photography marketing ideas

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 16: Profitable Pet Photography

How to Make a lot More Money from PET PHOTOGRAPHY this Summer

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For a lot of photographers pet photography still remains an untapped but very lucrative market. Summertime is a great opportunity to really build a name for yourself as a fantastic pet photographer.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a studio, you don’t need one.

Over the years as well as doing a lot of pet photography in the studio, I’ve also traveled to my client’s home and favorite locations, such as a local park or the beach to capture their four-legged friends in action.

Never under-estimate your client’s love and passion for their pets. Some of my biggest sales in the studio have been made from pet photography.

Incidentally, some of my more well-off clients would never dream of putting a huge framed wall print of their children on display in their home, but wouldn’t think twice about spending a fortune on photographs of their beloved pets

It’s a bit of a class thing, the very wealthy tend to steer away from portraits and prefer to hang fine art on their walls. A portrait of their kids is usually found as a 5”x7” in the living room or on Dad’s office desk. The exception to this rule for them is photographs of their horses and dogs, they’ll go for the huge framed prints every time.

Now is the time to start pushing your pet promotions. One fantastic way is to team up with local dog groomers, dog walkers or pet stores - there’s plenty around.

Firstly, go and introduce yourself to the owner of the business. Tell them how you’d like to offer their loyal customers a FREE pet portrait session either in the studio or on location when they book in for one of the top grooming packages, spend “x” amount on pet products or book “x” of dog walking services.

Explain how the session is totally FREE of charge and there is no obligation for them to purchase any images. Although I’ve yet to have someone who has walked away without at least purchasing one or two framed prints or a USB key of digital images.

Remember these customers are often spending £30 - £40 every few weeks just on dog grooming or some a spending a fortune on premium pet food, they are totally devoted to their pets. Now imagine how they will just simply love a set of professional photographs of their best friend.

Next offer the owner of the business a FREE portrait session and large wall print of their own dog to display in their shop. This way clients can see for themselves the fantastic quality and service you provide. This is a great way to really get the business owner on your side and they’ll be more than happy to recommend you when they see the results for themselves.

However I did find after the initial period, sales and bookings started to tail off. This was simply due to the owners forgetting to hand out leaflets to their clients. So, to combat this and keep the momentum going I went back to them and offered a generous 15% commission on all portrait sales I made as a result of their referrals.

This worked a treat and each month I’d pop down to and pay them their commission in cash!! They loved it and pushed me even more to their clients.

It’s easy enough to create very professional looking leaflets to give to the groomers, pet store or dog walker to handout. I personalized these to include the businesses own logo and even used a photo I’d taken of their dog too, they loved it. Remember you are selling the emotional benefits of your service, capturing beautiful memories of your best friend which you can treasure for years to come.

Also, it’s a good idea to have several pet packages available. These can include a “Puppy at Play Package” always a winner with new dog owners and because your puppy will change and grow up so fast it's essential to capture these early memories.

I also used the same leaflet offer template to hit another dog groomers at the other side of town. I have a great designer, Yani, I can recommend for your leaflets or vouchers and I guarantee they’ll look awesome. Next, check out print24.com for cheap but great printing services I’ve used them for years and can’t fault the quality.

Another option is to give the business owners personalized pet portrait gift vouchers to hand out. This really does work as people are always keen to use a gift voucher and do feel they are getting something of value for free.

It’s good to make the voucher worthwhile say to the value of say £50. Then charge a sitting fee of say £30 that means the customer gets the sitting for free and still has a few pounds left towards their first framed print.

Don’t forget to add simple terms and conditions to voucher though. Non-refundable, one per customer only, cannot be used on bank holidays or weekends, can only be used against the cost of a pet portrait sitting and prints etc has no cash alternative.

Well, I hope this has given you guys something to think about. I’d love to hear how you get on.

It’s worked great for me and I’ve made a lot of money from pet photography over the years, I’d love to see you do the same.

Thanks for following, feel free to get in touch anytime. Jeff
 

Top Tip 7: SET YOUR GOALS

START SETTING GOALS, DON’T PUT IT OFF!

