?

I’m sure every one of you looked at that question in a slightly different way. That’s what makes us all different.

You could look at it from a money perspective – I made $20,000 in 2012 and will boost it up to $40,000 in 2013.

You could look at it from a client perspective – I had 10 wedding clients in 2012 and will book 25 for 2013.

You could look at it from a business perspective – I worked a part time job in 2012 and will quit that and devote 100 percent of my time to my photography business in 2013.

Any and all of these perspectives could work for you. IF you do the one thing needed to make sure these goals come true … work on the outcomes every day.

The problem with broad goals – I made $20,000 in 2012 and will boost it up to $40,000 in 2013 – is without the support behind it, it’s a “hit or miss” as to whether it will come true.

But one way will get you on the right track; focus.

Right now is a great time to look at the New Year in a whole new way. Don’t approach it as “one year” to accomplish all you are setting out to do. Instead, break it down into 12 month chunks to give you a reasonable chance for success.

Spend one month focusing in on one detail of your business. Do everything you can to make it work for you. Then move on to the next idea for the following month. [Read more...]

8 Things To Help You Grow Your Photography Business On Pinterest

Pinterest has hit another milestone – over 100 million visits per month with nearly 12 million  of them being unique visitors.

If you haven’t joined Pinterest yet, now is the time. Pinterest is used primarily by women, and because of the visual aspect of pin boards, they spend a lot of time on the site.

Currently you can use Pinterest by signing up through either your Facebook account or your Twitter account, giving you double the traction for half the work.  If you connect through Facebook, keep in mind that currently it connects with your personal profile, not your page. So if you want to keep it business related, sign up for a special Twitter account to connect it to.

Then let the pinning begin.

1. Pinterest will start you out with five pre-determined pin boards. You can delete these and create your own. Plan out your boards with your business in mind. So instead of “photography” be specific towards your niche market. Also break it down to give your potential customers ideas as they are searching through your boards: what to wear for a portrait, posing ideas, location ideas. Be specific and use them to direct people to what they like the most. However, don’t just fill it with stuff from your site -  be a resource as well. Its okay to post fresh ideas from other sites and resources online. Be an industry expert and share your talents and knowledge freely.

Dig Deeper: The Code For Blocking Pinterest … And 12 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use It

2. Google recognizes Pinterest profiles, so they can appear on the first pages of search results. Because of how Pinterest interacts with Google, be sure to create boards using your key terms so its recognizable and will deliver you results within the most popular key searches.

3. Currently you can rearrange your pinboards to have them showcased on your profile in any order you choose. Yet the pins within each pinboard are shown in order of when you pinned each item. If you have a closed board concept – meaning you are creating a board with a select number of pins and you know ahead of time what they will be – lay out the order first so they will appear in the order you desire. [Read more...]

How To Clone One Client And Turn Her Into One Hundred Clients

Jenna has been planning on having a family since the day she married her best friend. They were going to work for a year, buy their first home together, settle down and start their family. One year came and went. So did the second year. And the third.

Finally after many trips to fertility experts and tens of thousands of dollars in treatments, Jenna and her husband were pregnant. They were ecstatic. They wanted to enjoy every moment of this child from this point forward.

They found Trish, a photographer who specializes in maternity and baby portraits and instantly knew they had to use her to remember this experience forever. Two weeks before the baby’s due date, Jenna and her husband entered Trish’s studio, and captured the joy and love they felt for their first child. Three weeks later, the baby was born – a little girl who became their pride and joy. Another two weeks flew by and Jenna brought in her baby girl for her first baby portrait.

Jenna didn’t just love her portraits; she loved everything about the experience. She purchased everything Trish recommended – from wall portraits, to albums, to collages and digital albums she could share online with family and friends far away. She became an evangelist for Trish’s business, raving about her in every play group and meeting she attended.

Sounds good, right? Wouldn’t you love to have a client like this? What about having 100 clients like this?

When you see it written out like this, its easy to get excited and see how this one client could help your business grow massively.

Yet then something happens. The mail comes. The phone rings. An order is “lost” and an “emergency” suddenly commands attention. And the thought of your perfect customer disappears.

So customers come and go. Some are good. Some not so much.

Yet if you stop and think about it and reflect back on who your perfect customer was and who you would love to work with again and again – Jenna’s name pops up every time.

So the key to success isn’t bringing in more customers. Its bringing in more Jenna’s.

But how do you do that?

Clone her of course.

Okay, I’m not serious about cloning her. We can’t do that yet ;) But if you’ve fallen in love with “Jenna” as your client, you can bet there are 100 more “Jenna’s” out there that are in similar circumstances and they would make just as great customers as Jenna was.

How do you reach those other 100 customers? You speak directly to them. [Read more...]

How To Recover From Online ADD So You Can Grow Your Photography Business

Online ADD. That’s what I call it. And you’re probably a victim of it. It goes something like this …

You decide to build up your photography business, so you head online to start checking things out. You visit site after site, taking in whatever they are talking about. If it’s a great site, you sign up for all you can and start following the advice. UNTIL …

You find the next site. They look great too. So you sign up for their stuff and start following it. Put away the stuff you got last week … that’s soooo last week. And so you start following the steps it tells you to do. UNTIL …

Yep, you get the idea. Everything you read looks like a better shiny object. It seems more relevant to what you want to do today. They sway your decisions and make you want to start down the other path. You may even find yourself saying things like, “Well if he can make $1 million and have hundreds of clients just from a simple Facebook page, I can too.”

Can you see yourself here, or is it just me? Yes, I’ve done this way too many times before. I knew if I just kept reading, I would find the magic key somewhere. What I was going through was an information overload – the more I found, the more I tried to read, the more I wanted to try.

