Wedding Photography Business

The Fear Project

heike-stoecker-delmore-fear-project.jpg

Have you done anything recently that’s way out of your comfort zone?

I have!  I’ll tell you more about that soon… stay tuned…

First…

According to Angela Ceberano, after you do something out of your comfort zone, two things happen in your life:

  1. You experience increased happiness

  2. You experience decreased anxiety

In her Tedx Talk “Be a Warrior not a Worrier”, she suggests we all create a personal “Fear Project”.

So that’s just what I did.

My fear - is being in front of the camera + public speaking.

Most photographers (at least the ones I’ve spoken to) generally prefer to be behind the camera. (Go figure!)

So what did I do?

Aside from taking photos, I love helping others elevate their businesses. Whether it’s helping my personal branding clients or helping other photographers.

About a year ago, I created an online video program to help other photographers easily create a successful wedding photography business.

Because as any photography entrepreneur knows - taking amazing photos and running a business are two separate things. And knowing both is a must for longevity.

The biggest feedback I received from my students was they loved the course and they were able to see big results in their businesses. BUT... they wish they would have seen more of me.

Why didn’t you see me in more of the videos?

For the same reasons I hear my clients tell me… They don’t like having their photo taken or they hate seeing themselves in video. This is something I coach my photography clients through. Coaching that gives them the courage and confidence to get in front of my camera.

So I took my own advice.

I told that little, critical voice in my head, that regardless of what she says, I'm going to do it anyway. And I’m going to do my best - whatever that will look like.

Together, with my awesome assistant Kelly, I got super prepared with everything I could think of - from my message, to the lighting, to camera angles and sound.

What I created is an online free 3-part webinar series for wedding photographers wanting to start a photography business or wanting to level-up their current wedding photography businesses.

Next Week

The free webinar will be released next week.

We're still working out ideas for the title, but as of right now it looks something like this:

Confessions of a Wedding Photographer:  Free Wedding Photography Business Webinar.

This FREE Webinar will reveal:

  1. My Story - How I Started my Dream Business

  2. Best Tip Ever: How to Use Your About Page to Book More Clients

  3. The Business Behind My Photography: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

What do you think of the title? Write your feedback or suggestions in the comments below.

 
Preview screenshot from the free 3-part video training series.

Preview screenshot from the free 3-part video training series.

 

Now to you

Is there something you've been putting off or avoiding because of fear? If you started your own Fear Project, what would it be? Tell me in the comments below.

Thanks for sharing your time with me today!

With love and gratitude,

 
heike-sig.jpeg
 

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE

Join the community for a free serving of marketing, motivation & sales tips right to your inbox.

FREE GIVEAWAY

Wedding Photography Business Course Free Giveaway

We'll be opening the doors this week to the wedding photography e-course: Stand out. Save time. Sell more. But before we do, I'm giving away 3 scholarship spots. Winner will be selected Monday, November 20th!

We’re giving away 3 FREE SPOTS to the this awesome 5 week online course!

You can enter 1 of 3 ways - or all 3 ways to triple your chances of winning:

 

1. BLOG

Simply COMMENT below this post describing why you'd like to win.

2. INSTAGRAM

Go to my Instagram page and LIKE the Giveaway post, COMMENT why you’d like to win, and TAG anyone else you think would like to enter.

3. FACEBOOK

Join our free Facebook group. Then LIKE the Giveaway post, COMMENT why you’d like to win, and TAG anyone else you think would like to enter.

 

The winners will be chosen Monday, November 20th, 2017.

What people are saying about the course on Instagram:

And on Facebook:

ecourse facebook comments

Wishing you so much luck. I hope you join us and we'll see you in the course!

If you'd like to get on the e-course waitlist - and be the first to know about early bird specials sign-up here.

*Update the E-course is now open for registration*

With love, gratitude and all the success,

 
 
 

 

P.S. If you know someone who might benefit from this, go ahead and share it with them.

P.S.S. For more information on the course here. I hope you'll join us!

 
I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT SINCE I FINISHED YOUR TRAINING, I JUST KEEP THINKING ABOUT YOU NON-STOP!

YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW REVOLUTIONARY YOUR TRAINING WAS TO OUR BUSINESS. AND THAT IS COMING FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO HAVE SHOTS CONSISTENTLY 25-30 WEDDINGS PER YEAR EVERY YEAR, FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, PRIOR TO TAKING YOUR COURSE!!!!

THERE WERE SO MANY PIECES THAT I WAS ALREADY APPLYING WITH THE SALES PORTION/CONSULTATION PIECE, AND THE ‘KNOWING YOUR UNIQUENESS PIECE’, BUT YOUR TRAINING HELPED JAQUES AND I LITERALLY RE-BRAND OUR ENTIRE WEBSITE, PRODUCE AMAZING CURATED BLOGS, AND BE ABLE TO WRITE OUR BLOGS VERY FAST WITH THE USE OF THE BLOG ASSISTANT. IT’S HELPED ME A LOT.

EVERY TIME I WRITE UP A BLOG, I THINK OF YOU; AND EVERY TIME I BOOK NEW CLIENT AT OUR NEW PRICING, I THINK OF YOU TOO! I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH, GIRL.

THANKS TO YOU WE’VE BOOKED 8 NEW CLIENTS WITH OUR NEW HIGHER PRICING IN THE PAST 6 WEEKS, AND I AM SO GRATEFUL.

I’M HOPING TO RUN INTO SOON JUST TO HUG YOU, LOL!

LOVE, RICHELLE
— http://www.jaquesphotography.ca/
 

COURSE CURRICULUM:

STAND OUT. SAVE TIME. SELL MORE.

This is not your traditional wedding photography business e-course. This e-course teaches you how to improve your online presence so you can spend less time on testing-out what works and start getting measurable results every week!

This course is a shortcut to transform (or start building) your wedding photography business into a personally fulfilling, profitable and sustainable business.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to book more ideal clients? I want to let you in on a secret: it isn’t. Or at least it doesn't have to be…

WHAT YOU GET:

  • 5 weeks of sequential action oriented videos (no I won’t be boring you or wasting your time with tons of theory)

  • The short lessons within each week are laid out in a step-by-step order to build upon one another. (no, you won’t be bombarded with an array of random videos)

  • Downloadable worksheets to get you moving quickly with measurable results

  • Video tutorials, demo's, templates and resource lists

  • Access to private Facebook group community where I will answer your questions personally for the duration of the course

  • Bonus: Blog writing Assistant (Perfect for photographers who find blog writing time-consuming and difficult)


PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE


Join the community for a free serving of marketing, motivation & sales tips right to your inbox.

 
 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU WANT TO QUIT

reconsidering_wedding_photography_fulltime.jpg

Reconsidering (Wedding) Photography as a full-time business?

You started off your wedding/portrait photography business super motivated with dreams of success and plans of living your passion.

You felt elated and unstoppable.
You had several requests for your photography services.
This was going to be amazing.

Then something happened:
The fire, zest and motivation within subsided.

Now you’re feeling some stress:


    •    it could be from trying to keep a steady income of bookings
    •    wondering why you aren’t getting as many inquires as before
    •    noticing people aren’t booking as quickly as before
    •    or you're no longer getting the same response on social media
    •    or you’re just tired of the hustle.

Is it over? Or are you just in a temporary rut?

Most of us can safely say, we’ve all felt like that one time or another. 

Things have changed. And you can’t understand why. Is it the industry or is it me?

EEEk.

Your business, like everything else, naturally changes over time. Think:

  • Blockbuster > Netflix

  • Blackberry > iphone.

Ok probably not that drastic of a change. But how can we stay relevant? How can we keep our services in demand?

In my experience, a check-up in these 5 core areas has kept my business in-tune while adapting to the changing market.

    1.    ATTRACTION (The moving target)

    2.    PERSISTENCY + CONSISTENCY (Let’s get honest)

    3.    STRENGTHS (How to discover them)

    4.    NEED + DESIRE (Listening to your clients)

    5.    DIFFERENCE (Taking inventory)
 

Use this quick exercise to give your business and your brand a quick check-up:

1. ATTRACTION: (The moving target)

Who are you trying to attract? Who do you want your clients to be? Often wedding photographers will answer:

 

"anyone who is getting married next year that lives in my city."

