Photography Brand

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.

Top Tip 19: Start Your Editing Last

ARE YOU OVER EDITING

Photography_Marketing


Photography is our passion, a hobby that for some of us have grown into a successful business making us a very good living - giving us flexible hours, job satisfaction and a reason to get up in the morning and enjoy going to work.

For others the love of photography is still there, it’s just the money and the frequency of your work just isn't enough for a comfortable living, but you can change that. The good thing is you could easily be earning double, triple or quadruple what you are now in just a short space of time. Imagine having the money for a couple of fantastic luxury holidays this summer and not having to worry about the bills when you come home.

To turn things around you need to get to grips with your marketing and I mean right now! You don't need the latest Canon or Nikon camera or a whole new expensive flashy website. You just need a sound marketing plan and time put aside to do it.

However, every week I work with lots of photographers helping them turn their businesses around and everyone has the same problem - no marketing plan and no time set aside to do it.

Now, here's a thought - how many of you either after a wedding, school shoot or several commercial jobs spend most of your week editing your photographs? Come on be honest. I spoke with two mentoring clients the other month who were wedding photographers and admitted to spending up to a whole week editing their images after a shoot, leaving little or no time for marketing their businesses.

Worse still when the wedding season kicks in both photographers admitted to putting their marketing on hold till as late as October because of the need to spend hours and hours editing their images.

In my opinion, most photographers over edit far too much. It's just NOT necessary. Too often we edit for ourselves and not our clients, our clients probably would have been over the moon with the images as they were with just half the amount of editing. They probably wouldn't notice the difference.

Remember your time is your money and you need to set time a side to getting the next clients lined up ready and booked in the diary. No more quiet periods just a constant stream of money and it's not that hard to do it if you plan in advance.

The key to managing your editing time is to do this in an afternoon, do your IGT’s Income Generating Tasks on a morning. These IGT’s are the jobs that will lead to more enquiries and bookings, such as posting to social media, email marketing, blogs, LinkedIn Connections and seeking our joint venture partnerships.

When you edit in an afternoon your time window is smaller you’ll find you naturally speed up your editing to finish by the end of the working day. You’ll take less time per image but still produce fantastic and consistent results, but more importantly you aren’t letting your business slip. Marketing needs to be consistent too, social media posting should be a daily habit for any business.

This year why not look into outsourcing your editing so you can give your business a chance to grow further by putting in at least two full days a week for essential marketing. It might sound boring to you now but it won't sound boring when you are lying on the beach drinking cocktails and enjoying your second holiday this year because your marketing has paid off.

If you are currently outsourcing your photography editing I'd love to hear from you, let's all help each other out here. Maybe I can approach a few editing houses and get us a great deal as a collective of photographers, it has got to be worth a go. I have over 35,000 followers on social media alone plus a huge email list of photographers I work with so that's got to be good in our price negotiations.

Make this year the year you start to market your business and outsource a few of the jobs that take up too much of your time like editing, design and creative writing. If you have an area of marketing you are really struggling with then let me know. I'm looking for subjects for next week's video tips so maybe I could give you the solution in a video.

Top Tip 17: Price for a Premium

PHOTOGRAPHERS, TURN YOUR PRICE LIST ON ITS HEAD!

Premium_Photography.png


When I first started out as a photographer I absolutely hated selling, it was my one biggest fear. I felt like I’d rather give my photos away than have to ask for money, crazy to think of that now. However, one of the biggest stumbling blocks I come across with photographers who sign up for my 6 Steps to Success Photography Marketing & Mentoring Program, is the sales aspect of the job that we all do.

So, it’s basically LOVE Photography, HATE Selling and know bugger all about marketing. If this is you then don’t worry you are not alone and I was in the same position myself until I learned the secrets to upselling and using add-on’s to often double the value of my sales.

One of the first things you need to do is create an amazingly expensive luxury package that you have no intention of ever selling but it creates a feeling of bespoke quality to your brand. Remember people buy photographs for emotional reasons or to solve a problem to a need, so create desire and emotional in your products and services and you will have this stage nailed.

