When you are a photographer it’s important to have the right equipment (and to know how to use it). It’s even more important to understand how to market effectively. But if you want to reach your target client in today’s saturated market, you’re going to need something you won’t find in any marketing course: a healthy dose of self-confidence.
So much of the marketing and advertising in the photography industry today gives off one of two vibes: desperate or impersonal.
No one wants to be photographed by someone who is floundering, whether that state is real or perceived. Think about your own views of companies you do business with: do you gravitate towards strong, successful companies or those that seem to be begging for your business?
People also have a strong desire to connect with those they do business with, especially if that business is small. And until you have made someone your client, the only way they have to ‘get to know you’ is through your marketing. If the only marketing you see from a business is along the lines of ‘call today for 50% off your senior portrait session’, with no other personal interactions, then you are not making a connection with your target client. You are merely trying to ‘sell to them,’ which will turn them off pretty fast.
So how do you go about re-vamping your marketing image to that of a confident and successful studio?
1) Post only POSITIVE things on social media sites. No one wants to see something along the lines of ‘we just had a cancellation – I hate it when that happens!’ or ‘it’s really slow at the studio this month!’ Your posts should always portray that things are GREAT, even if they are not. No one wants to come and do business with you if you are having a bad day or your business is struggling. To them, this may be one of the most important experiences of their life, one which they want to entrust to the very best photographer they can afford. And as the professional, it’s up to you to make sure that it is.
2) Create EXCITEMENT and DESIRE for your services. This is done through MARKETING, not simply ADVERTISING (look up both words – there IS a difference!). Increase demand for your services through a self-confident image (both of yourself AND your business). An example of increasing demand is letting people know that ‘only ONE session remains for …’ even if no one has booked. it’s all about PERCEPTION.
3) Clean up your terminology. If you have to TELL people that you are cool or awesome, then you probably aren’t (unless, of course, you’re doing so as a joke). Rockstar? It’s outdated (much like the large numbers they used to lean on in the 80s). Keep it current and real.
Not everyone is born with the ability to be self-confident in all situations. But with a little practice and the right techniques, you can ‘fake it til you make it.’ Creating the image of confidence and success can go a long way towards creating the real thing.
And once in a while a little BS doesn’t hurt either.