 

Ok, that’s a good start. But let’s get a bit more specific. 

Tell me, are there clients you’ve worked with in the past who you absolutely loved working with? 

Who are they? Where do they hang out online and offline? 

For me, when I started my wedding photography business 8 years ago, almost all of my brides were hanging out on Facebook. Back then, posting images on my FB business page got a huge response in likes and comments. Fast forward to today. For the most part My FB business page is pretty quiet - unless I pay to promote my posts. 

So I said to myself - people are obviously still getting married in my city - where are they hanging out online now? Answer: Instagram and Snapchat. 

Another example is, you are a wedding photographer who is trying to attract brides who desire outdoor weddings. Take a look at your branding and your website: are nature and outdoor wedding images a prevalent theme on your website? If they aren’t - make changes to get it in line with who you want your ideal client to be.

ACTION: Go further in-depth with who you want to work with. Try to figure out everything about them - and then tailor your brand and marketing to attract them.

2. PERSISTENCY + CONSISTENCY

Let’s get real honest for a moment. How persistent and consistent are you being in promoting your business? 

Has the number of inquiries you usually get dropped? Or are the inquiries you are getting not booking?

If so, it’s a good time to do a check-up on your persistency + consistency to ensure they’re aligned.

First, let's look at persistency. Have you been putting your business out there everyday? (And I don’t mean doing something difficult or overly time consuming). 

I mean like posting on social media, putting an update on your website, or going out and talking to people about your business. 

Here are some super simple ideas on how you can do something for your business everyday (from the comfort of your own home):

 

    •    post an image from a client’s wedding
    •    post an image from a shoot you did 3 years ago today
    •    post an image from any shoot you’ve done
    •    post a meaningful quote
    •    post a behind-the-scenes photo or video of you in action
    •    post a selfie (every now and then it’s okay)
    •    post a snapshot of what's going on in your world (vacation?)
    •    post something you are in the process of working on

 

It’s a known fact that people buy from people they like.

Which leads me to my next question:

Does your audience know you? Can they relate to you? Do they like you? Do they remember you?

If you aren’t getting any quality inquiries, go to your social media. When did you last post? And how long before that post did you post?

I recommend posting on Instagram once day or once every 2 days. You can plan out your posts ahead of time so it doesn’t become a chore! I used Adobe bridge or my album software to design my consequence ahead of time.


Now let's look at consistency. 

If you’ve been posting on social media all the time and you’re still not getting any busier, let’s take a closer look at what you’re posting.

As with your brand - the goal of your social media posts is to represent your brand visually and textually.

If you’re on Instagram, make your 9 squares look pretty and have them complement one another. You are in a visual business after all - people will be judging the first impression of your feed. What are you posting? 

Back to our last example, if you want more outdoor weddings, post images related to and showing the outdoors. 

And if you want to book weddings, don’t post photos of babies.

In other words don’t post what you don’t want. Post only what you do want.

 

Action: Post to social media often. Focus on one platform where you are seeing results. It takes time and persistence to get a following. 

For Instagram I recommend 1/day or 1/every other day. 

Keep the posts on topic and make them look beautiful. You can avoid being overwhelmed by planning them out ahead of time using Adobe Bridge or your album design software.

3. STRENGTHS

What are your strengths? Many of us photographers will say, something like:

“I take good photos."

Yes that’s most likely true. But again we are looking for something more specific.

One tip to figure out what your strengths are - or what your clients see as your strengths is to go back into your client email correspondence. Usually right after you post a client’s image online or provide them their photos, they’ll write you an email to say thank-you. 

Open up those emails. What else did they say about your work - or about the experience of working with you? 

Here’s an excerpt from an email I received from a client:

“Thanks so much and for everything you guys did to make sure you could give us the best!! I know you stayed a bit later then expected, you both were great and by the glimpse of the photo you posted we can’t wait to see them, it’s incredible everyone keeps telling us that the photo is an amazing shot!! So truly thank you for working with us!”

What is something my client saw or noted?

I’m patient. I don’t rush them. I care about them. 

Something went a little off schedule on their wedding day and I stayed to capture it even though it was outside our contract and over and above what was expected of me.