How often do you hear yourself say, “I’m going to do that one day” or “I’ve always wanted to do that”.  The problem is there are 2 major factors that stop you achieving your goals but these are both under your control and you can change that today.  The two major factors are YOU and LIFE.

Firstly, YOU are the only person who puts limitations on yourself.  Once you start removing these self-imposed limitations from your thinking then you are free to start taking the steps towards achieving your goals.

Secondly, LIFE gets in the way, that’s another great excuse.  Ok, I guess its valid to a point but in the same context it’s also a load of bullshit, pardon the French.  Does life get in the way of you eating, breathing, sleeping, watching TV or playing on your phone?  Of course not, we all do it some more than others but these are habits and actions we still make time to do.

In order to make a big change today I want you to list your 10 business goals that you’d like to achieve by 12 months from today’s date.  Write them down on a piece of paper or print them out and next to each goal I want you to place 10 tick-off boxes horizontally.  Each one of these boxes represents a 10% completion of your business goal, 10 boxes = 100%.

Stick your goals to your desk or where you can see it each day and every week do an action that brings you closer to completing each goal.  Even if its just an email or a phone call, you are still taking action towards your goals.

We all have dreams and we all have goals but if you don’t take action then dreams are all they will remain.  So now look at that goal list and change the completion date from 12 months time to 3 months time and here’s why.

For over 3 years I’ve wanted to write a book but my limiting belief that being dyslexic and that I did not have the time, stopped me from taking action.  However, when I added it to my goal chart and made the point of writing just 1000 words per week, I had a book finished, published and into the Best Sellers chart in only 4 months.

Another idea on my goal chart was to set up an international joint venture program, running my workshops and seminars overseas.  Again, I added this to my goal chart and started the slow process of sending out a load of emails and connections requests on LinkedIn.  Out of all my goals for 2018 I thought this one would be the last to come off.  Within 3 weeks of taking just a few little steps towards it I connected with Dan M Lee, an award wining New York photographer, its now taken us less than 6 weeks to form SuccessfulphotographyUSA.com and launch our first seminar date for New York this September.


The one BIG point to take away from this is start taking action NOW.  Don’t put off your dreams because you think they are too big to take shape, put them on your list and start moving towards them.  When the momentum hits and things start to kick in, your dreams can become reality pretty damn fast.

Now just to share another quick one with you, the Six Steps to Success Program was put together in one weekend and all because I told a little white lie and said I had such a program in place.  A photography marketing course supplier in India asked me to get him the details over in an email, so I had to frantically piece together all the individual training programs into one complete course in just a weekend.  AND SO…the 6 Steps to Success was born which has now gone on to help 1000s of photographers around the world.

What’s going on your goal list, I’d love to hear?  Drop me a message and I’ll send you my goal tracking and time management sheets, they are a huge 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.

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 4: WHAT WE PUT OFF

ARE YOU PUTTING OFF SUCCESS

I work with photographers around the world from all walks of life and all photography backgrounds, from commercial to weddings, portrait to fine art and we are all guilty of doing, or should I say NOT doing, the same thing.

As photographers we will happily sit for hours and hours endlessly editing photographs, often spending far too long over editing the final product in our strive for perfection.  But who are we editing for, is it ourselves?  Because I can bet you now that 9 times out of 10 the client probably would have been happy with the original or a very lightly edited and cropped version of it.  We spend hours of our precious time correcting what we imagine to be faults when in our clients’ eyes these faults are quite simply invisible.

Time is our most precious resource, the less time we spend editing the more time we can be shooting jobs and marketing our business.  However for one reason or another to most photographers marketing is probably one of the most complicated and uninteresting tasks on the planet, but without marketing and without a brand you’ll never truly succeed.

Marketing doesn’t need to be complicated but it does need to be consistent, if you aren’t posting on social media daily, if you aren’t uploading images and telling stories that engage with your fans and followers then you are losing out massively.

As part of my 6 Steps to Success Program I teach photographers how to really manage their time effectively, you can actually get more done in less time and still market your business every single day.

