Tuesday Photography Tips & Tricks | 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 faster and used less fuel (he tried to stand out on the basis that he did it “better” – just like we try and stand out because we are “better photographers”), no one ever remembers Bert and his amazing feat.

So, if we are not the first photographer to say, shoot weddings, then how can we possibly stand out? Don’t worry! Just because you are not first, does not mean that you can’t succeed! This is where the Law of the Category can come into effect!

The Law of the Category states, “If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category that you can be first in.”

So, does anyone out there remember the 3rd person to fly solo across the Atlantic? You may think that if you didn’t know who did it second, why in the world would you know who did it 3rd? Well, you probably do! It was Amelia Earhart!

The reason that she became famous and everyone knows her name, is because she created a new category. She was the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo. Because she now created her own niche, her own category, she became the first to do it in that category and therefore is well known! Even though she was technically 3rd, she is number 1 to us based on her marketing category – being the first woman to do it.

Many other companies have used this strategy of creating categories to become number 1. Coke and Pepsi have dominated cola for 80 years, so 7up came in and said, “we are the un-cola, the opposite of Coke and Pepsi” and they quickly became the number 1 non-cola company in the world capturing a market share of 800 million dollars.

So, the first thing to ask yourself in your wedding business is not “how is my photography better than my competition?” But, “what can I be first in?” Am I the first husband and wife team that cares about marriages and not just weddings? Am I the first baby portrait photographer in my area that really cares and invests in clients and then offers parenting advice on my blog every Monday (mommy Mondays)? Am I the first wedding photographer that always gets images to wedding planners the day after the wedding? Am I the first female senior photographer in my area that ONLY shoots females?

All of these things are ways that you can become the “first” to your potential clients when you sell and talk about those things, and they can be the reason why your clients perceive you as the best and only solution to their imaging needs. Oh, and when they perceive you as the only answer to their problem, then they will also pay you what you deserve for that service. Remember, the benefit of your “product” can’t be about the product itself.

No one cares that you are a great photographer (unless you shoot photographer’s weddings!), they only care how your photography can make their life better. Coca-Cola used to sell Refreshment (which initially put them on top), not better tasting drinks. Disney sells happiness, not the best rides at a theme park. Chanel sells hope to women, not fashion and accessories that are better than their competitors. What are you selling? And, more importantly, what do your clients know that you are selling?

Jack Trout and Al Ries, Authors of the 22 Immutable Laws say, “Everyone is interested in what’s new, few are interested in what’s better.”

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