The IPPA Blog | The Blog of The Irish Professional Photographers Association

CAT | The Business of Photography

  1. The most important order you ever get from any customer is the second order.
  2. Understanding and adapting to consumer motivation is not an option. It is an absolute necessity for competitive survival.
  3. Know the power of repetition. Your message must be consistent.
  4. The two most common mistakes companies make when using the phone is failing to track results and tracking the wrong thing.
  5. Marketing activities should be designed to increase profits, not just sales.
  6. It costs five times as much to sell a new customer as an existing customer. Get out that customer list!
  7. Selling what your customers need, instead of what you think they want, will lead to failure.
  8. Don’t think that product superiority, technology, innovation or company size will sell itself.
  9. Don’t neglect or ignore your current customers while pursuing new ones.
  10. People don’t buy products, they buy the benefits and solutions they believe the products provide.
  11. The average business never hears from 96% of its dissatisfied customers.
  12. 50% of those customers who complain would do business with the company again if their complaints were handledsatisfactorily.
  13. It is estimated that customers are twice as likely to talk about their bad experiences as their good ones.
  14. Exaggerated claims produce inflated expectations that the product or service cannot live up to, thereby resulting in dissatisfiedcustomers.
  15. Get to know your prime customers—the 20% of product/service users who account for 80% of the total consumption of that product class.

Hope it helps.

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I have spent some time over the past few days and weeks looking at various photographers websites. Photographers who are both members and non-members of the IPPA. There are some wonderful websites that  can only act as a terrific marketing tool for the owners business. Then there are others………!

Awful, truly awful! How can one claim to be a professional if their ‘digital shop window’ is/has/looks:

(and feel free to choose all that apply)

 

  • Slow to load
  • Outdated imagery (specifically the ‘Schindlers List’ wedding picture of the red rose and remainder in black and white! Please???)
  • The sepia that is more FECAL than sepia.
  • A gmail/hotmail/yahoo email address as the main email.
  • No contact details except for a mobile number. (inspires client confidence, doesn’t it!)
  • Extraordinary Vignettes (You know what I mean!!!)
  • A domain name that is not your own business name or your name.
  • Offers that were over months ago. “Book now and get ….. Offer finishes January 31st 2013.
  • The 1980’s wallpaper background.
  • Broken Links or links to nowhere.
  • Music that plays like a Saturday night strip joint – Did you think that your clients might be looking at your site in work.
  • The ‘Specialist’ who specialises in everything from Weddings to Wildlife to Architecture and Events – “If you put it in front of me, I can shoot it” photographer. Once again inspiring confidence.
  • Those websites who makes claims on behalf of their publishers – “The very best”, “No one better”, “The best in the country”, The best in the world” – Breaking News: YOU ARE NOT!

I could go on but I won’t because each of the above is making me more cantankerous and I hate being grumpy! So for the cheap seats in the house, I’ll say it one more time.

Make your brand simple and consistent in regards to your logo, website, portfolios and promos. Ultimately your photography should speak for itself. The more consistent you are with your brand the more professional you will appear to a client, thus resulting in more business!

Before the end of this month conduct a full audit of your website and get it sorted, its your window to the world and some of you have ‘dirty windows”, get ’em cleaned!

Oh and by the way, if your a member of the Irish Professional Photographers Association and your website is crap, its a reflection on, not only you but your fellow members and the association too.

Signing off from this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Good night and good luck.

 

How much junk mail, out dated subscriptions, spam and other crap do you receive into your inbox in any given week? How much time do you waste selecting, wondering, deleting all that email? How much of it remains clogging up your account on your providers server? Do you ever get a message from your server informing you that you are close to your maximum allocation of memory on your email. Time to do something about that!

 

 

Do yourself a favour and the next time rubbish arrives in your inbox from someone or something you subscribed to in 2004 and never read or need anymore, open it, scroll down and click on the unsubscribe button. It’s easy!

What if they dont have an ‘unsubscribe‘ button? Then politely email them and ask to be removed. You’ll save time in the long run, I’m sure of it.

#springclean

 

· · ·

Client: “If you can do this job cheap, we have a lot more work for you in the future.”

You: “That sounds great and I really appreciate loyalty. Here’s what I’ll do for you Seanie. Because you’re promising me more work in exchange for a reduced price here, what I like to do is I’ll flip that. I’ll charge you my full fee on this first job, and when that next job comes in, I’ll offer you a reduction in my fee of 10-percent.”

