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Never Give Up: The Art of Pushing Through When You Feel Like Giving Up

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

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Never Give Up: The Art of Pushing Through When You Feel Like Giving Up with Alissa Zimmerman

 

Want more information on this article? Get access to video content and additional supporting images. Launch the January issue of the magazine by logging in or signing up for a free account by clicking here. Shutter Magazine is the industry’s leading professional photography magazine.

 

This time of year has represented an incredible struggle for me for as long as I can remember. The days are shorter, the temperature is colder, motivation is often nonexistent and hibernation mode is on full power. This is the time of year when you’re stuck behind a computer screen day in and day out instead of being outside on photo shoots. It’s mentally exhausting, and very easy to let yourself fall into a funk.

 

This dark time of year, it’s easy to want to give up. Here are some tips to help you push through the mundane days spent in front of your computer when you feel like throwing your hands in the air.

 

Take Time to Understand Yourself

 

Losing perspective is usually the catalyst for the seemingly never-ending thoughts of, “I can’t do this anymore.” That lack of perspective is an interesting beast to learn to control. Learning to control your mind and negative thoughts is one of the most powerful things you can do as you grow within your business.

 

The most valuable skill I have learned in business is the ability to acknowledge when I am in a dark place and talk myself back into the right perspective. That doesn’t mean things don’t get tough for me on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle with perspective. It just means I have trained myself to become more self-aware, and to understand that in these dark times, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all about whether you choose to see it.

 

Remember Your ‘Why’

 

Think about why you started down the path you’re on. Reflect on the decisions and sacrifices you have made over the course of your journey to get you to where you are. Why do you continue to fight for your business every day? Why do you wake up every morning and hustle until you close your eyes at night?

 

For me, it’s the satisfaction of knowing that I am an integral part of building something bigger than myself. I am a 29-year-old successful woman working my ass off every day to build a career and a life for myself. It’s about waking up in the morning, going into the studio and having the luxury of creating with my closest friends, people I consider family. No longer do I dread the thought of having to go to work every morning. It is something I fight for every day because I never want to take these opportunities for granted or lose sight of the fortunate life I have worked so hard to build.

 

There is freedom that comes with reflecting on your “why” anytime you’re feeling disconnected. Write your why’s down and keep them in an easy-to-access place for the times in life when you need some clarity.

 

Set Daily Goals

 

When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with work and your personal life, make a short, realistic list of tasks to accomplish each day. This can lighten the weight on your shoulders.

 

I keep a master task list that I pull from to create my daily to-do list. During those times when I feel the weight of the world on my back, it’s difficult to focus. My master list only perpetuates the situation. So in this scenario, I start fresh with a piece of paper (there’s something therapeutic about handwriting tasks when I feel I’m in over my head). Write down everything that needs to get done in the upcoming seven-day window, no matter how mindless or strategic that task may be. Go through that list and decide which, if any, tasks can be delegated. Determine the urgency for each task that is still on your list. Assign tasks to each day of the upcoming week, along with an estimated length of time per task. That gives you an idea of how many hours of work are needed from you per day.

 

This allows me to get a grasp on what’s overwhelming me. It could be as simple as a client order that is late and keeps getting pushed back on your to-do list. Until you lay everything out, you won’t be able to put together a plan of attack to get over the mountain of stress you’ve created for yourself.

 

Reach Out to People Around You

 

It’s easy to let yourself spiral out of control when you feel like you’re stuck in a dark place. The worst thing you can do at this time is isolate yourself from your team, family or friends. Whenever you feel like giving up, there is always someone in your life who has been in a similar situation and can relate.

 

I find it beneficial to have my “person”—that one friend I know I can reach out to when I need advice or simply just need to get something off my chest. Sometimes all I need is a quick venting session—10 minutes to spill everything that’s bothering me, and my person simply listens and doesn’t give any advice unless I ask for it. Be careful with this person in your life, however, as these types of relationships can start out with healthy venting sessions and lead to negative complaining and cancerous mindsets and/or behaviors. It’s important for that person to be your voice of reason when you’re going down a wrong path in your thoughts.

 

Cut Out the Cancer

 

The phrase misery loves company could not be more accurate. Surrounding yourself with cancerous people only leads to you giving up on yourself. A sense of entitlement can form over time as you spend your days whining about your problems without ever coming to any kind of solution. You will find yourself quitting, which you will justify with any excuse you can come up with. All because you’ve surrounded yourself with people who have positioned themselves as your support team when, in reality, they are just negative influences looking to bring down everyone else around them and form a union of misery.

