Guest Post – Marketing Guru Sarah Petty

Today we have an amazing post by a good friend of ours who is not only an amazing person, but runs one of THE most profitable photography studios in the country! This is an amazing treat to have our friend and all around sales guru Sarah Petty talking about how to overcome objections when clients are hesitating to purchase. Very rarely will you sell to your photography clients without them bringing up a single objection throughout the process, so learning these techniques that Sarah describes will teach you how to sell more without being a “salesman.” Turning Objections into Opportunities Sarah Petty     Sometimes when you’re selling to your photography clients, it can feel like you’re constantly being met with objections, and the feeling can be daunting. But, if you aren’t getting objections when selling to your clients, then you are done selling.  You have either closed the sale, or your clients want to leave without placing an order.   While objections often get a bad rap, hesitation from your clients doesn’t necessarily mean ‘no.’ Rather, the objections they bring up are opportunities for you to find out the real reason they aren’t buying, and then you can work to overcome those feelings so that selling to your clients is much smoother, and everyone involved is tickled pink.   Take, for instance, one of the most popular objections we hear as professionals who understand cost of goods sold and set our prices to be profitable: ‘You’re too expensive.”   There are a few different strategies you can use here to overcome this common objection, but here’s one that... Read More

Making Money | The Culture of Earning

Welcome to week 1 of this 3 week series on how to make more money in your business + a sweet GIVEAWAY. Today we will cover the first and most important aspect of becoming great at anything you set out to do – culture immersion. Generating money requires complete devotion and dedication to earning.  Think back to when you first became a photographer. You somehow got the itch, started checking out cameras and blogs and before you knew it, you were in deep! When I (Zach) started shooting back in 2006, I got into photography almost overnight. I wanted to learn so bad that I pushed an A&R guy from Provident records to get me on the assistant list of the best commercial shooters in town and went out for free and carried gear bags just to see them shoot. I went to the library and read loads of books on lighting and shooting techniques, I poured over dozens of blogs, websites, YouTube videos and started making friends that were shooters with whom I spent hours talking shop about cameras and lenses, I spent hundreds and probably even thousands of hours learning, shooting and soaking it all up. The result? Jody and I had photographers asking us to teach photography just 1 year into running our business. It seams like maybe that was premature for us to start teaching since we had only been “shooting” for a year, but the reality was that we had spent so much time previous to that learning and becoming good at what we did, we really were ready to start teaching. We were immersed in... Read More

Tuesday Tips & Tricks | Integrity

  If you want to take your business to the next level for 2013, then one of the most simple ways to do that is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Having integrity. Doing things consistently, meaning what you say and doing the right thing no matter what. When you exercise this this trait in your business, clients will see that you are greatly different than the competition. You can quickly set yourself apart from everyone else simply by doing what you say you are going to do.If you say the images will be turned around in 30 days, then turn them around. If you say you are going to call someone back, call them back. If you say that you will be somewhere at 5pm, get there at 4:45. Integrity will make you stand... Read More

Cows Never Win

80% of what we do day in and day out to become successful is business – and with 20% of our time we get to create art (shooting, editing etc). So this week, and a few time a month our business posts are dedicated to this all important area of our photog biz!   Today’s tip is entitled, “Don’t be a cow.” Cows love the status quo, they love chewing their cud and keeping their heads down. They have no idea when they walk into the slaughter house what’s about to happen to them. That is the opposite of what you need to do to be a success in anything in life, including your photography business. The alternative is to become a Rhino. Scott Alexander, in his book Rhinoceros Success, calls Rhino’s “large, focused, 6,000 pound charging machines that stop at nothing to get what they want!” They don’t stand for the status quo, they live in the wild and live free unlike their cow counterparts. So why do Rhino’s succeed and cows just get by? Because they are driven.   The Challenge So our challenge today is, where is your drive? What is your focus? Where are you going? Do you even know? If you don’t feel driven, don’t have direction and don’t know where you are going, here are three areas you can work on that could change that for you starting right now!   We become the product of three things: the people we associate with, the books we read, and the media we listen to. (Tweet this out HERE!)    Want to become a Rhino (someone... Read More

Win to Grow Your Business via Social Media!!!