When I consult with future brides, I can tell them, “sometimes things on your wedding day may go a little off schedule, but don’t worry I will stay to capture those moments regardless. If things go longer than 30 minutes extra, only then do I charge for additional coverage.”

ACTION: Take a look at what your previous clients have said to you or about you. Then weave those strengths into your marketing text -- and into your consults!

4. NEED + DESIRE

Now let's look at what your prospective clients need or desire. 

Do you know what they need? 

They need, photos, prints and maybe a wedding book right? All true! 

But what else do they ask you for?

For example clients often ask me for, high resolution digital files, canvases, video, video slideshows, bridal shoots, boudoir shoots, engagement shoots, rehearsal dinner coverage, shower coverage.

Now check your current packages and price-list - are you offering what they’re asking for? For example are you still offering a DVD of images, when clients are asking for USBs or digital cloud storage?

Listen to what they are asking for, don’t assume. These are the specific items you should have in your packages. 

Tip: Include a big bundle of them in your top (dream) package. I go into great detail in the E-course on how to create packages that sell.

ACTION: Ask yourself, when your ideal clients see your packages, do they get excited? Are they thinking “wow she read my mind, I want all of this”. Or are they thinking “I don’t want a DVD, I wish she offered cloud storage”...

Take steps to include the specific items your clients ask for in your packages.

5. DIFFERENCE

Are you busy watching your competition and trying to figure out how you can keep up - or do the same? 

Before going any further, remember you’re always going to be second best if you try to copy someone else.

That being said, wedding photographers specifically, are all offering similar products. Digital images, prints, wedding books etc.

So what or how are you doing that differently from everyone else?

For example: 

  • do you consult with your clients regarding wardrobe for their engagement session?

  • do you help create their wedding day schedule?

  • do you offer a complimentary 1 year anniversary photo shoot?

  • does your background as a fashion photographer help with posing your clients so they look beautiful?

  • do you travel worldwide?

 

The goal is to stand out and be memorable for what makes you different and unique.

Action: Take a moment and make a list of what makes you - YOU!

Then work those unique and amazing things into your brand and marketing - textually and visually. These things should be loud and clear! Not something someone needs to dig out to discover in your FAQ section. Or something someone discovers in the last paragraph on your about me page. Be obvious and make it beautiful, i.e. through photos or blog titles! Go through your website and take some inventory - is it obvious to your visitors on what makes you different in your approach, service or products?

FRESH EYES

I hope I’ve given you some fresh eyes to see how your potential clients currently see you - and how you can make simple changes to get more bookings from your ideal customers.

If you’re stuck in a rut, this 5 step quick exercise should shed some new light on what’s going on.

If you’d like to take these concepts deeper, join me in the E-course: Stand out. Save time. Sell more. Registration is now open - more information here.

Or start out with my FREE 3-part training series: Confessions of a Wedding Photographer first.

Remember information without action futile.

I’d love to hear your comments. Did anything spark a change in you, your business or your online identity? Share with us in the comments (way down below)!

Thanks for sharing your time with me today! Leave me a comment below - what was your breakthrough moment?

With love, gratitude and wishing you all the success,

 
 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE


Join the community for a free serving of marketing, motivation & sales tips right to your inbox.

 

 

Stand out. Save time. Sell more.

Free video training successful wedding photography business with Heike Delmore

Pssst - if you’d like to go directly to the free training click the button below.


The surprising reasons why some wedding photographer's websites are successful and other's are not.

And when I say successful, I mean websites that work to book more of your ideal clients while saving you time.

Why is it that people struggle with getting their true or authentic selves across online or on their websites?

Most people find it easier to speak one-on-one with people either about themselves or about their businesses. I know that’s true for me. The problem arises when you need to sit down and try to write about yourself. People usually fall into 1 of 3 categories:


    1.    The Essay writer
    2.    The Vague ‘blend-in-with-the-crowd’ writer
    3.    The Cutesy casual writer

 

Can you tell us more about these three categories, so our readers can see if they fall into one or the other?

Absolutely. Before I describe each, know that doing any of these things is not necessarily bad. The message is that, you could be doing more to build a deeper more relatable connection with your visitors.

