The end of the year is just around the corner; what a perfect time to gather good resolutions in order to take your business to the next level!
Every week, the CMpost brings to its readers, amongst other amazing information, one simple but powerful business tip to speed up their success. Here is a selection of our favorite ones from the past few months.
*image by Lisa Tichane
General business tips:
1. On those bad business days, take a few minutes to make a list about why you wanted to be a professional photographer. Make sure to remind yourself of everything that is positive for you: making a living with your passion, seeing joy in your clients’ eyes, the pleasure of being your own boss…whatever can help renew your passion.
2. Take good care of your health. Managing a photography business can be truly exhausting. If your body can’t take it anymore, you will be in big trouble. Eat well, get some exercise and some time for yourself, you will soon realize how much it is positively affecting your productivity (and how good it feels, too!!).
3. Have you submitted your work to blogs/magazines lately? Being published helps reinforce your credibility, and it’s good for self-confidence too!
4. Make sure you keep a personal photography project, something that will allow you to be fully creative without the fear of losing a sale. You are a business owner but you are also an artist, don’t let the business side of things kill your love for photography!
5. Education is key. As small business owners, we often forget to set aside time for our own growth. Reserve a spot in your calendar at least once a year for a workshop or mentoring session…it’s a great investment for your business, and it will be a breath of fresh air for yourself too!
6. Want to drastically increase your working efficiency? Just turn off your internet connection a few hours a day. You’ll be able to fully concentrate on your editing (or whatever other task is waiting for you), and you’ll be amazed by how fast your to-do list is complete!
7. Imitating other photographers can be reassuring, but you’ll get lost in the crowd. Create the work you truly love, the one that makes your heart sing, it will set you apart from other photographers and you will find clients who will recognize how unique you are and will be ready to pay (more) because of that.
Marketing, Sales, Client’s interaction:
8. Show what you sell in order to sell it more. Each time you receive a beautiful canvas, a gorgeous album or a cool storyboard, take a picture of it before delivering it to your client, and blog it or share it on your Facebook wall! Your future clients will be more likely to want one too!
9. Create a custom Facebook timeline image for each of your clients as a surprise gift when they place their order. Put your watermark on it. You’ll get the best word-of-mouth tool ever, in a few seconds!
10. If you want a promotion to be successful, create a sense of urgency by limiting the quantity offered. For example: “Early birds special: Get a 20% discount on your 2013 portrait session. Only 5 discounted sessions available!”. Make sure your clients will call you on-the-spot to be the lucky ones!
11. Did you know that it costs six times more to win a new customer than to re-book an existing one? Focusing on your past clients will be your most efficient marketing move.
12. Make sure that your brand is socially validated. Ask for referrals from friends, past clients, and from your social network in general. Make sure they are visible on your website and Facebook pages. Your potential clients will be more likely to book you if they hear that their friends have had a great experience with you!
13. Take a fresh look at your price list. Is it easy to understand in less than a minute or will it give a headache to 99% of your clients? Don’t overwhelm your clients with too many choices! Simple is often better
14. When someone asks for your pricing, don’t answer straight away. Try to first understand what they want and need, and take advantage of the discussion to make them feel the value of having their picture taken (lifetime memories!) and what an awesome experience they will have with you. Then and only then, you can discuss what it costs to do it.
15. Struggling with how to help your clients choose their clothes for their session? Why not creating a few Pinterest “what to wear” style boards and share them with your clients? Visual inspiration might be much more helpful than a phone conversion about styling!
16. Take some time to chit chat with your clients about their non-photography tastes, too. Knowing where they shop can give you great ideas of new local business partnerships to develop!
Blog, Website, SEO:
17. If your readers have to wait several seconds before seeing your images, it’s very likely that they will leave your blog/website before they even see them. Make sure to save your images for the web, and consider limiting the number of images per blog post (5-10 is a good number) in order to ensure a fast navigation.
18. When was the last time you updated your website portfolio? Make sure you only show the kind of work you want to do right now, otherwise you will get the wrong clients!
19. How often do you monitor your website statistics? They can be really helpful to understand how your readers and potential customers actually find you, and to figure out new strategies to grow your audience.
20. If you want to disconnect and take some much needed family time without leaving your blog and Facebook page abandoned, why not write a few articles in advance and schedule them? They will go live while you’ll be comfortably relaxing on your sofa
21. Slow winter months are a perfect opportunity to prepare interesting content for your blog: educate your current and future clients with “what to wear” articles or print size comparisons, publish testimonials of happy clients, or blog your favorite images from last year to show how awesome you are!
22. Want more activity on your Facebook page? Simply ask questions! Your followers will more likely get engaged with you if you ask for their opinion or advice.
23. Is it easy to contact you? Make sure that your potential clients can easily find your e-mail and/or phone number on every single page of your website and blog!
24. When choosing your SEO keywords, it’s important to word them as your potential client would. A good way to find out what terms are actually used by your target clients is to ask your current clients how they found you, and which keywords they used!
25. Don’t know what to blog about? Share some tips! What to wear, how to prepare for the session, how to display images at home…your clients will appreciate (who doesn’t like good tips?), and your article is most likely to be shared in social media, ensuring more visibility for you!
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Now, it’s your turn… Is there a favorite business tip you would like to share with us?