How To Use Emotions To Sell Your Photography

Whenever you hear of a forest fire ripping through a community, the news sources knows where the story is. It’s within the people affected by the fires.

So they start interviewing people with their homes in the background burned to the ground.

“I’ve lived there 30 years. I can’t believe it’s all gone. I have what’s important – my family and my pets. But I can’t believe I lost all of my photographs.”

We all have faced fire damage at some point in our lives. Maybe our home hasn’t burned to the ground, but chances are there is a story around you. And every time it happens, we begin to think – “What would I take in a fire situation?”

How To Use Emotions To Sell Your Photography

There is even a fascinating site and book entitled “The Burning House” in which the author asked that very question as he drove around to different states in the US. He asked people of all social classes, ages and occupations. They answered and provided a photograph of what they would take. And of course the results are pretty much as expected – things you simply can’t replace.

Photography isn’t a product. It’s a service. And because it’s a service, people buy because of their emotions – their feelings – and nothing more. If they fall in love and deeply want what you do, they will find a way.

But because of that, you have to give them something they can’t get anywhere else.

You have to give them great photography that’s above and beyond what they can do on their own.

And you have to market it to them so they understand its importance.

Once you have everything in place and you have identified your target audience for your marketing messages, using emotional triggers can help you connect on an entirely different level. Try out these triggers when creating your next marketing piece.

Fear – Fear is an emotion easy to use because we all can buy into the concept. It can be used with the fire concept – “My house burned to the ground, but luckily I saved my photographs.”

Trust – No one wants to leave the “used car salesperson” impression on anyone. Turn it around and you can teach your audience you are there for them through it all – “no hidden fees, no hard sales”.

Value – People will pay anything if they feel they are getting value for their money. Concentrate on your customer service and talk about it again and again.

Competition – People live where they do and own what they own in order to keep up appearances within their community. By showcasing others you’ve photographed in your community – especially recognizable people – will give others the desire to have “the best” as well.

Instant Gratification – Words like “now’, “today”, “by Friday” or “limited edition” gives people a sense of limited access. They know if they don’t act soon, they may lose the opportunity all together.

Belonging – When people love what you do, they want to be a part of something bigger. That’s why memberships, clubs and referral programs work so well. If you reward them well, they will be back.

Time – The biggest thing we’re all missing in today’s world is time. If anyone offers us a way to get more out of the day, we’ll happily take them up on that offer. Marketing messages that appeal to that desire for more free time or a time to enjoy an experience are extremely effective – “don’t come to a studio, we come to you and photograph you anywhere you desire, giving you any experience you choose to have”.

8 Reasons Some Prospects Will Never Buy Your Photography

8 Reasons Some Prospects Will Never Buy Your Photography

What’s the number one thing you hate about selling?It’s probably rejection.

As humans, no is the hardest word to hear. We want people to say yes. We want them to like us. We want them to fall in love with what we have to offer – we love it, why shouldn’t they?

When they say no, it fills us with doubt. Then we start questioning everything around us.

Is our business set up wrong?

Are our prices to high?

Are we not offering the right stuff?

Do they not like me?

Did I come across as too [rough, mean, uncaring, etc]?

It’s hard not to take things personally. But as a business owner, there is one thing you need to learn:

Prospects aren’t rejecting you; they are rejecting the offer you are making them.

It isn’t about you; it’s about them.

They could be rejecting you because:

1. The offer isn’t right for them.

2. The price is wrong for their budget.

3. They don’t believe in your message.

4. They already have someone else in mind – they’re going through the steps of looking at other photographers simply to confirm they are making the right choice for them.

5. They don’t like your photography – that’s okay, your unique style should never please everyone.

6. They are bad at making decisions.

7. They have no idea what they really want.

8. They are having a bad day and aren’t ready to make a decision.

And in every one of these cases, it’s okay that you don’t close the sale. This person isn’t right for you. You are better off spending your time on someone who loves what you do and what you have to offer.

Remember, a no isn’t rejecting you. It’s simply a way of telling you that they aren’t ready to close the sale. Leaving room for someone else who is.

1 Little Secret That Can Help You Bring In More Photography Sales

What if someone offered to teach you one thing that could improve your average sales, would you be interested?

What if you could start using it immediately – on the next client that walks through your doors, even if that’s just five minutes away? Who wouldn’t want that?

And what if this one little secret made your clients love you so much, they started referring their friends and family to you over and over again. That’s pretty powerful stuff, isn’t it?

By now you’re probably asking, what is it, what is it? And that’s the point. The point is in the questions.