 

It’s just not worth it. Cut the cancer out of your life as soon as you feel it creeping up on you (you will know when it’s happening if you follow your instincts).

 

Switch Up Your Routine

 

At work, if I do the same thing over and over day in and day out, I get bored. This boredom leads to restlessness, and the restlessness leads to a feeling of claustrophobia. That causes me to panic, and any stress in my life is multiplied tenfold. I get to a point where I just don’t want to do anything anymore, and would rather give up. Call it burning out.

 

Don’t go down that road. Switch up your daily routine. For a while, I was opening my laptop and checking email the second after opening my eyes in the morning. I made the small change of waking up and getting ready for the day right away, not checking email until I get into the studio. This made a huge impact on my daily routine. I found that I wasn’t getting as stressed out at the beginning of my day.

 

Take a Step Back

 

Many entrepreneurs believe they have to work seven days a week, 20 hours a day to be successful. Sal will probably kill me for saying this, but sometimes, you just need to take a step back and reevaluate where you want to target your efforts.

 

The work will always be there, I promise. Your health and peace of mind will not, however. So if taking off a day, a week or even a month is what you need to get yourself back on track, make sure all your ducks are in a row and tap out.

 

Once you’ve reached the point where you still feel like giving up and none of these tips seems to be working, take a day off and take a deep breath. Everything will be okay once you get your mind right.

 

Want more information on this article? Get access to video content and additional supporting images. Launch the January issue of the magazine by logging in or signing up for a free account by clicking here. Shutter Magazine is the industry’s leading professional photography magazine.

Photodex ProShow Web

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

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ProShow Web | A Fresh Look

DON’T MISS DISCOUNT CODE BELOW.

Slideshows are a huge part of my photography business, there is no doubt about it. Up until recently, I have been a huge advocate of Animoto and for good reason— they have been at the forefront of innovation. What made Animoto so attractive to me was its ease of use, but today, that ease of use and over-dumb-ification has created some gaps in my offerings to clients. I need more. Many photographers out there agree. Simplicity and ease-of-use are very important, but we also need control and the ability to customize.

Now, I don’t want to sit here and cast stones at Animoto. Our clients love our slideshows. Previously, the market leader was Photodex’s ProShow Producer. Whoa, talk about complicated. It was too much product. I am a photographer, not a slideshow ninja master. I wanted fast and easy. Animoto was the answer. And over the last 4 years, we have built hundreds of slideshows for our clients.

‘Innovate or Die’ is the mantra at Salvatore Cincotta Photography, our photography studio. We have to continue to offer our clients superior products and services and out-maneuver our competitors or risk losing market share and becoming irrelevant. This is the risk for all businesses today.

Recently, I took a fresh look at Photodex’s ProShow Web and I think you are going to like what I found.

1. PC/MAC compatible. For the longest time, they only ran on a PC. Yeah, welcome to 2015. Creatives love their Macs. As an ex-Microsoft employee who doesn’t own a single PC today, I can attest to this first-hand. Their ProShow Web is web-based and platform agnostic (it runs via web browser).

2. Branding. Finally a company that gets the importance of branding. I am not talking about adding your logo— that’s 101 crap. I am talking about a splash screen and watermark. With ProShow Web you have your logo as the splash screen vs some random pictures from the slideshow showing when your slideshow is embedded on your website. Don’t underestimate this— branding is key for everything we do. You also have the ability to have a watermark displayed across the bottom corner of the image the entire time. Again, this is huge from a branding perspective. Are you creating a slideshow for a vendor that will play over and over again in their sales room? Guess what? Very few people are going to catch the intro of the video to see your logo. That’s where the watermark is a huge branding opportunity for you.

Branded splash screen.

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Watermark on entire show.

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3. Price. ProShow Web is legitimately half the price of their competitors. But wait, it gets better. Whatever price you sign up with, Proshow Web lets you renew at that same price every time your year subscription is up.  Let’s say they are running a sale when you first sign up (see below)— not only do you get the sale price initially, but when your year is up, while other companies raise your price to current pricing, Photodex allows you to keep the original price point every time you renew. How’s that for a deal?

4. Support for video. They support up to 30-second video clips making it easier than ever to create fusion pieces for your clients.

