Marketing & Sales Secrets For Charles Lewis
Photographic Members ONLY!

 5 Secret Tips and Techniques For Easily Improving Your Marketing & Sales Results

by:  Charles J. Lewis

        Most people feel that the "job" of their marketing and advertising is to get the phone to ring. 
     That's not true for photography.  You see, in an artistic, custom created product and service such as photography, we don't just want the phone to ring like crazy, because we don't have the time to answer it that much anyway.  What we want, is to have the phone ring quite consistently, year round, with QUALIFIED POTENTIAL BUYERS - people who want to work with us, and are willing to do business our way. 

The Real "Job" of your marketing is to get the phone to ring with highly qualified people. 

People who already know something about you, and already want to work with you, before they even make the call.  This makes the "sale" on the telephone much easier, and more brief.  This also helps reduce the number of calls you are getting from people who don't know anything about you, and are therefore more difficult to "book."

In this article, I'm going to share with you some of the lesser-known secrets to making your marketing and selling more effective, making your callers more qualified, and making it easier for you to "book" those people who are calling you as a result of your marketing, and then increase your total sales to them, as well.

     You see,  the really big money in photography, isn't in the photography.  It's in the marketing and selling of the photography!  This is precisely why I spend so much time talking about the marketing and selling.  It's where all the money is!  Yes, you do need to have a good product and service, but the really big money is in the great marketing and selling.

Who cares how "good" you are, if no one knows you exist!?

Let's talk about some powerful "marketing and selling secrets" that will help you earn the kind of money you deserve.

     1.  Target the super-high probability prospects.
     I built my studio on working with the upper middle class.  Yes, because I became very well known in my town, by using the techniques I discuss each month in this article, I do also work with some of the upper class.  But most of my clients are the upper middle class.
     You see, it's not just about the money.  You're looking for the people who really love each other.  They may have to put their purchases on a payment plan.  Or they may have to use your lay-a-way plan.  But they will invest more than you would expect.  Why?  Because they really care about each other, and want something really special.  These are the "super-high probability prospects."
     So, how do you find these great clients?  You exhibit your work all over town.  I know, you've heard this from me before.  But let me ask you,  how many exhibits do you have?  And are they in high traffic, high volume locations where your TARGET MARKET will see them?

My target market is the following:

 Female.  Age 35 to 55.  Married with children.  Middle class or upper-middle class.  Appreciates things which are really finely created.  Truly loves and is passionate about her family, and is willing to do business my way.
     So you exhibit your images in the restaurants, malls, hair salons, movie theaters, stores,  where such females will frequent.  Plus,  I have a Symphony Exhibit and a Ballet Exhibit which are on display at every performance, and which also travel around the community in malls, and other highly visible locations.  These appeal to the really artistic people in the community.
     Then, on those exhibits, you place "Lift Cards"  (NOT BUSINESS CARDS!) which are designed to get people to "raise their hands" if they are interested in the possibility of having a fine portrait created.  (Or fine wedding photography created.)
      2.  Be ruthless.  Sequence.  Don't quit with the first offer.
     Then, when the prospects "raise their hand" and say they are sort of thinking about maybe having a nice portrait or wedding photography created, you SEQUENCE a series of carefully crafted sales letters and "Testimonial Brochures" to them.
     Most photographers quit way too early.  It's a fact.  If you do a three sequence mailing, the 2nd and 3rd mailings together will usually produce about the same or a little more results than the first mailing did.
    3.  Build a truly Irresistible offer.
     There's a common saying in the direct marketing business which goes like this:  "No offer means no response."  If you want responses.  If you want people calling you, you must have an offer.  And the more irresistible it is, the more calls you will receive.
     What makes an "irresistible offer?" 
     a.  Exciting savings.  This is the most common type of offer.  "Respond by a certain date, and get a discount of such and such amount."  It works. 
     b.  Very limited time - deadline date.  This is an important key.  Every offer MUST have a deadline.  A specific date when it expires.  No expiration date, or an expiration date which is too far into the future, will mean no response, as well.
     c.  Bonus gifts and/or premiums for quick response.  This really helps the response.  It makes the offer much more exciting.  But be careful here.   I don't recommend you give away your photographs.  Those are priceless.  Your images are what your career is all about.  I recommend you give away something else.

There are two types of bonus gifts or premiums.

     1.  Linked.
     2.  Non-linked.
     The "Linked" bonus gifts or premiums are like frames, or special folios, or a special treatment of an image, such as a water color treatment, etc.  They are directly linked to your product and service.
     The "Non-Linked" bonus gifts or premiums have nothing whatsoever to do with photography.  Such as movie theater tickets;  Symphony tickets;  Dinner for two at a nice restaurant; a beautiful bouquet of flowers, etc.
     In our experience, both the linked and non-linked premiums and bonus gifts work well to increase response.
     d.  Piling on.  This means you make the offer truly irresistible by piling on so many products, services, premiums, etc. that the prospect just can't say no.  She has to respond.
     Just remember.  The more irresistible you make your offer, the better the response will be.  Boring, dull, non-exciting offers produce boring, dull, non-exciting results.
     4.  Do not go with a-la-carte.  Bundle
      Bundling is another way some marketers refer to packaging.  This is where you put together special packages which are exciting to your prospect.
     1.  Put together a combination of items which look very attractive, rather than offering them just a-la-carte.
     2.  Then discount the total bundle substantially, from what it would be if she invested in it a-la-carte, but not so much that you don't make a good profit.  As mentioned above, the discount can be an "offer."
     5.  Upsell and add-on more aggressively and creatively.
     Upselling is very important in the photography business.  This is where you use your enthusiasm and excitement in the sales presentation room to help the client invest in more photography than she had originally planned on.
     Now, this is NOT PRESSURE.  It is NOT TRICKERY!  You do not build a long term, highly successful business by using pressure or trickery.  What I'm talking about here is simply good sales techniques to increase the total sale through upselling.
     For example, by using good projection techniques, you can almost ALWAYS help a client become happily involved in at least one size more adequate than what she thought she would get.  Why?  Because by projecting, and DOING IT EXACTLY PROPERLY!  (THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT!) You will be educating her and showing her just how fantastic her portrait will look in a nicer size!  Remember, you sell what you show!
     So be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that every person who does the selling in your studio, understands the importance of upselling to at least one size more adequate than the client originally thought about.  Also, be sure to ADD ON  frames for EVERYTHING she invests in.  And charge a really good markup for the frames!  (At least a 4 to 6 time markup, and preferably more) to cover the added time, etc. that will be required for you or your staff to do the framing.
     Here's another example of upselling or add on selling:  In our studio, we almost always add on what we call a "Love Grouping" to every client's sale.  After we get all the decisions on the wall portrait, we then get out the Love Grouping frames, and lay them out on the floor.  Then we project the image into the frame over the sofa, and point to where in the Love Grouping that image will appear.  This adds a HUGE amount onto the total sale!
    These are just 5 of the best ways to instantly improve your marketing & sales techniques.  More to come in future hot-tips!
Go For It!
Chuck Lewis


SHOCKING TRUE STORY - "Photographer's Lights SMASH Into Wedding Cake!" - In My Own Words - Chuck Lewis

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Photography Marketing & Sales Secrets

How To Bring In Lots Of Clients In A Steady Stream, and Make BIG MONEY Working 35 Hours A Week Or Less - All From Photography