When You First Dreamed Of Starting Your Photography Business…
When you first dreamed of starting your photography business, how did it look?
Lots of time photographing fun clients you enjoyed working with? A bit of time at the computer editing and doing your admin, but not too much?
I remember working offshore in the oil industry. I used to work on subsea construction ships and we were working on a big project in the Gulf of Mexico at the time.
It was a job I had once loved but had come to hate.
Not great when you’re stuck at sea for a month at a time with no escape.
I used to go back to my cabin after a 14-hour shift and watch Dane Sanders Simple Photo Minute Podcast.
Who remembers that?
He’d show these photographers enjoying a great lifestyle, having fun on shoots in that gorgeous Californian light during the golden hour, and it reignited my long forgotten 15-year-old dreams of being a professional photographer.
It was my escape, it fuelled my dreams.
Little did I know that my reality was going to be very different.
The Reality of A Photography Business
I knew that living in Scotland I wasn’t going to get that same beautiful light, or the fabulous weather, of course.
But the reality of constantly hustling for work, spending time doing admin, bookkeeping, networking, learning tech so that I could do my website, learning new skills, editing, learning album design, getting my head around suppliers software systems?
They didn’t show that on Dane’s podcast!
I wasn’t that stupid that I’d expected all I would be doing was taking photographs, running around having fun and collaborating with other photographers.
But I wasn’t prepared for what turns out to be the harsh reality for so many photographers.
Spending most of your time working in your business, a job that’s more demanding and pays less than the job you just escaped.
Sacrificing time with my loved ones, my friends.
Sacrificing life, enjoyment to chase a dream that just seemed to be getting further and further away the harder I tried, the more I invested.
You don’t even get to spend much time doing what you love – taking photographs.
The irony is, it needn’t have been like that for me.
And it doesn’t have to be like that for photographers now.
What I didn’t know back then was that there are 7 simple steps to creating the prosperous and successful photography business that you dreamed of.
Step #1: Know And Attract Your Perfect Client
I’m not talking about how old are they, what car do they drive, where do they live.
If you want to a create deep, meaningful connection with your market – so they instantly and automatically see YOU as the trusted authority – you need to be able to do one thing:
You need to be able to articulate their struggles, desires and obstacles even more vividly than they can.
When they believe you understand them and their challenges, what they truly desire – only then will they trust you enough to hear your solution.
What are the biggest fears, desires and obstacles of your ideal prospect?
Step #2: The Proven and Simple Recipe That Fixes Your Marketing
FACT: Marketing has changed.
But human nature doesn’t change.
What changes is HOW we communicate.
Have you ever wondered why your marketing, your website isn’t bringing you more enquiries, more bookings from photography clients?
Are you still stuck using marketing that worked decades ago? When flash websites were all the rage and having a website with large images was novel, it stood out from the crowd?
That isn’t enough now. Flash may be nearly gone but just about every photographer has a website full of large images and not much else now.
It’s no longer enough to rely on your photography selling itself.
That doesn’t work anymore.
If you doubt me, ask yourself how that’s been working for you?
Step #3: A Signature Service That Demonstrates Your Value AND Stands Out
Have you ever struggled to differentiate yourself from all the other photographers in your market?
Are you fed up with being compared on price?
The truth is most photographers struggle to stand out, to stop the price comparison, even though they are far more talented than their competitors who seem to be always busy.
If you’re not in high-demand for your photography, it’s likely due to the following:
1. Your services and products look and sound the same as every other photographer’s, so you are not appealing to your market…
2. You make it difficult for your market to afford you.
Step #4: Offers That Increases Sales & Profits
Make it easier for people to afford you, stop making it easy for people to say no based on price, or to choose a cheaper photographer.
You can still charge what your worth, earn the same profit or more…
One of the first things I do with my 1-2-1 clients is reposition their pricing.
Their bookings go up and so does their average sale value along with their profits…
Think about this, how many people do you know have paid for their iPhone or Smartphone in one payment?
I don’t know anyone. How many people would spend 700, 800, 1,000 pounds or dollars on a mobile phone if they were asked to make just one payment instead of paying it on contract?
Why not do things a little differently?
Step #5: The Perfect Invitation That Grows Your Audience
One of the biggest worries for me, when I had my photography business, was the uncertainty of my income, not knowing if I’d be able to pay my bills month to month.
My income was inconsistent. Unpredictable.
And it was because I never knew where my next client was going to come from.
That lead to me to bounce around, following “shiny objects”.
Which only made things worse.
The simple truth is that:
90% of prospects will say NO the first time you offer them something.
Most people will NOT buy when they land on your website.
Most people will NOT hand over money the first time you ask, or even the second or third.
And that’s natural, isn’t it?
We’re conditioned as a society to not buy impulsively, without getting to know that company or tradesman first.
…so why do most photographers ignore that and try to, “Score on the first date”?
If we know that around 90% or more of our prospects are not going to buy instantly, that means we need to do some metaphorical ‘dating’ first.
We need to invite them into our world and then court them…
Step #6: Nurtures Your Audience Into Raving Fans & Clients
Can you imagine, having an audience of prospects that you love helping… that know you, trust you and refer all their friends to you?
How much easier would it be for you to convert plenty of your audience into clients?
Sure, this takes a bit more work on your part first – I’m not offering any of that quick fix nonsense.
It’s a hyper-competitive market now. You’ve got to earn that trust.
No going around it, sorry.
But the really good news is that you don’t need a large list to make consistent and predictable income from it. It’s about the quality of your relationship with that list
Treat them well, build a strong relationship so that people look forward to hearing from you.
Stop Trying to Score on The First Date…
Step #7: Be Everywhere Your Prospects Are
The next step is to attract people into your world every single day.
There are 3 main ways.
1. Organic Traffic.
This is where you do the work, posting on social media, blogging etc to get more people seeing your content and join your audience.
This is what 99% of photographers rely on for traffic generation.
The problem is, it takes a long time, a lot of effort to make this work.
2. Paid Traffic
Paid advertising platforms, such as Facebook, Google, and Youtube, will take a small amount of your money, and in exchange will blast your content videos and blogs out to thousands of your targeted prospects.
The great news is that right now, it’s cheaper than ever to be seen by thousands of targeted prospects – literally within hours
This is an incredible opportunity – don’t miss it!
But don’t even think about trying it if you haven’t put the previous 6 steps in place.
3. Endorsed Traffic
Endorsed traffic is when another influencer or business shows your content to their audience.
Their followers learn about you, and some of them will choose to also join your audience.
You’re tapping into the reach and relationship that someone else has spent months or years building.
What’s more, their list will trust you more because you’ve come ‘endorsed’ by that person.
So this traffic converts more easily and there’s more chance of them becoming your paying customers.
So there you have it –
The exact system my clients have used to book more photography clients, grow their income and increase their profits.
Over and over again, the system works. Predictably and consistently.
Because it is based on time-tested principles and NOT on ‘what’s hot-now’ shiny tactics.
Follow these 7 Simple Steps consistently and you have NO CHOICE but to book more clients and grow your income
But you still have to take the first step…
I know you can do this.
I Know you are ready for it…
But are you willing?
If you want to see these 7 steps in more details, here’s a link to download the guide.
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