Every couple of years, usually in October, I share this…
Intro by Skip Cohen
As photographers, most of you consider yourself an artist. By definition, that means you’re more of a right-brained creative type than left-brained detail and operationally focused. But here’s the key, you need to respect everything it takes to build your business.
In this post from Chamira Young’s archives, she shares four valuable components of marketing. What good is creating the finest images of your career, if nobody knows who you are? And while I don’t agree with her placement of “Price” at the top of the list, there’s no arguing with the importance of all four of the marketing “P”s.
There’s one more important component – “Education.” I’m not talking about yours, but how you educate your clients. This is where I think “Price” gets knocked down a few spots. You have to establish value with your clients. You have to educate them on the value of capturing memories, printing photographs, and being the “high priests of memory protection.”
Scott Bourne used that expression in a presentation six years ago, and it’s a role each of you needs to take seriously. It’s the key to building your reputation. For example, you’ve got to help your clients understand a wedding album isn’t a book of photographs but the first family heirloom of a brand new family!
And, in the process, you owe your clients your very best skillset, and never compromise on the quality of an image!
By Chamira Young
Marketing, the thing we need the most but might despise the most. It’s tough, complicated, and takes a significant amount of time and energy to do it well.
Marketing ensures that your customers get their questions answered and it makes it easy for people to understand most parts of your business. There are many facets to marketing, and it can be overwhelming to think about how many parts and plans will go into effect to make your marketing worthwhile, but there are four main components to consider and four parts that you should be focusing most of your energy on.
Price: One of the biggest challenges that photographers in all niches struggle with is pricing. How do you value yourself and how do you value your products? It can be really complicated and tiring to worry about how much money you want to make and how much money you need to make.
Price is one sector of marketing you really should spend some time analyzing to be sure that you are getting your value from your services. Start by understanding the hours you will put into each job or client you work with. Add those hours and think about the effort that will be put into those hours. From there, find an hourly rate that you believe is matched with your value and add it all up. If you offer packages, understand that those hours encapsulate a lot of time that the clients won’t see and stick to that price.
Product: Product is an obvious part of marketing and it might not always be a physical product. However, this does not affect the value of the product- whether or not it’s physical. Your product might be the single most important part of your marketing strategy because it needs to be at the forefront of what you are offering.
If customers or potential clients don’t have a clear grasp on what exactly you are offering, they will be less likely to buy-in. Marketing your product as genuinely as possible is also important here. Being sure to give them just enough details about it that are completely true and leaving just enough mystery to capture more interest is also a key to marketing this aspect of your business.
Promotion: Third is promotion. Promoting your products, your value, and your business is another huge part of marketing as a whole. Promotion has a lot to do with language. How you share what you have to offer and promote it with your words is just as important as the product you are promoting.
Promotion also needs consistency. Your followers like to be reminded of your services and what you do from time to time otherwise they might forget you. And you don’t always have to promote a product, you can promote a giveaway, a new update, or just an informational blog post about yourself. Promoting the things necessary for your business is another facet of marketing and when you promote yourself, placement is also important.
Placement: Finally, placement is the fourth important part of marketing. Promotion plays a huge role, but the placement of that promo is also highly important. Placement can mean a ton of different things to different photographers.
For wedding photographers, placement might be in the form of bridal shows. That way, you can get in front of the ideal clients in that niche. Similarly, placement for nature or landscape photographers might be in magazines or even on Instagram. Locations, where photos are the most important aspect, are going to give you the highest advantage of being seen by the right set of eyes.
Marketing is a science, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s a key component that you want to be on top of from the very start. Whether you are going for more social media marketing, email marketing, or local public marketing, knowing the price, product, promotion, and placement are going to change the way you run your photography business.