Using Social Media Coupons To Bring In More Business

2 10 2010

By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about Groupon – we did a post here back in December on using Groupon to bring in a ton of clients within one 24 hour period.

But it doesn’t have to be Groupon – there are many other social sites popping up, giving you an opportunity to showcase what you do and bring in new clients too.

Living Social
Living Social is connected to a variety of sites, including Facebook, and offers deals in a similar manner as Groupon. They have many major cities throughout the U.S., and a few in Europe as well.

Pricing Your Photography: How To Set Your Prices To Build A Six Figure Business.

Ever Save
Ever Save goes beyond local services, and offers a variety of products too. If the service isn’t local, head online, put in your code, and buy your deal at the discounted price. Their deals also stretch longer than a 24 period, meaning you don’t have to check in daily like Groupon or Living Social.
Read the rest of this entry »

Top 5 Business Mistakes Every New Photographer Makes

22 06 2010

Business Mistakes Every New Photographer Makes

Thinking of opening up a photography studio? Or maybe you have a studio, yet it isn’t bringing in much business. What can you do about it? What should you do to move forward, and what can you avoid?

Here are the top 5 business mistakes that I see every new photographer make.

1. Staying in the scared zone too long.
You want a client or two to build up your portfolio. You want some experience before you raise your prices. You test the waters of a business before you actually tell people you have a business. In other words, you leave it as a hobby for a long time because you’re too scared of what will happen if you make it a true business.

Starting a business can be scary. What if it grows too fast? What if it doesn’t? But living in the scared zone for too long simply cuts off your momentum. If you’re going to do it, just do it. The rest will fall into place.

2. Ignore the marketing.
You may need a business card to hand out, so you print up a free set on your computer. Outside of that you let everything else slide. You may think you don’t need fancy postcards or brochures, or a great website to build up your portfolio – that will come down the road. But if you don’t start out at the beginning with a great professional look to your business, when will it come?

Think marketing first. How do you want to look to your customers? How do you want them to perceive your business? And more importantly, how would you like them to refer you? There’s a huge difference between someone saying, “I found a really cheap photographer that’s just starting out and she’ll give you a deal” and “I found a very professional studio that takes amazing portraits – I would highly recommend her, check out her site.”

Pricing Your Photography To Stay In Business – Click Here>>

3. Buy for the future.
If you are a professional, you have to have what the professionals use. Don’t skimp and buy a Canon Rebel instead of a Canon EOS. Don’t by a consumer grade package of lenses. Don’t choose Elements instead of Photoshop or Lightroom to save money. Save and invest in the best equipment upfront – it will last you a lot longer over time. And allow you to do a ton more.

4. Work on the business.
Photography is fun – that’s why you’ve decided to go into business. But opening up a studio isn’t all photography – its business too. You have to wear every hat, especially if you are a solo business owner. You’ll have to invoice your clients, and pay the bills. You’ll have to do the production, and do the filing. You’ll have to handle all the sales meetings. And then you’ll also get to do the fun stuff – photographing.

If you aren’t sure how to build a business, find someone who can. Hire a coach. Buy a coaching program. Visit your local SBA office. And start reading books and magazines on the business side as well.

5. Jump quickly.
What if you had five new clients come into your studio this week? What if you had 10? How about 25?

What’s the worst that could happen? You may get completely overwhelmed at first, but I’m willing to bet you would come up with a system pretty quickly. Instead of sitting around Photoshopping one client’s files for 10 hours, you would probably find a way to get it done in 1. Or hire it out.

In other words, it would make you very efficient very quickly. Because you would have no choice.

So don’t worry about what may happen, or how something might affect you. Just do it. You’ll be amazed at the results.

How To Use Flickr To Promote Your Photography Business

11 05 2010

[So you’re wondering how to use the many online tools to market your business. This week I’ve decided to start a new How To series that does exactly that. We’ll take a look at many of the different online social sites –things you can do for little to no cost – and show you different ways to put them into your marketing mix.]

Flickr is one of the hottest online social tools that allows you to share your photographs. Flickr was started back in the beginning of 2004 by two game designers who wanted an easy way to share photos that featured their gaming project, and quickly blossomed into something much more. Yahoo purchased Flickr for $35 million in 2005, and the rest as they say is history.

