Having a good relationship with your customers is important. After all, they are the ones who are going to pay for your services, right? Do not make these mistakes and get more customers.
Mistake # 1. Not Knowing Your Ideal Customer
Do you know who your ideal client is? In short, it will be the one with whom you work at ease throughout the process, from the first communications to the delivery of the work. If you had the luck to work with that perfect client, congratulations, you have a lot of work ahead of time.
If, on the other hand, you still do not believe you have found that kind of person that makes your work easy and fluid, you may have to create a prototype of an ideal client. Do not be scared, it’s not weird. It is simply about knowing a little more about your audience and how to focus your efforts on them reaching you.
Start by writing all the characteristics that define it. Age, interests, location, purchasing level, marital status, etc. If you put that together with the kind of photography you do, you’ll be one step closer to finding it.
For example, imagine you’re a wedding photographer, and your specialty is young couples. As such, girls are usually the ones who decide the photographer’s choice. Therefore you will focus on it and you will have to define how it is, how it acts and in what environment it moves.
If you make a prototype of it it will be something like: girl of about 25 years; single but living with her boyfriend; average purchasing level; living in the periphery of the city and wanting to have a beautiful wedding.
Get into the head of your ideal imaginary client (I think it starts to sound strange, but that’s the way it must be!). Think how you would behave and follow it! (Yeah, it’s really sounding strange, but you’ll thank me!)
If that girl is interested in having a pretty wedding, make her find you. Leave your business card at florists in the city, at restaurants for couples, at affordable celebrations, at hairdressers for brides. Do you start to get an idea?
In the same way, look for your online client. Register in forums about weddings, social network groups, service search portals, etc., etc.
Bottom Line: Find your client online and offline. And do not stop until you find it!
Mistake # 2. Not Knowing How to Relate to Your Client
Photography training is essential to develop a good career as a photographer, but like any business you must know how to deal with our clients. You are all buyers and you are all customers at some time. It may help us to assimilate some behaviors as a “seller” of services. However, your must go a step further and learn how the clients of our photography will behave and how to respond to it.
Below this series of tips can give you a clearer idea of what you can do depending on each situation:
Learn from your own mistakes.
There is no better school than practice with one’s own experience. Launch yourself, try to do your best and little by little you will discover how to treat your customers. No one is born learned, allow yourself to make mistakes and if your client knows that you are amateur too
Have you done a photo shoot recently and it was all on wheels? Or, on the contrary, was it a disaster? Everything counts. It all adds up. You learn from everything. Ask your client directly how he felt and try to repeat the things that went well and try to change things that did not go so well. Be water my friend!
Learn from the mistakes of others.
A good way to try to avoid mistakes at the beginning as an initiating photographer will be to learn from the people around you. Try to participate in forums, in meetings with other photographers, in any event that includes a social interaction.
That will help you understand the general behavior, the most frequent situations and small tips. This is a learning that can be active through direct interaction with other photographers. Take this opportunity.
Learn from the best
If you have the opportunity to participate in a project as a second photographer, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences as an amateur. You will know in-situ the photographer-client relationship live and in direct. That’s priceless, you can know a lot of theory but with practice it’s how you really learn.
If you do not have that luck, identify who are the best photographers of the type of photography you want to dedicate to and try to imitate them. Some of them will have videos or online courses on how they conduct their photo shoots. Write down everything that you think will be useful to you and try to apply it in your next session.
Bottom Line: Learn, learn and learn. And then practice, practice and practice. Is it understood?
Mistake # 3. Not Having Your Personal Brand Defined
As we talked before, you must define your Brand as a Photographer . This way the clients will have more clear what you do and how you do it. Having a clear market to dedicate yourself to will make you save efforts in your task of attracting customers.
If you specialize in a specific area, you may have fewer visits than a general photographer, but the possibility that the client that arrives to you will hire you will be greater. Do not want to fish the shark in the ocean and focus on the sardine of the stream!
Focus on a certain type of customer.
In case that later if the demand increases you can expand your type of clients or dedicate yourself to offer more value to those that you already have. First try to make a hole in the sector in which you would like to work and then you will have time to decide what to do.
Ask other professionals for advice on how they started to have a vision with more perspective. The experience is a grade and pay attention to those who have already gone through.
Bottom Line: Experience is the key!