  1. The Essay writers, write more a formal piece. The text sounds more like something they’re going to hand into their professor, than something their clientele can relate to. It often comes off as cold and technical. These writers may also use terms, specific to their industry, that their website visitors may not understand or be familiar with.

  2. The Vague ‘blend-in-with-the-crowd’ writers, tend to state general information and not elaborate a great deal. For example, these writers will state they are a husband and wife team, their style is photojournalistic and they’ve won XYZ award and been published in XYZ magazine. The end.

  3. The Cutesy Casual Writers will try to be cute, funny and keep things light. For example, they talk about how much they love their little fur ball named Kenny (their kitten/family member). Their favourite colour is blue, favourite food is sushi, and they like long walks on the beach.

I know we’ve spoken a lot about writing so far. But you teach that there are many additional factors involved in projecting your authentic self online. Could you mention a few?

Yes, there are factors in addition to the text on your website that can also make a huge difference in whether your visitors will know, like, trust and ultimately want to buy from you.

Your use of photos, which photos you use, how many photos you use and how your photos are presented are a factor.

Also, does your website have a deliberate flow that purposefully guides your visitors through to booking you?

How easy or confusing does your website appear?

And how long are you able to keep people engaged on your website? These are just some of the other factors involved.
 

Using this knowledge, you booked yourself solid (year after year) only using your website, while you lived on another continent. Is that correct?

Yes! My husband’s career had us move our family all over Europe for spans of 6-9 months out of the year… every year. When I returned home, I’d have my schedule booked solid for the 3-6 months.

While away, I couldn’t meet clients face to face. And it was often difficult to talk to them because of the time differences between countries. 

So, I designed my website to handle the heavy lifting in selling ME and why I would be a great match for them. My website essentially turned my visitors into clients. When they contacted me, they were already ready to book. I know these concepts work and they work well! My website is like my second employee or an extension of myself who works for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


To the untrained eye, many people may not notice when websites have any of these elements in place. How did you learn or acquire this knowledge?

I’ve pulled much of this information together from my formal education, work experience, and good ‘ol trial and error. I have my Hon B.Sc. degree in Psychology and I did my postGraduate university studies in E-commerce and Web design. That coupled with 10 years of experience working for advertising agencies in Canada and Europe with high profile clients such as Mastercard, Eurocard, Kraft, Opel, Thomas Cook travel to name a few.

There really is a method to the madness, for every brand, behind the scenes. This is what makes us feel a certain way when we see the final product, brand or person. 


Why is it, do you think, that most websites don’t stand out or don’t work? 

Most people focus on doing the same the thing their competitors are doing online. Most websites tell the same or a similar stories. The thought process is - well it must be working for them, so it should work for me too. Or people think they’re boring and they don’t have anything special to tell. That is, they don’t tell their unique story. (I teach you how to find this voice and your unique story in the E-course)

The reality is that most brides begin their search for their photographer and other vendors online. You won’t stand out, and you won’t be memorable, if you’re trying to be like or sound like everyone else.  
 

I know your E-course guides your students to stand out online, in every way, but could you share a few tips with us today?

Absolutely. I’ll also be sharing a few of these tips in the free training module on January 19th. The free training will give the audience a little taste of what is included in the E-course

So one easy tip is, how you are using your website’s “About” page. The About page is one of the most under-utilized pages! 

Did you know that About pages are generally one of the top 3 pages your visitors will view? Yet, many of us waste this page with generic useless information - some examples of this I mentioned earlier. So one tip would be, to use your About page to answer those burning questions your clients always have. You know the ones. Those questions every client asks you that you’re tired of answering. Providing answers to these questions on your About page does 3 important things: 

  1. Makes your visitor feel like you're both are in-sync. You’re reading her mind and you’re both on the same wave length.

  2. You’re not just talking about yourself, you’re talking about how you can help her solve her problem and how your services can benefit her.

  3. You save your valuable time and hers. When this client contacts you, she’s less likely to still be in the research phase and more likely to be in the booking phase.

Will content in your e-course become dated, obsolete or break if Google decides to change it’s algorithm again?

