- Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Business After Covid
- Use These Photography Business Tips to Make More Money
photo by NKS_Imagery via iStock
Given the current global pandemic, we have been focusing on a ton of photography business tips that you can do from home.
One subject that has been coming up a lot in our virtual writer’s room is business communication, for a few reasons. The first is that, when you work in a visual industry, it can be difficult to also master the art of business communication. You want to be creative. You don’t want to spend time working on your grammar. We get it.
photo by shapecharge via iStock
The second is that business communication is pretty much the number one way to secure new clients and to keep old clients happy. There have been a ton of studies done on this subject, but suffice it to say that if you’re letting emails or texts from clients or potential clients slip through the cracks on a regular basis, your business communication needs work.
The third and final reason we’ve been writing so many articles about business communication is that there are plenty of tools out there for photographers looking to for improving their communication skills. You just need to know where to find them.
So, here are five different tips your photography business could use to up your business communication game.
Make Communicating Easier
The number one complaint I hear about business communication is that it’s boring and time-consuming.
While I can’t so much help you have more fun communicating with clients, I can make it faster.
I recently came across Podium, which is a communication platform that pulls all of your communication (texts, emails, social media messages) for your business and puts it in one app so you can respond to everybody without jumping around.
This not only prevents you from checking your email, texts, and Instagram separately all day, but it is actually proven to help you respond to clients faster.
Podium also allows you to send invoices and follow up requests for invoices so you get paid in a more timely manner.
Plus, Podium features a free trial version so you can try it out before deciding to get a subscription. So what have you got to lose?!
I’ve tried many different methods of streamlining how I interact with clients and potential clients, and none have come close to being this easy and effective!
photo by Rawf8 via iStock
I always cringe when I get an email from a business that looks like it was typed from a cell phone in about ten seconds.
I don’t just cringe because it looks unprofessional, but because I know that person is going to be sending ten times the number of emails they would otherwise need to if they were just a little more detailed the first time around.
Nobody wants to read huge blocks of text, so I’m not suggesting you need to be overly detailed, but when you’re writing emails, make sure to thoroughly answer every part of a client’s question and make sure to be preemptive with information you can expect them to be asking about soon.
As an example, if a client emails you asking for a pricing sheet for a potential shoot, send your pricing sheet, but also send your availability for the type of shoot they’re looking for because that will be their follow up question.
Ask a Ton of Questions
photo by Nicola Katie via iStock
Business communication isn’t just about being thorough, because you should be asking plenty of questions of your own.
You should be asking questions to figure out exactly what your clients are looking for, what they expect from you, and what they would need from this experience in order to recommend you to friends or coworkers.
Clarification is a beautiful thing when you work in a creative industry. It can save untold amounts of time and will help you and your client get on the same page for the project.
Get Better at Writing
photo by AndreyPopov via iStock
This is one of the business communication tips nobody likes but just about everyone needs. Even seasoned writers need to continue to hone their skills or they will lose them.
But, the first thing you need to do if you’re looking to get better at writing is figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are.
A great way to do this is by downloading Grammarly, or a similar grammar checking software. Grammarly works by checking your grammar as you’re writing emails, writing in a Word document, or working on your website.
photo by Prostock-Studio via iStock
It basically just highlights potential problems and suggests changes that you can either use or disregard.
Grammarly is used pretty extensively in the immigrant community because it catches common second-language grammar problems, but I also use it to catch problems with stray commas or difficult-to-spell words.
Grammarly is free, although there’s also a paid version if you’re after more features.
Get Better at Listening
photo by SolStock via iStock
Half of business communication is getting your point across, which means the other half is listening.
I’ve found that my listening skills have definitely gotten worse as my business has gotten busier because, frankly, I have a lot of people trying to pull me in different directions.
But, I’ve also figured out a few different tips for still giving 100% attention to each one of my clients. For instance, I only work on one project at once. So, I’ll never open an email while I’m in the middle of a different project. I try and lump all of my correspondence together in hour-long blocks of time.
photo by BongkarnThanyakij via iStock
So, I’ll answer all of my emails right when I get into my studio before I start shooting or editing and then I’ll take a mid-day break and answer emails while I’m eating lunch.
Compartmentalizing different projects like this enables me to really pay attention to each piece of information clients are giving me.
I’ve also taken a few public speaking classes and interpersonal communication classes at a local community college to get better at other listening skills.
photo bymonkeybusinessimages via iStock
For example, I’ve been working on showing that I’m listening to someone in person with my body language.
Your clients can tell if you’re putting in the effort to really be there for them, and they can equally tell if you aren’t.
What other business communication tips have you used before? Have you found any that are especially helpful?