7 Grand ideas – key questions for a successful photo business
Seven question you need your photo business to answer
What you need to say to stand out as relevant
Why it is important to answer the questions potential clients have in mind about you
What makes your photography business stand out from the rest?
So, I’m going to assume you want your pro photography business to be a success? You want clients to remember you and ask specifically for your work?
Here are seven questions that can help your business stand out.
OK, it’s the answers that make all the difference, but you’re going to have to do that bit for yourself.
I’ve mentioned before that you need to make your business stand out from the many other competent pro photographers out there ( Are you of value to your clients? – What’s special about your business? )
These questions need distinctive answers: – the more you can hit, the more distinctive you will be seen to be
- How Much?
The answers need to be directed at your clients and potential clients.
- Who are you – why should this matter to me?
- What do you do that’s different to all those other photographers?
- How do you do what I need? Isn’t this the same as everyone else?
- Where do you do this? Don’t all photographers do that?
- When can you do it for me? How flexible are you when I need it?
- Why should we pick you? Why should we take the chance?
- What added value do you offer us – why are your costs so high?
Do you note the recurring theme?
What’s in it for me? (WIIFM)
Just pause a moment and consider how you present yourself… Is it about what you do, or how you help the client?
And now the news for rather too many* pro photographers. The market doesn’t care one jot about your artistic integrity, your inner vision and your motivations. Any competent person hiring photographers is as likely to see your latest ‘personal project’ as evidence of a lack of paying work, rather than the ‘inner exploration’ you might wish to present it as ;-)
* I’m talking here of the vast number of good competent pro photographers – not the top 2% who have built a complex brand and include all this guff interesting background into their marketing materials and can happily spout it when interviewed for prestigious magazines. A prestigious magazine in this context being one that interviews a photographer, yet has no adverts for cameras in it ;-)
You are in a crowded marketplace – you need to stand out.
A quick way of cutting through your own marketing materials to the really important benefits rather than features is, after each marketing statement to ask ‘So What?’ If you can say ‘So what’ at the end of a sentence you have probably made reference to a feature – you need to follow it up with, “which means that…”
“We use the latest advanced cameras and specialist lenses”
So what? – why should I, as a client, care about this?
“Our use of the latest cameras and specialist lenses means we can give you a much wider choice of shots”
Better, but so what?
“You get a wider choice of creative shots and eye-catching images, through our use of the latest cameras and specialist lenses”
Even better – it starts of with a ‘You’ not a ‘We’
Now let’s add an extra reason to set us apart
“You get a wider choice of creative shots and eye-catching images, through our use of the latest cameras and specialist lenses not available to most general photographers.”
OK, I’m happy with that – I know that most general purpose pro photographers won’t have lenses like my 17mm tilt/shift that was used to take this shot of Leicester museum.
Note that I don’t mention this techy detail, since how many clients would appreciate lens design and optical quality?
Do I want to convey the impression that since I don’t do weddings and portrait work, the client is hiring a specialist who is somehow a cut above pro photographers that do? Oh yes… :-)
Just remember that you’re writing marketing copy, not trying to say how good/nice your competition is!
BTW Apologies to pro photographers in the social market, but you’ll have to think of your own ways of differentiating what you do – I do genuinely respect their skills in an area I wouldn’t want to cover.
Business related articles (50+) are listed on the Photo-business page.
Some specific articles that may be of interest:
- Will it sell? - I'm often asked about selling prints
- Photography - making a living from it?
- When to turn down work
- Marketing for photographers - 5 'M's
More of Keith's articles/reviews (Google's picks to match this page)
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