By starting with an amazingly expensive package this immediately creates a sense of quality and luxury to your brand. People associate good quality with higher prices, simple as that. So even your less expensive packages will be perceived as higher quality because of the image your amazingly expensive package has created in the client’s mind.

This is why most car dealership have the “top of the range model” taking pride of place in the showroom. The salesman will knowingly show you the model that is way out of your price range, so you can feel the quality and enjoy all the additional gadgets. What he’s doing is creating a desire in your mind, knowing you can’t afford it. However the next model down may still be out of your original budget but includes a few of the beautiful features and gadgets you now desire from the top of the range model.

Transfer that idea to your photography services, for example your top package comes with a gorgeous storybook album personally designed to their exact requirements, two smaller but equally as outstanding 8”x6” parent or grandparent albums, a beautiful and very personal pocket book album which fits perfectly into a jacket pocket or handbag, a stunning wall canvas print of your choice and, of course, all your images supplied on a deluxe USB Key complete with limited edition presentation box so you can print and share with family and friends. Wow amazing!!

In reality we all know that you could just buy the USB Key and be done with it, then create the albums and canvas prints yourself. But once you create a desire for the albums and the canvas then each package down from your “Top of the Range” package just includes one item less for a further reduced price. The technique is to make the packages such that each package down from the Top of the Range is a little less value for money than the previous one, making the higher value option always the better deal for the client.

I hope this gives you something to work on. Take my word for it once you get this right then the packages just sell themselves and you’ll always end up with a higher sale than the client originally intended because the higher packages represent much greater value for money.

Also, its worth remembering it’s a lot easier to down sell than it is to upsell a client. Always start with your top package, if this is too expensive then they will have another 3 or 4 options to choose from. By starting higher this often sets the spending bar higher too, they will probably settle for the 2nd or 3rd package down and not your lowest priced, which would be easier for them to settle on if you start selling at the bottom.

Once the main package is secured and decided on then it’s time to roll out your add-on’s. These are small additions that will compliment packages and are often offered at a discount but still produce a high profit for the photographer. Add-ons should be priced between £199 and £99 for maximum effect, always show the full price of the Add-on then next to it the Add-on Price if bought with any package.

Top Tip 14: Cut Price Photographers are Doing Us a Favour!

Cut_Price_Photographers.png

One thing I do hear is a lot of photographers complaining that the market is oversaturated with cheap cut-price photographers and it's just impossible to make money in this business anymore.

Well, firstly I do agree that ‘yes’ the market is flooded with cut-price photographers so if your aim is to be in the gutter and at the bottom of the pack then your buggered. Give up now and save yourself the bother!

However, think about it, how many people really want to hire a cut-price photographer and are these the clients most of us want - absolutely NOT.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS, there’s a load of opportunity out there. Do you think a bride spending over £30,000 on her dream wedding is going to trust the skills of amateur £300 photographer to capture the only memories she'll have of her big day....of course, she won't. She wants the right person for the job, one that will not only give her the images she dreams of but will do it in a way that won’t spoil the romantic flow of her special day, she wants a professional like you.

COMMERICAL PHOTOGRAPHERS - do you think the marketing director of a large corporate hotel firm like Marriot or Malmaison wants to put their trust in some guy who's going to charge £99 to take allegedly stunning images or their luxury hotels for their websites and social media....of course not. These companies have huge marketing budgets and they want photographers they can trust and rely on to tell their brands' story so in turn they can build an engaging audience for their social media and increase booking via their websites.

There are millions of clients out there for all of us, in every price bracket and every niche. In today's world of online marketing and social media finding your clients has never been as simple. It really is a piece of cake, the hard bit is knowing how to communicate with them.

Stop thinking like a photographer, become a marketer first and a photographer second. Learn to know your clients and communicate with them on a personal level, people love that and even more so now in a digital age. It’s a case of ditching the formalities, adding personality to your sales pitches and sympathizing with your client’s needs, above all listen to want they really want.

Build a brand that communicates in values and benefits to your clients. Don't talk about yourself, talk about what you can do for them, give them the answers they need. Be the solution they are looking for and then price becomes far less important.

Don’t just give them what they NEED, give them what they WANT and a whole lot MORE!

