Knowing What To Advertise!

Knowing what to advertise means that you must know your clients well enough to understand why they made the buying decision to come to your business.  Most photographers get so caught up in their “Visual Artist” titles and how the rest of the photographers create portraits but they create “art”, they never consider why the average client selected them over the competition.  Some photographers remind me of the TV commercial that the woman had on a new pair of jeans while she was shopping.  Everybody seemed to be looking at her booty, she thought to herself these jeans made her booty look like J-Lo’s,  when actually she had just forgotten to remove the tag on the seat of her pants!

Every business has raving fans, that are walking, talking poster-people for your studio (God Bless Them!)  But these are only a few of the many clients that your business works with.  Unfortunately,  these are also the people who most photographers ask marketing questions. This is like a homely, overweight and short girls asking her mother if she could be a model.  There is only one correct answer for the mother to have, the one her daughter wants to hear.

While we all love those who are fanatical about our studios, they are not our mainstream clients.  The vast majority of our average clients had a need for a portrait to be taken, compared the local photographers they had heard of and selected you over your competition.  WHY?  That is what you have to find out and what you have to put into everything in your marketing plan.  What if you talked with every client, (not just the fanatical ones) and found out your clients picked you because they love your outdoor photography, but then you looked at how few clients selected an outdoor session and how hard you made it for clients to be photograph at a location rather than in the studio.

Talk about ironic, what if you are one those photographers that considers themselves an artist and you talk with all of your clients, only to find out that you are considered to be one of the best photographers in your area, but the main reason clients selected you was that you were the “cheapest” of the best photographers in your area (major ego deflation).   This is why so many photographers don’t ask the business questions they need to, they don’t want to hear the true feelings of their clients.  This is the why so many photographers don’t want to sell their own work, because they don’t want to hear the criticism or harsh reality that could save their business.

When I started out,  I took the portraits and I sold the portraits and I worked my butt off trying to give the clients exactly what they wanted so (I could pay the rent and…) I wouldn’t have to deal with hearing about problems in the viewing room.  Some photographers only talk with fans and never want to hear what clients say when they are looking at the images they have taken because it might destroy the illusion and/0r deflate the ego, but that is what it takes to be successful in any business.  A Chef might think he is a “Culinary Genius” but that doesn’t matter, he is only a “Culinary Genius” if a vast majority of patrons in his restaurant say he is one.

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on February 27, 2010.

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