100 New Photo Clients Just For You

What would you do if tomorrow morning one hundred people were lined up outside of your doors, credit cards in hand, ready to sign up and do business with you?

Your first reaction is hopefully, “YES!”

Your second reaction may be, “Oh no, now what?”

When one client calls, emails or stops by and wants to do business with you, you can handle the situation with ease. Even if you don’t have everything in place, you can usually muddle through and accomplish the transaction.

But with 100 people lined up, things change. You have to move quicker, think less, and have things in place to make the entire process run smooth.

Think it out. No matter what your reaction was when you read the first sentence above, your mind has probably started thinking of tasks by now. Don’t stop the ideas from coming. Instead, spend some time taking it all in, and writing down a list of ideas. You’re best ideas come when you face a task from a different perspective. I’m willing to bet most of you have only dealt with one client at a time, so the pressure was off. By looking at your business through a different set of eyes, you’ll quickly find where your problem areas are. For instance, maybe you spend quite a bit of time customizing and writing up a contract for each wedding client that comes in. But if you have 100 wedding clients waiting, there is no way you could customize each contract. How can you automate it? Can the contract be saved as a document that is 95 percent complete, with just a few clauses that need to be modified and changed? If that’s the case, type up as many of the clauses as you can and store them in a separate word file. Then its just a matter of copy/paste, and the contract will be ready in seconds. [Read more…]

Are You Afraid Of Your Competition?

“I can’t put my best work on my website – I don’t want my competition finding out what I’m doing and copy me.”

“I don’t want to go into that niche of photography – there’s too much competition and I could never make any money at it.”

While it is fair to say that your competition can make things a bit more difficult for you, competition itself isn’t the real challenge. The challenge comes from trying to distinguish yourself from your competition, and offering something that no one else can. Competition in itself is a good thing. And if you learn how to view your competition in a slightly different way, you’ll see how you can use your competition to grow your business.

1. Lots of competition means there is more opportunity.

When you decide to open up your photography business, if you can look around your community and find other photographers to model, that’s a good thing. Don’t look for the photographers struggling to survive; instead look for good role models that are making a healthy living at it. If there are 25 wedding photographers in your community all making a full time living at it, that means there is enough business to go around.

2. More competition means more recognition.

Imagine if you came up with an entirely new concept – something no one had ever heard of before. It may seem like a great idea to move forward with it. But in reality, your potential customers will have to be educated on it before they know they need your products/services. If a customer already knows the idea exists, they simply have to go out and find the business that meets their desires and demands. If you have a slight twist to an old niche, you’ll stand out from the crowd. [Read more…]

7 Types Of Clients You Should Fire Before You Hire

Chances are selling isn’t at the top of your list of fun things to do within your business. Sales takes a certain knack and a lot of practice to get it right.

When someone comes into your studio, you spend a fair amount of time with them talking about their needs and desires, and using that knowledge to show how you can fit within those needs.

But sometimes it just doesn’t feel right. There is something between you that makes you nervous. You might not even be able to put your finger on it, but you know they put you on edge.

Yet you’ve spent time with them, and with the economy the way it is, the last thing you want to do is turn away business. Right?

Working with a client – any client – is hard. It takes time, energy, and a lot of emotional input to see a client through from beginning to end. When you are finished with the great ones, you can sit back and say “YESSS!!!” because you know the images are great before you even look at them. And when you do look at them, every one of them has positive energy, and puts a huge smile on your face. You gave it your all and it shows.

The bad ones? Well, if you’ve ever experienced that feeling, you know it well. You’re emotionally drained. You have no energy. You hope and pray you took at least one image that is acceptable, and that they will love enough to buy.

If you had nothing but great ones, you could handle 10 of them a day. That “YESSS!!!” feeling would come again and again, building up your energy in such a way that your clients could feel it. And respond to it.

If you add even one bad one in to the mix, your energy is depleted, and you might as well quit for the rest of the day to recover.

So why take the bad ones?

If you have that feeling when you are meeting them at the beginning, listen to your intuition. Fire them before you ever hire them. Don’t take them on. It will only deplete your energy, and cause you to lose that “YESSS!!!” feeling that will help you move your business to the next level.

So who is a bad client? How can you define them? Here’s what I’ve noticed over the years, and what I look for when I’m making a decision on who to accept as clients.

1. People who don’t show up for their appointments, and have excuses on why they didn’t. We all have emergencies once in awhile. But if people don’t make it a priority to show up for initial consultations, and don’t treat your time as valuable, they will probably continue that way throughout the process. [Read more…]

Why You Should Strive To Be Unrecognizable In Five Years

Take a few moments, sit back, and think back over your life. What have you done? Who have you been?

Hopefully you see some drastic differences along your path. (Okay, if you’re 15, it may be a bit harder to recognize yet.)

When I look back over my journey, I see many things.

  • High school
  • College
  • Masters program
  • Job in a retail store
  • Job in a bank
  • Job with the government
  • First business
  • Second business
  • Third business
  • Writer
  • Author
  • Speaker
  • Consultant
  • Traveler
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Friend

The list could go on and on. Mainly because I’ve made big changes to my life, and never was comfortable with staying in one place. I’ve always been a student of change, and when things get a bit too comfortable, I throw in the towel and try something new.

Today I read an amazing article by Julien Smith – I’ve actually read it three times so far. I highly suggest you take a minute or two and read it too. He touches on so many things, and brought up so many ideas, I could go on for a long time. [Read more…]