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June 2017 archive

Targeted Marketing ‘is everything’

Bernie Griffiths is certain the service he offers to wedding, portrait and family photographers is unique, with no one else in the world doing it quite like he does.

bernie0Bernie (pictured right) operates a photography coaching business with an emphasis on marketing strategies and creating successful business models. But what separates him from the touring seminars and other business coaches is that he corresponds one-on-one on a weekly basis with all his clients, and tailors the coaching program around photographers and their businesses.

‘The way I do the coaching is one-on-one. I don’t do group coaching or send a bunch of generic videos to clients. It’s a weekly, one-on-one ‘face-to-face’ Skype session,’ he told ProCounter. ‘What I offer is quite unique within the industry. Photographers running marketing seminars only teach others based on their own business and what has worked for them.

‘But every photographer comes from a different place, has different clientele, style, skill, and expectations. So I extract information and implement a pricing, selling, and photography structure for that particular business.’

Bernie opened his first and only wedding and portrait studio in Melbourne back in 1969 when he was 23, only to sell it three years ago when he decided a career change was in order. He doesn’t claim to have been overly skilled with a camera, but was in tune with how to market and promote his business. That’s what he sees as an art.

Because Kodak and other industry-related businesses sponsored his seminars during his photography career, becoming a full-time photography business coach seemed like a natural next step. And given his business was successful for a long timer, he figured a few tricks he learned along the way could be shared to help others make more money.

The vast majority of the 65 clients he has coached in the last three years are from Australia and New Zealand. Some are masters of photography looking to freshen up their business whereas others are completely new to the industry.

In total he estimates around $1 million in profit has been generated for clients with his assistance.

The coaching is done in either a six or 12-month program which involve a weekly hour-long session. Specific tasks for the photographer are set, and those taking the 12-month program have a two-day visit from Bernie – be it in a studio, or a desk and chair crammed in the corner of a home office.

Given Bernie believes no two businesses are the same, it can be difficult for him to be specific about challenges wedding and portrait photographers face. However he’s noticed a few areas where photographers can improve: ‘New photographers generally fall short because of their ‘non-actions,’ he said.

‘They have to learn a lot of new skills – as I did when I became a full-time coach. First and foremost they have to know how to use their camera and post-processing software, but there is also an art in learning how to market, and sometimes I find they don’t follow through with actions.’

What he means is that photographers aren’t reading the ‘business manual’. Instead, and like many of us, they just hastily rip open the box, throw the instruction manual aside and try to figure it out on their own. Only later, after a few mistakes, will they come back to it and take the time to learn how to run a business.

Bernie makes photographers accountable for their business, he said. Here he is with Fi Mims at her studio in St. Kilda, Melbourne.

Bernie makes photographers accountable for their business, he said. Here he is with Fi Mims at her studio in St. Kilda, Melbourne.

Spending less is more
When it comes to marketing, Bernie recommends spending as little money as possible. The best way to do this is by posting consistently on social media to draw attention to the brand. It’s cost-effective but obviously has limited reach and, frankly, everyone does it.

But marketing can also be a little more creative.

‘Starting a third party alliance with a business or organisation can be really handy and cheap, and I’ve noticed a lot of the successful, big studios do this. Let’s use car dealerships as an example,’ he said.

‘Make an agreement where each time the local dealership sells a car, have them send the customer a letter saying “As a thank-you we’ve organised a family portrait session with the area’s leading portrait photographer, with a print included at the value of $600”.’

But strategically targeting the right market is important. A photographer at the high-end of the market will yield better results by partnering with a Mercedes or Lexus dealership than, say, a Holden or Toyota dealership. Someone like Yervant or Rocco Ancora would be best suited with a Maserati or Ferrari dealer – ‘targeting is everything’.

For photographers in regional areas of Australia in particular, these strategies can prove hugely successful once word-of-mouth spreads.

bernie2

New and up-and-coming wedding photographers often base their pricing off what others are doing – but that’s not always a wise strategy!

Perceived value creates opportunities
Pricing is another area Bernie finds photographers struggle with because, again, many base it on what other photographers recommend.

