I’m still amazed that so many photographers are clueless about the two most important ingredients to their success: building relationships and fine-tuning their skill set. Great photographers need both. Neither of them ever stops being important. Year after year, I hear photographers say, “If only I had the money for better gear.”
The customer experience is made up of many different parts. The most basic thing to understand is that it is the totality of all of your client’s interactions with your brand, starting from the moment they find you and visit your website, to the final delivery of their album. If you are a portrait photographer, those processes can be fairly quick, but wedding photographers will likely be with their clients for a year or more. Throughout that entire process, there are many different interactions that clients will have with your brand. One hiccup in any of those processes can affect the overall client experience and cost you future revenue.
Bringing in strategic partners for any project helps expand your reach, creativity and brand awareness. It’s time to expand the concept and go beyond just sharing the cost of production and mailing for a brochure or postcard. Here are a few ideas to start thinking about.
In addition to being a professional in your field—competent, experienced, skillful—you can leverage your personality simply by being human and allowing those you work with to show their personality as well. This creates much stronger relationships, and people and companies will want to hire you again and again because of how enjoyable it was to work with you.
While it seems that good photography is the biggest factor behind any successful studio, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you have to produce consistently good imagery and offer a great customer experience, but that is just part of the equation. This month, I provide you with five truths to help you build a brand that outperforms your competitors.
No matter how many people tell you they love your site, if it isn’t bringing in sales, it needs some work. Making changes to it isn’t going to hurt you. Photographers from the commercial and business worlds often understand something that portrait and wedding photographers don’t: Your website needs to be more than a portfolio. Here are five things your website needs to be relevant.
A common mistake that many new photographers make is assuming they keep every dollar they make. Businesses cost money. Whether you only offer digital files or you are a full-service studio, there are still costs involved. Cameras, lenses, memory cards, computers, hard drives, ink, paper, pens, internet, electricity, gas in your car—it adds up. If you’re serious about making money in this business, it’s important to treat it as a business. That means recognizing your expenses and learning to budget for them.
Are you sitting there wondering why your business is struggling? Why your phone is not ringing? Why your email leads are nonexistent? Are you convinced that it’s not your fault? That it’s somehow the Russians? Or even worse, all those dastardly shoot-and-burners? In this article, I show you some ways to change your “luck” and take control of your destiny. The sooner you realize there is plenty of business out there for all of us, the sooner you will start taking a healthy and realistic look at your business—because then and only then will you accept that you control your business.
Since the first issue of Shutter Magazine, I’ve shared one article after another with ideas to help you build a stronger business. I’ve shared ideas about virtually every aspect of your business today—from your website to your blog, marketing, direct mail, education and partnerships. This month I wanted to have some fun with a series of my pet peeves and easy ways to fix them. This list is not all-inclusive. I’m doing a brain dump, and this month’s article is meant to be a free-form collection of ideas all of you can start working on immediately.
Burnout comes not just from how hard you have to work, but because you’re always trying to find a way not to be bored of what you’re doing every single day. It’s not easy to be a self-starter and conjure up a work ethic that could rival anyone’s. To add creativity on top of it and have to be creative on demand requires a magic formula that very few people figure out. I want you to be successful not just in photography, but in life as well. Here’s what helps me in photography and owning my own business.