We have an opportunity to give one lucky blog reader a book on Social Media that will change your business! If you didn’t catch yesterday’s post on Creating Ads worth Engaging by guest social media marketing guru and author, Lawrence Chan (Tofurious), then make sure to read it because it goes to show how much this guy knows and how it can benefit your business!! Lawrence Chan just released a book on Amazon, Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers, and this is a must-read for every smart photographer who wants to utilize Social Media to their greatest advantage. If you want to… LISTEN to your audience and lear what they love, hate, and couldn’t care less about CREATE content that resonates with your market and supports your niche position CONVERT your Fans, Friends, and casual readers into clients and advocates EVANGELIZE your brand with passionate followers who’ll spread the good news of your work THEN…. this book is a must read! We are giving away a book to one lucky blog reader!!!!!!! If you want in on the excitement, here’s how you can enter to win: 1. Follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/ZachandJody) 2. Follow Tofurious on Twitter (twitter.com/tofurious) 3. Sign up for our Photographer newsletter for free monthly exclusive photo tips & tricks (http://tinyurl.com/yhudaqt) 4. Tweet the following message (text to copy and paste: Win to grow your business via Social Media thanks to @Tofurious & @ZachandJody. More info: http://tinyurl.com/ybcuyrz) Winner will be announced in one week on the blog and your book will be mailed directly to you from the one-and-only Lawrence Chan himself!! Make sure to come... Read More

Creating Ads Worth Engaging by Tofurious

Today we have an absolute special treat for you. If you have not heard of Lawrence Chan (Tofurious.com), then consider this your introduction and make sure to follow Lawrence’s blog… but only if you want your business to grow :) Lawrence Chan is a marketing strategist for smart photographers who authors a blog, a pricing e-book and, most recently, a published book — Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers. We have been following Lawrence for at least a year now and had the amazing pleasure of finally meeting him in person 2 weeks ago out in San Diego. This guy is as legit as they come! Pay close attention, as Lawrence is on a whole other level of marketing and strategy! With social media changing the way we do business, getting the word out about your services has changed as well. How do we best reach our clients? How do we best draw them into what we do? Without further ado, read below! _____________________________ 2 Ways to Create Ads worth Engaging – by Tofurious I recently discovered Mad Men – an American television series that takes place in the 1960s about an advertisement agency. It’s quite fascinating. A lot of the marketing approaches parallel that of today’s, except for one thing – today’s technology is more advanced, thus allowing for social engagement.     Before we vilify the concept of advertisements, please understand that they do work in keeping top of mind awareness. Otherwise, the entire industry would have collapsed already. Last time I checked, TV commercials, radio sponsors and full-page magazine ads are still prevalent. In the past,... Read More

Amaze your Clients with the Click of a Button!

Welcome to the latest installment of our Tuesday Tips & Tricks! Today we are going to share a cool tool to have your clients talking about you AND we have a promo code for the tool to share!!! Have you been looking for something awesome to do for your clients that will take their experience with you up a notch and then get them sharing about your awesomeness all the more? We have a fellow friend and Colorado Wedding & Portrait photographer, Stacey Kyler who shoots weddings and this week we want to share with you something that Stacey did that got a huge response RIGHT AFTER THE WEDDING by using a simple tool called Animoto!! Meet Stacey! Read Stacey’s Story: This wedding was one of those that you dream of as a photographer…sweet, honest and genuine love between the bride and groom, a rockin’ bridal party that was a blast to work with, and beautiful Colorado mountain views. I wanted to put together something immediately after the wedding that not only showed the images, but also relayed the emotion of the day. Animoto is an amazing tool that allowed me to do both. My goal was to create a video that helped wedding guests to re-live the day and other friends and family who were not in attendance to feel as though they were. The response that I have received from the bridal party, family members and friends has been overwhelmingly positive. They love how the music (first dance song), the bride and groom video clips and the images tell the story of the emotion and overall experience... Read More