He suggests to clients that they adopt a system of collections or packages, ‘perceived value is very important and creates opportunities to upsell’.

‘One of my client’s wedding packages averages around $10,000. He does this because he only does albums – no shoot-and-burn coverages. His incoming price is around $3000, but when the clients come in for the album design he sells about $7000 more. He uses the files at a lever to encourage clients to go with the upgrade.’

Given customers cannot resist the temptation of digital files, making the more expensive packages the ones with digital files can push a client to spend more.

‘It’s common for clients to specifically want digital files rather than prints. It’s a product that they want,’ he said. ‘So knowing that, perhaps offer prints in the cheaper collections, and then offer some files in the slightly more expensive collection. And the fourth collection – the most expensive – offer all the files. We know what the consumer wants, and if that’s files, we can encourage them up the ladder so they spend more money.’

Resist the trends!
Lastly he thinks too many photographers – particularly those entering the industry as part-time professionals – tend to copy or mimic other photographers, rather than testing out what works for them.

When it comes to things like shooting style and locations, too many photographers follow the leader, making it harder for potential clients to differentiate one from the other. Ultimately they start making decisions based on prices.

There's far less professional portrait photographers who operate their own studio these days.

Far fewer professional portrait photographers operate from their own studio these days.

At the moment the trend (latest fad?) among portrait photographers he’s noticed is to shoot at a client’s home with a documentary, black-and-white style. (Possibly because fewer photographers have their own studio and this keeps overheads low.)

Throughout his career Bernie said that when a trend emerged he’d resist it – when the majority started shooting portraits in the outdoors, he put more focus on the studio.

Bernie said he is currently running at 80 percent capacity with his coaching business. For the next month any photographers interested in his coaching but unsure whether to commit can try a four week ‘A Taste of Success’ program for $97 by clicking here.

He told ProCounter that not all photographers will benefit or be able to work with him and he will be upfront with a cashback guarantee.if that’s the case.

Bernie first appeared on ProCounter’s radar earlier this year when he was interviewed about National Family Portrait Month, a charity-based event he organised with the aim of raising the profile of professional family portraiture in Australia. (And… possibly his own business!)

photography business coach

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National Family Portrait Month

…..because life can change in a heartbeat.

I am happy to be organising our third annual National Family Portrait Month, which will help raise funds for beyondblue.
http://www.familyportraitmonth.com.au

Photographers Click For Charity

Australia’s top portrait photographers are donating their talent and their time, and with your help are planning to help raise $10,000 for beyondblue…..  www.beyondblue.org.au.

The participating photographers are not only donating  their time, but they are also making a substantial donation to the charity to be a part of the project. They look forward to photographing you. A portion of any photography products that you may  purchase, and sales from  the book, will also be donated  to beyondblue.

Please help us raise these much needed funds.

Check out your local participating Photographer HERE.

Wanted…. Mothers And Their Children

During the month of July 2017, we are looking for Mothers and Children to be photographed for an upcoming book called  “A MOTHER AND HER CHILDREN… An Unbreakable Bond.”

To be part of this exciting fundraising  initiative, simply REGISTER HERE  with your $51 per family participation fee, all of which will be forwarded to beyondblue, to help raise our target of $10,000.

Wherever life takes you over the years, your family portraits will serve as a timeless reminder of your memories. In a fleeting single glance, family portraits can transport you to the moment when you were surrounded by family, love, and support.

Enquiries…Email Bernie ….info@aswpp.com.au or call 0418 509 228

photography business coach

 

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Bernie’s Famous Facebook Challenge

Andrew here from Photobizx. This is from the Podcast that featured Photography Business Coach Bernie Griffiths tell us how to do a simple Facebook Boosted Post that has brought in hundreds of photography sessions, and put hundreds of thousands of dollars into his photography clients bank accounts.

Ok, let’s get stuck into this Facebook (FB) ad tactic that saw me book 23 shoots in a week!

BTW, this isn’t my strategy, it’s straight from Bernie Griffith’s play book.

Bernie’s a photography business coach – he teaches his clients how to stay booked, charge for their work, be accountable and generally have a profitable photography business. I interviewed him in episode 136 and it was pure gold!

