I Am A Photography Business Coach And You Are A Professional Photographer

So why do you want to have your own photography business? Do you like the thought of having more spare time? How about just working the hours that you want? Having a holiday whenever you feel like it? Having freedom? Making a great income? Working the hours that you want?

When you become a professional photographer, you are no longer just a photographer! You are a marketer, salesperson, accountant, Photoshop and Lightroom expert, copywriter, customer relations person and business owner.

Your destiny is well and truly in your hands!

Photography is becoming increasingly competitive, so it’s essential to be savvy with your marketing to keep a constant flow of customers coming in the door.

Many people think they’re a professional photographer, but they cannot manage to maintain a steady flow of income.

Having creative talent is just not enough – there are too many struggling photographers, because photography can be a tough and competitive business.

Photography, like any business, requires a good marketing plan, expertise in handling customers and have good sales skills.

I have owned a photography studio specialising in weddings and portraits, for over 40 years, and now I am an International Photography Business Coach.

I feel that today’s photographers trying to break into the industry, do so without learning the basic business principles needed to succeed.

So many people pick up a camera and with little or no experience in the photography industry call themselves professional photographers, simply because someone commented on Facebook that they take amazing photos and could make money from it.

To experienced professionals, this is one of the leading causes of frustration as it creates a lack of respect for the industry.

There are many different ways that photographers operate their businesses. It may be from a commercial property or from home, but the principles for business success remains the same.

A solid business foundation is vital if you are starting a photography business if it’s to be successful in the long run.

So what are the materials that we have to gather to build that foundation for a successful business in photography?

You should have a simple structured price list that leads the customer to buy your core products, which in turn will help maximise your sales.

Forget what you would like the customer to buy. Let them decide on what they want based on the information that you have given them.

Do not prejudge what the customer can or cannot afford. Don’t think that the customer doesn’t have the money to invest a lot in photography. This is a big mistake. I have known a customer deprive themselves of a new car, choosing rather to spend thousands with me, on family photographs.

By not prejudging a customer, you can open your mind to the possibility that this customer will come back again and again over the years. Let your presentation be carried by this excitement, enthusiasm, and belief.

If you dress for success, the customer is more likely to take your higher prices seriously. I don’t mean over the top, but I do mean that you should dress professionally. Whether you are male or female dress appropriately at all times. It will have a positive effect on you, your business and your value.

You must practice your selling system. I used to role-play with friends or staff members, to perfect my presentation, right up to getting the money. You must build your confidence before you present yourself to your customers.

In my own business I developed a very effective yet simple Soft Sell System, which I now as a photography business coach, I teach my clients around the world with fantastic sales results.

A holistic approach is necessary because a photographers success depends on a multitude of factors all being present at the same time.

If you own a failing Photography Business, or are starting a new one….

1. Grab a FREE copy of my book “Success Secrets of a Professional Photographer”

Email me bernie@berniegriffiths.com

2. Join the Membership Group which includes “one on one” coaching.

3 Work with me with ”one on one” to grow your photography business to $100,000+

Email me a message with the subject line “Private” and tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on, and I’ll send you all the details!

www.berniegriffiths.com

+61418509228

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How To Create A Salable Photography Brand

Lighting…Posing…Clothing…Expression…Brand

You may countless hours learning every possible thing about marketing, pricing, funnels, Chatbots, Social Media etc etc. BUT FIRST you must know the necessary specifics of what people buy.

Working on your business includes working on your photography.

From my perspective as a photography business coach, working on your photography means not only improving your technique with your camera equipment, but also your lighting, posing and learning what people buy.

Once you know what the consumer considers salable, you will be able to reproduce it again and again for your clients, producing bigger sales.


“Salable” is an industry term every photographer should be aware of to distinguish between the everyday reality of making money versus creating “artistic competition” or “award winning prints” which don’t earn the money.

I have been a photographer for many years and sold millions of dollars worth of photographs and I know one thing….. most of the time people don’t buy the award winning prints that you see at professional photography conventions. 

They buy the happy faces that are the most salable prints. 
When clients are faced with the choice of buying an artistic pose of their child being demure and not looking directly into the camera or buying a pose smiling straight into the camera, they buy the smiling close-up 90 percent of the time. 

I believe there are 5 Basic Elements that each photograph you take needs to make it salable.


1.   LIGHTING
The quality of light people prefer for portraits is soft light, whether it be from an artificial source like a flash umbrella or a natural source from the sky at sunset, but other than a soft quality of light they want to SEE the face of the person clearly.

Light the eyes so you can see the COLOUR of their eyes. This means you have good lighting, and that the eyes are sparkling, of course making the image more salable.

If photographing outside you must use an auxiliary light source like a silver reflector, an off camera speedlight or studio light with a soft box.

Get the right light on the faces of your subjects so that you flatter them and then you will create salable prints.


2.   POSING

The word posing may send shudders down the spine of some of the photographers listening to this. They will say “ My photography is natural and free. I just get the kids and parents to interact and let them do what ever they want. They don’t like posed photographs.

My response is “so how is that working for you? Are you getting $2-$10,000 portrait sales?

 To be out of control of your subjects also doesn’t show a very high degree of professionalism. They expect you to direct them. They don’t know what they are supposed to do.

So turned the shoulders slightly to one side so that you are not photographing square on. With groups get heads at different levels and learn all about photographing in such a way that you create triangles with each head in the photograph. Like joining the dots.

Just google Photographing groups in triangles.


When you’re photographing subjects waist-up or full length you’ll have to understand other aspects of body positioning that makes people want to buy their pictures.

Getting the hands right can make a big difference. They should always be turned slightly so they are seen from the edge with fingers together, or hide the hands altogether behind your subject or somebody else next to them. Never position hands straight on with open fingers, or closed fist.

Simply put, anything that minimizes how much hand you see works to make it a better portrait. Placing hands correctly is more flattering in a portrait and the more you can flatter someone the more people buy. 

I can’t stress enough how basic, but important, it is to look for these details. 

When photographing people full body standing, seated or reclining on the ground, noticing body angle, hands and feet is the way to “fine tune” your portrait and separate it from just a “snapshot”. 

