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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 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.