That’s the episode I linked to in the last email:

[PBX136: Bernie Griffiths – A Challenge for You to Book More Portrait Photography Sessions]

Here’s the gist of what he taught in that episode.

You gotta try this yourself!

First up, you need to have a target market for your ad – I chose kids with their pet dog but it can be anything; couples, newborns, toddlers with their fluffy toy, pure bred cats… whatever and wherever your passion lays.

With that in mind, create a headline for your FB post – which you’ll turn into an ad later – I’ll show you how.

Your headline must be specific – you’re aiming to scare off as many people outside your small target as possible – think laser focused.

Side note – this is one reason why Amanda has been so successful – laser focuses on her target market.

Seriously. Don’t be scared to push people away with your headline.

It works better that way.

I know, it’s difficult for us photographers to push people away.

Try it just and test it, just once.

Here’s my ad headline:

WANTED: Kids aged 4-8 yrs with their pet Dog

Specific. Clear. Simple.

I should have tweaked my headline and added another word which I plan to test. I reckon it would have doubled my post engagement. I’ll let you know once I try it.

Now for the body text – your REASON for wanting to photograph whoever you’re appealing to.

This can be anything but you need a reason.

You also want to include your HOOK to generate interest.

Can you guess what the hook is?

If you said free shoot and print, go you! Correcta mondo!

Some examples for a reason: new studio display, promotional material, a personal project, trying something new, taking your business in a new direction, new branding, new website images, portfolio building…

Got the idea?

This is what I used for my ad:

We’re looking to update our studio samples and will be offering a free photography session and a “thank you” print to the right families.

If you or someone you know has a child or children between the ages of 4 and 8 with a pet dog (the cuter the better), please get in touch.

Change the wording to suit your offer but make sure your hook is obvious.

BTW – kids and dogs aren’t my specialty, this was purely a test for me. It also made it glaringly obvious, I really can photograph whatever the hell I want and make money doing it.

I don’t have to photograph what’s “expected” OR what I normally do…

NEWS FLASH – neither do you!

No matter where you’re at with your business, what you currently shoot or your style… you can shoot whatever and however you like and make money doing it by running an ad like the one described here.

I don’t normally photograph kids with dogs yet I booked 23 sessions with one Facebook ad!

How easy to start shooting what ever it is you want to with this style of ad.

Or… to attract more clients like the ones you already have.

If you want to book more shoots, change direction or re-brand, shoot more B&W, shoot film or whatever… use this as a tool to get where you want with paying clients.

Yeah, yeah, the shoots are free and you’re giving away a print but wait… There’s more. I’ll get to the sales part in a sec.

I want to share a success story about a photographer who went through a re-brand. She was scared shitless but it paid off big time. I’ll save that one for a future email because there’s a bit to it and I want to share the full story.

Back to your ad…

Don’t mess with something that works when testing the waters.

A bunch of listeners did and they bombed… BIG TIME.

They tried to get fancy, add their spin and flopped.

And there’s nothing more depressing than a disheartened and discouraged photographer.

I’m right aren’t I!?

This idea works for wedding photographers too – for booking weddings – well, more for meeting engaged couples and photographing them.

Raymond is a premium member of the podcast and went full time with his wedding photography business recently.

It was a big move!

He jumped at the FB ad idea and gave it a go.

If you’re a wedding photographer, click here and I’ll share a copy of Ray’s ad and his results.

Ray had to take his ad down, there were that many enquiries… Yep, that many!

Taking the ad down was a mistake. Live and learn though.

To save this getting too complicated, let’s cover what to do with your leads (the people who engage with your FB ad) in a future email. Just know to leave your ad running for at least a week, don’t take it down no matter how well it’s going.

Back to you and your ad – let’s finish putting it together.

The end of your ad needs to have a way viewers can contact you.

No need to get fancy with landing pages and contact forms (although they work well, especially if you’re after weddings and I’ll cover that for the wedding photographers), stick to something like this to start with:

You can message me via Facebook or email: (insert your email address) for more information and to book a session.

So here’s my complete ad – plus I included a cute, close up photo of a big dog licking a little kids face.