Simply by photographing a woman tilting her head just slightly in either direction will make a more salable portrait. A man’s head can stay straight up or tilt slightly away in the opposite direction from his most forward shoulder but never back towards his most forward shoulder. 

Good posture is also a key for portrait photographs.

Whether your subjects are sitting or standing, make sure they are sitting with a straight back.

It is also a good idea to stretch their head forward a little to stretch the neck and skin on the face.

The forward position will decrease the chance of neck wrinkles or a double chin.

Once you have practiced the technique, it is easy to make a better portrait than someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, by the head tilt.

In most cases, don’t photograph people upwards. For the most flattering results, shoot from eye-level or looking downward. Of course there will be cases where an upward angle provides a unique and creative photographic effect. In this case, the people may be more of a prop and not the main focus. Experiment with various angles and you can pull the best results from those. For standing shots, the most flattering angle is rarely straight on or completely from the side. If you photograph your subject from a 45 degree angle, it’s the most slimming shot. People appear thinner from that angle than straight on.

So here’s the rule of salable composition: 

Keep everybody’s head at a different level.

You will stand some people, seat some in chairs, seat some on the arms of chairs, seat some on the floor, kneel some, crouch some, lay some down, but you will achieve staggered head heights and salable compositions. 

Tip heads inward toward one another for unity when photographing a family group.

Note that men are usually positioned higher than women. 

Not everybody wants a masterpiece. Most people just want to remember their loved ones as happy.

 It’s not hard to capture that with your camera, just don’t stand them in hard sunlight, or standing in a straight line facing straight toward the camera.

Early in my career I leant very quickly how to take photographs that once I knew what the consumer considers salable, I was able to reproduce it again and again for other clients.

You just have to know what works and be able to easily repeat it for the referrals that your clients will give you, and also to use the right photographs in your marketing.

In most cases, don’t photograph people from a low upward angle. For the most flattering results, shoot from eye-level or looking slightly downward. Of course there may be cases where an upward angle provides a unique and creative photographic effect, or adds drama to the image, but it is unlikely that it will flatter the subject.

For standing portraits, the most flattering angle is rarely straight on or completely from the side. If you photograph your subject from a 45 degree angle, it’s the most slimming shot. People appear thinner from that angle than straight on.
It does take a little bit of practicing to turn an ordinary photograph into a professional salable portrait.


3.   CLOTHING

Being a photography business coach, I notice that there is a lot of misguided information on the internet about advising your clients what to wear. Most of it that I see is misguided and will not help in producing professional salable photographs.

A salable portrait will have non distracting clothes which leads the eye to the subjects face.

You should choose the clothes for the client and not the other way around.

Just because the client thinks they look good in the mirror with a particular piece of clothing, doesn’t mean that it will photograph well in it.

I learnt this very early in my career as a studio owner.

I would get women coming in with short sleeved dresses that exposed and highlighted their overweight arms. Needless to say they didn’t find the photographs very flattering and so they didn’t buy.

After that I got my clients to bring along 3 or 4 different pieces of clothing, with specific instructions. At the time that I was photographing against a textured dark canvas background so my instructions were…dark clothes, no patterns, long sleeves, for the adults plus an extra couple of tops that they liked and three or four co-ordinated pieces of clothing for the kids.

Then when they came in for the photography session I would choose the clothes that I felt would photograph to the best. 

4.  EXPRESSION

Expressions must be genuine and spontaneous.

They must still flatter the subject.

Some people may look awful when they have a great big smile…their eyes go small or they show bad teeth, or their face wrinkles up.

Not the sort of features those people would want to be highlighted, and certainly it’s not giving the photographer the best chance of a sale.

5.   BUILD A SALABLE BRAND

If all photographers charged the same prices…WHY should people book YOU?

If you say it is because of YOU then you are not creating a BRAND but rather a job for yourself.

WATCH THE VIDEO

5 Steps to a Portrait Photography Business that Runs without You

If you’ve been following me as a photography business coach for any amount of time, you probably realize that my success in building a successful photography business wasn’t anything magical. It wasn’t luck, it wasn’t skill, it wasn’t experience, and it wasn’t talent.

It was good old fashioned test and measure!

The difference between me and other photographers who haven’t been as successful, is that I worked extraordinarily hard, erred extraordinarily often…and learned extraordinarily fast as a result.

I documented everything I did. When it failed, I threw it out. When it worked, I kept going, expanding my knowledge and experience as I went.

I developed systems around the successful strategies I discovered.

Eventually, I organized this massive collection of materials and protocols into the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use photography business methodology.

Then when I became a photography business coach and created my success system ”The Photographers 5 Steps to FREEDOM.”

That’s because I knew that my goal was to help move photographers from a one-person show to a full-fledged successful business, and grow it with them so they could reach their financial goals and the FREEDOM to live their life the way they wanted to.

Imagine A Photography Business That Runs Without You

A couple years ago, I came across an article from the Harvard Business Review that inspired the development of what I now call the Firm Profitability Dependency Chain—in which building a profitable business is based on 5 essential “links.”

I call the links “dependencies” because the weight of each successive link hangs on the one before it. Working backward from the end…

Link 5: Fantastic Profitability

Obviously, this is our goal. It’s been fascinating to observe the incredible variety of answers I get when I ask the following question of aspiring photographers: “What do you believe is the single most important driver in achieving your business profitability?”

No one ever gives the right answer–which is…

Link 4: Low Client Acquisition Cost

The fact is, it’s impossible to build a wonderfully profitable photography business capable of delivering a great income if your client acquisition costs are out of control!

Making money as a firm-owner is all about driving down your marketing and sales costs. The most common (though not necessarily the easiest) ways to do this are as follows: getting the majority of your clients through referrals and strategic alliances, servicing ever-higher quality (read: better-paying!) clients, and keeping these clients longer and longer. So, what does it take to achieve this?

Link 3: Raving Fans

Over the last decade of photography business coaching, I’ve found that until you develop a robust reputation in your community or market niche as a genuinely good photographer, who delivers substantially more value to your clients than your services cost, you’ll never be rewarded by your market with an abundance of revenue.

Obviously, in the early stages of developing your business, you’ll have to invest tons of money in higher-cost marketing strategies, but this must be reduced over time if you hope to make great margins!

