I started 2018 talking about the "slow season," and the wealth of opportunities it brings to set the stage for the new year. Just because business might be a little light this time of year doesn't mean you can sit back. It's time to get busy building future business. We've hit on your skill set, website and blog. I want to wrap up the first quarter with a mixed bag of ideas to help round out your business and set the stage to make 2018 your best year yet.
If we’re honest, client education is probably the scariest thing about running a photography business. Always having to justify our value to a bargain-hunting bunch of incredulous consumers just seems cruel. Welcome to the professional world, my friend. Don’t let it get you down. But do get ready to work hard and reshape the way you communicate. As business owners, we wear so many hats, including “director of public relations”—perhaps the most important of all. Convincing the unconvincible is an art and a science. To become anything more than just another starving artist, you need to become an expert at convincing. Here’s how and when to do it.
Sales can be scary. Sales means different things to different people. For some, sales can feel pushy or slimy. What comes to mind when you think car salesman? This is not the most positive way to look at sales. It can create internal challenges when it is time to sell your own services or products. We reframe selling as sharing, which is a much more positive approach to sales. If you have a good product or service and believe it can help others, why wouldn’t you want to share it? If you hold back on sharing, you might prevent someone from having a good experience. When you look at selling as sharing, it shifts your mindset that selling is a good thing that you need to do in your business, and it doesn’t have to be so daunting. Selling begins with your message and how you share what you have to offer. When the messaging is done correctly, your potential clients will be seeking you out for more information.
In business, the 80/20 rule means that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your clients, so it makes sense that we should take extra special care of our clients. Look back through all of your clients from 2017. Who were your best clients? They could be the ones who spent the most with you, the ones who worked with you the most frequently or the the ones who spent an okay amount with you but were the exact people or companies you want to work with. These are the ones you want to pay special attention to. Here are some ways to take care of your 20 percent.
Sales and marketing are two things that professional photographers struggle with at some point in their career. If the two were easy to master, the percentage of failing small businesses would be a lot lower. When you market your business efficiently, the sales part becomes a lot easier. What is marketing? It’s basically the action or business of promoting and selling products or services. You can’t sell anything until you promote it. Promotion is marketing. How you promote ties directly into sales.
It’s a slow time of year for business for many of us, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be busy. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The first quarter is the perfect time for you to lock in your plans for the year ahead, starting with your blog. Here are some ideas for your next photography blog post.
It is not an easy journey from part-time photographer to full-time photographer with a successful studio. It is incredibly difficult to establish yourself in a new market, and it is even harder to maintain your status. 2017 marked a year where more businesses in the United States closed their doors than ever before. Facing a sea of competition, businesses have to fight for every customer they get, and that will never change. So with all of these challenges facing you, what is the recipe for success? The answer comes in three flavors, and today we are going to tackle them.
In this article, I speak to both the entrepreneur looking to build an empire and the photographer looking to make a few extra bucks and pursue his creative passion. Whichever camp you are in, you are still running a business, even if you are the creative who is employed by the entrepreneur. Business moguls often talk about how you have to take risks to get rewards. But as we kick off 2018, I want to talk more about our own community and industry, starting with the Behind the Shutter community.
It’s a new year, which means it’s time to sit down and evaluate your goals for the year ahead. It’s easy to get caught up in the “new year, new you” mindset and get overwhelmed setting unrealistic goals for yourself and your business. When that happens, nothing happens. Nothing productive, at least.
Like many of you, I fell into the world of entrepreneurship by default. I didn’t have an MBA or any business classes under my belt. I started out not really knowing what I was doing at all. Fast-forward almost 20 years, and the most valuable thing I’ve learned after those rough-and-tumble two decades is this: It is easier to work with the same client multiple times than it is to find new clients. Think two words: client retention.