5. Image timing. This is a HUGE feature in my book. With automated slideshows, you are dealing with the over-dumb-ification of it. You upload your images and the program controls the beat and timing of your images. It’s a catch-22. Well, no more. ProShow Web gives you the best of both worlds.  Upload your images and it will render your slideshow. However, got that one killer image you want on the screen a few seconds longer? No problem. Just click on the timing box and change the duration to whatever you wish. To me, this is a must-have feature. I didn’t work my ass off at an event to have one of my killer shots on the screen for a half second because some computer decided to just treat all images the same.

Customizing the timing of an image is as simple as adjusting the time in the text box. (see below)

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6. Automated Customization. I just made that term up, but it makes so much sense. Proshow Web is perfect for those of you wanting simplicity. Just remember, with simplicity comes repetitiveness and your slideshows all start looking the same. We need the ability to tweak the slideshow. This customization can be as subtle or as complex as you’d like. You can alter the timing and the transition types with a few clicks and leave all the heavy lifting to the ProShow Web engine.

These are just some of the features that jumped out at me. At a minimum, give their free trial a shot and see if you agree with my assesment.

If you are not using slideshows today, I have no idea what you are waiting for. It’s a huge value-add for your clients. If you are using slideshows but feel like you need a little extra control, branding and overall ‘umph,’ check out Photodex’s ProShow Web. I promise you will not be disappointed.

In fact, the good people over at Photodex have offered up a 15% discount code – SAL15 – if you use it by July 31st. Best of all, you will get the same price when you renew. What could be better than that?  http://web.photodex.com/sal

 

Creating Killer Head Shots

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

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Creating Killer Head Shots

Everyone needs a good head shot, right? The funny thing is, as photographers, we are usually the last ones to get a good portrait. I know for myself, I hate getting in front of the camera. I last about 5 minutes and then I quickly lose patience. Today, we promised the team great head shots and dammit we were going to deliver.

We went with a studio shot and wanted to keep Photoshop to a minimum. Lighting and posing was going to be the differentiators for the shot – not some fancy Photoshop skill.

We have been using Profoto for quite some time now and they are a huge part of our lighting arsenal. This day, we used a 7 light set up. (See diagram below)

The best part? 100% wireless. I know the Profoto B1 is typically touted as the portability king for on-location, travel, etc. We use the B1 almost exclusively in the studio. There is literally been no need for us to use the more powerful units. Best of all, keeps the clutter and cords to a minimum. I can’t tell you how many times I have had my foot catch a chord and slam the light to the ground. A recent trip to Prague comes to mind where I was shooting in a studio and tripped over the chord and slammed the light into the ground costing me $800 USD to fix the flash bulb.

Bottom line, we needed to be fast and efficient on this shoot. Time is money and I wanted to get back to work. We set this up in under 30min. Lighting, backdrop, metered, and multiple portraits. Many lights? Yes. Hard? No.

Lighting Equipment

7 Profoto B1s
Profoto Octabox
Profoto 1×4 Strip
Profoto Grids
Profoto Beauty Dish w Grid

Camera Equipment

Hasselblad H5D-50c
Hasselblad 100mm

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Let’s break down the diagram. All strobes were the Profoto B1

Main lights had an Octobox up top and a 1×4 Strip on the bottom to fill in the shadows and provide more even lighting. Power – f8

On the back drop, we had two B1s with small umbrellas firing into the background. We used the umbrellas to soften the light and void hot spots in the back drop. Power – f4

In addition, we had two 20 degree grided B1s firing into the subject to create a nice edge light and separation from the dark background. Power – f5.6

And then finally, we used a B1 and the Profoto Silver Beauty Dish on a C-Stand above the subject for some hair lighting. Power – f4

As for the camera, many of you know I love medium format. The details are incredible. Previously, I had been using the Phase One IQ250 and honestly, just very disappointed with the results. One of biggest challenges with medium format, in general, is the single focus point. This forces you to focus and recompose. And the results can be complete crap. I left the Phase One platform for this very reason. Sorry, I want my images to be tack sharp.

Enter, Hasselblad. Just incredible. I was blown away from the first frame. This camera kicks the IQ250 in the ass. Sorry. Just reality. If you are going to pay this much money for a camera – the images have to be tack sharp. To see my point – check out the ZOOMED IN shots of each image below. The images say it all. I could not get consistent results with the Phase One IQ250 – so, I made the switch. The Hasselblad comes standard with the True Focus system which locks in on your focus point and maintains focus as you recompose. Life changing in the world of medium format.