So how do you develop an army of raving fans? You’ve got to deliver…

Link 2: Effective Marketing

Most photographers lack consistent marketing strategies. This is a vital link in business success. Without this it’s game over pretty quickly.

So how do you deliver effective marketing?

Link 1: Massive Cash Flow

Trying to recruit a top-gun photographer or sales person won’t be easy unless you can pay them well. You need great cash-flow so you can afford to pay your staff a compensation package comparable to what they may be leaving.

AND, just as importantly, there needs to be a big upside. That’s why we’re big believers in revenue percentage splits as a compensation model. It’s the only model that’s ever worked in building multiple studios around the world.

Well, again, it’s pretty simple, though not easy.

And when this starts to happen, it’s magic!

WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE

Photography Business Coach…..8 Things Holding You Back

1. You compare yourself to others.

Whether it’s starting a photography business or learning a new skill, you will look at others who are much further down the road from you and expect your results to be similar to theirs, today. Since you cannot see the struggle, the mistakes and the hundreds of little improvements they made every single day, you assume these never existed. By comparison you feel inadequate, incapable and discouraged. Shift your focus instead to where you are today compared to yesterday to get a more accurate picture of the progress you’re making.

2. You ask yourself the wrong questions.

You spend your time and energy wondering “if”—if what you’re doing is possible, if you’re good enough to achieve it, if it’s the right thing to do. These questions are unhelpful and suck all the energy and motivation out of you. Change these questions to how, who and what, such as, “How will I make this happen?” “What’s the first step?” “Who can help me with this?” and spend your energy finding answers that will help you move closer to success.

“What?!” your mind tells you. “You’ve put so much effort into this and no one has noticed?!! This is a waste of time, might as well stop now.” Be patient, be persistent and give yourself a realistic timeline to achieve the results you want.

3. You create fake busyness.

This is my favorite one by far. Have you spent hours tweaking your website, reading other blogs “for research purposes,” buying new equipment, retouching, playing with new apps. Days have gone by that you have  sat at your desk for hours being very busy at doing nothing? Take a step back and ask yourself where your actions are leading to. If they’re not leading to tangible results, then you know you need to be spending your time doing something else.

4. You listen to everyone but yourself.

You’re new at this. You seek advice. The world and her mother have an opinion on the subject. You sit and you listen. You assume everyone, including those on social media forums knows what they’re talking about, that you have to follow what you read unless you want to fail miserably. The problem is, the advice is taking you in so many different directions that you’re paralyzed. By all means read and learn, and then let your own heart and instinct guide you and get the right advice from a professional. Trust that you will find your own best way of doing this, and it will be just right for you.

5. You assume talent and not persistence in the secret to success.

“If I had any talent, this would be much easier. I’m not cut out for this.” When you start your business, you discover it’s a steep uphill struggle to get where you want. You might start to feel like you’re lacking in some way, that maybe you should aim a little lower or try something easier. Don’t buy into this mindset. Anything you do will get easier the more you do it. Persistence and not talent is the secret to success, so stick to it, keep working at it and eventually you’ll find yourself climbing to the top of that hill. Practice makes perfect.

6. You’re not flexible.

You’ve got your plan and you want to stick to it no matter what. You assume this is the only way you can succeed. For years, I assumed that the only way to get fit was to join a gym. For years I paid huge yearly fees for a gym I never used. The goal is still there but my tactics have changed. Cycling and walking have replaced the gym to much better effect. What’s your proverbial unvisited gym? And what could you replace it with?

7. You do it alone.

You see asking for help as a sign of weakness, or maybe it doesn’t occur to you that you can reach out to others. You want to succeed on your own. You build an imaginary fortress around you as you work on your project. STOP right there. List 3 things you’re struggling with right now. Next to each one list at least one person who’s experienced something similar. Write one question you would love to ask that person. Now reach out and ask someone who has walked that path. Asking the right person for help is the most important thing.

8. You don’t know when to let go.

You’ve tried your best, you’ve changed tactics a hundred times, you’ve worked endless hours on this business for the last few months, yet you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for. So you work harder and faster hoping that somehow, someday, you will get there. Your project has become this dark cloud following you wherever you go. Any excitement or joy you felt about working on it has since long gone. You’ve invested so much in this project that you don’t want to let it go. Consider this, how do you feel about spending the next 12 months working on the same project? If you had to let it go, what else could you do with your time? Sometimes it’s OK to let go. What happens? For one, you’ll still be perfectly okay.

Fixing The Problems

So what’s the secret to growing your photography business despite the tough economy, and the challenges? A good start would be to solve the day to day problems, which include getting more clients, increasing sales, learning new photographer strategies, lowering overheads, and maximizing your retouching speed and efficiency. Your challenge is to spend the time fixing the eight things above that may be holding you back.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO ON “CREATING A SUCCESSFUL PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS.

Photography Business Coach and 5 Steps to Freedom

5 Steps to a Portrait Photography Business that Runs without You

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you probably realize that my success in building a successful photography business wasn’t anything magical. It wasn’t luck, it wasn’t skill, it wasn’t experience, and it wasn’t talent.

It was good old fashioned test and measure!

The difference between me and other photographers who haven’t been as successful, is that I worked extraordinarily hard, erred extraordinarily often…and learned extraordinarily fast as a result.

I documented everything I did. When it failed, I threw it out. When it worked, I kept going, expanding my knowledge and experience as I went.

I developed systems around the successful strategies I discovered.

Eventually, I organized this massive collection of materials and protocols into the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use photography business methodology.

Then I became a photography business coach and called my system “The Photographers 5 Steps to FREEDOM.” 

That’s because I knew that my goal was to help move photographers from a one-person show to a full-fledged successful business, and grow it with them so they could reach their financial goals and the FREEDOM to live their life the way they wanted to.

Imagine A Photography Business That Runs Without You

A couple years ago, I came across an article from the Harvard Business Review that inspired the development of what I now call the Firm Profitability Dependency Chain—in which building a profitable business is based on 5 essential “links.”

I call the links “dependencies” because the weight of each successive link hangs on the one before it. Working backward from the end…

Link 5: Fantastic Profitability

Obviously, this is our goal. It’s been fascinating to observe the incredible variety of answers I get when I ask the following question of aspiring photographers: “What do you believe is the single most important driver in achieving your business profitability?”

