I get it, you know marketing, right? You’re so down with it. Your Insta has thousands of followers, your Facebook page is overloaded, your site + branding is BEAUT and you’ve refined your own visual style so uniquely, you have so many photographers following you that you’re practically tripping over them.
But still. Finding clients- well, yes, you have enquiries. But it’s not like they’re flooding in. And for some reason, people are still asking for discounts, and they’re still telling you that ‘we love your work, there is just someone else we are considering too…’.
And frankly, you don’t get it. Why, when you have all of these followers and such a beautiful site + work and you’re even kind of a big deal, are clients not continually booking you at your maximum prices? why are you STILL not hitting your financial targets, and why oh –
Why does this job still seem like HARD WORK to you at times? Surely it should be starting to get a little easier now?
Listen. There are probably a zillion reasons for why your business isn’t working for you right now. Perhaps your work needs looking at objectively. Perhaps your style isn’t as unique as you think and you need to invest in doing much more personal work to ensure that develops. (I endured YEARS of practical TORMENT at uni during my degree course, continual Crits and Portfolio Assessments where I would just go home and cry into my pillow. Yep, that happened on a regular basis. I almost quit, but didn’t. But the point is, that time at uni was spent PURELY doing personal projects. Personal work on subjects of my own choosing. THAT’s what gets your your personal style.
Yet nobody seems to do personal projects anymore. Note – a styled shoot is not a personal project. It’s a styled shoot that gets your gorgeous images for your site, but unless you go there armed with a variety of new cameras, lenses, film types (if you are a film shooter) and are really prepared to PLAY and EXPERIMENT, it doesn’t count as ‘personal work’. If you want more of your own style, stop looking at other photographers. Go find your personal style by immersing yourself in YOU and your LIFE and your WORK outside of BOOKINGS).
But to continue with the list of why your business isn’t as easy as you would like it to be.
Perhaps you haven’t addressed your money mindset.
Perhaps you have no real grasp of the law of attraction.
Perhaps you spend so much time worrying about or bitching about other photographers or the industry or clients or lack of bookings that your focus isn’t even on your own business. The list is endless.
But more often than not, time and time again, I see photographers come to me and tell me their business isn’t working out quite like it is meant to, and I take one look at their website and say – ah ok. This is why.
Honey, you’re not down with marketing. Not the newest, most shiny forms of it.
And generally they say -what? but this is a brand new website! Or- but I love my logo!
Websites, logos, they all count towards an overall look, sure, but in marketing terms, they are so 1995.
THIS is the list of the seven MUST-HAVE marketing essentials that all photographers need right now, if you want to succeed.
One thing they all have in common? They are all ONLINE!
And this is because – drumrolllllll- your clients are all online.
I know, that’s not a genius statement right there, but apparently in creating business cards and creating shoots and workshops and drafting flyers and brochures and any-other thing we can think of that distracts from the actual point that we SHOULD be thinking about – hey! wait! Where ARE our actual clients and how can we reach them– we completely forget that obvious fact.
Everyone’s clients are online. From Facebook to Instagram to Pinterest to Forums to other sites, EVERYONE IS ONLINE!!! Which means that no matter who your target client might be they are ONLINE! So… again stating the obvious… you need to make sure that your ONLINE marketing reaches these people – and this goes WAY beyond having a pretty website + brand!
You HAVE to use these modern marketing tools if you want your business to be all that you want it to be!
The 7 marketing NEW tools every photographer needs to succeed
1- A list
2- A sign up box
3- An free opt-in offer
4. Pop up or sign up bar
5. A newsletter
6. Good content
7. Paid product for related audience.
+ this is how they work.
1. Visitor finds you via a search or on social media, because your GOOD CONTENT (6) has got you high up the Search results, or seen when shared on social media.
2. When reading your GOOD CONTENT they find it quite interesting, so the sign up via either your Hello bar or your sign up box.
3. They do this because they spot you’re giving them something they really want + need + will find useful (your FREE OPT-IN).
4. When they do this they get automatically added to your LIST
5. Now, every time you send out an email letting people know some more amazingly useful info or inspiration, they are reminded you exist, because you place this very good stuff into a NEWSLETTER. (Remember a newsletter isn’t about you. It’s about what YOUR AUDIENCE wants).
6. Your reader + audience then also begins to get to know you a little more via your NEWSLETTER and start to look forward to your mails. This is called building a relationship based on TRUST. And it starts with them getting to know you. (this is the part where Internet marketing starts to get way deeper than what is just seen on the screen. You can find out more here
7. After the booking. All of those clients who booked you, loved you, completely forgot about you three years later? (and they will, trust me. Especially after babies arrive. Nobody remembers anything after a baby arrives). Well guess what. There you right in their inbox on a regular basis, reminding them that you exist and are truly fantabulous.
You might drop those people on your list an email about a photography offer you have decided to run, you let them know it’s a limited offer, and they think it sounds good. They might buy, they might not. They also might refer you to someone else, or share your offer, if it isn’t of interest to them (eg if you are solely a wedding photographer, etc). If they aren’t in your inbox, how on earth will they know you are running an offer / that their incredible photographer just got featured again on SMP / that you still write articles about drop-dead-dreamy lifestyle inspiration that is STILL relevant to them because it gives them beautiful escapism? (not to mention that generally us humans are actually a pretty nosy species). TELL THEM! MAKE THEM SIGN UP TO YOUR LIST!