WANTED: Kids aged 4-8yrs with their pet Dog

We’re looking to update our studio samples and will be offering a free photography session and a “thank you” print to the right families.

If you or someone you know has a child or children between the ages of 4 and 8 with a pet dog (the cuter the better), please get in touch.

You can message me via Facebook or email: tenneille@impact-images.com.au for more information and to book a session.

This ad ran for 7 days, cost $30AUD and generated 23 shoots plus a heap of leads (email addresses) for future marketing.

Try it!

Jared and Amanda have both used this strategy – and it worked for both. Although Jared totally messed up his ad targeting inside the Ads Manager.

He’d never photographed an African American family in the past and couldn’t understand why the only enquires coming in from his ad were African American mothers?

I checked his FB ad settings and sure enough…

He was ONLY targeting African American mothers who lived close by and were between the ages of 24 and 45 years.

Not a bad thing if they are your target demographic.

And what proof that Facebook targeting really works!

Next email I share how to get the sales happening from a free shoot – it’s not difficult if you follow some simple steps.

Look out for Jared and Amanda’s ads and result in an upcoming email too.

Speak then
Andrew “the booking machine” Hellmich

 

P.S Once you create the post on your timeline, you need to make it into an ad, using the Facebook Ads manager.

I recorded a video to show you exactly how to do that.

And how to get your targeting right, not like Jared.

Here’s the link:

 [Creating an Ad from your timeline post – how to video]

P.P.S If you shoot weddings, click here so I can send you a better way to use this style of FB Ad to attract engagement shoot bookings which should lead to weddings.

 

 

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  Market, Shoot And Sell

After many requests from photographers over the years, I am finally coming to North Queensland to do a seminar, and I am bringing with me a couple Australia’s most successful photographers.

After the fantastic success of the “A Day For Photographers” in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, we will be travelling to Cairns to help as many photographers as we can to help grow their photography business.Do you lie awake at night thinking how you can get more customers?

Wondering how to take better photographs?

How to build your photography business?

This 1 and 1/2 day event will focus on Photography – Marketing – Selling.

1. Developing Your Photography Into A Clear Brand.
2. Getting the Right Customers.
3. Developing A Conversion System To Convert Leads Into Customers.
4. Creating Your Price List To Maximise Sales.
5. Marketing for a Constant Flow of Customers.
6. Becoming a Master Photographer.
7. Facebook Marketing Strategies.

Monday 24 July 1pm – 4pm
Live demonstration with Murielle and Carol photographing families and children in their individual unique styles. Bring your cameras along and and learn some new techniqes.

Tuesday 25 July 9.30am – 4pm
A full day in learning all the business things that you need to know to create a successful photography business, from Facebook advertising to making big portrait sales….it will all be there!
Tuesday’s Presentations

Bernie Griffiths

5 Keys To Developing A Successful Photography Business
After having a successful wedding/portrait studio for over 40 years, Bernie transitioned into being a Photography Business Coach.

He is now the “go to” coach for those studios looking at taking their business to the next level.

His studio experience, expertise in Facebook Marketing, and down to earth approach to business, has enabled him to help and guide photographers in growing their business and generating more income.

He will help you build something that lasts, and guide you in growing your business and getting results.

You won’t hear the same old strategies you’ve heard a million times before!

Other photographers call him the world’s only 365 days, 24hours a day photography business coach, because coaching is his life.

Bernie is widely recognised as Australia’s Leading Photography Business Coach, and his presentation will be on the 5 most important things that a photographer should focus on to build a successful photography business.

Murielle Sassine

Getting Work/Life Balance In A Busy Home Studio
Murielle Sassine, owner and operator of Vivid Imaging and Blackbox Portraits, developed a passion for photography at a young age.

She pursued her interests in photography and obtained a degree in Visual Communication, establishing herself as a photo media specialist.

Murielle has run a successful photography business from home for over 17 years, and has achieved great success with her sales in the areas of portrait and glamour photography.

Her portrait sales this year have been “mind blowing” and she had a record turnover for her business, over the past 12 months.

She will talk about some of the many challenges facing photographers who work from home and how you can get a good work/life balance.