No one ever gives the right answer–which is…

Link 4: Low Client Acquisition Cost

The fact is, it’s impossible to build a wonderfully profitable photography business capable of delivering a great income if your client acquisition costs are out of control!

Making money as a firm-owner is all about driving down your marketing and sales costs. The most common (though not necessarily the easiest) ways to do this are as follows: getting the majority of your clients through referrals and strategic alliances, servicing ever-higher quality (read: better-paying!) clients, and keeping these clients longer and longer. So, what does it take to achieve this?

Link 3: Raving Fans

Over the last decade of photography business coaching, I’ve found that until you develop a robust reputation in your community or market niche as a genuinely good photographer, who delivers substantially more value to your clients than your services cost, you’ll never be rewarded by your market with an abundance of revenue.

Obviously, in the early stages of developing your business, you’ll have to invest tons of money in higher-cost marketing strategies, but this must be reduced over time if you hope to make great margins!

So how do you develop an army of raving fans? You’ve got to deliver…

Link 2: Effective Marketing

Most photographers lack consistent marketing strategies. This is a vital link in business success. Without this it’s game over pretty quickly.

So how do you deliver effective marketing?

Link 1: Massive Cash Flow

Trying to recruit a top-gun photographer or sales person won’t be easy unless you can pay them well. You need great cash-flow so you can afford to pay your staff a compensation package comparable to what they may be leaving.

AND, just as importantly, there needs to be a big upside. That’s why we’re big believers in revenue percentage splits as a compensation model. It’s the only model that’s ever worked in building multiple studios around the world.

Well, again, it’s pretty simple, though not easy.

And when this starts to happen, it’s magic!

Check out the video here https://youtu.be/JmcVZQ77fkg

 

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

Photography Business Coaching During Covid

Wow, We Never Expected This!

Is Your Photography Business Worth Fighting For?

20 Steps Photographers Can Do Now During Their Coronavirus Downtime?

Photographers are stuck at home with no income, and times are tough. We can use these times to our ‘advantage’ and do things we normally wouldn’t do or didn’t have time for.

Savvy Photographers Will Use This Opportunity to Invest Time in Their Businesses

There will be a decline in business, and you have two options. You can sit at home and obsess over coronavirus news updates, or you can invest your precious time you have, in your business, so that the virus impact becomes a positive.

Look upon it as a holiday break or sabbatical.

Now is  the perfect time to make your photography business ready for greater success when the economy recovers.

Here are some suggestions: 

HIBERNATION…prepare for when we come out of this…..engine revving at start line.

  1. Work on Mindset…biggest…stay away from negative reports and people 
  2. Chase up outstanding payments
  3. Defer rent payments with your landlord.
  4. Sort out your photography gear and see what you can sell. 
  5. Sell files or products ..suppliers are offering BIG discounts
  6. Market Gift Certificates
  7. Connect with your clients via email and to phone reschedule appointments
  8. Think about and define your Brand
  9. Send out Newsletter.
  10. Refine Your Processes
  11. Curate your portfolio for a better presentation of your work.
  12. Revisit Price list.
  13. Order New Products
  14. Create a VIP list
  15. Eliminate unnecessary subscriptions.
  16. Catch up on post production or album design.
  17. Work on your Social Media
  18. Renovate the studio
  19. Do a customer survey via Survey Monkey
  20. Fine Tune Your Post Production
  21. Work on your website’s SEO to improve your search rankings.
  22. Learn new web marketing strategies like email funnels and referral programs.
  23. Get more testimonials video/ text from your past clients
  24. Improve your current skills through online courses.
  25. Work on speeding up your workflow.
  26. Set up Third party Affiliate
  27. Enter Photography Competitions can win $5,000 or more
  28. Read books on Business …..Known
  29. Clean up and structure your files on your hard drive.
  30. Set up a You Tube Channel.
  31. Write a book
  32. Learn more about doing video.
  33. Run A Win A Family Portrait Competition on Facebook.
  34. Design flyers
  35. Write articles for blog
  36. Don’t live above your means.

The Importance of Knowing Your Target Market

Knowledge and understanding of your target market is the keystone in the arch of your business.  Without it, your product or service positioning, pricing, marketing strategy, and eventually, your business may quickly fall apart.

If you don’t intimately know your target market, you run the risk of making mistakes when it comes to establishing pricing, photography products.  Your marketing strategy will lack direction, and produce mediocre results at best.  Even if your marketing message and unique selling proposition(USP) are clear, and your brochure is perfectly designed, it means nothing unless it arrives in the hands (or ears) of the right people.

Determining your target market takes time and careful diligence.  While it often starts with a best guess, assumptions cannot be relied on and it is better to do some research. Remember that your target market is not always your ideal market.

Once you build an understanding of who your target market is, you then have to keep your market research up to date.  Having your finger on the pulse of their motivations and drivers – which naturally change – will help you to anticipate needs or wants and evolve your business.

Definition Of Marketing

Marketing is strategically connecting with a targeted audience, to lead them to your business to purchase some of the products that you have to offer, at a price that they are willing to pay.

Focus Your Time On The MARKETING of your Business.

Strategies To Get Customers To Your Business

1. Book or Calendar Project

2. Competition Box

3. Third Party Gift Program

4. Face Book Advertising

5. Email Marketing

6. Referral Program

7. Free Publicity

8. Charity Project

Segmenting Your Market

For example, the Newborn target would be females between the ages of 25 and 45, within 30klms of your business who’s interests are motherhood, parenting, babies, and childhood.

Where do your customers come from?

Most photographers would probably choose prospects from their website, referrals or advertising as an answer. 

The majority of your customers will come from leads that you have been able to convert into customers. Each customer then goes through a process before they arrive with their wallets open. 

So, would it not stand to reason then, that when you advertise or send any marketing material out to your target market, that you’re not really trying to generate customers?  That instead, you’re trying to generate leads.

When you look at your marketing campaign from this perspective, the idea of generating leads as compared to generating customers seems a lot less daunting.  Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?