Within sales, there is a simple technique called sales tie downs. They help you improve your sales process by getting your customers to agree with you in small steps along the way. You begin getting them to understand and resonate with you long before you whip out the contract and have them sign on the dotted lines. There is less friction, less questions, because they already understand what you are doing. Are you following me?

Sales tie downs are short questions you add periodically throughout your sales presentations to get your customers to start saying yes along the way. When they are used to saying yes, the final yes is that much easier.

Too often, sales becomes an automated process where you walk through your presentation without focusing in on what the prospect is thinking or doing. You have your set sales pitch and you plod along no matter what, just trying to get everything in order. It doesn’t work. If you lose your prospect and they don’t engage, they tune out. They begin thinking of other things – other photographers that may be doing things better. [Read more...]

Why A Blog Filled With Client Posts Is The Best Way To Sell

How many clients will you be photographing this year?

Maybe you’re a wedding photographer. Your 2012 looks like this:

  • 35 weddings
  • 22 engagement sessions
  • 10 trash the dress sessions

Maybe you’re a portrait photographer. Your 2012 looks like this:

  • 50 family sessions
  • 35 baby plans
  • 100 high school senior sessions

Maybe you’re a commercial photographer. Your 2012 looks like this:

  • 3 commercial jobs every month – 36 jobs for the year

Every single one of these sessions should be more than just the session. They should be made into a blog post to showcase your work and show other potential customers exactly what you can do. [Read more...]

Get To The Sale … Now

“I’m so excited about my photography business. But I have so much to do. My website is anything but perfect. I have a few images but I know I need more. I talk about my services, yet its pretty generic. There are so many details to think about. I know it will be a while before I get it to where I want it to be. When I hear people actually sell things through their websites I’m amazed. How do they do that? It will definitely be a while for me.”

Sound familiar?Photography Sale

For many photographers, its easy to put up a simple website. With just a few pages to fill, its usually fairly easy to put something together to show the world.

But how do you make the transition from simple website to selling machine?

Its not as difficult as you think.

In fact it only requires one thing: action.

Yep, you simply have to offer something for sale. That’s it.

If you want to sell your photography as artwork, it can be as simple as putting an order button below the image on your website, or starting up an account on a place like Etsy.

Dig Deeper: Can You Still Use Etsy For Making Money With Your Photography?

If you want to sell the service of photography, its as simple as describing what you do, what you have to offer, and an order button to complete the transaction.

Dig Deeper: How To Book Clients Without The Face To Face Consultation

That’s it.

Sounds easy enough, right? [Read more...]

Can You Still Use Etsy For Making Money With Your Photography?

If you’ve been online for any length of time, you know sites come and go. What people were using even just a few short months ago to market their businesses may not work any more.

Many months ago I started looking at Etsy as a way to build up your brand as a fine art photographer.

Dig Deeper: How Photographers Use Etsy

Dig Deeper: 10 Places To Turn Your Photography Into Sales

Is Etsy still relevant today? As it turns out, the answer is yes.

Etsy is the king of the marketplace when it comes to selling handcrafted goods. You can sell your art without having to know how to build a website or start up an online store. Etsy does it all for you. You list it for free and pay a low commission on anything that sells. [Read more...]

Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Sell Your Photography?

Are you a natural at selling?

Don’t worry. Very few of us are.

Selling isn’t something you have to fear, or even avoid. It’s a natural part of owning and operating your business.

While focusing on what you should do has its benefits; sometimes it’s easier to learn what to avoid, and simply incorporate those tips into your sales presentation. It can help you see what you are potentially doing wrong, and how its impacting you, your business and your potential clients. If you see yourself in any of these mistakes, use them as a strategy for improving your sales presentations.

Think your client knows more than they do

You live with photography every day. You are entrenched in the culture, and have a true love for everything camera related. While your customers may have an appreciation for great art, they probably don’t have the same passion you do for the photographic industry. Never assume anything – always tell them why you are doing everything.

For example, they probably won’t care that you are using a Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II, with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. But they will care that you are using professional equipment, and you have multiple bodies and lens options to capture every moment, and be available at all times, even if one of your bodies or lenses fail. That also arms them with knowledge, and they can take that to the next photographer they interview. “Do you carry multiple bodies and lenses?” You would be surprised at the number of photographers that don’t. And it also puts you in a better light with the potential client. [Read more...]

Is Generosity Killing Your Photography Business?

Everyone today seems to have a story. And I’ll admit some of them are good … REALLY good. So much so that you really want to hand over your photography for free in order to help the cause.