Carol Gibbons

How To Sustain A Profitable Photography Business
Sydney Master Photographer Carol Gibbons, has more than 25 years experience specialising in portrait photography of newborn babies, kids, pets and families of all ages.

Her shop front studio is based in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, and she is celebrating 18 years in that location this year.

While studying Fine Art, Carol found photography was her passion and pursued further study in Art Photography, after completing her diploma.

She started her business in the early 90’s photographing Weddings as well as Portraits, and has continued to update her skills as well as judging at the State and National Awards for the AIPP.

Carol Gibbons is an Accredited Member and Licentiate of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and has qualified as a Master of Photography many years ago, as well as winning a Grand Award for Portraiture at WPPI.

She believes that to survive in the portrait photography business, you have to develop your own style in photography as well as marketing, look after your customers, and give people a reason to pay us to create their portraits.

When : Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 July
Where : Pullman Cairns International 17 Abbott Street Cairns

MORE INFO……………………………

info@berniegriffithsbusinesscoach.com.au

http://www.berniegriffiths.com

Great Products Equals Profit

One of the keys to having a successful photography business is to have great products to sell, and to showcase your photography.

Many of the photographers that I coach are achieving some incredibly high numbers in their portrait sales, by selling prints not pixels.

In an era where we hear so much about photographers selling files at incredibly cheap prices, there are many portrait photographers who are regularly making portrait sales well over $2,000, by selling high quality photography product.

Whether it is babies, weddings, families, or even pets, there is a big market out there for people wanting to buy wall art, albums and other products that will become long term priceless memories of their family history.

Choosing the right photography products takes time, and you need to approach choosing the right products for your photography business in an unhurried, comprehensive, and professional manner.

Sales are the lifeblood of your photography business, and having the latest and purpose designed products, puts your images at the centre of attention, and gives an irresistible offering to your customer.

One of the biggest suppliers to the photographer is Seldex. They  are a local company based in Melbourne and have been at the forefront of manufacturing high quality photography products for decades, and as a studio owner for over 40 years they were my major supplier.

Now as the world’s only, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, photography business coach, I recommend Seldex to my clients.

Here is a great opportunity for you to view their products and have all of your questions answered.

For more information http://www.seldex.com.au  or email nicole@seldex.com.au.

 

 

 

Do You Keep The Files?

I used to store multiple copies of images of my weddings and portraits on a disc, on an external hard drive, on my computer, and even in a fireproof safe!

Yes I would tell my clients that I would store them indefinitely.

A frequently asked question I was asked by clients at sale time was “ You keep the files don’t you? We can always come back later and order?”

It was a hard one to overcome.

Of course they rarely came back.​

I had to find a way in my systems and processes so that this objection didn’t come up.

I decided to put a Digital File Collections offering on my price list, and give my clients the opportunity to purchase their digital files.

I did also feel that I wasn’t a data storage company, and if the customer didn’t want to purchase their images in digital form, they did not want them, and therefore I had no responsibility to keep them.

Through one of my FAQ key letters that my clients received prior to their photography session, it stated …

Can I order photographs at a later date?

The answer?

“Of course you may order photographs at a time later than the purchasing session time, but please note that we keep your files for only 28 days after your photography session”.

Phew!

Problem solved!

From that moment no-one ever asked about whether they could order at a later date, as they knew that I didn’t keep the files.

As a Photography Business Coach it just makes good business sense?

It was amazing to recently learn that some photography bodies and organisations require their members to keep their client files for at least 4 years.

That is just plain silly!

Are we, as photographers really responsible for our customer’s memories, when they had the opportunity to purchase them, but made a decision not to?

Please help me understand some photographer’s mindset about keeping, archiving, saving, customers files.

It just doesn’t make sense to me and is a very dated approach to a fast flowing photography industry.

Why would you waste time and effort in keeping something that isn’t yours anyway?

They are but photographs, and unlike the years prior to digital, everyone has thousands of images on their phones and computers now.

Don’t you?

Which ones of the thousands are the most important to you?

What are your thoughts?

info@berniegriffithsbusinesscoach.com.au

Photography Business Coach

   www.berniegriffiths.com

Enquiries….info@berniegriffithsbusinesscoach.com.au       

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