1.         New Born Babies

2.         Families

3.         Mother and Daughter

4.         Pets

5.         Glamour

6.         Kids

7.         Dads and Sons

8.         Babies 6-9 months

9.         Generations

10.       Engaged Couples

11.       Pregnancy

12.       Boudoir

Portrait Session Goal

Your goal should be to have a minimum of 20 sessions in your diary at any one time. 

Social Media Goals

Minimum of 5 Facebook/Instagram Posts a week.

Minimum of 1 Google Plus post a week.

Minimum of 1 Blog a month.

Minimum of 1 Newsletter monthly.

For more information on marketing WATCH VIDEO

Generating an Unlimited Amount of Leads for Your Business

Where do your customers come from?

Most photographers would probably choose referrals or advertising as an answer. 

Your customers come from leads that have been turned into sales.  Each customer goes through a process before they arrive with their wallets open.  They have been converted from a member of a target market, to a lead, then to a customer.

So, would it not stand to reason then, that when you advertise or send any marketing material out to your target market, that you’re not really trying to generate customers?  That instead, you’re trying to generate leads.

When you look at your marketing campaign from this perspective, the idea of generating leads as compared to customers seems a lot less daunting.  The pressure of closing sales is no longer placed on advertisements or brochures.

From this perspective, the general purpose of your advertising and marketing efforts is then to generate leads from qualified customers.  Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?

Where Are Your Leads Coming From?

If I asked you to tell me the top three ways you generate new sales leads, what would you say?

  • Advertising
  • Word of mouth
  • Networking
  • Facebook
  • Social Media
  • Referral

The first step toward increasing your leads is in understanding how many leads you currently get on a regular basis, as well as where they come from.  Otherwise, how will you know when you’re getting more phone calls or walk-in customers?

If you don’t know where your leads come from, start today.  Start asking every customer that comes through your door, “how did you hear about us?” or “what brought you in today?”  Ask every customer that calls where they found your telephone number, or email address.  Then, record the information for at least an entire week.

When you’re finished, take a look at your spreadsheet and write your top three lead generators here:

­­­  1. ______________________________________________

­­  2. ­___________________________________________

­­­  3. ___________________________________________

From Lead to Customer: Conversion Rates

Leads mean nothing to your business unless you convert them into customers.  You could get hundreds of leads from a single Facebook post, but unless you convert some leads into customers, and other leads into future customers, who buy your photography, it’s been a largely unsuccessful campaign.

The ratio of leads (potential customers) to transactions (actual customers) is called your conversion rate. 

If, with a given Facebook Advert, I have 130 leads, and 24 of them have a photography session, the formula would look like this:

130 multiplied by 25 equals divided by 100 = 32.5% conversion rate

What’s Your Conversion Rate?

Based on the formula above, you can see that the higher your conversion rate, the more profitable the business.

Your next step is to determine you own current conversion rate.  Add up the number of leads you sourced in the last section, and divide that number into the total transactions that took place in the same week.

Write your conversion rate here:

Quality (or Qualified) Leads

Based on our review of conversion rates, we can see that the number of leads you generate means nothing unless those leads are being converted into customers.

So what affects your ability (and the ability of your team) to turn leads into customers?  Do you need to improve your scripts?  Your product or service?  Find a more competitive edge in the marketplace?

Maybe.  But the first step toward increasing conversion rates is to evaluate the leads you are currently generating, and make sure those leads are the right ones.

What are Quality Leads?

Potential customers are potential customers, right?  Anyone who walks into your store or picks up the phone to call your business could be convinced to purchase from you, right?  Not necessarily, but this is a common assumption most business owners make.

Quality leads are the people who are the most likely to buy your product or service.  They are the qualified buyers who comprise your target market.  Anyone might walk in off the street to browse a furniture store – regardless of whether or not they are in the market for a new couch or bed frame.  This lead is solely interested in browsing, and is not likely to be converted to a customer.

A quality lead would be someone looking for a new kitchen table, and who specifically drove to that same furniture because a friend had raved about the service they received that month.  These are the kinds of leads you need to focus on generating.

How Do You Get Quality Leads?

  • Know your target market.  Get a handle on who your customers are – the people who are most likely to buy your product or service.  Know their age, sex, income, and purchase motivations.  From that information you can determine how best to reach your specific audience.
  • Focus on the 80/20 rule.  A common statistic in business is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers.  These are your star clients, or your ideal clients.  These are the clients you should focus your efforts on recruiting.  This is the easiest way to grow your business and your income.
  • Get specific.  Focus not only on who you want to attract, but how you’re going to attract them.  If you’re trying to generate leads from a specific market segment, craft a unique offer to get their attention.
  • Be proactive.  Once you’ve generated a slew of leads, make sure you have the resources to follow up on them.  Be diligent and aggressive, and follow up in a timely manner.  You’ve done to work to get them, now reel them in.

Get More Leads from Your Existing Strategies

Increasing your lead generation doesn’t necessarily mean diving in and implementing an expensive array of new marketing strategies.  Marketing and customer outreach for the purpose of lead generation can be inexpensive, and bring a high return on investment.

You are likely already implementing many of these strategies.  With a little tweaking or refinement, you can easily double your leads, and ensure they are more qualified.

Here are some popular ways to generate quality leads:

Direct Mail to Your Ideal Customers

Direct email Marketing via Mailchimp, IContact etc, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to convert leads that will build your business.  It’s a simple strategy – and can in fact, double your conversion results.

Craft a special offer

Create an offer that’s too good to refuse – not for your entire target market, but for your ideal customer.  How can you cater to their unique needs and wants?  What will be irresistible for them?

Lead generation ads are simply designed and create a sense of curiosity or mystery.  Often, they feature an almost unbelievable offer.  Their purpose is not to convince the customer to buy, but to contact the business for more information.

As always, when you are always trying to target your ideal audience, you’ll need to ensure that your ads are placed prominently in publications that audience reads.  This doesn’t mean you have to fork over the cash for expensive display ads.  Inexpensive advertising in e-mail newsletters is a very effective for lead generation.

Spark curiosity

Don’t give them all the information they need to make a decision.  Ask them to contact you for the full story, or the complete details of the seemingly outrageous offer.

Grab them with a killer headline

Like all advertising, a compelling headline is essential.  Focus on the greatest benefits to the customer, or feature an unbelievable offer.

