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Photography MarketerpreviousFEATURED ARTICLE:

RULE #5 For A Successful Photography Business (part 1)

by: Charles J. Lewis
m.photog., cr.

 In my previous Quick Tip, I revealed and discussed "Photo Success Rule #4:  Never take advice from someone who is not where you want to be."  I gave you several very valuable tips on how to be sure you don't make this huge mistake that so many photographers make.

Now let's switch gears and talk about "Photo Success Rule #5.  It's a REALLY, REALLY important one - especially now, during this Recession, and SO MANY photographers make this mistake: 

  Photo Success Rule #5:  Who cares how great a photographer you are if no one knows you exist?

   You've heard me say it before, but I'll say it again,  "You are not a photographer, you are a MARKETER and SELLER of photographic services. 

   The more you keep that fact in the front of your mind, the more successful you will be.

Here Are The Top 7 Most Valuable "Secrets" For Marketing Success, That If You Take Action On Them Now, You Will Enjoy Enormous Photographic Success - FAST!;

 1.  Create a HUGE demand for your limited supply, and then control the volume of work you do with the price. 

I learned this from the great marketing guru Nido Qubein.  Before this, I thought that I didn't really have to do all that much marketing, since I was a one-photographer studio - how much marketing did I need to do?

 But I discovered that the secret is to really create a HUGE demand - by doing lots and lots of different types of marketing, so I could then control the volume of work I did with my prices.

 I'll be giving you what I consider the "best ways" to create a huge demand for your services in just a moment here.  The result: Your target market becomes very aware of you, on an ongoing basis, and your phone rings consistently, with qualified callers.

2.  The Best Marketer Wins - PERIOD.  And the single most effective way to market your photography is to have exhibits of your work all over town.

That's right.  There is NOTHING - not direct mail, not television, not radio, not anything - that can beat exhibits of your work for bringing in highly qualified potential clients.  Why?

 a.  Every exhibit of your work carries with it the IMPLIED ENDORSEMENT of the location where your exhibit is located.

 b.  It's the single most artistic way to present your work.

 c.  Exhibits allow people to closely examine and scrutinize your work, with no "salesperson" or other distraction.

 d.  Exhibits allow you to present your work the way it should be presented - in adequate sizes that truly show off your wonderful style.

 e.  You have complete control over exactly how each image looks - unlike a brochure or some other advertisement where you are totally at the mercy of the lithographer, etc.  Here, you can fully PhotoShop work and enhance your images, have them beautifully lacquered and framed so each one looks its very best.

3.  After exhibits, in my opinion, well crafted direct response marketing is the second best way to bring in qualified new potential clients.

 A lot of photographers feel direct response marketing is too expensive - but that's because they don't know how to get it to work.  They send out all sorts of things, that are poorly written and are not compelling and persuasive.  Here's a few quick pointers for you:

 a.  The more you tell, the more you sell.  Longer copy, if well written and interesting, almost always outsells shorter copy.  It's true.

 b.  Have a double readership path.  Some people are readers, others are skimmers.  Write for both types.  Use lots of bolded "subheads" which contain the main BENEFITS of your message.

 c.  The headline is the most important part of your piece.  The headline must stop your target market dead in her tracks.  It must contain a clear benefit.  It must get her to read the first sentence of the message.  So work hard on that headline, it's very important.  And NEVER write anything that doesn't have a headline.  It's the "ad" for your ad or sales letter.

 d.  Talk in terms of benefits - always benefits.  What's in it for her?  Why should she call you? 

 e.  Stories sell, facts only tell.  Always include a few emotional stories (since people invest in photography for emotional reasons.)

 f.  play up the guarantee - it's very important.  The easiest way to get someone to respond to you is to give them an iron clad guarantee which removes all the risk from them, and places it firmly on you.

 g.  the most important thing is to be persuasive, not pretty.  People miss this one all the time.  You like pretty.  But pretty isn't nearly as important as persuasive.  So use headlines.  Use subheads.  Use lots of words.  Not just attractive photographs.  The day where just making an ad or a sales letter pretty and having it work well, those days are long gone.

 h.  A big decision is made up of a series of little decisions.  Don't ask too much of your marketing pieces.  All you want her to do is call you, or go to your web site, or call your recorded message hotline.  You're not trying to sell her a wall portrait in this piece.  And don't try to get her to decide to book with you before she even calls you.  Just ask her to call - that's all.  And then take it from there.

That's it for today.  In my next "Quick Tip" I'll continue with the rest of these 7 valuable marketing secrets that will make you piles of money during this Recession.

 Just please remember, every day of your career - "Who cares how 'good' a photographer you are if no one knows you exist!"

All the best,


Charles J. Lewis,  M. Photog., Cr.


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