photography

Top Tip 19: Start Your Editing Last

ARE YOU OVER EDITING

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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!

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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 8: BE DIFFERENT

STOP COPYING OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS

Its all to easy when setting out or upscaling your business to just copy the competition but copying the competition is just diluting your own brand and adding another “Same As The Rest” Photographer to the already over saturated market.

Think differently, we all have something unique and personal to offer and that might just be your fun and friendly personality.  If you’re a wedding photographer and you build your brand around your fun and friendly personality, making this your USP (Unique Selling Point) then you could be onto a really winner.

To really succeed you need to specialise and be different, aim for a target market or a client and then give them exactly what they want and service them better than anyone else can.  Make sure your USP fits perfectly with what your ideal client is looking for, this will allow you to charge a premium for your services.

For example, imagine you are learning to drive for the first time at the age of 65, you are looking at websites for driving instructors but you are nervous about the whole learning to drive idea at such a late stage in your life and wished you’d just done it years ago.  Then you come across a website for a driving instructor who specialises in helping older more mature learners to pass their tests, his website is filled with photos and testimonials from older drivers recommending his services and praising his calming and patience nature.  Yes, he may be slightly more expensive but the service fits your needs perfectly because he has built his brand around you.

If you’re commercial headshot photographer and the competition offer a ‘by the hour’ or ‘by the headshot’ package, then be different and offer a Social Media Solution Package.  This type of package may include 3 poses with 2 backgrounds and one business lifestyle headshot, maybe at the person’s desk on in front of their premises.  Images are then sized for 2 different social media channels and includes a branded social media cover image too.  This package is cleverly devised to offer a solution to the clients’ needs.  It’s not priced on time as the competition, so its easy to charge more because you are offering a solution to a need directly and it can’t be compared to an hourly rate.

People assess an hourly rate as exactly what it is, your time for an hour.  Often clients will relate to this as expensive because it maybe higher than their own hourly rate.  Charging by a “solution to a need package” does away with this objection.  This then becomes your USP, you offer solution-based packages because you know what your clients really want and base your service and USP around their needs.

What makes you different, what can you offer that the others don’t or can’t?  Maybe your USP could be your style or type of photography.  Imagine there are 100s of wedding photographers in your area, then you realise that 90% of your weddings are undertaken at country houses.  So, you rebrand yourself as The Country House Wedding Photographer.  To anyone getting married in a country house venue in your area you now appear much more appealing, you specialise in creating bespoke luxury wedding storybooks for couples tying the knot in an intimate country house setting.

Start getting creative, don’t copy, create your own…

Hope you found this inspiring, it’s your uniqueness that will develop your brand and put you on the road to success.

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