Oh no! The concepts you learn are definitely not ways to cheat Google! They are authentic, smart, and best online practices. They have nothing to do with Google’s algorithm. These changes are grounded in best online practices, from how to make your website load faster, to how to sell yourself and your services honestly without yucky sales-y techniques. This training is not about trendy SEO hacks!
 

Who will benefit from taking this course?

Wedding photographers, wedding florists, wedding venues, wedding DJs, wedding videographers. Anyone in the wedding industry who wants to increase their number of clients while doing less work will benefit from this E-course.


Could you give us some specifics on how will this E-course benefit us?

This E-course will get you more “ready to book” inquires from your ideal clients. Often times, the clients contacting you are simply inquiring to price-shop you. That is, they will pick the least expensive vendor who can do the same job. If you present yourself like everyone else, you’ve turned yourself into a commodity - someone who can do the same job, the same way as someone else. And this is why you’ll get clients who will select you purely on price.

The main benefit of this course, is that you’ll be positioning yourself away from competing on price. You’ll be changing the conversation and attracting inquires simply because YOU are a great match for THEM.
 

I know some people are wondering, do you need to be “techy” to apply what you learn in this E-course?

Not at all. The steps I lay out anyone can do. You just need a website, such as a Squarespace website or a Wordpress site, and the ability to login and make changes to get started. 
 

If someone is just starting out, and they want to take your E-course, but they don’t have a website yet, are there some website companies you would recommend they check out?

Well, I haven’t tried all of the website companies out there. But, of the ones I use, I would highly recommend Squarespace (very easy to setup and use) and Flothemes or Prophoto for Wordpress. Again, the how-to of setting up a website is outside of the scope of this E-course. Coming into the course, you should have an existing website, or be in the process of setting one up.
 

To wrap up - what will be the biggest take-away for people who take your E-course?

If you apply the concepts taught in the E-course, you will stand out and be perceived as the go-to leader in your industry. You’ll save time by educating your visitors ahead of time dispelling any skepticism or objections they may have. Your visitors will feel as though you’re both in-sync from their first impression of you online. And lastly, you’ll inspire them to book and buy from you.
 

Is there anything else you’d like to leave us with today? 

A study done by Dane Sanders (his book the Fast Track Photographer) found that 60% of photographers give up their businesses within the first year. Then of those 40% still standing, another 25% will drop off within the 2nd year of business. That leaves only 15% still operating in their 3rd year.

That is a distressingly small percentage. Some of the main factors (among other issues) involved in the demise of these photographers, in my opinion, are a lack of visibility or standing out from the crowd, a lack of sales, and pricing that isn’t sustainable.

All of these subjects will be taught in the E-course. I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be an eye-opening and results driven experience.


PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE


Join the community for a free serving of marketing, motivation & sales tips right to your inbox.

Want more success? Be a real person

More success secret photography businesses Heike Delmore

I’ve got some honest words, a profitable message and some valuable freebies for you today.

It was your average Friday, I was editing photos and listening to a new audio book, when something I heard stopped me dead in my tracks.

Something put so simply. Something so resonating. Something so important. Something I realized I learned over 20 years ago but could never articulate into words so simply or powerfully.

Before I dive into this further, let me begin with a quick story:

I was 18 years old and I got a part-time job at a trendy clothing store while attending university.

I had no sales experience, but I guess I looked the part. To the interview, I wore my most stylish outfit. I was hoping to be perceived as cool or fashionable enough to work there.

The first day on the job I was told to go sell some clothes.

I would be paid a low hourly wage in addition to a 3% commission on anything I sold. 

I noticed quickly how hungry my fellow salespeople were. 

The deal was, once you put clothing in the change room for a customer - that customer was considered yours. And you would receive commission on anything he/she purchased.

I was instructed to go greet the customers. To go tell them how good they looked the clothes. I was also given some other scripts aimed to pull in some sales.

I felt really nervous. Actually, I was pretty scared.

I didn’t want to approach customers who clearly didn’t want any help. (And this was pretty much everyone who walked into the store). 

Using the sales techniques felt 'yucky' and 'salesy' coming out of my mouth. 

I made no sales.

Then a whole month went by… and still I made no sales. I knew my job security was running thin. I could tell management was getting frustrated and annoyed with my performance. 

