You’re sitting up late at night.
You switch the channel, and before you know it you’re hooked.
Can you really do all that with a knife? Can you really have a body like that with just 20 minutes of exercise a day?
You know you shouldn’t believe what they have to say. You’ve even laughed about the sales tactics of infomercials with your friends – who buys that stuff anyway?
Then before you know it, you open up your wallet, take out your card, place the call, and have your “new” thing is on its way.
Wow. Did you just fall for that?
Yep. And so do millions of other people every single day.
That’s why infomercials are so successful.
Yet for most people, they get caught up in what the whole thing is about – what they’re selling – and they forget that there is another side to it. If you’re now a small business owner, never look at things strictly through the eyes of a consumer ever again. Instead, look at things through the eyes of a business person as well.
And when you look at infomercials through the eyes of a business owner, you will see things in a completely different way. Yes, there are things you can take right now from any infomercial you watch and incorporate into your own photography business model. Here’s how.
1. Emphasize the problem
The problem with most photographers’ marketing programs is they focus in on the basics. “I’m a wedding photographer.” “I capture memories.”
Yada. Yada. Yada.
Yes, anyone who wants to hire a photographer knows what you do. If they are planning a wedding, they look for a wedding photographer.
But what they don’t know – and who they really look up to once they find – is a photographer that stretches beyond normal words and actually gives them advice too.
With every type of photography, people are looking to hire someone that can give them something they can’t get on their own. They have a “problem” and you have the solution.
But if you don’t emphasize the problem and show them how you’re the perfect solution, you’re just thrown into the bucket with the majority of other photographers that have no idea how to sell.
Are you a portraits photographer? You can play up so many problems in today’s market. How about selfies – do you really want an arm in all of your portraits? What about big box locations – do you really want cheesy backgrounds and “stand on the x” fake smiles?
The key is finding something that separates you from everyone else out there – and play it up in every way imaginable.
2. Details and repetition
If you haven’t watched an infomercial in a while, do it. You’ll quickly notice that there isn’t a lot of script there. Instead, they take a concept and repeat it again and again from every angle imaginable. You can do that tool.
Set up the problem. Show your solution.
Have your favorite client talk about their problem. And how you were the only one they could find that solved it perfectly.
Rinse. Repeat. Do it again. On your brochures. On your website. On Facebook. In your client meetings. Everywhere.
3. Prove your scarcity
There is only one of you. And there is only so much you can do.
Yes, that’s always the underlying assumption. But like an infomercial, call action to it.
“There are only 52 weekends a year. We only photograph 52 weddings a year. That’s it. No more. Will you be one of the lucky ones to have your wedding captured by John Smith Photography?”
See? Obviously if someone thought about it, they know there is only 52 weekends a year, so of course you could only photograph during that time frame. But by saying it out loud, it creates scarcity. It makes you a little more daring, a little more “I gotta have him”.
That’s what infomercials do well. And that’s what you should do with every campaign, every offer you ever make.
“Want one of our fall portraits? We only have three weekends available, and two clients per weekend. Will you be one of the lucky ones?”
“All holiday orders must be placed by November 1st. Miss the date and you’ll have nothing to give your loved ones this holiday season.”
Yes, it works with everything.
4. Huge call to action
I once had a photographer contact me and leave a message. But he forgot to leave a phone number. So I went to his site to look for his contact information. Guess what? There was nothing there. No phone number on his header or in the sidebar. The contact us was just a fill-in-the-blank form.
Yes, I could use the number he called in from (and I did). But the point is ease of use. How do you expect your clients to get a hold of you when you make it difficult?
I quizzed him on it. And he said he hates spam and doesn’t want solicitors calling him. So he uses a form.
Not acceptable. When you’re in business, everything is about ease of use for your customer. They should never have to hunt for everything. In fact, you should be blatantly obvious as to what you want people to do.
“Fill out this form to see if your wedding date is still available.”
“Call us for your free consultation.”
Yes, it might seem over-easy. People should know that, why should you have to tell them?
Yet calls to action are triggers. If they are subconsciously thinking “I like this photographer”, a simple call to action may push them to take the next step.
Be specific. Take them by the hand and lead them exactly where you want them to go.
And the more you do it, the more success you’ll have down the road.