branding photography

Top Tip 20: How Much Are You Worth

DON’T BE SCARED TO CHARGE YOUR WORTH

Over the past few months I’ve been working with some truly amazingly talented photographers, but as photographers, a big downside to our personality is our limiting beliefs. This often comes from a fear of rejection or lack of confidence in your work EVEN when everyone around you thinks you are totally AWESOME!!

In order to SUCCEED and build a financially stable photography business, your fear and limiting beliefs need to be conquered. The only way to conquer these beliefs we have is to go totally against what our fear tells us not to do.

If you lack the confidence to increase your prices from fear of rejection because for some crazy reason you have it in your head that you aren’t worth what you want to charge, you then need to take the bull by the horns and just do it. You’ll never know how much you can charge for your work until you charge what you should be charging.

Remember, as photographers we are in a very lucky position. The services we offer and what we do brings our clients great joy. The small invest our clients pay for our products often brings them years of happiness and the emotional value of their purchase is simply priceless.

We work for commercial clients and our images help to build their brands and put money through their tills. We help hotels book more customers, restaurants fill their tables, estate agents sell houses and business people create an incredible and trustworthy LinkedIn profile. What we do carries a lot of weight and value for our clients, we are a solution to their needs and our fees are an investment in their business growth.

Yet still, we are afraid to charge our worth. Accountants and dentists charge a premium for services that, to be honest, don’t often bring their clients much joy and happiness at all. Do you really enjoy paying a premium to get a tooth pulled out or find out you have a huge tax bill to pay?

If a potential client asks you for a quote its because your work appeals to them, they like your style and have viewed your images either on social media or your website. So, take it as they love what you do, they wouldn’t be asking for a price if they didn’t. Find out what your clients really want, listen to their needs and requirements first then give them a price with confidence because you know you’ll be their perfect match.

Top Tip 6: WHAT'S YOUR BRAND?

DO YOU HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHY BRAND?

Does your photography have a Brand?

If you think that Brand is just a logo then think again.  Brand is everything your customer thinks, believes, feels and imagines about your business.  If you want to build an awesome brand your brand message needs to be consistent and very customer focused.

You can’t build a brand that suits everyone its just impossible.  Too many photographers think they just want to take photographs for anyone who’ll pay for their services.  When this happens you don’t have a real brand, you aren’t unique and because there’s nothing special about what you do and you don’t particularly appeal to anyone, all you can do is sell on price alone which means you have to be cheap to win business.

To build a truly awesome brand you need to have your ideal customers in mind and focus your brand and your offering on what it is they really want.  You can’t brand yourself as a commercial photographer and be offering new born portraits on the same website, it just dilutes your brand and devalues your commercial photography.

For example, you may be a wedding photographer and brand your photography according.  Build a website and brand that appeals to women from 24-40 years old with a good disposable income in a 50 mile radius of your post code.  Start to think about your ideal client, what she does for a living, where she shops, what brands does she purchase.  Then look at how these major brands market to their ideal clients because their clients are your clients too.

Brands like Tiffany, Michael Kors, Mercedes, Miller & Carter, Jimmy Choo and many more, spend tens of thousands on market research and branding to attract their clients.  Its these brands you should be copying from, NOT another local photographer with a £100 marketing budget.

If you want to aim high end then your message needs to reflect that.  I’ve helped clients double and triple their prices over the course of a few phone calls and their bookings have increased.  The reason for this is if you increase your prices your brand and message need to reflect this throughout.  Its essential that the wording on your website and packages is strongly emotionally based, you need to portray the feeling of a quality and a premier service but in a way that is personal, friendly and approachable.  People buy from people they like, simple as that, come across as impersonal or someone you are not and your clients will see through you in an instant.

Look at the way premium brands word their packages and services, it’s all benefit related i.e. “what’s in it for the client”, how can they benefit from what you offer.  Sometimes it pays to spell out the benefit.   For example, don’t just say “fully edited high res images on a USB”, instead offer them “professionally edited, copyright free images they can share with their family and friends, all supplied on a luxury personalised USB key complete with a hand-crafted keepsake box”.

Try to prefix your words and services, it’s not wedding photography its beautifully bespoke wedding photography, its not a wedding album it’s a luxury Italian leather bound wedding story book.  Think like British retailer Marks & Spencer’s they never just sell “chocolate cake” -  they sell “extra special, rich and indulging, double layered, caramel topped chocolate cake”.  Get descriptive with your brand and use words to enhance and project your premium service.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.  Brand is something I’m very passionate about and I’m always happy to help and advise on.

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 5: BE PRODUCTIVE

IS BEING BUSY STOPPING YOU FROM BEING BUSY?