To understand the conversion here and why focus is so important. I was shooting a 100mm lens on a 645 back @f8. This is the equivalent of shooting a 60mm lens @f2.8 on a full frame DSLR. So, if you are focusing and recomposing your shot, you are almost guaranteed it will be soft. The numbers get ugly fast if you want to shoot wide open on the medium format platform. For example, if I had shot this at f2.8, if would be the equivalent of roughly f1.6 – literally nothing would be in focus. Hasselblad True Focus makes this system a reality for anyone considering a medium format camera in my opinion – especially if you are considering using it for weddings and portraits.

Click to view larger.

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Final Head shots for the team.

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The outtakes.

Of course, what fun would it be if we didn’t do something a little silly to showcase the various personalities on this dynamic team.

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Now get out there and update your head shots… we can all use a fresh look.

I hope you enjoyed this article – share it if you did.

Strategy vs Tactics

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

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Strategy Vs Tactics in the world of photography

Many people go through their entire life not knowing or understanding what these two military terms mean or how they impact everything from your day-to-day to your financial goals to your career objectives. These terms are not just for military use, they can be applied to every aspect of our daily lives.

Let’s start with a high-level overview.

Strategy is a larger overall plan of attack.

Tactics are those actions and tasks that are carried out as part of a larger plan.

Strategy is broad big picture. Happening over a period of time.

Tactics are narrower in focus happening in the present or near future.

I meet with and talk to many photographers around the world and have many discussions about business, photography, philosophy, etc and almost everyone gets the concept of strategy. Where I see many businesses fail is in their preparation and execution of tactics. Think about it. Have you ever had a great idea? What happened? Nothing? Why? Probably because you couldn’t execute for one reason or another. Basically, you had a faulty tactical plan. This is problematic for most businesses.

Personally, this is where my business thrives. If it is one thing we are good at is execution. We see the overall strategy and we execute. It’s not really that hard, it’s about adjusting the way you think. That’s where most people get tripped up. Stop telling yourself it can’t be done. More importantly, dial back the dreamer in you. Dreams create the strategy, but some of us can’t wake up from the dream to see the tasks needed to deliver on the dream.

Let’s look at an example. A strategy might be to book more weddings through referrals. Sounds amazing, right? No advertising expenses. Fewer bridal shows. The next logical question is how?  That’s where most people get lost and the dream and strategy end.

The tactics required might look like this. Network with local wedding vendors to create relationships and a referral network.

Take a step back and ask yourself, how can applying some simple strategies and tactics help me get off my ass and make sh$! happen for me, my business, and my family?

There is an old saying, “success begets more success” and if it’s one thing I have learned over the year from watching successful people – they are creatures of habit. Strategies and tactics can be addicting and help you on your path to success and creating your own habits.

Are you your own client?

Monday, May 4th, 2015

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Are you your own client? This seemingly rhetorical question is straight to the point. 

Photographers around the world struggle with pricing. The most common reason being a complete lack of confidence in their pricing, often quoting, “I would never pay that much.” 

Well, if this sounds like you, then keep reading. 

Here is my simple, to-the-point, advice for you. GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY! Yes, it’s that simple. Accept that this is only a mental block, nothing more. Just because you wouldn’t buy a Louis Vuitton or a Mercedes-Benz doesn’t mean there isn’t a world of people out there who are willing to spend money on luxury items. The reality is, if you ever want to be able to afford the finer things in life, then you had better get your pricing in order, which typically means raising your prices. If you are looking for an expensive hobby, well, congratulations, you have found it. At a minimum, you should be looking for ways to afford the gear you want, which, again, comes back to money. 

You have to value your talent— you are an artist. Art is not a commodity product, although some out there would have you believe otherwise with shoot and burners charging $500 for a DVD of images. Trust me when I tell you there are clients out there, tens of thousands of them actually, who want more than just a DVD of images. They want a complete service that you aren’t able to afford to provide because you are not charging enough, because, again, you are not your own client. It’s a vicious circle. 

So, how do you break out of this circle?