But the problem with one is it quickly becomes two. And two becomes four. And so on.

Pretty soon you’re doing all of your work for free, barter, or at a discount, and you barely have enough to survive on your own.

Sometimes generosity can become extremely challenging, and have you start questioning why you’re in business in the first place. But how do you stop it? How do you know what causes to take on, and which one’s to pass by? How can you strike a balance between running a business, and still being generous in the process?

What Is Your Policy?

A few years ago I had a real problem.

I would be approached by dozens of different businesses and non-profits, asking if I would provide my services in exchange for “something”. It could be the opportunity to promote to their group, for charitable reasons, for exposure, and a host of other reasons. [Read more...]

The Most Powerful Business Building Tip Is …

What does it take to build a successful business – a business pulling in more than $250,000 per year – in under two years?

If you talk with any successful business owner, they can probably pinpoint one precise moment, one technique or tool that catapulted them forward.

For us, that one technique was actually very simple, and yet it changed our business forever.

We knew the key to success was building relationships with the RIGHT people in the right venues and industries. So we thought about all the ways we could connect with those RIGHT people.

And when you think about it, that’s all marketing really is. It’s finding the perfect way to reach out to your prospects, clients and referral sources, and give them all the information to become clients and refer clients for life.

So we looked for something that would be familiar and easy to produce; yet be different enough to set us apart from our competition. And we found it simply by “going shopping.”

Is It A Magazine?

Whatever field you are in, you need to stay up to date by looking at everything that affects your target market within that field.

So if you are a baby photographer, you should be getting baby and parenting magazines, and visiting baby websites.

If you are a senior photographer, you should be getting magazines that appeal to teenagers, and visiting the most influential sites for teens.

And if you are a wedding photographer, you should be getting wedding magazines, and visiting the top wedding sites.

So that’s what we did.

Two of my favorites have always been Town & Country, and Martha Stewart Weddings. It’s the photographs. It’s the stories. It’s the layouts.

So we took inspiration from those two magazines, and created our own quarterly newsletter that we mailed out to prospects, clients and referral sources.

It wasn’t just a newsletter like you get from everyone else, set up in generic format, with mini stories on “what we’re doing” and “studio news”. This was a very detailed, multi page newsletter that was almost like a magazine, that showcased each and every client we had, just like they did in the magazines.

Was it successful? I guess a $250K+ business in under two years says it all. [Read more...]

3 Mistakes Photographers Make When Selling Wedding Albums

If you photograph weddings, you probably have a package or two in which you offer an album. And in many cases, your package probably looks something like this:

  • Up to 5 hours of photography
  • Over 200 images on copyright-free CD
  • 20 page bridal album
  • 11×14 Portrait Print
  • Online gallery of your wedding photos to share with friends and family worldwide

The bride knows she will receive a CD full of images, and be able to view the images online, and share them with her family and friends from around the world.

She also knows she can take weeks or even months to select a few of her favorites, and have them put into a bridal album.

But it doesn’t matter what photos she selects, how they fit together, or how the will look side by side. She simply selects her favorites, and you as the photographer will force them into some type of order, and create an album from the final selection.

I’ve seen books like this.

An image of the bride walking down the aisle is set next to a formal of the bride outside at the reception. The first dance is placed along side of the couple kissing by the limo.

In other words, there is no rhyme or reason to the way the album is put together; it’s simply a hodgepodge of images thrown together to form a book of pictures.

Wedding albums aren’t meant to be a book of pictures. They are meant to be the story of the wedding day.

First Mistake: The Photographer Lets The Bride Make The Selection

If you allow a bride to choose her favorite images, she thinks from an individual level, not from a cumulative factor. She can’t see an album because it hasn’t happened yet. She doesn’t imagine how they will look together side by side; she simply chooses based on her best expressions, and her favorite moments.

When she receives the album, it will simply go on the shelf because it’s a book of pictures. It has no meaning – its just 20+ large images from her event.

As a photographer, you should be photographing a wedding to tell the story of the day. With wedding photography, photos work together in order to bring you back to the memories of the event itself. A formal out in the gardens is great, but it’s “just” a photo of the bride and groom. But when you have a series of images of the bride and groom walking through the gardens, talking with their flower girl, sneaking kisses along the way, it becomes a story – and a memory.

As a photographer, you need to think in story format. You need to take one photograph, and then another, and another – all to work together and provide an intimate look into the event itself. Its up to you to tell the story, and present the images in such a way that the bride and groom relive the wedding again and again. [Read more...]