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So here’s the 5 Common Mistakes That Lose You Business:

1. Your clients are clueless.

Most people cannot tell a good photo from a bad photo at all and really have no idea what they want. If you’re going to be successful in your business, that is something you need to learn and accept right now. 

2. Your clients are both confused and overwhelmed.

Every single time your prospective client has to do something, whether it be as small as clicking a link or as large as meeting with you, there’s a chance that they’ll never do it and you’ll lose the sale. 

3. Your customer service is horrible.

Be honest with yourself. Are you responding to e-mails promptly? I’m talking all e-mails, not just the new client inquiries you’re getting. Are you placing orders in a timely manner, following up with them, and going above and beyond in order to make their experience with you fantastic? Are you delivering things when you say you will? 

4. You are trying to be everything to everybody.

Do you specialise in weddings, (and portraiture and commercial photography and baby photography and landscape photography and sports photography and architectural photography and fine art and aerial photography and press &PR and food photography and don’t forget wildlife, underwater and photography of outer space too!) In other words, are you faking it, until you make it?

5. You aren’t giving your clients what they want.

The key to getting sales and clients is to offer exactly what they are looking for. When is the last time you bought something you really didn’t want (and didn’t HAVE to buy)?

AGREE?   /   DISAGREE?   / DON’T CARE?

Have a think about it over the weekend and we’ll ‘flesh‘ the above topics out next week……

Have a good weekend everyone!

Cormac

 

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Oct/12

3

Getting Organised

Having attended the IPPA Annual Conference on Sunday in Lyrath Estate, there was one thing that stayed with me from two of the speakers in particular. Out of all the knowledge offered and out of all the ideas put forward Padraic and Sonia Deasy‘s presentation reminded me of a story I once heard. The Deasy’s spoke of being organized through the software, ‘Studio Plus’ I think it was. Then Padraic said something that I thought was very telling. He mentioned that his father use to say: “If you cannot run your business between nine and six, you are doing something wrong.”

IPPA AGM, Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny

Padraic & Sonia Deasy speaking at the IPPA AGM in Lyrath Estate Co. Kilkenny

This reminded me of a story:

Charles Schwab, when he was President of Bethlehem Steel many years ago, called in Ivy Lee, a consultant, and said to him, ‘Show me a way to get more things done with my time, and I’ll pay you any fee within reason.’ Lee replied, ‘Fine. I’ll give you something in 20 minutes that will step up your output by at least 50%.’

With that, Lee handed Schwab a blank piece of paper and said, ‘Write down the six most important things you have to do tomorrow and number them in order of importance. Now put this piece of paper in your pocket. First thing tomorrow morning look at item one and start working on it until you finish it; then do item two, and so on; do this until quitting time and don’t be concerned if you have only finished one or two. You will be working on the most important ones anyway. If you can’t finish them all by this method, you could not have done it by any other method either, and without some system you’d probably not even have decided which was the most important.’

Then Lee said, ‘Try this system every working day. After you’ve convinced yourself of the value of this system, have your men try it, then send me a cheque for what you think it’s worth.

Several weeks later Schwab sent Lee a cheque for $25,000, with a note, proclaiming the advice, ‘the most profitable he had ever followed.’ The concept helped Schwab earn 100 million dollars and turn Bethlehem Steel into the biggest independent steel producer in the world at the time.

I have used a similar “To Do List.” I have found that the list helps me accomplish more and accomplish it faster. It keeps me focused and I avoid wasting time on the less important things. So whether it’s a fancy studio database system or something as simple as a pencil and paper, if you think it’s all getting a bit much;

– Write it down
– Number the items in order of importance
– Get to work

It’s not going to save your life but it might help a little.

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….edgy, cool, fun, funny, attractive, innovative, uplifting, inspiring, modern? So is your marketing WORKING?Dollar Shave Club,Marketing, IPPA,

 

Have a look at how Dollar Shave Club are doing it. It’s probably not the most exciting product or industry in the world. If you are involved in sales and the pitching process of your photography business, you will understand how difficult it is to win new clients. that is before you consider the cost of advertising and marketing that goes behind all your efforts. So if you have not got the time to go to shows, networking meetings and other events, maybe there is an easier way!

If you are a small business there is no way to compete for your share with all the marketing ‘noise’ that is out there, so maybe you could try YouTube or Vimeo.

Here is how Dollar Shave Club have done it.

What Dollar Shave Club have done is taken an average product and made it ‘remarkable’. How? by creating a funny viral video, using the fact that it is an average product as the key selling point. This video provided Dollar Shave Club with 12,000 customers in the first two days of opening its e-doors.

As of this writing, nearly 6 million people have watched this video. The average CPC for a group of “shave” related keywords is currently around €0.80. Its unlikely you have almost €5 million to spend on marketing though, right? What Dollar Shave Club have done is get in front of as many people without the associated and traditional marketing expense. They currently rank number 3 on Google.com for the keyword ‘shave’.

For something a little closer to home (and a little lower on the production values) One Pound Fish has racked up over 2 million views on You Tube of the market stall trader at Queens Market Upton Park in London.

 

Be creative,  it’s worth it!

If you can stand out by creating great content like this and essentially pitch to potentially millions of potential customers with a single online video, surely that’s far more efficient than any other sales activity is likely to be.

And the long-term value is huge – especially in this case where you can generate sales from day one of the campaign and then incrementally build upon it. It’s definitely one of the best integrated social/content campaigns I’ve seen in a long-time.

 

 

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to studio shoot and have clients look at those pictures regardless of where you are. No need for a Wi-Fi network. Just seamlessly being able to transfer your pictures from your camera directly to your iPad, in the hands of clients across the room, across the car park, in fact on any location. Seconds after you have click the shutter, the image appears in your iPad or even better, their iPad!

I had read about this idea recently but it did involve the ‘jail breaking’ of your iPad and that was something that I was not really keen on doing. Now though it can be done without the jailbreak.

What do you need? Well an iPad (obviously) and a camera with an SD slot. Then the final purchase is either a Pro Eye-Fi card or the cheaper version, the Connect X2 Card. which you can get from Amazon.

This video from the guys at Fstoppers takes you through the process.

Eye-Fi released an update to their iPad app which includes some pretty helpful updates.
New features:
– Landscape mode support in the gallery view
– “Add network” button to automatically add the Wi-Fi network to the iOS device even when the Direct Mode network is not broadcasting
– Directly transfer from iOS device to computer when they are on the same Wi-Fi network (requires the user to set the computer destination for the iOS device in Eye-Fi Center again to enable this feature)
– Email up to 5 photos through the native mail app

User Interface:
– Show icons for items pending transfer and actively transferring
– Icon in the tray to indicate when connected to a Direct Mode network
– Added Spanish and Italian languages
– Double tap to zoom into a photo (only on iPhone4 and iPads)
– Smoother transitions when swiping through photos
– Single tap to dismiss the navigation elements in single photo view
– Provide feedback when card is not paired to device on a Direct Mode network

Other:
– Stability improvements
– Turn off video transfers from the Eye-Fi Card to the iOS device if the video type is not supported by iOS
– Screenshots are now automatically uploaded

If you had a little extra money, you could buy the ShutterSnitch iPad app as it has many more professional features and the new version is extremely stable.

All of this information is from a great website that you probably already know about, Fstoppers.com. I’m sold and have the card on order.

So now if you don’t have an iPad, at least you can justify getting one!

Hope this post was useful.

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