  1. Accept that it’s ok if you are not your own client. Do you think people who have their own private jets sell private jets to billionaires? Of course not. The very thought of that is ridiculous. So, too, is this notion. Accept that it’s ok and move on. 
  2. Value your work and your talent. This is tied to confidence. If you don’t value your work, who will? Of course clients are not willing to pay for your services if you don’t believe in them. You are a limited resource— it’s that simple. What is the minimum amount of money you are willing to work for on any given day? $500? For me, I would rather have the day off. You might think that sounds elitist, but I assure you it’s not. It’s 100% based on experience. There is a cost to doing business— gear, marketing, advertising, time on the shoot, time to drive to the shoot, phone time with the client, insurance, post production, and the list goes on and on. I don’t want to work for $6 per hour. Nor should you. 
  3. Do you ever want to be your own client? Think about it— what do you want out of life? Surely, there is something you want. Maybe you are not a materialistic person and there is no shame in that, but do you want to retire? Do you want to provide your kids with a good education, or finally take that family trip? Do you need new or better gear? Well, none of this is ever gong to happen without the money to pay for it.
  4. Position yourself and your business where you want to be 12 months from now. Stop convincing yourself you are not good enough. It’s a massive chicken-and-egg scenario. Sure, we all want to get better and yes, we all need to be committed to continuous improvement, but will you ever reach your final destination? No. As artists, we are all on a journey with no final destination. 
  5. Think like your clients. Maybe you are not your own client, but surely you can figure out who they are and understand their spending patterns. Companies all over the world do this. You have to get in the mind of your client. This will help you at least understand who you are trying to attract to your business and give you some guidance. For example, clients buying a Louis Vuitton are not looking for a sale on Groupon. In fact, it’s the opposite. So stop doing things that are counter-intuitive to your own success. 

I hope this has helped you think a little differently. Get out there and start thinking like the client you want to be some day and the client you hope to attract to your own business. Your outlook and projections should start looking up immediately.

Good luck. 

Online Photography Training

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

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Online Photography Training

3 IDEAS FOR BETTER SERVICE

Make it an event.

When clients come in to see their images, make it an event. Offer drinks, snacks and whatever else you can think of to make them as comfortable as you can. All too often, when clients spend money, businesses tend to take it for granted. What better way to say thanks for their business than by spoiling them?

Consumers want to spend money, but more importantly, they want to spend money with someone they feel appreciates their business and ultimately makes them feel special. Spoil your clients, and they will reward you with their loyalty.

Business is not guaranteed to any of us. Create an experience for your clients and give them a reason to spend with you.

Be accessible.

There is nothing worse than not being able to get ahold of a company. With all the tech surrounding us, there is no reason to not be accessible. I understand that we all want a certain level of being off and unplugged, but when you are a sole proprietor, you have to be on and connected at all times.

Earlier this year, I went on vacation. We had something blow up in the business while I was away. Unfortunately, I had to deal with it. It’s part of what we have to do as entrepreneurs. Clients don’t care that you are on vacation. They want access, even if you just tell them you are working on it and will get back to them. Just that little bit of contact tells them you care.

Turn off those damn auto-responders. No one wants to get an email back letting them know you are on vacation or that you check your email only every other day. Check your email at all times, be plugged in and communicate with your clients. They will love you for it.

Follow up.

When it’s all said and done, follow up with your clients. Don’t just take their money and run. Consumers are loyal when they find a business they love. Why are you loyal to Starbucks or another favorite shop? You keep going back for more. There has to be a reason. Give your clients a reason to keep coming back.

After every wedding, we send our clients a handwritten thank-you note before they have ever seen their pictures. After we deliver their pictures, we follow up with them to make sure they love every picture. It’s a level of service that is not difficult to deliver, but for some odd reason, many businesses fail at this.

Take the time to follow up with your clients and give them a reason to refer you to their friends and family, and to keep coming back.

I hope this has been helpful. Customer service is a never-ending battle for most businesses, but it doesn’t have to be hard. With constant nurturing and some simple policies, you can offer your clients a level of service they won’t soon forget, and that they will be happy to tell everyone about.

IndustryInsights_Headder_June

Online Photography Training

3 tips to stand out from the crowd.

Establish your niche and style.

All too often, photographers try to be everything to everyone. That is one of the biggest mistakes I see photographers make. If you do that, you run the risk of becoming a generalist and worst of all, average. Sure, there are some photographers out there who are just great at everything they do, but the reality is most of us find our stride when we focus on one or two niches.

Ask yourself, what do you love? For me, I love weddings and high school portraits. Therefore, that’s what I focus on. If you go to my website, the majority of the work there will be focused on the kind of clients I am looking for. To that point, we have to figure out what our style is within the genre we are focusing on.

Are you looking to be more traditional in your approach to photography? Are you looking to be more edgy? There is no wrong answer here. We are all artists and we all see the world differently. However, this is another area I see photographers make big mistakes. If a client visits your website will they get a clear sense of your style? Or is your style all over the place? If you are mixing traditional family portraits in with edgy street photography of a bride and groom in the middle of the street lit with off-camera flash then you are sending your clients mixed messages.

