Where do you look for new clients?
If you’re like most photographers these days, you’re heading online more and more. And why not? Facebook has over a billion people. Pull up any key term in Google and you’ll find millions of results just waiting for the person to search and find.
But just because there is a lot of potential doesn’t mean you’ll find it IF you aren’t approaching it in the right manner. To find clients, you have to have a dynamic web presence. And a dynamic web presence means the ability to take a potential client from one point to another, walking them from just finding out about you to signing up and becoming a happy and satisfied client.
If you don’t have a dynamic web presence, or any piece of the process isn’t in place, you’re missing out on HUGE potential.
Look through this list; do you see any offenders in your business? If so, clean them up today.
#1: Your call to action is missing
I worked with a photographer a couple of years ago who couldn’t figure out why no one ever contacted him through his website. So I agreed to spend some time going through it and give him some pointers on things to change.
It took me 30 seconds to find out what was wrong.
Nowhere on his website was a phone number, an email address, or any way of connecting with him. He didn’t even have what city he was located in and was willing to do business in. He had a fill-in-the-blank form – and that was it.
When I questioned him about it, his response was “I don’t want all that spam or people contacting me about anything other then doing business with me. This is my way of weeding out the spammers and the marketers so I only have to deal with potential customers.”
The problem with trying to make it difficult for spammers and marketers to get a hold of you is you are doing the same thing to your customers. And if things are that difficult for your potential customers, I guarantee you they are going somewhere else.
Never, never hold back on giving people ways to connect with you. In fact, the more ways they can connect, the better.
- Tell them to Facebook you and respond immediately.
- Give them your phone number so they can call when they’re ready.
- Give them an email and check your account all the time.
- Create open comments on your blog (with your approval of course) and respond as soon as anyone comments on things you have to say.
- Put your phone number bold and in the header of your site. Make sure they can find it easily as soon as they want to connect with you.
- Give them free information to find out more about you. Those free report and sign up boxes you see on SO MANY sites online? Yes, they work. And you should be using it too.
Your homework this week: Look through your site and see how easy it is to connect with you. Can a potential client connect with you in many different ways, and be able to find those connections the second they decide to move forward?
#2: No one can figure out what you do
“I do weddings.” Yet there’s only one small photograph of a bride in your gallery.
“I specialize in babies.” Yet throughout your site you speak generically about portraiture and leave your viewers “guessing” as to what you really do.
Too many photographers stay generic, not sure what type of client will call them. They don’t want to pass up on any potential business, so they leave thing’s as generic as possible.
The problem with that is you are so generic, Google has no idea what to rank you for.
The more specialized you become, the more recognizable you will be.
Figure out your niche and talk about it everywhere – your home page, you services page, your Facebook page, your gallery images, your blog posts, etc.
Wedding photographers should talk about wedding photography every day.
Your homework: If your clients had to describe you in one phrase, what keywords would they use? Make sure you are using these every day to describe your business.
#3: No one has a desire to read what you have to say
So you’ve started blogging. And yet no one reads your posts.
Or maybe you send things through on Facebook and have no followers.
There is a reason for that. People follow people when they are interesting and have something to follow.
If I send through a post called “John and Mary’s Engagement Photos”, the only people that care are John and Mary and their family. Okay, and maybe a newly engaged couple that is looking for someone to photograph their engagement images. [But trust me, they will never be on the hunt for John and Mary’s Engagement Photos in the first place, so they’ll never find you.]
John and Mary will find their content no matter what. So your goal is to approach potential customers and give them something to look forward to. Wouldn’t something like this capture attention a whole lot more:
“The Most Romantic Place In Vail Colorado For Engagement Photographs”
Great keywords. Motivating content. And it may even bump up John and Mary’s love of what you do.
Your homework: Look at the content you are publishing and see how you write it. Is it motivating? Can you improve it?
#4: Your customer isn’t ready for you
A customer comes into your site looking for a photographer. They look around. Then they leave. Why?
9 times out of 10, they simply aren’t ready to commit just yet.
If I want a drink, I head to my neighborhood Starbucks and get something to take with me as I head to my next meeting.
That’s an easy decision.
But photography isn’t like that. Choosing a photographer takes time and trust. And the more expensive the service (i.e. a head shot will take less time than a wedding), the longer it will take to build trust.
What are you doing to reach out to these 9 out of 10 visitors? Do you have a way for them to sign up to receive more information from you without a huge commitment?
Your homework: Do you have a way to connect up with the people that aren’t ready to do business with you today?
#5: You are ignoring your existing customers
A client comes in and books with you. You take them all the way through the process. They buy a lot of photographs from you. They head out your door happy.
Do you have a process that reconnects with them again and again throughout the year, hoping to turn them into a customer again some point down the road?
If not, you’re missing your number one opportunity for business.
Most photographers simply work to bring in a new customer and create the sale. Then once the process is over, they go back to trying for more new customers.
The easiest person to convert into a paying customer is a past customer that already loves you.
Your homework: Don’t focus in on customers you had six months ago. Instead, start with the customers you are working with right now. In a short period of time, they will become past clients. What can you do now to keep them happy?
It might be a “free” bonus – how about 6 customized greeting cards as a surprise two weeks after they pick up their final orders?
It might be special after purchase information to enhance their experience – how about information on hanging wall portraits, or ways to care for their leather albums?
It might be an anniversary card on their one year anniversary.
It’s easy to think of great ideas for a current customer. And once you put an idea into place, repeat for every customer you have. In very short order you will have an amazing business built on repeat customers and people that love what you do.