What you Need to know about Pricing & Packaging

We are PUMPED to have guest blogger, Jared Bauman share his wisdom business savvy with you all! Jared not only has run his studio for over 10 years (he is a part of the 4% of small businesses who actually last and thrive over 10 years – amazing!), but his studio shoots over 200 events annually around the world, AND he founded ShootDotEdit (anyone want to outsource your editing??), AND he also makes time in his schedule to share his knowledge freely with other photographers. Jared is the perfect example of how to not only run a successful business, but a successful life. We met Jared two years ago listening to him speak at our first ever photographer’s conference and have since grown to become good friends with this awesome guy! We have heard Jared speak multiple times at other conferences including the coveted WPPI conference in Vegas, and one of the best talks we heard from Jared was when he spoke on the science behind pricing and packaging your services. Let’s face it, pricing is a challenge! I (Jody) remember during the first two years of our business it seemed like we modified our pricing every week! Anyone else our there feeling us on that? So today, Jared has graciously agreed to share with us all some of his smarts on Pricing. Enjoy!   Pricing & Packaging Bootcamp By Jared Baumann Pricing. It’s often the last thing we think about as photographers. We focus on our website, our branding. We pour over reviews of the latest gear, and try to learn how to light for every situation. Email... Read More

5 Reasons Why Grouponing Yourself Could be the Worst thing for You and Your Business

As us photographers are trying to get our name out there, and bring in new business, there is the temptation to try any new means of getting new clients. Groupon-type services have been the latest craze and some photographers are falling into it left and right… and that may not be the best move for your business. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Groupon (or Groupon type services), they are essentially services that provide their subscribers with hugely discounted deals for local services and businesses when a group of people buy into the special offer. Cool, right? Well, yes, and no… As I was perusing our local deals on my phone, I came across a “Groupon” for a photographer. They were giving away for a low rate, their shoot time, a print, AND the disc of images. After Zach and I did some math, a great dialogue followed and thus, our Tuesday Tips & Tricks has been birthed. We want to share with you our opinion on why we think “Grouponing” (offering your services for discounted rates) could be the worst thing that you do for yourself and your business. As we share our talking points we’re going to use this hypothetical example of Sarah Bob Photography. Here is an example of Groupons that we have seen for photographers. Sarah Bob Photography Includes: One hour portrait session, 11×14 print, Disc of Images Groupon Purchase Price: $75 Actual Retail Value: $300 Purchaser Savings: 75% So here are 5 reason why we think this style of discounting can hurt your business… 1. It devalues you | Groupon services are... Read More

Marketing Strategy Chapter 2

Welcome to today’s Tuesday Tips and Tricks! Today, we are delving back into the book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing which has quickly become one of the most influential books we have yet to read. We were first turned onto this book by marketing genius Kevin Swan from Swan Luxury Events. You may remember in our first post on this book, Marketing strategy chapter 1, that we did back in January, that we talked about the Law of of Leadership which states, “It is better to be first, than it is to be better.” We talked about how no one really cares what product is better, but they do care about what product they THINK is better. No one sells inferior products (and states that they do so) so why would we waste our time saying that we have a good product? But we still talk a lot in our marketing about how “our photos are the best photos and our albums are the best albums!” Well, who is not selling the best albums? So we came to the conclusion that our clients perception of us is the most important thing to focus on for Law 1 to go into effect. Today, we are talking about Law 2, The Law of the Category. In law 1, we talked about how Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. Everyone remembers him because he was first and NO one remembers who did it second. The 2nd person to fly solo over the Atlantic was Bert Hinkler. Even though Bert Hinkler flew over the Atlantic... Read More

Keywording so Potential Clients can find YOU!

