Does Your Studio Need A Newsletter?

18 11 2010

Photography businesses have an advantage over most other businesses: they have amazing images that everyone is interested in and loves to look at.

So why not put those images to good use, and have them bring in business?

In today’s world, small business owners always talk about “cheap” or “free”. I’m a small business owner, and I too love tools I can use for free. But because most small businesses are resorting to using free tools, we’re also seeing a ton of opportunity in more traditional areas. And that includes newsletters.

How much junk mail comes to your home and/or studio these days?

For me, it’s diminished considerably. I love going through junk mail, and have found some great ideas by looking at other marketing campaigns. I even have a basket filled with junk mail – if it’s a great idea, I hang on to it so I can use it myself someday. But over the past 1-2 years, I’ve added very little to my basket.

So this screams of opportunity.

A newsletter isn’t something you mail in bulk to a mailing list. Instead, its something you send out to people that have a true interest.

  • Clients
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Members of your church
  • Vendors you work with
  • Prospects that call or email for more information
  • Lists of people that attend a charity event you participate in

Think about the newsletter you get from your local realtor. (I’m pretty sure you get something from a realtor – I get several myself.) They include a calendar with the local team’s schedule, tips on remodeling your home, and seasonal tips for keeping your home value up to date. You may even see neighborhood homes that recently sold, and what the value is. None of its personal, but it does give you good quality information that you can use.

Online Newsletter Resource

Use that same philosophy. Create a newsletter that People can use. Include fun tips about photography, or about your local area. Make it pertinent to your community. Then add the photographs. If you photograph weddings, load it up with your favorite images. If you shoot real estate, showcase your best work. Maybe even have a contest and show off the winner. Give a small prize to the winner, and you’ll have an even better promotion.

Still like the idea of going green? Give people that option. Put your same newsletter on your website, and email it out as well. Or change it up and put different information out online. Give them a reason for both.

The idea is to promote your business to the people that already love you – your clients and the people that know you best. Just by putting your information in front of them once in a while, you’re sure to get a whole new influx of business.

image source

Helping your photography business, how to start a photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Photographers – How To Stop Justifying Your Low, Low Prices

15 06 2010

How To Justify Your Photography Prices

I’ve been writing for years now, and have posts and articles all over the web. Every week I spend some time finding things people like, and reading the comments they place on some of my content. Some posts definitely bring in the comments more than others. Take this one for instance:

Wanted: Wedding Photographer with The Credentials of Annie Leibovitz and the Price Tag Of Wal-Mart

This one still stirs up the emotions in photographers. I’ve found everything from:

“Thanks – you’re right on target.”

To

“No way. People love me because I charge reasonable rates. I could never charge high prices for my photography, knowing what the final output costs me.”

So let me ask you a question. Is it okay that a surgeon makes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year?

  • He has educated himself in his passion
  • He studies continually
  • He works in a specialized industry that requires him to be good at what he does
  • He lives and breathes what he does
  • He uses his money to take care of himself and others

Most people wouldn’t argue with a surgeon making hundreds of thousands of dollars. After all, your life is in his hands – literally.

But the same can apply to any other industry. In any industry, including photography, you can find someone who is at the top of his or her field. Why?

  • He has educated himself in his passion
  • He studies continually
  • He works in a specialized industry that requires him to be good at what he does
  • He lives and breathes what he does
  • He uses his money to take care of himself and others

Start your education.
You don’t have to go back to college and get a degree in photography. But you do have to learn from the best. Do a quick search online, attend a conference like WPPI, or read a few magazines. You’ll quickly find a slew of top mentors that offer classes on how to become a better photographer. Don’t just shoot because you can make a few extra bucks. Shoot to perfect your photography, and choose to become better every day.

Stop being average.
If you do what everyone else does, you’ll get the same results they get. The only way to be better than average is to quit striving for average. Ask yourself questions like, “What can I do to be the best photographer in my niche?” Take what someone else is doing and add more to it. That doesn’t mean give them more photographs at a cheaper price. It means give them more service to make them appreciate what you do. The problem we’re facing now is we have a whole lot of average, so we don’t even know how to find the WOW. Give a little bit more, and you’ll soon be the talk of the town.

It’s okay to make money.
“I would feel guilty if I charged someone $20,000 for a wedding, or $50 for an 8×10.”

Why? Does the surgeon feel guilty about charging thousands of dollars for his services? If you have the experience and the talent, have built up your reputation, then by all means charge what you can. It really is okay to make money doing what you love.

Making more money means you can use it to improve your lifestyle. You’ll no longer have to live paycheck to paycheck, or worse, wondering how you’ll pay the rent.

Making more money can open you up to new ideas. You can give more when you have more to play with.

And it can also allow you to see and change the world in a whole new way. It feels good to be able to give back or start up a charity. And if the surgeon comes to you for a portrait, he would never agree to spend $50 for a session and prints – he expects things to be at his caliber. He makes a healthy income, and he expects you to do the same.