I soon felt I wasn’t cut out for sales. I told myself, “I just don’t have the right personality.”

My next shift started, and for all I knew, it was possibly my last. 

It was quiet day at the mall. A girl came into the store and I said “Hi”. Without any thoughts of making a sale, I started organizing some messy sweater piles near where she was browsing. 

We struck up a conversation. It was a natural conversation. It felt legitimate and equal.

As the conversation progressed, the tone remained the same as the topic transitioned. She told me what she was shopping for. I enthusiastically showed her all of the items that matched her needs. And then, I showed her all of the amazing accessories and other items (I personally thought) paired well with the outfit - to take it from good to great.

I loved helping her. It was a magical feeling.

And coincidentally, she too was getting excited about my suggestions.

I poured 120% of my heart and soul into presenting her with the best solutions to her problem. And she looked great.

I’m sure you can guess the outcome. Yes, I made my first sale… and it was a BIG one.

But it was a win-win. We both felt happy and fulfilled. 

Important note: I wasn't thinking, “Oh my goodness, is she going to buy something from me? I hope she buys something…”

Au contraire! I was focused on how I could help this lovely customer and create the best looking outfit to match her needs.

Things turned around that day. And from that day on, I was the top producer for that clothing store. 

So what were the words that stopped me in my tracks last Friday? The book said:

“You want people skills?...Then be a person.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

 

The moment I became a real person and had a real conversation with that customer, was the day I realized that sales aren’t about one-liners or savvy selling techniques. No, it was about me being able to be me. It was about how I could relate, help and give my customer something valuable and specific to her needs and desires. It was about how I could make her happy and exceed her expectations.

So simple.

“It’s worth ten thousand times more than all the closing techniques that ever have been or ever will be invented. It’s called authenticity.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

 

Although, I learned this important lesson over 20 years ago, it was a feeling I never forgot, even though I could never quite articulate what it was in just three little words. 

Be a person. 

Just be a real person.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling whether it be clothing or wedding photography, the same principle applies. It’s the law of authenticity.

I live my life and run my photography business by this law.

Now, if you’re wondering what this amazing book is called, it’s called “The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg , John David Mann.

It’s a quick read with a big impact.

You can read the first 2 chapters for free on google books here.

I’m hoping this inspires you To connect with your clients on a deeper more authentic level to ultimately jumpstart or build-on your current success.

 

Now, I’ve got a lovely surprise

It’s one thing to create deeper more authentic relationships with your clients face-to-face or on the phone. But often times we struggle with creating this same feeling online.

In other words, does your website present the real you to the world?

I know how mechanical writing about yourself can feel. You’re thinking…. “Do I sound too corporate?”, “I don’t want to sound conceded”, “Does that sound unprofessional?”, “Which photo should I include?”.

This month I’ll be hosting a free online training module covering some of the most overlooked things you can do to your website to help you stand out, save time and sell more.
 

The free training video is geared toward wedding photographers and other wedding professionals. The wedding industry is super competitive and highly saturated. 

And, let’s face it, most brides begin their wedding vendor search online. 

A beautiful design with stunning photos coupled with your contact information is not enough to make brides stop their search and say “This is the one!”

This free training will give you some quick action items you can do to make yourself stand out from the busy crowd. 

I hope you’ll join us! 

Tell us where to send the free training module:

 

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE


Join the community for a free serving of marketing, motivation & sales tips right to your inbox.


 

I’ll finish with another impactful quote from the book:

“The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

 
Some earlier photos...

Some earlier photos...

 

Thanks for allowing me into your inbox! Leave me a comment below - what was your breakthrough moment?

With love, gratitude and wishing you all the success,

 
 

 

P.S. I mentioned that I was listening to this book while editing photos. I subscribe to Audible (where you can find this book) and Sue Bryce Education. Both have business material that is motivating, insightful and inspiring! 

Animoto Video - Yay or Nay?

Animoto Photography business making video marketing Animoto

So I did it! I took the plunge signed up for Animoto and created a video!