Hey guys! Today’s post is all about something that is super important to do when getting your images online. Anytime that you upload images to the internet, you want to make sure that Google can see them, so the way we do that is with key wording! Google can’t see images, so we need to add some keywords so that people that are out there searching can find your photos! So, check out the screen cast video below to see how to do that in Lightroom in one fast and easy step!   [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/23896326?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”750″ height=”450″ frameborder=”0″] We are still on the road on the tour and are having a blast! We are headed out to San Diego today and can’t wait to see some of you... Read More

Is Your Brand Consistent?

Today’s post is applicable to all business and we’re going to be talking about consistent branding! What is brand consistency? Brand consistency is when all elements of your business work together to create a cohesive and united front. Let’s take a look at a fantastic case study. About three or so years ago, a new sandwich shop opened here in Franklin, TN called Which Wich. We thought it was maybe just another Subway but oh, no, my friends – this was much more and very well thought out and cool! We could talk about quite a few things in regards to Which Wich and business (like how it’s a total experience eating there) but we’ll just stay focused on their branding for today. If any company milks their brand for all it’s worth, it’s Which Wich. They have their logo: But then practically EVERYTHING throughout their restaurant points back to that branding and helps envelope you in the experience of Which Wich. For those of you who have never walked into a Which Wich or don’t have them nearby, we feel we might have to explain a bit of what happens when you go into their store to understand their branding elements. 1. You walk into the store, look at their menu and grab a sandwich bag to mark which kind of sandwich you want. 2. Then you go up to the counter and place your order. They take your sandwich bag and put it on a wire, and it slides across as the sandwich artists make your ‘wich! For those who are the creative/crazy/fun types (cough *Zach*), you can... Read More

How Well Do You Rate?

This week’s post is from an article that we participated in at WPPI for PhotoShelter. We did an interview over lunch with PhotoShelter co-founders Allen Murabayashi & Grover Sanschagrin. They wrote the below article based on our and other photographers chats with them and on their personal experience at WPPI. The article highlights 5 positive traits that they have seen in successful photographers and is a great reminder of how important being positive is in this business. Check it out and see how well you rate compared to the 17 photographers they interviewed. Have you ever been in a room with a whole bunch of positive people, and as a result, you walked away feeling optimistic and positive too? That was the scene at WPPI in Las Vegas the last week of February, a trade show for wedding and portrait photographers. People were so positive, upbeat, and happy, that I needed to find out why. This year, Allen and I decided to attend WPPI – but not by setting up a booth on the trade show floor. We just wanted to talk to people in a more pleasant atmosphere than a crowded and noisy show floor. We wanted to talk to people about their photography, their businesses, their outlook on the industry, and strategies for success – and felt that if we stepped out of sales-mode (which you really cannot escape if you’re standing inside of a booth) we’d be able to learn a lot more simply because we’d have the time to listen. This trade show was booming with an estimated 16,500 attendees. I’ve been to my share... Read More

The Top 10 Reasons Why Showit is the Best thing for Photographers Since Sliced Bread

If you took a moment and looked at all of the tools you use for your business (Pictage, ShootQ, Quickbooks, SmugMug, PhotoJunction, Album Exposure, etc.) and had to pick ONE to get rid of which would you choose? If you had to pick one that you would forever be able to keep, which would it be? For today’s post, we want to share with you one of the biggest tools, if not THE biggest, that we have used and continue to use for our business that we would not be able to do without. If we did not have Showit, we have no idea where our business would be. Seriously. You think we’re exaggerating. We’re not. Showit in a nutshell: A tool made by photographers for photographers to build your own fully customizable website. Your website is your public face. It represents you. As photographers we are unique and creative individuals. Don’t we want that to reflect in our site? Don’t we want the freedom to do whatever to our site that we want instead of being constricted to templates? Top 10 Reasons Why Showit is Amazing (and why we love it) 1. Flash + HTML + HTML5: Even though the site is flash, Showit creates an HTML file for every page so your site is searchable, AND when you publish it, it automatically publishes it in HTML 5 format so it can be viewed on all mobile devices!! 2. SEO that is the bomb: Read more here to see the full awesomeness 3. FULL customization: Away with templates, and enter in Style Groups that you can use as... Read More