8. Just like they might also return back to your blog when you tell them there is something for them on there (article of interest). While they are there, they will also see all of your gorgeous new work. They will be reminded to book that family shoot they have been meaning to do for years. Or book that anniversary session. Or share your incredible tip sheet on how to pose for portraits. Etc.
9. Steps 6-8 repeated. And what these people become eventually over time are your true FANS. They recommend you, share your stuff, book your sessions and / or share them with others. They follow you on social media and like everything you do.
oh, and not forgetting step 10,
10. Your fabulous paid passive-income product, which not only builds your list, establishes your further as an expert, drives traffic to your site, and raises your profile- but also generates a lovely income for you, even while you sleep (byebye dry spells).
And this in a nutshell is internet marketing. It’s how you reach your clients, and market to them, without them even realising they’re being marketed to.
Because you’re building a relationship with them and the best thing is they even SIGNED UP to be marketed to – they TOLD you they want to receive your marketing because they signed up to receive it!
They put a big fat yes into your inbox!
So if you are keen to try to work with this straight away, these are the tools I use which you can use too.
I was using Mailchimp to create and maintain my mailing list, but am in the process of switching over to Aweber. It is slightly more expensive, but trust me it is worth it! And it still only works out at $19 a month. Which is probably the cheapest way to advertise I have ever come across.
Hello bar is a great thing to put on your site to encourage people to sign-up.
I learn to write good copy from READING! If you want to be a good copy writer, read the kind of articles you would like to write, every single day, until the forumla sticks into your brain. Or evaluate some articles you love, why do you love them? What words did the writer use to persuade you? Are they emotive, factual, descriptive? How do they describe their prices? (Copyblogger.com is a great place to begin and I also love writers like The English Maven and Ash Ambirge who are copywriting Queens).
Cynical of how these new marketing strategies might work for you?
don’t understand yet why your clients would want to hear from you in their inbox?
Or wondering why a wedding client would still want emails from you after she has tied the knot, or why a newborn client would still want to hear from you after their children had grown?
This is exactly what I’ve been talking to you about recently.
You either have a lack mentality, in which case you’ll read this post, think of all of the ways it would never work for you, why your clients wouldn’t want it; and all of the excuses you can as to why you don’t need it; XYZ big name photographer has never needed one, you’re busy enough anyway; and then you’ll come up with the excuses as to why you definitely can’t do this right now. (Too time consuming, you’re too busy. Cost very definitely isn’t an excuse here, because these are marketing tools that you can use that are almost all entirely free).
You’ll kills those excuses stone dead, because you have an abundance mindset. You’re open and willing and ready to learn, to try new things. You realise that the very reason you’re here, reading the words on this page is because deep down you realise that you want to see change in your business.
So try something new. Be ready to embrace change. Understand that old marketing – the business card, the sales pitches, even that old-new-old favourite the facebook page – all pretty much dead in the water). Let’s face it, facebook reach is about ten per one hundred people on your page, and what’s to say those ten people aren’t your parents and grandparents and some random guy who gets paid to spam-like facebook pages?)
Your client is ONLINE though, so all you have to do is set up a super smart internet marketing strategy to be able to reach them and it’s SO cheap and easy, and it’s the exact 7 pieces I labelled above.
YES you need to go away and figure how how to use them, and how to use them to your maximum advantage (or join us over in shininglights because that’s exactly what we are learning this month).
But isn’t the potential result worth it?
The bride who got married? She still loves beautiful wedding day inspiration. She might have even loved planning her wedding so much that she is now planning a career in it. Plus, as you were her photographer she loves receiving your weekly updates.
Or perhaps she decided not to choose you as you weren’t available or too expensive or whatever reason, but she still loves your beautifully touching + inspiring + uplifting emails.
When her friends get engaged – who do you think will be absolute top of her mind to refer and recommend? Perhaps she couldn’t afford your full day wedding package but thanks to your newsletter she can book in for an anniversary shoot, or a newborn shoot.
Perhaps you are a gifted writer, and it’s just purely the power of your words that she is drawn to. Perhaps your words are soft, and soothing; perhaps your topics are rare and precious; perhaps what you write about is so much more than photography and weddings or photography and babies or photography and whatever your specialism is. Perhaps your words transport her back to a time and place of otherworldly beauty.
This is just ONE example of ONE type of client who might like to receive your emails! You could probably figure out how this could work for you and YOUR clients.
And it will.
Because it worked in my business. It works right now in every single industry online -wherever you see a popup box, or are given a ‘freebie’, or you see anything where you fill out your details to receive more info.
Why not borrow what these internet marketers know?
Do you have anything to LOSE by trying these things? They will take you a week at most to learn and implement. And they are low-cost and easy to use.
Writing a good blog post isn’t difficult. Writing a good newsletter isn’t hard.
But the results are – you are pushed MUCH higher up the search engines, more clients stand a chance of finding you, you get to stand out in a sea of same-ness and identi-kit websites and styles, you get to really CONNECT with your clients and build long-lasting relationships with them, and earn bookings and referrals in the easiest way possible!
Isn’t that WORTH it?
Take the risk. Try something new. Realise that all of your clients are online, and use online marketing techniques to reach them.