Related posts:

  1. Why Can Photographers Command Such High Fees? Number 9 (9.261) [I recently posted an article entitled, 10 Reasons Professional Photographers…
  2. 3 Ways To Stop Quitting (8.523) I met with a photographer over the weekend that will…
  3. Photography Studio – Going Out Of Business (8.436) How long can a photography studio stay in business if…
  4. The Pendulum Swing Of Photography (8.284) Think of how a pendulum works. It slowly swings back…
  5. Why Can Photographers Command Such High Fees? Number 1 (7.756) [I recently posted an article entitled, >10 Reasons Professional Photographers…




25 Questions That Will Make You A Better Photographer

28 05 2010

Questions That Will Make You A Better Photographer

Today I found a great blog post entitled 50 Questions That Will free Your Mind. As I read through them, each one made me think a little differently, and allowed me to expand on the direction I want to take my personal and professional life over the coming years. It really is a great list – one that I think you could read through every day, and gain something new from it.

So after I read through each question a couple of times, I started thinking about what it would take to become a truly happy, successful photographer. What questions would you have to answer to set down the path for this endeavor? This is the list I cam up with.

1. What’s holding you back from starting your photography business?

2. What steps would it take to go from part time to full time?

3. How many clients have you made happy this week?

4. What makes your photography different from other photographers in your niche?

5. What do you love more than anything?

6. If you could do something all day long, and not have to worry about money, what would you do?

7. What would your perfect client look like? What type of photography would they be interested in? How much would they spend?

8. What photographer do you most admire? What steps could you take to make them your mentor, and follow in their footsteps?

9. You’ve taken a great picture. What would make it better?

10. What words could you use to tell your customers how special they are to you?

11. What words do you want to hear from your customers when they talk about your photography?

12. What’s your favorite store? Why? How can you bring their ideas into your own business?

13. What does your ideal workday look like?

14. What does your ideal workweek look like?

15. If you knew you only had 10 years left to live, how much action would you take to make your photography dreams a reality?

16. What’s more important, being a great photographer, or having a successful studio?

17. What could you do this week that would bring you closer to your goals? Don’t have goals? What could you do this week to set your goals?

18. What do your friends think of your idea of having a full time photography studio? Are they holding you back?

19. What group or place could you visit this week to bring in one new client?

20. What could you do to make sure you are on track to make your photography dreams a reality?

21. What are you doing differently today than you did one month ago? One year ago?

22. What do you want to be doing differently one year from now?

23. Where could you find an extra 30 minutes today to do something towards making your photography dreams a reality?

24. In 5 years, how do you see yourself spending your perfect day?

25. When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

What would you add?

Related posts:

  1. The Missing Ingredient To Your Photography Dreams (11.936) Last night we had dinner with some very dear friends….
  2. Don’t Compare Yourself To The Wrong Photographer (10.262) The economy isn’t good. The news can make you down…
  3. Are You Facing Photographer Burn Out? (10.221) Your dream has always been photographing. Your true desire is…
  4. Dreaming Big – Using Photography to Achieve it (10.196)   Wouldn’t it be nice to take the family to…
  5. Creating Your Photography Business Plan (10.172) Did you know a business with a plan is twice…




Understanding The Prospects and Clients That Visit Your Website

1 02 2010

What do they want?

When people visit a website they have a purpose in mind. The problem is each person that visits your site may have a slightly different purpose. How do you know what will reach them? How do you know what should be on your site to attract quality, potential customers?

Take a look at these 10 characteristics of a quality, lead generating website that gains attention.

1. Easy to follow directions. Your navigation is the direction to your site. Does it make sense to your visitor? Do they know where to move to next?

2. A sales presentation. Your site is your sales team; create enough information throughout your site’s pages to inform your visitors of pertinent information. They want to see more than photographs – that’s a great start, but give them copy as well.

3. Detailed information on everything you do. People don’t always enter your site from the home page. They may have a desire for fall portrait sittings, and enter through one of your back pages. Does each page properly identify you, and provide enough information to keep them moving from page to page? Read the rest of this entry »





25 Ways To Generate Leads For Your Photography Business

6 02 2009

1. Submit your stock images to one of the many online stock agencies such as IStockPhoto. Stock companies allow you to build a bio page, and list links to other sites and information. Use this to selectively promote yourself to people that enjoy your work.

Generate additional income for you photography business 2. Send a press release to your local paper submitting a story idea. Newspapers, television, and radio shows are always on the lookout for a good storyline. Provide them with a story that’s relevant to the season, and makes for good news.

3. Visit a local networking group and offer to photograph the group for the website. Many of today’s networking groups have a website to promote their services. Adding photographs provide a personal touch, and will allow you to capture attention as a photographer.