Client: “Hmmmm, that’s interesting.”

You: “It is Seanie, it is! A lot of my clients really appreciate my flexibility to bend a bit in this difficult economy. And, let me sweeten the pot a little more. When that third job comes my way, I’ll increase that reduction to 20-percent. And even better, I’ll discount the fourth job 30-percent. So, when can we get started on this project?”

You’ve called his bluff and the total discount across all four jobs amounts to only 15-percent.

If you don’t get the job you will have found out three things:

#1 The client was fishing for a bottom feeder and you didn’t bite.

#2 You now know that in refusing your discount offer this client would have zero loyalty to you and is just looking for the lowest bidder out there.

#3 The clients who only seek out the lowest-priced supplier usually are more trouble than they’re worth. But you already knew that, didn’t you!

· · · ·

Marketing Options

Whether it was putting an ad in a newspaper, recording a jingle for the radio or shooting a commercial for television, marketing campaigns used to require a lot of cash. While those methods still exist, the Internet has opened new avenues for businesses to market their products and services for free.

Here are seven ways to promote your business without spending a dime.

 

Facebook

As the most popular social networking site, Facebook gives businesses a free outlet to reach millions of potential new customers. Similarly to how individual Facebook users can create personal pages, businesses can set up their own dedicated page on Facebook to help grow their venture, build brand awareness and develop relationships with consumers. Besides providing all the business’ vitals – including name, location, phone number and Web address – the Facebook page gives businesses a forum to speak to their customers about company news, special promotions and new products. Many businesses also use their Facebook page to run contests and free giveaways as a way to attract new shoppers.

 

www.strikingimages.ie

Twitter

The popular micro-blogging site Twitter is also a way to reach new customers without the expense. Twitter offers businesses a platform for connecting their brand with things people care about. The social networking site bills itself as a canvas for telling engaging stories, broadcasting content, connecting directly with consumers and driving transactions. The site provides businesses with a unique opportunity to see what their customers are saying, ask them questions and respond to their concerns. Businesses can also use Twitter to run special deals and promotions.

 

Local Listing Services

For many consumers, the Internet is the first place they look when searching for a business. Since local search entries are often the first choices given in a search query, businesses can easily attract new customers and clients by simply making sure they are listed on the sites. The local search listings offer businesses an easy way to highlight their location, hours and contact information. The most popular local search listing sites are Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Microsoft Bing.

 

Press release websites

Getting a little free publicity from newspapers, radio and television stations and blogs is a great way to attract new business. One way to catch the eye of the local media is to send out releases touting new products or services, as well as company news and special promotions. In today’s digital age, many journalists search through press release websites for new and interesting story ideas. A number of websites, such as Free Press Release, PR Log, 24/7 Press Release and I-Newswire, offer the opportunity to post press releases on their site for free. In addition to exposure on the site, the releases are distributed to major search engines, making their reach even greater.

 

Online video

Few things create buzz for a business more than a great viral video. While not every video will become a huge hit, they do provide a more engaging way to get information to consumers. While a normal ad won’t do the trick, businesses can use creative videos to build new interest in their company. Examples include videos of company parties for those who were unable to attend, how-to videos for consumers looking for more information on using a product or service, and video confessionals of happy customers and clients. While posting videos on YouTube remains the most popular route, small businesses also can take advantage of other sites like Viddler, Vimeo, Dailymotion and Ustream.

 

Pinterest

While it is true of all social networking sites, using Pinterest successfully requires more than just cramming products and promotions down consumer’s throats. Pinterest gives users their online pin board, where they can “pin” up links and photos to things they like and are interested in. However, businesses only posting pics of their products on the site won’t find many new customers. In order to be successful on Pinterest, businesses must think about the type of content their customers would be interested in. Instead of just sharing images and links to existing product pages, blog posts and websites, businesses should share content that other users will love sharing. A bakery, for example, might use Pinterest to post cupcake recipes, frosting tips, party ideas and other topics for followers.

 

Instagram

Similarly to Pinterest, businesses using the photo-sharing site Instagram must be more creative than just posting picture of products if they want to win customers. It requires building a following of users that want to see their point of view, whether they’re selling something or not. When posting promotional photos, they must be creative. For example, restaurants might show photos of people eating their food, while fashion retailers can post pictures of customers wearing their clothes. The site can also be used to host fun contests that involve customers posting their own photos of them using a business’ product.

 

Hope it helps!

 

Cormac

 

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