Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Photo by and ©Jeff Cable

The holiday season is always a busy time, full of shopping, decorating and making family plans. It’s a good idea to make your picture plans and get your camera ready …

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The good thing about running a portrait photography business is that you get to do something you love while earning money for a living. However, with all the photography enthusiasts opening their own studio every year, how can you make sure that your business rise above the pack? The answer is simple, learn to promote yourself.

Your portrait photography service can be a lucrative profession with good promotion. This allows you to reach many potential clients, increase your visibility, and opens new doors of opportunities. Follow these simple tips and watch your portrait photography business reach new heights. 

Create online and offline portfolio. Your sample works serve as a representation of the quality and uniqueness of your services. Showing your skills and expertise is easy if you have your trusty portfolio. Aside from arming yourself with a tangible portfolio, you can also market yourself online by including it to your website or social networking profile. Online promotions work, because many prospective clients are on the internet everyday. Create an impressive online portfolio to make sure that it gets viewed. Remember that the more people viewing your page, the more chances of you getting hired. Use effective promotional tools. Referrals increase your customer base, but you cannot depend on them forever. You have to sell yourself in order for clients to be aware of your service. Get your service out in the market by using promotional materials like flyers, brochures, and canvas. Open a mini art exhibit and print your photos on canvas. You can display digital photos on canvas at your studio’s façade to draw clients in.  Distribute flyers and brochures to send your marketing message across. Leave room for growth and learning. Gaining more appointments from clients should not stop you from improving your skills. Do not be complacent just because many customers are lining up at your door. Take time to learn new techniques, attend seminars, and read books about photography. Doing so ensures that as your business grows, your photography skills improve as well.

Always design your promotional campaign specifically for your clientele to ensure its effectiveness. Your portrait photography service can experience the sweet taste of success with the help of an effective promotional campaign. Combine it with excellent service to increase customer traffic and profit for your business.

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It’s vital to your photo marketing success that you know exactly why someone should select you over all the other photographers in your area. What’s special about you? And then it’s vital that you TALK about these important “Unique Factors” to all your prospects – in all your marketing, your phone conversations, and in person!

As you know, marketing & selling is involved with EVERYTHING you do. Frankly, who cares how “good” we are, if no one knows we exist or if we can’t sell it? How many great photographers do you know who are having difficulty paying their bills? Why? Because they can’t market or sell it. Sad, but true.

Now, whenever I say the word “selling” I want to be sure you understand that we’re NEVER talking about trickery, manipulation or pressure. Selling is finding out what people want, and then helping them to get it. And one of the most important parts of your selling skills is knowing and talking about your “Unique Factors.”

It’s also important you understand we’re not talking about offering bad work to your clients. Not at all. What we’re talking about is being able to produce good work, and then help people make the decision to hire you over all the other photographers in your market area, even though you aren’t the least expensive photographer in town.

So here are some examples, of a few of our Unique Factors, to get you thinking about your own.

Unique Factor #1. We guarantee everything we do. If you’re not thrilled, we either create additional images, or give you all your money back. No hard feelings, either. We are absolutely committed to creating the finest portraits you have ever had created.

Unique Factor #2. Both myself and my wife, Cheri, work together with every client – to create the finest portrait possible. This helps you feel much more comfortable during the photography. Plus, she has a wonderful eye for composition and design, and is super – detailed about jewelry, hair, clothing, etc. This makes your images just wonderfully perfect and beautiful. And there’s only one studio she works with – ours! You can’t get her talent and her eyes anywhere else!

Unique Factor #3. We only do a maximum of three portrait sessions a day, so you are not rushed through like a factory – so we can take the time necessary to make really beautiful portraits of you. We are much more interested in creating wonderful images for you, rather than working with hundreds and hundreds of clients each year. You simply can not rush when you want to create a truly beautiful, meaningful portrait!

Unique Factor #4. We meet with you prior to creating the portraits, to help you with make-up, hair, clothing, locations, etc. Cheri, our Portrait Consultant, will guide you and help you with everything, and also be in with me during your session. Plus, we meet everyone, in person, prior to the session, so everyone knows us. This is especially great with young children who otherwise might be afraid, and thus not look natural and comfortable in their portrait.

Unique Factor #5. We specialize in creating portraits on location, at a location that is emotionally meaningful to you – this makes the portraits much more personal, and special to you. It means so much more to you than if we simply created the portraits in our studio. Plus, there is no additional charge for this!

Unique Factor #6. My grandfather was a portrait artist in the early 1900’s. I found many of his glass plates in my parent’s basement when I was 12, and learned the photo process so I could print those plate negatives onto paper. Many years ago, my father passed away, and those beautiful images my grandfather created of my dad are priceless to me. That’s why I do this, because I want to put onto film the very essence of your personality, and your relationships, so you and your family can enjoy them for many years to come. I will throw my heart and soul into creating a wonderful portrait for you.

We have more unique factors for our studio, but this gives you a good idea of what I’m talking about here, so you can build your own personal list.

Can you see how having these at the tip of your mind when talking with prospects, or doing marketing, or working on your web site, etc. will make you much more persuasive, and how people will tend to want to work with you, regardless of your prices, or the economy? It makes you stand out – way ahead of the other photographers in the area – who are just talking about prices and sizes and finishes!

In my next article, I’ll share with you some of our Unique Factors for Wedding Photography.

Until next time – go for it – the only way you can make your photo biz better is by actually taking action on what we’re talking about in these articles!

All the best,

Charles J. Lewis, M. Photog., Cr.

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