Too Much Of Anything Is Never Good

Do a quick search for things that apply to your photography business. I Googled a variety of key terms, and this is what I found:

Now think about that for a minute. If you wanted to start a photography business, you potentially have over 5 ½ million items you could look through to help you with the process. Once you start your business, you could look through over 451 million things to find the right advice to market it. Or 192 million results to determine what to plan for.

No one could ever get through that kind of content. Its information overload.

But its so easy to do, we Google things all day long.

If you went back 20 years or more, things were different. If you wanted information on building your business, you bought a book. Or you attended a seminar. You learned one thing and began applying it. The only way to increase your knowledge would be to go out and buy another book or attend another seminar. So chances are you invested in just a few things over the course of a year, and found a way to make sure they all applied to each other and helped you build a solid foundation for your business.

In other words, things were easier because you simply didn’t have access to enough information to cause you to go into overload mode.

The Key Is Focus

It was easier to build a business pre-Internet. Without excess information, you could really focus in on the next step, do it, and have results. Once you saw what your results were, you adjusted and tried it again from a slightly different way.

Likewise, prospects attention spans were also easier to capture. When we had a handful of television channels and everyone read the same daily newspaper, you pretty much knew where they were getting their information from. Now we have hundreds of television stations, thousands of options when you add in Internet and satellite channels, movies, DVDs etc. Newspapers are a thing of the past – your prospect could be relying on anything from radio to television, to Facebook or an online news source. People are actually more informed today then they ever have been in history. Which means to capture their attention, your work has increased tenfold.

Yet the solution isn’t trying a hundred or a thousand things. The solution is to focus even more, really narrow down to whom you are trying to reach, and do everything you can to attract attention to your business. Instead of jumping at the “latest and greatest” thing, you know instantly if your audience will be there, and use the best advice possible to make that work for you.

When you discover the next step, its important to spend all the time necessary to put it into place before you move onto the next step. If you are setting up a website, you need to focus on choosing the right  platform (WordPress) and developing the best website possible to showcase your business. Or if marketing is your weak point and you are trying to build up a referral plan, you need to focus in on creating the best program from beginning to end.

The only way to build a successful business is to follow in someone else’s footprints. They’ve done it before you and they will leave bread crumbs to help you along.

Only you can choose how you will do it. Will you constantly search and look through millions of results that pop up when you perform free searches? Or will you take the next step and work with someone who can help you get there twice as fast, and help develop your business as quickly as possible?

It Could Start With An Email

10 people. Yep, currently I’m opening up my email coaching program to 10 people. I haven’t publicly offered my email coaching program in over a year, and I don’t anticipate offering it again any time soon. With some major projects coming up in the summer/fall, it will be at least 2013 before I have any more opportunities for individual coaching.

So if you’ve always wanted a “marketing director” on your team, someone you could run ideas by, get advice from, and learn from, this is your chance. I’ve run 3 successful business over the last 20 years. I took our photography business from start up to over $250,000 in under two years.

If you are ready, now is the time. But with only 10 openings, you have to make the choice now … You can read all about it here.

What Do Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter All Have In Common?

The statistics are always out of this world.

  • Total unique visitors increased – 2702.2% since May 2011
  • Gender breakdown – 68.2% female, 31.8% male
  • Over 1.36 million visitors a day

Yep, that’s the latest statistics put out by Modea and comScore on the social networking site Pinterest.

If you are trying to grow your photography business, it’s THE place to be.

Dig Deeper: The Code For Blocking Pinterest … And 12 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use It

So by all means, jump over, start up your own Pin boards and Pin away. [Read more...]

8 Creative Ways To Grow Your Photography Business With A Facebook Page

Have you built your Facebook Page, and are still wondering why more people haven’t liked your Page? Fans don’t automatically appear, ready to like you, follow you, and do business with you. People must be lured to your Page in hopes to attract enough people that will ultimately turn into a regular stream of business.

However, the greatest myth out there is that if you build a Page, advertise it to your entire list of friends and acquaintances, and you’ll quickly build up a respectable following. Unfortunately this strategy may actually backfire. If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, you probably have a variety of family and friends outside of your photography business. While they may love you and appreciate you own your own business, they probably don’t want to be marketed to again and again. You may suggest they like your page, and the suggestions are overlooked again and again because they simple aren’t THAT interested in the marketing side. Also, even if they do choose to like your Page, they probably won’t take an active part in discussions and commenting, and won’t help you grow your Page. Your Page is all about building relationships with prospects and customers, and use those relationships to build your business over time.

Instead of relying on your family and friends, lets look at 12 creative ways you can get more fans to your Facebook Page.

Tip 1: Embed Facebook Widgets on your Site and Blog

Facebook makes it easy for people to share your content and information in a variety of ways. Select from a variety of Social Plugins to place throughout your website and blog.

Use the Live Stream plugin to share activity and comments in real time as they interact.

Use Facepile to showcase the Facebook profile photos of users who have liked your page.

Or use the Activity Feed plugin to show users what their friends are doing on your site through likes and comments.

All are an excellent way of building your fans by allowing them to interact with people they already know through Facebook.

Tip 2: Invite Your Current Email, Snail Mail and Ezine Subscribers

While you shouldn’t invite family and friends you are connected to on Facebook, by all means promote to your current client lists. If you send regular emails or ezines out to your prospects and clients, make sure you include a link to your Facebook Page on all of your outgoing correspondence. And if you send postcards out to entice your clients, why not send a special one and invite them to your Facebook Page? Instead of telling them about it, give them a reason to join. Maybe a coupon or discount when they join, or even the enticement of being able to see their photos on Facebook when they come in for a portrait. [Read more...]