Now I’ve heard people in the photography industry singing the praises of Animoto for a while. Namely the super talented Sue Bryce! And I must admit, my initial reaction was how great can it really be? I mean I use a Mac.... and iMovie is simple enough.  

I’ve also tried Photodex Proshow Web. Could this really be any better? - I said to myself.

Well, at the end of this article I’ll tell you the reasons why I think Animoto is a better tool - for my needs - and they probably aren’t for the reasons you think!

I’ll also touch on some different ways you can use video for your wedding, family or glamour photography businesses!

Why

But first let’s start off with why video is even important to your photography business!

These are some interesting and rather compelling statistics in my opinion. The article “The Science of Video Engagement” found that:

  • 60% of web site visitors will watch a video if one is available before reading any text

  • 88% of visitors stay longer on a site where there is a prominent video

  • homepages or landing pages that have a prominent video lead to 800% more conversions

  • website visitors have a higher likelihood of remembering videos compared to other forms of information

  • visitors who watch videos tend to look deeper into your product/brand and later purchase from you.

So video is pretty important. But how can we use it in our photography business?

How to use video

I’ve put together a list of some fun and easy ways I’ve seen and heard of video being used - and ways you can use it too: 

  • show behind the scenes at a wedding or in studio

  • interview

  • show your studio and office

  • client testimonials

  • image galleries

  • surprise client with their images put to music

  • showcase final images mixed with behind the scenes video/images

  • family shoot: interviewing the kids mixed with final images from the shoot

  • business commercial

  • brand story with images and your voice-over

  • showcase products e.g. wedding albums, folio boxes

  • up-sell packages

That’s all great, but where can you use these videos? Uhm… just about everywhere! And the best part is you can easily re-purpose your videos. Think - homepage, blog post, Facebook, Instagram and other social media.

My Animoto experience

I wanted to surprise one of my beautiful portraiture clients with something extra thoughtful. 

My typical portraiture blog posts prior to this, I’m sad to admit, were 1-2 images from a photo shoot that I would post here and there if I found time. 

This time I wanted to say more. This time I wanted to show more. And I wanted to say more without words and without just throwing a bunch of photos up consecutively one after another.

So I logged into my Animoto account and I picked a theme that I thought would be fitting with the style of photos I wanted to showcase. 

Tip: when viewing the themes, try to look past the default placeholder images - your photo genre may give the theme a completely different vibe.

Next I uploaded my photos, added my logo, a few lines of text, picked some music from their suggested royalty free music library and voila - I published my video! (Big Smile)

Animoto, automatically timed my video to the music, transitioned between the different slides and gave me straightforward options to export/publish my video.

Since you can control the time of the video, (if you’d like), you can also make shorter complimentary videos to use on Instagram. 

Tip: Instagram cuts videos off at 15 seconds.

So in addition, I made a shorter 15 second version of the video to match the look & feel of the original video.

Then, with the touch of a button, I exported the videos to my youtube and vimeo accounts and also downloaded them to my computer.

And the very best part... my video looked ultra professional! All shiny and polished!

Why I love Animoto

iMovie and other online video programs can do the same thing right?

Yes for some features, but these are the reasons why I prefer Animoto to other software I have tried:

  • it’s a super simple process

  • it saves me time! I’m a photographer and I don’t have time to fiddle around with video software.

  • it’s drag and drop

  • it’s really fast and slick

  • it’s online

  • you can import photos from smugmug

  • if you dislike the theme you can easily switch it without re-starting your project from scratch

  • it makes exporting easy

  • it exports quickly

  • all of your videos are in one place

  • it connects to your vimeo and youtube accounts

  • it easily embeds video into your website

  • you can upload both videos and still images

  • you can clip your videos in animoto

  • you can upload voice-overs

  • it has a huge library of royalty free music (hola!)

  • it has a blank template that you customize for projects that don’t fit with any of their other themes.

If you’ve been considering using video for any aspect of your photography business, I hope this article has been useful! I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Also, if you want to explore more about how to use animoto to boost your business check out Sue Bryce's super Creative Live course here!

Be sure to leave me a comment below.

P.S. Here is my video

With love and gratitude. And wishing you all the success in photography business,

 
 

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE


Join the community for a free serving of marketing, motivation & sales tips right to your inbox.