I just downloaded The Apple Experience to — as you might guess — my iPad. As a certified Macaholic, I was intrigued by Carmine Gallo’s new book title that promised to reveal “Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty.” I wanted to hear what Gallo had to say because I’m
finding it increasingly difficult to focus the attention of new photographers who want to learn about pricing on the value of photography. Adrift as they are in a sea of competitors, many of whom are untrained in the art and unprepared for the rigors of business, they see low price as the only way they can gain customers. Their strategy, then, is to shoot more and more images so that customers will buy more and more 8x10s from the images they place online.
So how’s that strategy working out for them? Not so well. The outcome is predictable: the poor confused client wants to purchase a disc, and the photographer doesn’t want to sell it.
Try as I might to convince some of these folks that there’s a better model for the photography business — one that puts the client at the center of the photography experience, rather than on the sidelines — I’m certain that many of them will cling to this failed selling strategy until they’ve exhausted themselves and their financial resources. They simply will never understand Steve Jobs’ vision that the key to sales is to put aside the question of “how to sell more stuff,” and replace it with “how do we enrich people’s lives.”
The answer to Jobs’ visionary question is embodied in the Apple retail store, the ONLY store where my husband ever entered and exclaimed “Just look at this place!”
I learned about the book in a post on “How to Change the World,” an intriguing blog by Guy Kawasaki, best-selling author and Apple Evangelist. The post presents “!0 Things You Can Learn from the Apple Store,” and I believe photographers can learn a great deal from this piece, as well as from the book behind the post. As you read these 10 points, you’ll see that some of the Apple Store strategies relate directly to how we can conduct our photography businesses. I believe you’ll conclude that the best way to succeed in the business of photography is to show your clients that your work truly can enrich their lives. When you do this, properly priced products will take care of themselves.