Referrals and host beneficiary relationships

A referral system is one of the most profitable systems you can create in your business.  The beauty is once it’s set up, it often runs itself.

Customers that come to you through referrals are often your “ideal customers.”  They are already trusting and willing to buy.  This is one of the most cost-effective methods of generating new business, and is often the most profitable.  These referral clients will buy more, faster, and refer further business to your company.

Referrals naturally happen without much effort for reputable businesses, but with a proactive referral strategy you’ll certainly double or triple your referrals.  Sometimes, you just need to ask!

Here are some easy strategies you can begin to implement today:

Referral incentives

Give your customers a reason to refer business to you.  Reward them with discounts, gifts, or free service in exchange for a successful referral.

Referral program

Offer new customers a free product or service to get them in the door.  Then, at the end of the transaction, give them three more ‘coupons’ for the same free product or service that they can give to their friends.  Do the same with their friends.  This ongoing program will bring you more business than you can imagine.

Creating Effective Marketing Material

Your marketing collateral gets sent out in the world to do one thing: act as an ambassador for your product or service, in place of you.  This may seem like a big job for a piece of paper, but it’s a helpful way to think about the materials you create.

When you meet with a potential or existing client, you do a number of things.  You make sure you are well prepared with all the information the customer could need.  You dress in clothing that is appropriate.  You anticipate their needs, and offer a solution to their problems.  You may also cater to how they best like to receive information.

Chances are, you wouldn’t meet with clients just for the sake of meeting with a client – say, for instance, to show off your new suit.  Likewise, you shouldn’t create and distribute collateral that is non-essential.

We all know that the biggest challenge for small businesses is the limited number of zeros attached to their marketing budget.  Marketing materials can be expensive, and a single, well-produced piece has the ability to devour the entire budget.  Given that billion-dollar marketing campaigns fail every day, how can you be sure to make the most of, and be successful with, the dollars you’re working within?

The answer? Limit yourself to only the essential items for your individual business, and produce them well with the resources you have.

Your Essential Marketing Materials

The easiest way to throw away your marketing budget is to create and produce marketing materials you don’t need.  Since many pieces of collateral are paper-based, this not only leaves you with boxes of extra (outdated) materials, but also takes a huge toll on the environment.

Take some time to determine what marketing materials you do need, and stick to your list.  It’s easy to want to “keep up with the Joneses” when your competition comes out with a new piece, but remember your focus should be on attracting and retaining a customer base, not matching the competition item for item.

Know your target market.  Make sure you have a solid understanding of your customer base.  From that knowledge, you can easily determine what the best way is to reach out and communicate with them.  Are they a paper-based or techno savvy client group?  Do they appreciate being contacted by email or mail?  Are they impressed by flashy design, or simple pieces?  How you communicate is often just as or more important thanwhat you communicate.

Pay attention to costs. Do you really need a die-cut business card? Does your flyer absolutely require ink to the edges?  Unique touches to marketing collateral can grab a customer’s attention, but they can also dramatically increase the cost of production.  Keep an eye out during the design process and make strategic choices about graphic elements.

Make mistakes – in small batches.  Not sure if that flyer is going to do the trick?  Testing out a limited time offer?  Small production runs may cost a little more, but you’ll avoid collecting boxes of unusable materials.  Or, try a split run with type versions of the same piece and see what works best.

Keep the environment in mind.  Environmental responsibility is on everyone’s mind these days – including your customers.  Always question if a particular marketing item can be produced in electronic format. Consider eliminating plastic bags in exchange for cloth ones, printed with your logo; print everything double-sided; send electronic newsletters; use your website to communicate; and, use recycled paper and envelopes when you can.

Brainstorm your wish list.  Create a list of desired marketing materials, and ignore expenses, clients, or any other constraint.  Then, beside each item, indicate realistically if it is a needed, wanted, not needed, or electronic item.  The next page includes a checklist to get you started.  Once you have finished, re-write your list in priority order.  This will keep you focused on the essentials only.

The Crux of Your Marketing Campaign

As you work your way through this program, you will find that nearly every chapter discusses the importance of a powerful offer as related to your marketing strategy or promotional campaign.

There’s a reason for this.  The powerful offer is more often than not the reason a customer will open their wallets.  It is how you generate leads, and then convert them into loyal customers.  The more dramatic, unbelievable, and valuable the offer is the more dramatic and unbelievable the response will be.

Many companies spend thousands of dollars on impressive marketing campaigns in glossy magazines and big city newspapers.  They send massive direct mail campaigns on a regular basis; yet don’t receive an impressive or massive response rate.

These companies do not yet understand that simply providing information on their company and the benefits of their product is not enough to get customers to act.  There is no reason to pick up the phone or visit the store, right now.

Your powerful, irresistible offer can:

  • Increase leads
  • Drive traffic to your website or business
  • Move old product
  • Convert leads into customers
  • Build your customer database

What Makes a Powerful Offer?

A powerful offer is one that makes the most people respond, and take action.  It gets people running to spend money on your product or service.

Powerful offers nearly always have an element of urgency and of scarcity.  They give your audience a reason to act immediately, instead of put it off until a later date.

Urgency relates to time.  The offer is only available until a certain date, during a certain period of the day, or if you act within a few hours of seeing the ad.  The customer needs to act now to take advantage of the offer.

Scarcity related to quantity.  There are only a certain number of customers who will be able to take advantage of the offer.  There may be a limited number of spaces, a limited number of products, or simply a limited number of people the business will provide the offer to.  Again, this requires that customer acts immediately to reap the high value for low cost.

Powerful offers also:

Offer great value.  Customers perceive the offer as having great value – more than a single product on its own, or the product at its regular price.  It is clear that the offer takes the reader’s needs and wants into consideration.

Make sense to the reader.  They are simple and easy to understand if read quickly.  Avoid percentages – use half off or 2 for 1 instead of 50% off.  There are no “catches” or requirements; no fine print.

Seem logical.  The offer doesn’t come out of thin air.  There is a logical reason behind it – a holiday, end of season, anniversary celebration, or new product.  People can get suspicious of offers that seem “too good to be true” and have no apparent purpose.

Provide a premium.  The offer provides something extra to the customer, like a free gift, or free product or service.  They feel they are getting something extra for no extra cost.  Premiums are perceived to have more value than discounts.