How To Use Flickr To Promote Your Photography Business

So if you are a photographer, chances are you have used Flickr in some Read the rest of this entry »

Photography – 10 Things I’m Reading About

18 07 2008

I surf online a lot. So I thought I’d share with you some of the things I look through – things you might find interesting too.

10. Film … or digital? I posted on this just a few days ago, and found this another interesting read on the same topic. Read Brian Auer’s Is Film Dead? I especially found his poll interesting – 57 percent (at the time I looked at the results) found using film to be a steady or growing trend. Wow.

9. As a photographer you have to put your photos online, right? Why not on a social site.  (I’ll be there soon.) In the mean time, check out this photo of Dubai in the fog.

8. Do you worry about theft of your photos if you put them online? Start with this great post on How Every Flickr Photo Ended Up on Sale This Weekend.

7. If you haven’t had enough on  the theft of photos topic, follow this continuing discussion by Photrade.

6. For an endless list of everything photography, head over to Alltop. Alltop helps you learn all you can about individual topics – like photography.

5. What do you do with all of your digital images while you’re on the road?  Read Peter Carey’s advice for Digital Photo Storage On the Road. I’ll add one other tip. When we traveled for weddings, we would carry plenty of memory cards with us. But if we were going to travel for awhile, we would also burn a set of CD/DVD’s and mail them back to our office. You can also upload them to your backup system, via your laptop.

4. I know everyone has an opinion on Flickr, but you  can’t deny you can find some incredible images there. Take a look at these photos of the Tour de France.

3. So you wanna be a studio photographer? Why not make your own backgrounds. We’ve made a few ourselves in the past, and still use them today for certain shoots. Take a look at How To Make a Background for Studio Photography.

2. If you haven’t seen the Red One, take a look. I’ve been talking about it with a few local photographers lately. (Check out their service policy at the bottom – I love it!)

1. A photo site used to help bring awareness to important issues around the world – how cool. Photography can be so powerful. Take a look at The Homeless Photographer. Then plan on some time browsing through the other images.

Providing new ideas to your photography business and information on how to start a photography business. Stay up to date with our photography newsletter which provides tips on your photography studio.

Photography and Facebook – A Great Combination

11 03 2008

Has your photography business hit a slump? Are your sales down from last year? Or, are you ready to move to the next level. Enter the Facebook social arena. Facebook and photography can exist with great complimentary connections. Here is a fan page that we put together on Facebook to introduce one of our services. – Facebook sample page – take a look and if you are not a member, register at no cost and explore this next generation of marketing.

Photography Business – Where Are The Leads?

7 03 2008

Well that all depends on how much business you need in your studio.

Let’s say that you want to photograph 30 weddings per year. How many leads you need to generate those 30 weddings would depend on a number of factors:

  • How much you charge for your weddings?
  • Do you leads know and understand your pricing before they contact you?
  • How good you are at turning leads into sales?

If your leads are pre-qualified, have a lot of information on you and your services before they contact you, know and understand your pricing, and have a strong referral, you might only need 30 leads to book your 30 weddings.

But if your leads come in with little knowledge of you or your services, they call in ‘blind’ from a vague advertisement with little information, and don’t match your criteria for your ideal client; you may end up having to meet 10 to 15 prospects before turning one of them into a client.

Which would you rather have for your business: 30 prospects turning into 30 clients, or 450 prospects turning into 30 clients? Obviously, your ultimate goal should be the first option. The better you define your perfect client, and the better your marketing strategy to reach your perfect customer, the easier your business will be.

Lead generation is all about understanding your customers, and reaching out to them in a way that makes them need what you have to offer. Refine what you have until you’ve developed your “perfect” message. Not only will you become better at business, but you’ll also have more time to concentrate on other things.

Is Your Small Business A 24-Hour Monster?

7 03 2008

I was out to dinner with a good friend last week. We met at 7 pm, sat and talked awhile, then ordered dinner and talked awhile longer. Then her phone rang and she answered it, spending over 5 minutes talking with a client.

I had a 7:30 breakfast meeting with another business owner and a client we are both mutually working for, discussing all aspects of the product. Twice during the meeting this business owner and client both answered business related phone calls as they came in.

In both of these cases, our meetings were before and after normal business hours. Yet as a business owner, they all have been sucked into the belief they must be available at all times for their clients.

Your clients do what you teach them is acceptable – read more>>