When you know exactly what to post, when and how to post it on social media then you’ll realise that just 45 minutes a day spent getting out your message and building your brand can totally transform your business in a matter of months.  I’ve had clients make tens of thousands in just a matter of 4 to 6 weeks and all it took was putting out the right message to the right people on a daily basis. 

You can be the best photographer in the world, with the best kit and beautifully edited photographs but if your phone’s not ringing and the email bookings aren’t coming in then what is the point.

Don’t think of it as marketing, think of it as telling your story or better still telling your clients’ story.  Get posting daily, upload stories, ring clients for testimonials and spread them everywhere, let the words and stories of others really sell your services because believe me this shit really does work.

Do your posting first thing on a morning, don’t even check your message, keep away from your email because its full of distractions.  Post to social media first, make your connections on LinkedIn, upload your short videos to You Tube and Facebook then you’ve done your marketing for the day.

If you take one thing away from this article, start to form a habit of doing your social media marketing first before anything else and its done.  Because if you don’t you’ll get too taken in with editing photographs, answering emails and doing the tasks that really could be left until later.

Form this habit and do it right and I guarantee the magic will happen, be consistent and do it every day - NO EXCUSES.

If you’d like me to review your website and social media drop me a message I’d be only to happy to give you a few pointers in the right direction.

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 3: PEOPLE BUY EMOTION

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STOP TRYING TO SELL PHOTOGRAPHS

People just don’t buy photographs on price, they buy images for a reason and that’s your major key to SUCCESS.

There are two typical reasons for a photographic purchase, either as a solution or as an emotional response.
 So, for example, a restaurant hiring a photographer to take photographs of various dishes on their menu are doing so for an answer to a problem.  The photograph is a solution to getting more clients through the door and more bums on seats in the restaurant.  People viewing the images on social media are enticed to come down and try the new dishes because the image really sells the food.  Try selling the restaurant your photography as a solution to their needs and you’re onto a winner.

For weddings and portraits its slightly different, people are making the purchase for an emotional reason.  The more you can strengthen the value of this emotional connection, the bigger your sale will become and the less objection to the purchase you’ll have.

Take for example a family portrait with both parents and their two teenage sons.  This could be the last time for years that the family has a chance to create such a portrait.  Soon their sons will be off to college or university and the possibilities of getting the family together for a shoot will become less and less.

Now in a few years time that one portrait will be looked upon as priceless and from each year forward it will only increase in emotional value becoming a more and more treasured investment to the family.

The same can be said for wedding photography.  Often this is one very rare occasion when the whole family and extended family are together.  Wedding photography is not just a collection of photographs, its all the romance and emotion, the tears and the laughter, the joy and the happiness, captured in a moment that will never be repeated.

The key to any form of emotional selling is to ask questions then shut up and listen to the answers.  Ask the future bride and groom their reasons for booking a photographer, what’s important to them in a photograph, how do they imagine their wedding photographs and who are the most important people they want captured in them.  Listen to their response and turn this around in your sales pitch using the information they have supplied you with.

If they have told you they want a lot of natural images and plenty taken with their young daughter then explain how your style is free-flowing and unobtrusive allowing all the romantic and emotional moments of the day to unfold without interference.  Explain how you’ll be there to capture those special moments on the wedding morning as their daughter (and be sure to use her name often in your pitch) gets ready with her Mam both looking beautiful together in their fabulous dresses.

Remember if a bride and groom or a family contact you, are interested in your services and they have just come from your social media pages or website then it’s a given fact that they like your work.  It’s up to you to build that emotional connection and personalise your pitch to them.  Forget price, people only buy on price if they are cheap skates, bargain hunters or Groupon Freebie followers and these are NOT your clients.

NLP (Nuro Linguistic Programming) is part of my 6 Steps to Success Program, it’s all about creating a desire for your products and services.  Like it or not we are all sales people but remember we are not forcing a sale we are creating a desire for our services and ultimately giving the client exactly what THEY want, not what we think they should have.  Ask questions, find out what drives your clients and the sale will close itself.

Hope this got you thinking.  If you do have any questions please comment or drop me a message, always happy 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.