Wedding photography business questions answered

photography-expert-question-answer

I will be holding a free webinar on Monday, October 6th to answer your most pressing business questions focusing heavily on wedding photography. Send me your questions by September 29, 2014!

Replay January 6, 2015 @ 1PM

What is your biggest question? People ask me all the time how I got started and how I managed to book myself solid with my “ideal” photography clients.

It’s a great question, because I can remember when I first started out and I was “trying” to build a profitable photography business, I always found myself competing on price - instead of style or service. Although, charging low prices allowed me to build my portfolio and hone my photography skills, I found myself working all hours of the day/night.

I was on the verge of a burnout and I definitely didn’t have a happy balance of work and family life.

Slowly, I educated myself from leaders in the photography business. I combined different strategies from many mentors and steered my business in a whole new direction.  Then one day, I turned around, and people were asking me the same question? How can I be profitable in this over saturated market of wedding photographers?

Recently I was honoured, humbled and excited to be chosen as one the mentors for the modern women’s portraiture group (with 17,000+ members) formed by the amazing Sue Bryce Photographer -- and as an extension from that group, I started the IBWS Wedding and Bridal Group.

I know we all struggle with different areas of running the business.

So I will be holding a webinar to answer your most pressing sales questions focusing heavily on wedding photography.

Any these sound familiar:

  • you only sell your lowest package
  • you feel bad charging full price in this economy
  • you have inquires but you are having trouble closing the sale
  • you feel nervous when a client calls you
  • you are struggling with setting your prices
  • you know your photography work is as good or better than your competitors but you are afraid to charge more
  • you fear losing clients to cheaper competitors
  • you just want to be a photographer not a salesperson
  • you hate feeling 'salesy'
  • you are not sure when to give the client your price list
  • you feel desperate for a sales
  • you feel you need to charge less due to poor state of the economy
  • you feel nervous talking about your pricing

What I need you to do is send me your biggest most pressing sales process questions! Anything from how to handle inquires, email responses, price list/packages, meetings and bookings. (No question is too simple, silly or stupid - no photography business snobs here).

Where in the sales process are you getting stuck?

I just wanted to thank you again for opening my eyes to the world of photography. I had gotten laid off last year completely unexpectedly and photography carried me through and gave me a purpose during this period. I owe this all to you and everything you shared with me. I will always be so grateful to you for being so open and sharing all your knowledge with me. You truly are and absolute pro and a real talent. Just wanted to thank you again and let you know how much it has meant to me.
— Jennifer White | www.photographybywhite.com
Hi Heike! I went into my wedding consultation on Wednesday with you in the back of my head the whole time! They booked within 24hrs of the meeting. It was was my fastest response yet after a consult! Thank you, thank you!! Really Heike, thank you soooo much!
— Lee-Anne Jarrett | www.leeannejarrettphotography.com
Photography Expert Heike Delmore answers your sales questions

How my competitors increased my sales

how to use your competition to increase your sales

You have probably heard this too – the photographer friend complaining their competitor is copying their style, stealing their clients, using the same presets … and charging way less!

It is easy to slip into this negative way of thinking.

“If you look at things in a new way – things will actually be different”

When I started my photography business, I was living in a new city and didn’t have many contacts. So I reached out to other local photographers, who I felt had a similar style (and coolness factor lol).

I emailed them, introduced myself, complimented their work and asked if they would be interested in starting a referral network.

It worked like this: If I was unable to photograph a certain client (see below for list of possible reasons), I would refer that client to the other photographer. And the other photographer would do the same for me.

I reached out to first 2 then later 3 other photographers and they all said YES!

Since starting this referral network, my annual sales increased by approximately 20%.

“You must never think for a moment that the supply is limited….
Never get afraid that you will lose what you want because some other person “beats you to it”. That cannot possibly happen; you are not seeking anything that is possessed by anybody else”
– Wallace D. Wattles

The more you give the more you will receive.

Have you used your competition to advance your business? We would love to know how! Take a second and leave us a comment on this article.

REASONS TO REFER CLIENTS TO OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS:

  1. you are already booked on that date  (i.e. weddings, events, holiday sessions, too busy)
  2. you don’t do that type of photography (i.e. newborns, real estate)
  3. you feel the client would be better suited to a different photographer (i.e. personality clash, wrong style)

ADVANTAGES:

  1. your competitor’s marketing efforts give you clients
  2. your reputation and visibility is increased when other reputable photographers recommend you
  3. you make new friends (and you never know when you might need help i.e. you are sick and cannot show up for a scheduled photoshoot).

If you found this article helpful, please share it or leave a comment! If you know someone who could benefit from this article please share it. I'd love to hear from you!

Until next month with much love and gratitude,

heike delmore photography business mentor
 


7 free steps to creating buzz & momentum

7 steps to creating buzz in your photography business

I used this social media technique when I moved to a new city and started my photography business.It was super easy and it impacted my business immensely! It is one of the best ways to get people talking, spreading the word and taking action.

