Photography Marketing Tip of the Week

Creating a marketing system for your photography business is flat-out daunting. With so many different aspects to think about coupled with the seemingly endless array of marketing media to utilize, it’s no wonder that most photographers don’t even have a marketing system.  And for those that do, it generally consists of “word of mouth.”

While this strategy may get you by from time to time, it will not allow you to fully grow your business and realize its entire potential.  You need a marketing system that covers each marketing stage from generating traffic to producing leads to closing sales and orchestrating referrals.

The good news?  The framework is the same for nearly all photographers. And we have laid them out for you. Contrary to popular belief, your business is not different. All industries go through the same seven stages to make a sale and to grow. They are:

  1. Attract Traffic
  2. Capture Leads
  3. Nurture Prospects
  4. Convert Sales
  5. Deliver & Satisfy
  6. Up-Sell Customers
  7. Get Referrals

Marketing-Lifecycle

While I don’t have the time to jump into each of these sections in detail, I do want to discuss the first one of Generating Traffic.

Attract Traffic

As a photographer, you want the whole world to know of your amazing work and benefit from your mad skills.  I know I did!  But trying to market and reach everyone isn’t the strategy for success. In fact, it’s one of the worst things you could do.

Why?  Because it would be crazy expensive to reach everyone. Because there are LOTS of people that you really don’t want to work with (nightmare clients that demand all your time, are never satisfied, and are always trying to negotiate down your price). Because you aren’t the best solution to everyone’s needs. Because not everyone can afford you or your services. And the list goes on and on…

That is why you need to take the time and identify which people are your best clients and go after more people like them.  If you go back and review the clients you have had while you’ve been in business, you will see that there are certain types of people that you are naturally a better “fit” for.  Typically, these are those that trust you as the professional, are in need of what you specialize in, and don’t try and haggle you on the price.  You may have even had the thought…”if only I could clone that client…

Clone Your Best Clients

Well, you can.  It takes some time and effort to determine your ideal client and target market, but it’s possible and is absolutely mandatory if you want to grow your photography business like you’ve always imagined. For more info on how to do this, watch this 11-min. video I put together.  Or you can review the 3rd Game Changer: Identify Your Ideal Client as well.

After you know who you are going after (with lots of specifics like age, race, religion, income level, education level, interests, hobbies, etc.), it is so much easier to identify WHERE to market to find these types of people.

 

Example

For example, let’s say that you’re a real estate photographer specializing in photographing high-end, custom homes from $1 million and up. Would you think a radio ad to generate traffic? A TV ad? No, that would be a huge waste of money because the vast majority of people that would hear those ads are not realtors!  Big-time money suck.

Instead, you could purchase a list from a list broker of all the realtors in your target area that sell custom homes in that price range.  Yes, there’s the initial investment of purchasing the list (a few hundred bucks), but then you know that you are marketing to your ideal clients and not wasting money on people that aren’t even looking for your services!

Can you see how much more effective this is?? It automatically gives you a massive head start over those that are just trying to capture “anyone” out there. 

That’s the power of creating your marketing system.  It allows you to look at each stage in the client acquisition process and fine-tune all of your connection points to create a system that attracts traffic, captures leads, educates & nurtures those leads so that they become sales, delivers an outstanding experience, which leads to repeat business, upsells, and a boatload of referrals.  Sounds pretty good huh?  Nope. It’s freaking awesome!

Get started today.  You are going to need this system for 2015. Don’t stress about getting everything perfect the first time, either. There will be many things you are going to want to change as you gain more insight and information from your prospects and clients. But the great thing about having ‘something’ in place is that it becomes easier to tweak and update as you go along, as opposed to having nothing.

Marketing Lifecycle Worksheet Download : Because this is so vital to your long-term success as a photographer, I have put together a worksheet for you to download and use while you build out your own marketing system.  It identifies each of the seven stages and allows for room to write down thoughts and action-steps. You can download it HERE.

Here’s to making 2015 the best business year yet!