Photography Tips

Are You Thinking Ahead for Christmas?

As a photographer it’s a good idea to think 2-3 months ahead at any one time. As the end of the summer approaches with October now here it’s a great time to start thinking about your Christmas offers.

Never leave it to the last minute, don’t put your Christmas offers out a couple of weeks before December - get them out early, start your followers thinking now, because a lot of people like to spread the cost of Christmas.

Many of people start Christmas shopping in September so get your offers out there. Also many businesses will already be gearing up for Christmas and fresh imagery will be at the forefront of any festive online campaigns.

Notably the hospitality trade are always very proactive in putting their Christmas offers out early - ensuring their restaurants and guest rooms booked in advance. They send their information out across social media, getting clients to think about Christmas at an early stage with the same old message, book early or lose out. You need to be doing the same, take a leaf out of the hospitality trade’s book.

Start promoting ideas for your Christmas portraits to your clients early. Remember some of your network may need to be reminded two, three maybe four times before they actually engage and either pick up the phone or jump on an email and book that portrait session – so start now.

Whether you are a commercial photographer or lifestyle photographer or a wedding photographer start thinking of packages and offers you can put together ready for the Christmas period. If you start now I’ll guarantee you can maximise Christmas a lot better.

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What is Social Selling?

Social selling is all about building relationships online via Facebook, LinkedIn and Social Media.

To successfully socially sell you need to exactly know who the people are within your online network.

What the demographics for your audience are?

What they like and dislike?

What they do for a living?

What interests do they have?

What deposable income bracket do they fall into?

What big brands, fashions or trends do they follow?

Once you know a lot more about your ideal client and social followers then you can post content that is of real interest to them on your social media platforms. Socially selling involves 3 key stages. The first stage is to be informative. Give plenty of free information away, be there as a hub of advice and a resource for your potential client.

Tell them the benefits of a product or how best to solve a problem, topics that relate to them alone and that you know will be of interest, this may involve a bit trial and error but don’t try to sell at this stage, just be helpful.

The next stage is to build the relationship further. Building the relationship further can be done by giving away something for free, chose something that is normally at the smaller price bracket around £50 – £100 and give that away for free but to your followers only. This is exclusively for them in return for their loyalty and ongoing following, make a point of stating this in your posts .

You can give away vouchers or give away a free trail offer, this allows a potential client to try you at a zero risk or reduced fee, but will always lead to a much bigger potential upsell after the trial or free session.

Remember, don’t go straight for the kill with a big high ticket item - build the relationship up first. Let them see the value of what you do.

The 3rd key is aspect of social selling and final step is to sell to the right people at the right time. Remember not everybody is going to want your product all of the time. Some people are going to want your product at certain times a year.

So once you know your ideal customer, you then need to know when they would mostly like to buy your product. This will then be right time to start selling your product on social media but don’t over sell.

Remember only one in every ten posts you make should be a selling post. Build a relationship and give value of money to your followers and when they are ready to buy from you they will.

Check out my You Tube Video below for even more top tips and don't forget to subscribe to my channel for regular free marketing hacks and advice.

You Always Have to Over-Deliver

Over-delivering is an essential part of building a solid customer base for life but most photographers don’t do it. Over-delivering is quite simply done by you giving the client more than they expected in the first place.

So, for example, you’re a portrait photographer, you take a set of portraits and tell the family that the pictures will be ready to view online within the next 7 days. To over-deliver simply message them within 3 days telling the family their photographs are ready to view by doing this you have already exceeded their expectations.

Another way to over-deliver is to always give something for free. By giving something for free you will not be reducing your profit because the free item is already included in your costings when putting your packages together, you just don’t show it to the client.

So say for instance you’ve put a package together with an album, a USB key or even a canvas print with some small prints included, what you can then do is supply the client with 6 beautiful photo keyrings for FREE. The keyrings should display one of their favourite images on the front and your company logo with website URL on the reverse.

Clients will simply enjoy these little touches, they’ll hand keyrings out to friends and family while telling them how much they really enjoyed their shoot with you. They’ll love them because they are for free and totally unexpected, its these little gestures that really do count.

Keyrings, mini albums, desk frames and what I call portable gifts are great PR for your business because when people ask where the photographs were taken, your details are on the reverse of the keyring or etched on the pocket album or on the bottom of your photo mugs.

It doesn’t have to be an expensive free gift, it just has to be something that they don’t expect. Obviously, your free item or free delivery will be costed into your package. The more money each client spends the bigger the freebie. If they spend a couple of £1000’s on a portrait album and USB, you might want to include a free canvas.

The canvas they can clearly see from your photography price list is valued at £400. However realistically it has probably cost you £40-£50 to produce. That free canvas is going to carry a lot of weight to them when they recommend you to their friends, telling people how amazing the experience was, how you supplied their images in record time and were very generous to include an amazing free canvas worth £400.

When you have successfully over-delivered and you’ve supplied your clients with the products that they have brought, it’s the perfect time to ask them for a testimonial. You can pretty much guarantee an absolutely fantastic testimonial in return and be sure the will recommend you to all their friends.

Check out my You Tube Video below for even more top tips and don't forget to subscribe to my channel for regular free marketing hacks and advice.

Building an Awesome Photography Website

I’ve been looking at a lot of photographers’ websites recently and most photographers’ websites tend to follow the same theme. They tend to take-on a portfolio-based website which basically means they are full of lots of pretty pictures, but they don’t have much text. The reason they don’t have any text is that they are more like an online gallery and they don’t offer a clear message or a solution to their visitors.

Most photographers don’t like the idea of marketing it’s not something that appeals to us, but you must understand that even though your images look nice its emotionally driven words that will really sell your photography.

When using words that are going to sell your services you have got to offer a solution to a problem or build an emotional connection with the people you are looking at as potential clients.

So that said at the very top of your website you MUST have a headline when you open up your homepage. Your headline has to say what it is you do, whether you’re a wedding photographer, portrait photographer or a restaurant photographer your message needs to be clear. More importantly your message needs to say what you can do for the client, how you can make their lives better and be the solution to their needs.

So for example, if you are a food photographer you don’t just take photographs - you take attention grabbing images that creates stunning interaction on social media and brings more bookings to your clients door. If you are a wedding photographer you don’t just take photographs - you take beautiful timeless images in a hassle-free way, fun, natural and relaxed, so the bride, her friends and family can enjoy her special day without interruption.

You have-to look at what the core reason is potential clients are seeking out a photographer in the first place. How can you make their lives better, it’s not just taking pictures it’s the solution to their needs that is the real benefit for them.

Think about it, any wedding photographer can photograph a bride and produce good images, but what the bride really wants is to feel relaxed, at ease and enjoy her big day, knowing the photographs will be taken without interruption.

Every other photographer will be selling their images online just as pretty pictures. However potential clients can’t judge one photographer’s work any differently than they can judge another photographer’s work. They don’t look at photographs the same way as we do.

What you have to do is be different from everybody else and tell clients exactly what you can do for them. Don’t just display a set of pretty pictures and leave it to them to make up their mind who they are going to choose. You have to take action on your website and get your message across, tell them why they MUST book you.

Check out my You Tube Video below for even more top tips and don't forget to subscribe to my channel for regular free marketing hacks and advice.