Put a dozen photographers in a room and ask them how business is going and like Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea in the Ten Commandments, the room will split right down the middle. Half the group will be miserable, while the other half is thriving. But the one thing every photographer having a great year will say, “But I’ve never worked so hard in my life!”
The bottom line is that business is out there, but you have to work harder than ever to find it. Sadly, too many photographers start giving up before they’ve explored every option. While no one blog post could cover everything, here are four solid suggestions to help you secure more activity and better sales.
Own your zip code: When was the last time you got out and literally knocked on doors to introduce yourself to every business in the community?
When I was a kid, I remember moving to a new neighborhood and a woman from “Welcome Wagon” came by the house to introduce us to the vendors in the community. She left a basket of goodies, coupons, and information. You need to do the same thing, with or without a goodie basket.
And, at the holidays it’s the perfect time to be meeting every business owner in your community. You don’t have to sell them anything, just wish them “Happy Holidays,” and remind them as a photographer and artist, you’re there to help with anything they need in imaging.
All of your past clients: Everybody is busy looking for new clients, but they forget about building relationships with their existing base. These are people who already know you and have other photographic needs or friends who do. You’ve got to stay in touch. Holiday cards, email, phone calls and even a personal visit here and there are all perfect to keep in touch. Remember, a great business is built on a foundation of relationship building!
Partnerships: Other businesses, including photographers, are the perfect partners to create excitement in the community. New alliances can be just what you need to open new doors. It can be as simple as sharing the cost of a mailing to actual cross-promoting each other’s products/services. Think about everybody you meet as a potential partner in the future.
Social Media: Each day you’ve got an opportunity many of you miss to expand your presence in social media. Without question, for photographers, those new doors are through a well-done blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest when it comes to reaching new potential clients. However, you’ve got to pay attention to your presentation, the quality of your images and being helpful in what you’re sharing.
You know how to focus your camera, but what about your business? Opportunities are everywhere, but you’re the only one who can go out and find them!