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Happy Clients Means Happy Holidays- Part 3

Create Your Promotion Plan Now that we’ve covered how to choose the holiday promotions that fit for your clients, and made sure those promotions make sense for your business, it’s time to create your promotion plan. Once you’ve chosen the products and services that you’re going to offer this holiday season, you should start getting the word out to ideal clients. Since you’ve already done the legwork to understand your clients- who they are, what they want and what makes them happy- you’ll be able to strategically market your holiday promotions. Choose the correct channels. Just as we explored in the Social Media Dispatch, different communication channels are effective at reaching different audiences. Because you’ve clearly identified your audience, you can focus on channels that

Price Objections: How to Deal

Statements such as, “Your prices are out of my budget” and “It costs too much” are the number one reasons for stalled sales. Yep, I said stall, not obstruction or objection. How do most of us respond when we hear these things? We get angry or offended or, worst of all, we drop the price! If you go that route, it pretty much implies that you were charging too much to begin with. So not only are you left with a potential client who doesn’t trust you, you lost some of your profit margin. But I digress. Potential clients complain about prices all the time. Heck, we even do this from time to time as consumers. When you realize why you ask these same questions

A Lesson for Portrait Photographers: Keeping Clients for the Long Haul

We all know that the world of wedding and portrait photography has become more competitive than ever. So how do we create a business that continues to thrive even in periods of economic downturn and industry turmoil? How do we win lifetime portrait clients by collecting and keeping them for the long haul? Not by continuing to beat the pavement year after year, constantly analyzing ROI based on old school advertising and traditional marketing, struggling for every new lead that comes our way! This, my friends, is not how I want to live, not how I want to run my business. I believe there is a simpler way, one that I have been living for years. It sounds simple and it is. Our businesses can thrive

5 Lessons Professional Photographers Can Learn From USPS

I hate the post office. I hate the hours, I hate the response time, I hate the entire thing. And if there’s one thing worse than the post office, there’s the post office in New York. It’s amazing how much of a difference one small letter can make. “Your package is shipping by UPS.” OK. That’s fine. I can live with it. I’ve had the random incident here and there, but for the most part, they get the job done. “Your package is shipping by USPS.” What a difference an “S” makes. I suppress the fear welling up in the pit of my stomach. I tell myself it will be alright. But the sweat beads and my skin grows cold. It’s a $1,000 order. That

What to do When Your Photography Clients Want to Negotiate

We’re living in the “day of the deal.” Many photography clients are eager to negotiate. Even high-end brides are looking for a “good deal.” Everyone wants to save a buck. It’s human nature; we feel good knowing we’re smart with our money. As small business owners, we shy away from negotiations because we assume it means someone doesn’t value what we do, or that we could lose out on a lot of profit. Sometimes, that’s not the case. It may simply be a client who wants to make sure they get the best bang for their buck, or they just like to negotiate in general. If you do your homework, you won’t lose out financially. First, decide whether or not you’re willing to negotiate. There are reasons why you

12 Questions to take Wedding Photography Pre-Planning to the Next Level

You’re the visionary, the service provider, the confidante and the photographer. When a bride hires you, she’s envisioning her wedding photos as the perfect reflection of her special day. If you’re like every wedding photographer I’ve ever met, nothing would make you happier than to exceed her expectations! Yet I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a bride say, “my photographer didn’t get XYZ and I really wanted that picture!” At the same time, what I hear photographers say is, “the bride was upset that I didn’t get XYZ, but how in the world was I to know she wanted that picture?” So many of these stories can be avoided by asking the right questions in the pre-planning stages. Based on all of

5 Rules for Better Website Design

Your website is your storefront, and in today’s marketplace it’s increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd in a virtual world. Consumers are bombarded with web-content on a daily basis, so keeping your audience’s attention is challenging. As a professional photographer, you may be working harder and harder to drive traffic to your website. Perhaps Facebook, Pinterest, and SEO are guiding prospective clients to your work, but once they are on your website are you able to keep them there? Making your website simple, easy to navigate, and user-friendly will increase your chances of converting visitors to fans, or (even better) paying clients. Consider 5 areas of website navigation and design: Tell them who you are: Post your logo and location in a highly-visible

Making the Move from Second Photographer to Primary Photographer

I am an earnest beginner. Just starting out. A weekend warrior. A never-been-to-art-or-journalism-school-photographer. A business owner who never imagined owning a business. As I wade more deeply into the wedding photography world, I am making the switch from second shooting to shooting weddings as a primary photographer. Along the way, I’ve focused on three things: craft, confidence, and clients. 1) Craft I don’t know about you, but I got into this business because I wanted to make beautiful, meaningful images for couples in love. If I can’t consistently deliver those, then I have no basis for being in business. Given this belief, my first step was to build a technical and artistic foundation for my business honing the craft of photography. Read. There are so many

How to be Irresistible to Ideal Clients

One of the biggest buzz phrases in photographers’ conversations about “branding” is the concept of your “Ideal Client.” We are repeatedly told to identify our ideal client. As a concept, this seems to makes sense. And it’s an easy thing to say! But how exactly do you do it? So let’s cut the crap and figure out why exactly your ideal client matters and how exactly to identify them. Identifying your ideal client matters for two reasons: 1) Your ideal client will help you reach your goals. Without the right client, you’ll never reach your goal of making X amount of money a year, or doing more destination weddings, being published on _______ blog or in ______ magazine, or even going full-time as a photographer.

Best Business Practices – Part 4

Spring is here, so we’re sharing a series of Best Business Practice posts featuring the team of ACEs. Get to know them and learn tips and tricks that will streamline your studio this season! As any ACE will tell you, you can’t do it all. Successful photographers understand this, which is why they are masters of time management. When building your business systems, use these time management tips: 1) Automate: Don’t waste time on monotonous tasks! Automation is as simple as creating template email responses to FAQs, automating invoice reminders, or setting up a standard workflow that you follow for each shoot. If you’re wondering how to start automating your studio, ShootQ is a great tool to help! It automates client correspondence, aspects of your workflow, and your other administrative processes. 2) Create a

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The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!