- 2013 Photographer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Selling Your Photography
- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Group Portrait Photography Handbook
- The Best of Family Portrait Photography: Professional Techniques and Images
- 500 Poses for Photographing Group PortraitsSelling Your Photography: How to Make Money in New and Traditional Markets
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age
- Legal Handbook for Photographers: The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images
- Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
A Success Series for Modern-Day Photographers
People always ask me what they can do to create more business and be more successful. Well, there are many things. I’m going to publish a series of ideas covering a broad range of subjects and since this is the first, we’re going to keep it simple and start with the basics. As the series moves on, we’ll get more advanced, and we’ll draw on what we’ve learned along the way.
Do you know the 80/20 rule? 80% of people will do business with the first person they talk to, even if they talk to five others later. A lot of my ideas come from this very basic rule. You should always try to answer the phone when potential clients call because the next call they place might be to your competitor, giving them an 80% chance of getting the business while you’re still trying to return the voice message they just left. Wow, that’s pretty simple right? Now, we’re all busy at times, so if you can’t answer the phone, make sure your voice mail is up-beat and tell them that you’re EXCITED to work with them. When (not if!) you call them back, earn the business through your pleasant demeanor. No one wants to work with a downer.
Every customer you work with has friends and family. Referral business is critical to long term success in almost any industry, especially service industries like photography. Never forget every interaction with clients has the potential to spark hundreds or thousands of interactions with new potential clients that they know – and it’s all in your hands.
Always keep in mind, the more people that know you, the better off you are. Expand your network. There’s always a little luck involved, but numbers never fail. Reach out, help, network, do great work, repeat.
Don’t be the low cost provider. If you think cheap your customers will think you’re cheap, and thus do low quality work. Spend a few bucks if you can. Have a nice place to meet. Dress sharp – in something that makes you feel comfortable, so you can be yourself. If you’re selling portraits have some nice large examples of work you’ve done in the past, perhaps canvas or albums. Remember that when it’s your clients’ day, they want to be the star, just like in Hollywood. Make them feel that way.
So that’s just a start. These are few basic rules, but it’s amazing how few people abide by them. The most expensive camera in the world won’t save you from faltering if you ignore the basic rules of business. In our next issue, we’ll cover specific (and crafty) ways to get new customers.