4. Send out letters to your past clients with a new promotion. Your best client is a past client. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

5. Visit a local chamber of commerce and sign up for the next networking group. Your chamber of commerce offers a variety of groups for you to network with. Choose a few groups and visit them to make a handful of new connections.

6. Find a complementary business willing to hang samples in their offices. Provide them several framed images at no cost. Because these images will potentially hand in the office for many months, make sure you use your best work, and provide top quality in both mounting and framing.

Read the entire list>>





Set goals to grow your photography studio’s sales

17 01 2009

Set your goals to grow your photography business.

Once you see your future, it’s easier to put it into place. Start out by writing your general goals on a piece of paper. For example, if one year from now you see yourself with 20 portrait or wedding clients, each spending $10,000 USD, write that goal down.

These are your large goals. But large goals are hard to achieve because they are so large. 20 portrait or wedding clients at $10,000 each sounds great, but if you are having trouble getting one client through our doors, these 20 can be a monumental goal.

Underneath this large goal, start breaking it down into more manageable tasks.

  • Attend a networking function in and out of the photography field.
  • Increase my prices.
  • Offer bigger packages – Alway keep them want the largest.

Write down as many tasks as you can think of that will help you achieve your goal. Do this for every goal you have.Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Photography – 7 Easy Ways To Bring More Money To Your Bottom Line

10 01 2009

As a photographer, you ultimately have three ways to make money.

1. Bring in new clients

2. Sell more to each client

3. Bring in the client again and again

family portrait Bringing in new clients is your most difficult way of selling. Because they have no experience with you, they’re less likely to trust you. It takes awhile to build that trust.

Once a client is happy, it’s easier to bring them in again and again for more shoots. They know you, trust you, and understand the entire process. Yet in this economy, even bringing in existing client may be a little more difficult to do.

Instead, make 2009 the year you sell more product to each of your clients. If they are in your studio, like what they see, it’s your job to sell them what they truly need. Let’s look at 7 ways you can increase the bottom line of each and every client.

1. Sell duplicates at lower prices. If the bride gets a 60 page 10×10 album, why not sell a duplicate 5×5 album to her mom. The work’s already done; its just a matter of ordering two different sizes.

2. Put the images to a digital frame. Make sure its priced right and won’t destroy potential sales. Or make it incentive for a certain level of purchases.

3. Sell video presentations. The world is visual – make it easy for your clients to buy in any format they choose. You can sell your videos to your client, make it incentive for larger photos, or go viral by offering it online.

4. Sell collages. With Photoshop, there are so many ways to display images. Give your clients discounts for the more they buy.

5. Start up a payment plan. Stretch the payments out several months to make it reasonable for your clients.

6. Put together quick, informal books at weddings and events, and present it to your clients the day of the event. It will build their excitement in anticipation for the real thing.

7. Mat multiple images, and put them into an art box.

What are your ideas? What do you do to increase sales within your business?

photo source Jayray24





Photography Studio – Going Out Of Business

25 06 2008

How long can a photography studio stay in business if it isn’t making any money?

I came across a photography site today in which the photographer had listed prices. I won’t use names – but I guarantee you can find prices like this on many, many different sites.

Event fee $300, includes photographer and assistant for 3 hours of time, plus a DVD with images. Additional hours available as needed.

So let’s do a few calculations.

$300 for 3 hours of work – that’s $100 an hour

Let’s assume an hour each before and after the event getting organized – down to $60 an hour

Let’s assume 3 hours of meeting time to book the client and to deliver the DVD and final products – down to $37.50 per hour

Let’s assume 2 hours of production time, transferring raw images to computer, editing and burning DVD – down to $30 per hour

Normal business expenses:

  • Vehicle
  • Gas at $4 per gallon – depends on the distance of the event
  • Camera equipment costs
  • Costs of brochures, business cards, paper, envelopes, advertising – everything to bring in the clients
  • Rent
  • Office supplies
  • Phone expenses
  • Utilities

Okay, with all of those expenses to add up, I’ll be conservative and say it costs about $30 per hour – which means we’re now down to $0

Oh, and did I mention that there are two people at the event – which means you have to pay that second person per hour – I guess we’re now into the negative.

And does this person really have a chance of making a huge additional sale? They are giving away the DVD, so I think chances are pretty low.

Becoming a professional photographer means you have to make money. You have to give yourself a profit, and pay yourself for your expertise.

If you don’t, you’ll be hanging that Out Of Business sign very soon.

What can you do? Charge what you’re worth, and charge to run a profitable business. One of the reasons our studio became a Six Figure success in under two years is because we charged what we were worth for our services. We made sure our expenses were completely covered – including our own salaries – and made a healthy profit on top of it all.

It doesn’t take luck to become a Six Figure Photographer. It takes business planning. What are you doing to guarantee your success?








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94 other followers