You can find out what they WANT by simply asking questions and listening to the answers. Easy as that.

If everyone in the world just bought on price alone then luxury brands would never exist. Now in 2018, more and more people drive BMW, Audi and Mercedes, young girls carry designer handbags and young men wear expensive watches, mothers buy toddlers designer clothes and people eat out at high-end restaurants more regularly than they did 20 years ago.

Stop thinking you'll never make it, you have the photography skill to do it, just tune up your marketing. Stop worrying about the competition because cut-price isn't competition in fact why not thank them, they are doing you a favor. Let them work for the people who won't spend a penny and you market yourself to those who will.

Stop worrying about price and stop undervaluing yourself. Start marketing your brand to the people who'll love what you do and believe me there are 1000s of them out there in your area no matter where you live.

Marketing may sound boring but if boring pays the bills and boring gives you 3 holidays a year and the flexibility to work around your family life, then I know you are going to find boring very interesting.

Start thinking deeply about what it is that makes you different, what makes your photography unique and what benefits you can offer to your clients. Think about your clients in detail and start to build up an exact image of your ideal client. When you've done it then this is who you are going to build your brand around.

If you want me to turn your photography business around with you then drop me a message. My One 2 One sessions are guaranteed to build your business into a successful brand, it just takes a little hard work on your part but I'm there for you every step of the way. Remember a flashy website and a new camera aren't going to bring you success. A great brand, a sound pricing structure, and a cracking social media presence will make you more than enough money to live your dreams.

Whatever you do, start becoming less of a photographer and more of a marketer from today and forget about the competition, they aren't worth worrying about.

Thank you for following. I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback, Jeff

Top Tip 10: Over Deliver

PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE YOU OVER-DELIVERING

The key to creating clients for life is to over deliver time and time again.  Always aim to give your clients more than they expect, over deliver and they’ll love you for it and sing your praises to their family and friends.

When you tell a client they’ll have their photos in 7 days you should over deliver and supply them in 4.  The real beauty of over delivering is that you were going to deliver them in 4 days anyway.

Build FREE and UNEXPECTED items into all your packages.  Wedding photographers, when you deliver the clients album include a FREE 20”x16” canvas or framed print of their favorite image.  This small gesture will simply blow your clients away because its something they just weren’t expecting and for the cost of around £40 the reward to your business will be priceless.  You can guarantee the free canvas will be talked about for months to come, they’ll tell everyone who sees it that you gave them it for free as a thank you for choosing you as their wedding photographer.

These small acts of gratitude to your clients are what will set you way above your competitors.

Portrait photographers, give clients 4 or 5 FREE keyrings with their favorite images on and your website details and contact number on the reverse.  These keyrings will most likely be handed out to family members and grandparents so every time a friend admires the portraits and asks which photographer they used, your contact details are there on the back ready to be passed on.

Commercial photographers, don’t just supply your clients with images go one better and create a complimentary PDF guide on how best to use their images for social media and include this when you deliver the file.  Simply put together a fantastic branded Top 10 Tips Guide, you can use Google as a resource for the information to but your guide together and your clients will love you for going that extra mile.  It’s surprising how many companies just don’t know what, how and when best to post to their Facebook Pages.

When you deliver your products and services to your clients along with their FREE and UNEXPECTED gift, this is also a perfect time to include a recommend a friend voucher.  The voucher can take the form of a discount offer for their friend and a money off your next shoot for the client referring your services.

24 hours after you have delivered your goods send your client an email or social media message asking them to leave you a testimonial, direct them to your LinkedIn or Facebook Page to leave the glowing 5-star testimonial on your Reviews Section.  When you receive your testimonials be sure to share them on your wall with the clients’ full name for all to see.  Wedding and portrait photographers, you can use these testimonials to great effect throughout your website and brochures and be sure to include an image of the happy clients too along with their full names and their town or venue they were married at.

Start over delivering today and make it a huge part of your brand, if you want to become AWESOME you need to over deliver on every account.  When you over-deliver you’ll soon become in high demand and high demand means you’ll be charging high-end prices.

Hope you found this one useful, please feel free to comment below.  I’d love to hear your feedback and remember I’m always here to help.

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.