Do you ever start thinking to yourself, “What the heck am I doing? Is all this hustle worth it? How can I get more exposure for my business?”

Here’s the scenario – You built your website, but you wish more people were booking. And worse, you fear many of your ideal clients will never know you exist! Insecure thoughts start to race through your head… you think it must be because…

  • my prices must be too high
  • I don’t have enough experience
  • my work isn’t good enough
  • my website sucks
  • nobody likes me

What’s wrong and why aren’t people booking? Chances are none of those insecure thoughts are true! What’s really going on has NOTHING to do with your prices, talent, or like-ability. It’s more likely that your audience simply:

  • does not know about your website
  • has not heard of you
  • is not talking about you
  • or does not know you started a photography business

CREATE A CONTEST 

Why do contests create a buzz? Social media is about social sharing. When one person’s friends or followers see they have entered the contest, they will likely do so also, then their friends will see and do the same, and the domino effect continues…

7 STEPS TO EASILY SET UP YOUR CONTEST

It should go without saying , but your photography business should have a separate Facebook page from your personal page. If you don’t have this do make one now.

  1. Decide on the prize. Keep in mind the better the prize, the more likely people will talk about it. And the more likely people will participate and give you their contact information. Also, consider teaming up with other complementary vendors who will also donate prizes for extra exposure. For example, you give away a photo shoot, a spa donates a treatment, and salon donates some hair products.
  2. Make the rules. For example, if you are running your contest on Twitter, have entrants “retweet”, “@mention+ explain why they should win” and use “hashtags”.
  3. Get friends/family involved. One way to do this would be to allow friends and family to support others to who entered by, for example on Facebook “liking”, “sharing” and leaving a “comment” as to why their friend deserves to win. Or on Twitter to “retweet”, “@mention explain why they should win” and/or use “hashtags”.
  4. Collect email addresses. Direct entrants to your website form to submit their email address. Since, we don’t know when Facebook or any other social media platform will change it’s rules or become obsolete – the best way to continually market to your potential customers is directly into their inboxes.
  5. Set a draw date. Be sure to let entrants know when the contest will be over and a winner selected. Nothing gets people moving like a deadline!
  6. Post your contest. Now create an image or graphic to represent your contest. Post it on Facebook, for example, and add the rules and draw date information.
  7. Spread the word. Share your contest post on your business page and personal page. Ask the other vendors who submitted prizes to also show your contest post on their Facebook’s pages, websites etc. Don’t be afraid to comment everyday on the status of the contest, for example, “only 2 more days until the winner is drawn”! Think of other clever places to mention your contest.

THE OUTCOME

✓ increased sales
✓ increased brand awareness
✓ increased referrals
✓ increased popularity
✓ increased newsletter subscribers
✓ increased social media followers
✓ increased visitors to your website

 

P.S. Before running a contest on any social media platform be sure to check their contest guidelines.

Good luck creating a buzz around your photography business!

Please add your best tips and ideas directly in the comments above!

Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing. You made my day!

 

Free fonts and branding resources

heikedelmore-fav-free-font-branding-resources

 

MY SECRET SAUCE

In addition to stunning photography, presenting a professional brand to the public is paramount in reinforcing your value, gaining trust and attracting your ideal client! I receive a lot of questions about my branding and my use of typography. And although I am not going to reveal my fonts - I consider them to be a part of my secret branding sauce - I am going to reveal some excellent free resources where you can find high quality editorial style fonts. Did I say free? Yes, I said free!

MIND YOUR PS AND QS

Please be sure to read any licensing restrictions before using a font for your business. Some fonts allow only for personal use - so be sure to read the fine print.

USING YOUR FONT ON YOUR WEBSITE 

Did you know many fonts can be used both in graphics and on the web? Once you find your brand's perfect font you can use it for your website text! Take a look at the Web Font Generator at Font Squirrel.

MY FAVOURITE FREE EDITORIAL STYLE FONTS

For my hand picked collection of free fonts, take a look at my pinterest board called "Branding & Free Fonts". I will be updating this board whenever I find new high quality fonts - so feel free to follow this board! :-)

WEBSITES WITH FREE FONTS:

If you would like to do some research on your own, these are a few websites where I have found some excellent free fonts!

*Please note, I have not tried nor downloaded them all of these fonts personally - so please, as always, exercise caution when downloading anything from the internet!*

NEED HELP PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER?

You know what fonts you like, but you don't know how to put it altogether? Which fonts flatter each other? How big should I make the big ones and how small do I make the small ones? I suggest google image searching "magazine font combinations" or "elegant font combinations". This will give you a good idea of what style of fonts go together!

Thanks for reading! If you know someone who could benefit from this article please share it. And leave your thoughts and comments below. I'd love to hear from you!

With much love and gratitude,

heike delmore photography business mentor