5 Keys To Finding Clients In The Future

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 5…

Future gold key

Doesn’t the marketplace seem a little overwhelming right now? Everywhere you look, there is an ad for something. You get hundreds of emails a day. Your newsfeeds rotate constantly with new content. Retailers are doing anything they can to bring in a buck or two – several stores in our area are open 24 hours a day right through Christmas Eve.

At some point it all becomes a bit too much … and you simply shut down.

But that doesn’t mean customers still aren’t out there. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people that want and need what you do.

They may have shut down as well. They may be so overwhelmed by all that is happening around them, they simply need another way to notice you.

And that’s where we have to be innovators. It’s not business as usual. To market the way you always have will get you nowhere in the coming years. The only way to survive – to thrive – will be to take a new approach.

Key #1: It’s Time To Be The Un-Photographer

At one point in time, cola was all the rage. People loved the bubbly drink, dark in color, sweet in taste. Then something new came along – the un-cola. It brought you a bubbly drink with a twist. The color changed. The taste changed. And it was refreshing in its own right. It took something old and put a new twist to it. You can’t photograph like photographers did twenty years ago. The marketplace wants something new – something different. And yet very few are offering the twist. The one’s that create the twist – the un-photographers – will move ahead in this new industry.

Key #2: Think Of The Internet As A Horizontal Marketplace

How many marketing tools do you need to survive? One? Five? Fifty? There is no right answer. Yet for most of us, it is well beyond one – very few could operate with just a business card. Different people “see” things in different ways. Which is why you need to be in different places, off line and on. A simple website won’t reach out to the new customers of tomorrow. Likewise, just a Facebook page will do little to reach customers that are rarely on Facebook. It requires a variety of tools – a horizontal reach through many different tools. Your blog, a Facebook account, reviews on Yelp, a YouTube channel – all reach out in different ways. And provide you with a wide plane of potential. [Read more…]

The One-Two Punch For Finding Photography Clients

Its sad to see a photographer who is really good at photography, yet knows nothing about business.

When we were first starting to climb the ladder of success within the photography industry, we met a couple who were several years older and had several more years of experience. We looked at their work and instantly knew they were one of the best photography studios in our area. Until we got to know them and started learning more about how they ran their business.

When we would get together for dinner, they would proceed to list out several things they were currently working on. And those several things seemed to change every few months. Then they confided the real truth.

“As much as we love photography, we just can’t rely on it for a full time income. We have never been able to figure out how to push it to the point of creating a secure and profitable income.”

These people had some “major player” clients. They were written up in local media. They won awards and were recognized within the photographic industry. Looking at them, they were the people to model. They looked like they had it all together.

But while they were very good at photography, they had never taken the time to learn about the business world.

They created their pricing structure for the low end because:

They felt guilty about charging “too much”, even though it was their belief system that created what “too much” meant, not what others were willing to pay

They let the low end structure their pricing – and their high end was more than happy to pay it, knowing they got a “deal”

For all of these reasons and more, their marketing, pricing, and financial tasks struggled. [Read more…]