Creating a Niche

We all know that if you don’t have your business working for you, then all the shooting talent in the world won’t help you get clients booked! So, today we are going to be giving some practical, take-away business advice that YOU, the photographer, can apply to what you are doing day in and day out. If you want the full scoop, then sign up for our photography newsletter for much, much more! :) We will soon be utilizing our newsletter for exclusive Tips & Tricks content, so if you want it all, make sure to sign up for it! We’re not sure if it’s because photographers are typically artists and get bored easily, or because we don’t have a clear grasp of our marketing position (or marketing in general), but many shooters today suffer from the old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It seems like it would be a great idea to offer all kinds of photography specialties from your studio to your perspective clients. Why not cater to anyone and everyone, right? Here is the problem: Even though you may be really good at all of those types of shooting, you run the risk of diluting your message, your skill, what you do, and the potential client will go to someone else. A perspective bride or mom wanting her baby photographed, will have the impression that you are not specializing in anything specific, and therefore are not the best. So, because you shoot so many different styles and types of photography, she will more than likely not see the value in what you do... Read More

This Marketing Tool Will Change Your Wedding Business!

There are some marketing ideas out there that work for some people, some that don’t work for others, and some that simply aren’t great ideas. However, what we are about to share with you today on the latest installment of our Tuesday Tips and Tricks post WILL benefit your business and is a sure way to amp things up and get your momentum going (or keep it going) and the return is invaluable! This has worked awesomely for us and is in part one of the reasons that we do not spend any $$$ on advertising. Today we are going to be talking about Wedding Slideshows! Some of you may have heard of doing sideshows at weddings and for some of you, this may be a brand new idea, so we’re gonna break it down! We first heard of this idea from a photographer and entrepreneur who we respect and admire, David Jay, and since we began doing this back in January 2008 it has brought us tons of amazing clients and got our name out to many more! What are wedding slideshows? – This is when you set up your laptop/iPad/small viewing screen, and display in slideshow form pictures taken earlier that day at the wedding Why does this work? We cannot stress enough how amazing doing these slideshows can be for your business. How many times have you gone and shot a wedding and people come up to you saying, “Man, you are AWESOME – you did such a great job,” but you’re thinking to yourself, “You haven’t even seen the pictures yet. They could stink for... Read More

Wedding Don’ts and Don’ts

As a wedding photographer (or wedding vendor) what would you say is one of the most powerful ways you market yourself? Some would say their website, blog or maybe Facebook… Have you ever thought that maybe one of the most powerful ways you market yourself (speaking to mainly wedding photographers here) is at the wedding itself? The wedding is where the magic happens and is when you are put in front of hundreds of people watching you work – many of whom are single, engaged, or at least know someone getting engaged. People are watching you, and how you represent yourself can either draw so much business to you that you have to turn away clients, or you can turn away clients right there at the wedding unintentionally. How you represent yoursef on the wedding day will be key to your success! We have a few tips below that will help you put your best foot forward as you showcase yourself in front of hundreds of potential clients. 1) Dress for the Part Do you love wearing PJ’s all day when you work? Us too! But don’t wear them at your weddings. When I (Jody) was in college taking a career class, I was told by a professor, “Dress for the job you want.” You want to shoot 10,000 weddings? Well you better dress like a $10,000 photographer. If you look sharp, professional, and put together then that is how you and your business will be percieved. 2) Gear, Gear Everywhere Have lots of bags? Or maybe even just one bag? The last thing you want to do is... Read More