Offer more than just a DVD.

Today, everyone is a photographer. We already know this. And one of the biggest challenges for us is this shoot and burn mentality. You are actually doing your clients a disservice. What exactly are they supposed to do with those images? They don’t know how to print them. They don’t know how to edit them. They don’t know what would look better in their living room. And they definitely don’t know how to layout their own wedding album. Instead, their images sit in a drawer someplace and the very memories we were hired to create get lost forever.

Clients are coming to us for our expertise. That expertise isn’t just the release of the shutter. That expertise is everything that goes into the planning, photographing, and the final delivery including prints, albums, and anything else the client could possibly want for their home. Trust me, offer it and clients will spend the money on it. Give them the option to take the DVD and they will do that too. And you, will eventually go broke.

Create an experience.

What do you really believe you are offering your clients? Is it just photography? If so, you are missing a huge opportunity to be more than just a guy/girl with a camera. Clients are willing to spend money on photography, but you have to give them a reason to. They are looking for an experience, something they will remember forever. If you just show up take pictures and bolt, thats not really an experience, well, maybe it is. It’s a bad one.

Instead, look for unique ways to improve the customer experience. For us, it starts with that initial email. People hate waiting days for a response. We try to respond in less than 2 hours. How are your phone skills? Are you enthusiastic or just flat on the phone? What message are you sending to your clients when they call in? An enthusiastic “we would love to work with you” or a indifferent “we can’t be bothered either way”? This is all part of the experience.

In addition, we love doing small things for our clients that go a long way. For example, when they sign with us we ship them a bottle of our favorite wine. When they come in to see their pictures, we are excited for them and their family, we have champaign to celebrate their wedding and its a giant celebration.

These are just some of the small things you can do to stand out from the crowd. I am sure if you put some thought and energy into it, you will quickly come up with your own ideas on how to truly stand out from the crowd and set your studio apart from the competition.

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IndustryInsights_Headder_MayV2
Online Photography Training

3 ways to better sales

Show it to sell it

We have all heard the rule, yet so many of us don’t do it. We have all sorts of reasons why – no budget, no space, or you just don’t think you need it. The reality is, there is no excuse. We are business people first and foremost. If we don’t make the investment in our business how in the world can we expect clients to invest in us.

For a second, think like a consumer. Would you buy something that you could not see? Would you buy a TV without watching one? Of course not, that’s why Best Buy has an entire section dedicated to showing off their TVs. Seeing is believing and as photographers we should know this and live by this motto.

This reminds me of a story in our own history. When we started out we didn’t have the space for a 30×40, but it was on our price sheet. Oddly enough, we never sold a single one in our first 4 years in business. Then we moved to our new space and the center piece was a 30×40 canvas. No lie, the very first week it was up, we sold 2. Coincidence? I think not.

Offer unique products

Everyone is a photographer, so what makes you stand out? Photography is only one part of the equation. If you want to charge a premium you are going to have to offer more than just a dvd of digital images to your clients. And while you may want to convince yourself that that’s all your clients want, I am here to tell you that’s not true.

What clients want are unique products and services. They are not going to pay a premium for a dvd or for average products. Look for unique products like metal, acrylic, and canvas as a way of standing out.

Once you showcase these unique products your clients will realize they have to have it. We want to offer our clients a complete end to end service. I want to ensure that my clients have a finished product in their homes to showcase for years to come. Offering these types of products makes it easy for them to see the value and spend the money.

Announcements

This is an area I see many many photographers leave a ton of money on the table. Clients love to use their images to make an announcement. Think about it, why do they typically want the digital images? They want toprint graduation announcements, birth announcements, and save the date cards. Why aren’t you offering these? You are leaving money on the table and once again offering an incomplete service.

However, that’s not the least of it. You are losing out on a prime marketing opportunity. When we design cards for our clients using our templates (click here to see our collection of templates) within minutes we have a gorgeous card designed for our clients with our logo on it. Now, when they mail out those 150 announcements or save the dates, our logo and branding is tied to it – talk about free marketing. This is the double whammy. Not only are we making money on additional sales by offering an easy to create product, but we are now showing our imagery and how to contact us to a whole new audience.

Stop making excuses and get out there and look for ways to stand out from the crowd.

Be sure to check back next month – we will have more industry insight to help you grow your business.

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Sal

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