Remember that when your target market reads your offer, they will be asking the following questions:

1. What are you offering me?

2. What’s in it for me?

3. What makes me sure I can believe you?

4. How much do I have to pay for it?

Make sure you can answer these questions and you will succeed to get more qualified clients.

_____________________________________________________________________________

When you are ready….let’s have a FREE Zoom session where I can give you a plan of action for your business growth. TEXT ME +61408509228.

If you own a failing Photography Business, or are starting a new one….

1. Join my Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/aswpp/

2. Grab a FREE copy of my book “Success Secrets of a Professional Photographer”
Email me bernie@berniegriffiths.com

3. Join the Membership Group  which includes “one on one” coaching.

4. Work with me with ”one on one” to grow your photography business to $100,000+ Email me a message with the subject line “Private” and tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on, and I’ll send you all the details!

Let’s have a FREE Zoom session where I can give you a plan of action for your business growth.

Simply email me bernie@berniegrifiths.com with the subject line FREE ZOOM

So Why Do You Want To Have Your Own Photography Business?

How about just working the hours that you want?

Having a holiday whenever you feel like it? Having freedom? Making a great income? Working the hours that you want?

When you become a professional photographer, you are no longer just a photographer! You are a marketer, salesperson, accountant, Photoshop and Lightroom expert, copywriter, customer relations person and business owner.

Your destiny is well and truly in your hands!

Photography is becoming increasingly competitive, so it’s essential to be savvy with your marketing to keep a constant flow of customers coming in the door.

Many people think they’re a professional photographer, but they cannot manage to maintain a steady flow of income.

Having creative talent is just not enough – there are too many struggling photographers, because photography can be a tough and competitive business.

Photography, like any business, requires a good marketing plan, expertise in handling customers and have good sales skills.

I have owned a photography studio specialising in weddings and portraits, for over 40 years, and now I am an International Photography Business Coach.

I feel that today’s photographers trying to break into the industry, do so without learning the basic business principles needed to succeed.

So many people pick up a camera and with little or no experience in the photography industry call themselves professional photographers, simply because someone commented on Facebook that they take amazing photos and could make money from it.

To experienced professionals, this is one of the leading causes of frustration as it creates a lack of respect for the industry.

There are many different ways that photographers operate their businesses. It may be from a commercial property or from home, but the principles for business success remains the same.

A solid business foundation is vital if you are starting a photography business if it’s to be successful in the long run.

So what are the materials that we have to gather to build that foundation for a successful business in photography?

You should have a simple structured price list that leads the customer to buy your core products, which in turn will help maximise your sales.

Forget what you would like the customer to buy. Let them decide on what they want based on the information that you have given them.

Do not prejudge what the customer can or cannot afford. Don’t think that the customer doesn’t have the money to invest a lot in photography. This is a big mistake. I have known a customer deprive themselves of a new car, choosing rather to spend thousands with me, on family photographs.

By not prejudging a customer, you can open your mind to the possibility that this customer will come back again and again over the years. Let your presentation be carried by this excitement, enthusiasm, and belief.

If you dress for success, the customer is more likely to take your higher prices seriously. I don’t mean over the top, but I do mean that you should dress professionally. Whether you are male or female dress appropriately at all times. It will have a positive effect on you, your business and your value.

You must practice your selling system. I used to role-play with friends or staff members, to perfect my presentation, right up to getting the money. You must build your confidence before you present yourself to your customers.

In my own business I developed a very effective yet simple Soft Sell System, which I now as a photography business coach, I teach my clients around the world with fantastic sales results.

A holistic approach is necessary because a photographers success depends on a multitude of factors all being present at the same time.

So what constitutes a solid foundation? There are four key areas to focus on to give your photography business base it needs to facilitate growth.

Positioning

You are trying to sell something intangible…something that doesn’t exist until you press the shutter and take the photographs, so you have to build trust.

What is positioning, and why is it so important?

It’s about Defining yourself and your business.

It’s about being professional in every aspect of your photography business.

We live in a world where we are exposed almost every minute with thousands of images, messages, ideas, and other people’s opinions.

You need to define yourself and your business so that you will feel more comfortable in your business and will have a clearer direction.

What is special about what you do, how you do it, what you believe in, and what you produce?

What makes you different from everyone else?

Do you offer a special service, or have a unique way of taking the photographs that give all of your images a different look.

I know in the good old film days I used to use a square format Hasselblad camera but so did lots of other photographers, so I bought a Hasselblad X Pan camera, and I used to shoot panoramic images throughout a wedding.

In my advertising material and all of my displays, I used these photographs to give me a point of difference.

Do you have a specific genre that you photograph?

Maybe you have an unusual studio location like in a church, or maybe you are on a large acreage in the country.

The general public is more and more feeling that they don’t need a professional photographer.

Maybe it’s because of all the “selfies” and such being taken with phones – the style of photography people are looking for has changed.

Products

Once you have your positioning in place, it is easier to choose the right products you want to sell.

With so many products available, like prints on fine art paper, framed collages of wall portraiture, boxes of matted prints, or silk canvas, you may find it overwhelming to try and pick the right products for your business.

Try to select Products that suit your Positioning and your Branding. In considering the types of products you should offer to your clients, it is also important to keep in mind the profit that you want to achieve. Could you maybe sacrifice a little bit of quality in buying a slightly cheaper product, for more profit?

You just need to source a product that your particular target customer wants.

When of the best suppliers I have found is Global Image Products. Their products stand out from the competition because they are price competitive, and also because of their uniqueness and quality. The Signature Portrait Box is the top best selling product for my clients, and the white gloss lacquer finish which radiates a rich quality is the most popular choice of the many portrait boxes available.

A lot of hard work needs to go into finding out what customers want, and this can be done by simply keeping a record of what each customer purchases, and then seeing what are the most popular products.

Pricing

Are your customers price- sensitive?

So the big question is ….

How do you set your prices?

Well, now that we have Positioned our business in the marketplace, chosen the Products that suit that positioning, we can now go about Pricing the products that suit your positioning.

Your pricing should be an evolving thing – just like the rest of your business.

At present, you probably aren’t charging enough.