Answer me this simple question, do you plan out your day or week in advance?

Most of the photographers who sign up for my mentoring program tell me they have just been far too busy to concentrate on any form of marketing but when we get deeper into it they are often just busy being busy.

As photographers a large chunk of our working day is spent in front of a computer with our mobile phones sitting on the desk next to us just waiting to distract us at any given moment.  It’s just far too easy to get taken away from the job in hand by a text message or an email that really could have been dealt with later in the day.

When I work with photographers on my One 2 One training programs the first thing we cover together is goal setting and time management.  You need to have goals because without them you’ll never reach your full potential and when you know your goals it’s essential that each week you do one task towards a goal each day.

It’s all too easy to write a big “to do list” then start by doing all the little jobs so it looks like you achieved a lot but in business our success is measured by the brand we create and income we build.  Often we put off the bigger jobs because they look like a mammoth task but if you assess each and every job on your “to do list” by whether it will either bring you closer to your goal or generate more income then you’ll soon realise which jobs you need to start first.

Its better to complete one task that will bring you closer to your goals than 10 little tasks that really could of waited.  No sooner are those little tasks crossed off then you’ll find more menial tasks to replace them and again these will stand in the way of you achieving your goals and making a lot more money.

Plan out your week every Sunday evening, make a point of putting your social media posting and income generating tasks or goal achieving task on your AM (Morning) “to do list”.  These must be completed before lunch or before you go on to do any of the smaller “to do list” items, what I call non-essential jobs.

Get into a habit of posting to social media every morning before checking your emails or responding to messages.  Then once you have posted and after following up on any enquiries, do just one of your goal achieving or income generating tasks.  Don’t over load your “to do list”, break big goals down into smaller daily steps.  For example, if you are building a new website, Monday just complete the Home Page, Tuesday the About Page, Wednesday the Weddings Page, Thursday the Contact Page and Friday your SEO.

When I started to write my first book, a job I’d put off for 2 years, I decided to just write about a side of A4 per day.  An easy and achievable task, then in just 8 weeks I had a finished and published the book which is ranked on the Amazon best seller chart and earns me an income each month - all that from about 60 minutes a day.

If you have any questions on time management or goal setting for your business, then drop me a message I’d be only too happy to help you out.

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 2: QUESTION YOUR MARKETING

THE BIG MISTAKE MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS MAKE.png

THE BIG MISTAKE MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS MAKE!

Are you struggling for bookings?
Do you wish you could charge more for your services?
Do you fail to convert enquiries into paying clients time and time again?

Well, if this is the case you are not alone.  We’ve worked with many photographers worldwide who have faced the same problem and many photographers who are just stuck in a rut going nowhere.

The biggest mistake you can make as a photographer is to blame your photography for your current position.  If you really, really do think your photography isn’t good enough to charge more then drop us a message today and we’ll give you a FREE and honest portfolio review. 

The main contributing factor to most photographers’ struggling position is lack of marketing.  For most photographers marketing just isn’t something they really understand or enjoy, so they put up a portfolio style website, build a Facebook page and hope for the best.  When the bookings don’t come in or people want to book just on price alone then we believe it’s because our photographs just aren’t good enough.

The good news is its NOT your photographs that are to blame, its more than likely your lack of marketing and the fact you don’t have any real brand behind your photography offering.

Brand is not just a logo, brand is everything.  Brand is what your clients think, feel and believe about your photography.  If your brand strongly speaks of luxury, quality and first-class customer service and your clients truly believe you are the best then when you market to clients that fit your brand image, you can charge a premium price because your brand dictates it.  In fact, charging anything less would counteract the brand image.  People assess quality with a higher price as the two go hand in hand.

When you don’t have a brand and you try to market to anyone who’ll buy your services then 9 times out of 10 you can only sell on price.  This leads to the cut-priced end of the market which is oversaturated with budget photographers, amateurs and weekend warriors.

Instead of looking at other photographers’ websites start looking at the brands your ideal clients purchase.  These might be designer clothing manufacturers, trendy chain restaurants and luxury hotels etc.

Notice the styles, fonts and colours used in their brochures and websites, the type of words, brand message and how they use this message to create a premium quality feel.  Remember these companies have spent thousands and thousands on market research, often paying top designers and graphic artists to build a concept that appeals to their ideal client - those clients just happen to be yours too.  Take a leaf out of their books.  Copy their styles and ideas not those of another local photographer whose idea of market research is to copy another local photographer.

Branding is the foundation of every successful business large and small, and it’s the first of my 6 steps to Success on the training program and workshops.  If you’re serious about turning your business around or you’d like a bit more information about my services then simply drop me a message, I’m are 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.