Have you realised how tough it is to make yourself stand out from all the other photographers in your area?
To all the prospects out there looking for a photographer, it can seem like all the togs are offering exactly the some thing, which is why they start to compare each photographer by price alone…
Competing by price is the absolute worst thing you can do if you want to build your business. There will always be someone out there willing to take a pay cut in order to scrape up a little bit of business, but you’ll notice that they aren’t around for long!
In the next few minutes I’ll reveal some of the smartest ways to stand out from the herd and build your photography business by being different…
The “I’m Cheaper” Mentality
The whole mess stems from photographers who don’t have the marketing background build up a client base, and the only thing they know that works to bring in clients, is to charge very low prices, and scoop up as many ‘bargain hunters’ as possible.
Photographers by nature are more interested in the creative side of things, so the business side is often put on the back-burner, which results in the business struggling.
I tell my clients (photographers) to try and use that creativity to come up with some unique ideas for the tweaks below that they can use in their businesses, instead of the traditional ‘price drop’…
Tweak #1 – Creating An Unbelievable Guarantee
In my Rich Photographer System I use a guarantee that’s so unbelievable it instantly makes photographers take notice. It is “I guarantee you’ll add $10,000 in profit to your business as a result of the system or I’ll give you a full refund, plus $500 cash!”.
A good guarantee can take time to create, but it should be something out of the ordinary that is so impressive, prospects will actually be worried that other people might rip you off!
Here’s a few quick examples:
- I guarantee I’ll capture at least 20 ‘mantlepiece quality’ photos – If you don’t agree they’re that good, I’ll slash my price by 50% as a penalty!
- I guarantee my work! That’s why I offer the first 10 minutes of any shoot as a trial. See the results and then decide if you want to continue – don’t take the risk of paying before you know what you’ll get!
Tweak #2 – Use Your Testimonials And Collect More
When a client says something great about you, whether it’s on your Facebook page, via email, a handwritten letter, or just something they said (get it recorded), you should make note of all this and create a big collection.
Most photographers have 3 or 4 testimonials on their website, but it’s usually not enough to make a big difference in the prospects decision.
Here’s some tips to help turbocharge your testimonials:
- Put them all together. It’s better to have 100 average testimonials than just 3 really great ones (put the best ones up the top though) – Yes, this is a situation where quantity is better than quality
- Document and display full details, such as: Name, suburb (even street name), occupation, link to Facebook page, even favourite hobby! – The more you add, the more believable they are.
- Actually use them! Don’t just hide them all on a page nobody will see on your site. Make the link to your testimonials page a prominent part of your site!
- Print them out into a ‘testimonial booklet’, full of dozens of pages of testimonials from happy clients and give that to interested prospects.
Tweak #3 – A Photographer Check-List
Create a video where you explain exactly what to look for in a photographer, as well as what should be avoided.
This does a few very important things:
- Shows that you are an expert
- Allows you to recommend your own services by using yourself as an example of ‘the good’ (be subtle with this)
- Shows that you care that they make the right decision and don’t get stuck with a crummy photographer (building the relationship)
- Plus, the simple fact that you’re on video talking to them makes them feel more like they know you as a person – and people are more likely to choose people they know.
You can also make it a downloadable PDF file that they can read, however it’s less personal and the results won’t be as good.
Creating a video like this is actually very easy too! – Most DSLR’s take great quality video, and using an editing program like iMovie makes it easy to make the footage look great. One tip however is to use an alternative source for capturing the audio – the built in mic on most DSLR’s is pretty bad.
Tweak #4 – Service Nobody Will Match
Really good service is something that often gets neglected these days, and it’s really simple things like fast response times, and going above and beyond what was expected that can make prospects choose you over the other guy 9 times out of 10, instead of just 5.
Here’s a few simple things that’ll shock your prospects:
- Reply to calls or emails as soon as possible, and in the same way they were received. So don’t reply to a missed call with a text… Call them back! If it takes you more than an hour or so to reply, apologise for the delay. They’ll never be expecting an apology, so will really be surprised.
- If the prospect asks a question that you can’t answer, don’t just say “I don’t know”, tell them that you’ll find the answer and get back to them, even if it’s not something that will result in a booking.
- If they’re looking for a different type of photographer, recommend a few of the best in your area and get the phone numbers for them – this will be a huge shock because it seems like you’re giving away business, however these are prospects that will now have huge respect for you, and will likely return when they need your services.
Things like this make a huge difference in the eyes of prospects because they know that good service is very hard to find. When you find someone that provides extremely high levels of service like that, you tend to stick with them for a long time and recommend them to everyone.
So Tweak Your Photography Business!
Each of the 4 strategies explained above are extremely easy to use in your photography business, and the result is that your prospects will have a real reason to choose you over the other guy. I’ve helped hundreds of my clients to use this stuff in their businesses, so I know that when it’s done right… it works!
Have you ever found yourself competing with other togs in your area based on price? Leave your answer in the comments below.