You read that title right. All other things equal, marketing is the reason I see most businesses fail. They ether don’t do it at all or, quite frankly, they suck at it. And no, running a Facebook Ad is not marketing. There are time-worn strategies that go into marketing. You don’t just do something and magic happens. You need a plan. You then must execute that plan. You then evaluate the results, make adjustments and re-execute your plan. Rinse and repeat.
For a long time I despised marketing because I did not have a strategy for our B2B video and photo company. Anything that I had tried, like posting on Facebook and Instagram or email marketing, did not seem to work for me. These strategies work when done well, but I did not figure them out and was getting frustrated. A mentor told me to look at my best clients—the 80/20 rule—and figure out the commonality between all of them. Were they all the same type of business? Did they all have the same product or service? Did they all find us through Google?
We’ve all been there. Things just aren’t working out. Jobs aren’t coming in. So you panic. You need work. You need to pay the rent. You need to keep your head above water. This is all about you, you, you. But it’s not about you. It’s all about them.
As a wedding photographer, social media is one of the strongest marketing and branding tools at our disposal. It’s also the most time-consuming task, taking us away from our passion of running our own photography business. It’s the end of engagement season, so marketing is a top priority for wedding photography businesses. Social media is where most newly engaged couples hang out digitally these days, but that’s not the only way to get in front of them. How can you make sure you’re doing your best job at marketing when everything keeps changing?
I have worked on fine-art nudes for the past two years. Not because we have a huge demand for it from clients, but because Alissa and I find it challenging and rewarding. This year, we will be introducing this type of portrait to our wedding clients. How will it go over? That has yet to be seen. I am hopeful that instead of the boudoir lingerie shots that are typical, this niche will allow us to yet again stand out from our competitors. Here are some tips for finding your niche in the beauty market.
It’s the slow season for many of you, so it’s a good time to build a stronger business and work hard to make 2019 your best year yet. Every year, business gets a little harder. It’s the natural progression of consumer trends, technology, marketing and business. While it’s getting tougher, there are also more tools to help you build your business and your brand.
How many times have you heard “You gotta fake it until you make it”? Want more clients? Simply tell the new client you are targeting that you’ve already worked with dozens of clients just like them. It’s been tossed around in my neck of the woods since the beginning of our business many years ago. And I’ve hated it since the first time I heard it.
It’s important to set and stick to personal goals before even thinking about your business goals. If you can’t commit to getting to the gym or eating healthier, you will undoubtedly lack the discipline to stick to your much harder business goals. This month, I explore the importance of personal discipline and give you tips to help you hack your 2019. Personal discipline is the foundation for success.
Back in 2012, we produced our first promo video after attending a conference and seeing that other “rock star” studios had created them. The immediate results after we released that video on our website and Facebook were astounding. We went from getting inquiries that wanted to know if we had ever shot in a dark reception to inquiries saying they knew we were the wedding photographers for them—and what could they do to book us right away? There are two main components to producing an effective promo video for your photography business. You’ll want to think about story and technique. Both are extremely important on their own, but together they become much more powerful.
I remember the switch from film to digital like it was yesterday. And look where we are now. I’m about to write an article about your workflow…and it’s going to be all digital. If I wrote this 15 years ago, a computer wouldn’t even have come into the equation. But what does that mean for you? Has life gotten easier? Nope. It has gotten harder. You have more to do and more possible ways to do it (i.e., screw it up). Clients are more demanding than ever (I actually had one the other day who, after I gave her 10 preview pictures, asked for more before the proofs were ready). Marketing is a constant effort. So how do you keep up and keep your sanity?