OK there you go again saying but Bernie my customers are already whinging about my prices, how do you expect me to put them up.

Put your Positioning up, which will put your perceived Value up, which will start to get you a different client that values your photography.

If you simply don’t charge enough, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to make a profit.

Another reason photographers are hesitant to increase prices is their lack of confidence when setting their prices.

They don’t believe that they are worth it.

And let’s be honest.

Some photographers are not worth what they are charging.

It is all about balance.

Be realistic in fulfilling the needs of prospective customers and don’t fall into the trap of charging a little less than your competitors.

It is not a very strong business strategy and can lead to disaster.

The key to charging what you are worth is to make sure you deliver on your offering, because If you charge a lot and under deliver, your business probably won’t be around for long.

Don’t compete on price but rather start separating yourself from the pack.

If you can create a Point of Difference, your odds of converting your leads and getting good sales are way higher.

Getting your prices right is a key component in making money in your photography business.

I am often asked if you should put your prices on your website, and I personally don’t think that you should. Not a full price list anyway.

I would have a products page with images of your products in situ, and a starting price for each of those products.

Give more value (whether perceived or otherwise) than price, and the customer will pay the price.

Photography

Your photography needs to be compelling and fresh and to stand out in the crowded marketplace.

The state of photographic art is under fire right now – and many photographers are wondering what to do about it.

The art of taking photographs is changing, and photographers are asking me what’s going on. It seems that clients are looking for VERY specific things, and it’s causing some concern in the photographic industry.

To run a successful business in today’s competitive environment, you have to acquire skills in all areas of your business. You have to be not only a photographer, but a psychologist, accountant, time management expert, Photoshop wizard, an advertising expert, and an advertising executive, to name just a few. That’s a lot of hats!

It took me a few years to realise that my photography was only a small part of my business, and that to create a comfortable income, I had to get customers. Then I had to learn what sort of photographs to take, that my customers found irresistible and that they would buy.

Working from Home

Many photographers starting out, are choosing to work from home, and this trend is set to continue into the future, as more and more photographers take control of their passion for photography to create a profitable small business.

Photographers are willing to juggle their business and family life for a more simplified lifestyle that can bring rich rewards.

In making your decision to work from home, you have to realise that your personal or home life could intrude on your work, and vice versa.

The fact is that operating a photography business from home does need some know-how and discipline is needed to push you to focus on your work.

The good news is that working from home can provide you with a fulfilling career while being constantly around the family.

There are many other benefits, of course, and the best one is that if carefully planned and executed, your business can give you a high income.

Sure it’s a competitive market.

Of course, we’re dealing with budget brides and price shoppers.

And yes it will require hard work and solid commitment.

I have learnt so much over my many years of running a photography studio, that I was motivated to write a book. the book is called “Success Secrets of a Professional Photographer.” In the book, I reveal my strategies and secrets on how I sustained my own successful photography business for such a long period of time.

Final Words

If you are a passionate photographer, simply having creative talent may not be enough for you to build the photography business of your dreams.

Photography can be a tough and competitive business, and like any business requires a good marketing plan, expertise in handling customers and having good sales skills.

Having owned a photography studio specialising in weddings and portraits, for over 40 years, and now as an International Photography Business Coach, I feel the challenge for today’s photographers in trying to earn a good income from their photography is to learn the business principles that are needed to succeed.

Despite all the doom and gloom that lies around the photography industry at present, I believe that there has never been a better time than now, to build a Successful Portrait Business.

There are great financial and satisfying career rewards for those who persist, get the right advice, and follow their dreams.

Bernie Griffiths Photography Business Coach

Over 40 years of owning three successful wedding/portrait photography studios, Bernie Griffiths educates, coaches and mentors photographers around the world to help grow their businesses and create a better life.

LET”S CHAT ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS…..FREE ZOOM SESSION…..simply email me bernie@berniegriffiths.com with Subject line FREE ZOOM.

Are You Afraid To Even Try?

As a photography business coach, I teach a lot of photographers how to market themselves.

Some photographers think that Marketing doesn’t work for them, or that it is just not effective.

Some plan to do it “someday.”

And some just do it !

Which means, if you are one of those photographers who are really serious about starting or growing a photography business, then I have some great news for you.

I can help you!

My coaching programs allow you to subscribe with no long term commitment, making all of my Coaching Programs totally risk free.

Is it time to get going now before the year slips away?

Let this be the year where you made a decision to do whatever it takes to get your photography business going.

More info and to sign up……

berniegriffiths.com/what-you-get-from-membership

or email me bernie@berniegriffiths.com

These are a couple of photographers that you will meet in my INNER CIRCLE GROUP.

SO MANY WASTED YEARS

Kelli Wilke, Wilmington, Delaware. “Thank you Bernie. I wish I’d met you 20 yrs ago, I’d be retired :)I worked 2 hrs this weekend, Audra did a sales zoom Friday night for me, in 4 days I sold nearly $6500 and I really didn’t work much at all.. crazy. I want to refund all my weddings coming up and just hang out w my kids.  32 family sessions on the books. 20 headshots over a couple of days at 275 each without files for a company (I’ve never asked this much) 6 weddings still going forth with their plans 2020 was not as bad as I thought it would be”.

INCREDIBLE…

Chris Cottrell, Jacksonville, Florida.  “A few weeks before coming onboard with Bernie I booked a “Family on the Beach” photo session. Had I used my old pricing I would have made $545 with the photos they purchased and the session fee. They ordered 5 digital files, on a flash-drive, paid the invoice for $950, I dropped off the flash-drive this evening. With the session fee I made $1,145 for less than 5 hours work total!! Thank you Bernie. I can’t wait for my next IPS later this week – goal $2,000 sale!!”

If you own a failing Photography Business, or are starting a new one….

1. Grab a FREE copy of my book “Success Secrets of a Professional Photographer”

Email me bernie@berniegriffiths.com

2. Join the Membership Group just $149 a month which includes “one on one” coaching,

plus entry into Private Facebook INNER CIRCLE GROUP.

3. Work with me with ”one on one” to grow your photography business to $100,000 – $400,000.

Email me a message with the subject line “Private” and tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on,

and I’ll send you all the details!

www.berniegriffiths.com

+61418509228

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