Mistake # 4. Not Having an Online Portfolio
Having your brand and your work on the internet will give you a lot of credibility. People who see your work will know that those photos have not arrived there by chance.
Having your photos on a social network, or a free blog is not bad, better than nothing, of course. Just remember that these web pages do not belong to you and that at any moment you could lose access to them.
Now tell me one thing, if you intend to make money with your photos, will not you invest a little in creating your own virtual space? Making use of these free websites is the same as borrowing the camera for your cousin to make a book or sell something in a friend’s store.
Maybe making use of the free resources at the beginning is not bad, it even helps you get into the rhythm of what would be later on. But if you really are serious about this, you will do yourself a favor by having your own online portfolio , and if it is with a better blog than better.
Mistake # 5. Not Having an Action Strategy.
Plan a strategy of how to get customers. The more detailed the plan, the better things will go. You may deviate along the way, but surely it will be for a good cause. Keep in mind what you want to achieve and go for it.
If from the start you do not know where you want to go, you can hardly get there. Visualize yourself having a conversation with your client and closing the work you wanted.
If the results do not arrive immediately do not give up, nobody told you that this would be easy. Stay firm if you think you are doing a good job and always try to improve little by little.
Nothing happens by chance. The strategy of action that you use to attract clients will be key to obtain a good result.
Many times you think that with the publication of your best photo or your last photographic report it will rain thousands of requests from people interested in getting hold of the next book of photos. But being honest, how many times does that happen when you’re not a super mega photographer known?
Promote yourself in social networks, forums and blogs of your subject without spamming, contributing your bit. Answer the doubts of that you think you can become your next customer.
Promote yourself by following your online marketing strategy.
If the strategy used is correct you will define an image of your personal brand very clear in your future potential clients. If your work is really good they will end up recommending you to your acquaintances when they need it.
Stay constant in the way you communicate in the different media you use. This will create a sense of coherence and organization in the user, so you will feel more confident when deciding to contact you.
Bottom Line: Plan your Marketing Strategy and above all, materialize it!
Mistake # 6. Do not Encourage To Take Action.
Do you know what a CTA is? In English it means “Call To Action”. It is nothing more than telling your prospective client what he has to do to end up becoming one.
Imagine a Portfolio of perfect photographs, which fit like a finger ring with what the visitor is looking for but nowhere on the web page tells you what you have to do to hire their services. If you wait for me to waste time looking for your contact you are ready. On the internet the seconds are gold, and those seconds that the user takes to search for that information can cause the loss of a secure client.
Facilitate the visitor user experience on your website, create an intuitive design.
Now imagine another page where the photos included are beautiful, not as many as the previous one, but nevertheless it tells you what you have to do to have some photos like that. It includes buttons to contact you quickly, clarifying what steps you have to follow and how the process would work in case you hire it. And all that without having to search because it includes it where the user is already looking.
It includes the calls to action on your main page, in your speech, in your motto, in your meeting with the client. The human being is lazy by nature and we need to be told what to do. Save time by showing him the way.
Be clear in your message and indicate the way to the client indicating what he has to do.
When we do not intend to buy something, a call to action can at least create that option that did not exist before. And when we are undecided between several options and one of the options tells us to take action, we probably decide for the latter.
Bottom Line: Be practical, clear and direct. Encourage them to take action and you will have it.
Mistake# 7 Do not maintain contact after finishing work.
And last but not least, the loss of contact. This is a mistake that many photographers do not take advantage of. Once you have finished working with a client you should not believe that everything is done. You can perform several actions to get more clients and future jobs:
1. Ask your clients to comment on your work.
If you are satisfied with the result, they will be happy to leave you a positive opinion. A few words by email will be very useful. This can be used in the future to include it in your web page and potential customers to see the experience of others who have already had your clicks previously. It is called Social Test, it will create confidence and generate more opportunities.
2. Ask them to recommend you.
Word of mouth There is nothing wrong with that. If you liked your job, asking for a recommendation is a symbol of a healthy relationship. If they talk about your services to their friends, relatives and acquaintances there will be many possibilities to contact you. Word of mouth works and although you focus mainly on online marketing strategies, this is one of the traditional techniques that is still more powerful today.
3. Keep in touch.
A friendly email once or twice a year does not hurt. You can instruct them to see your latest jobs. With this you show interest in them. Take care of the relationship with good customers because if they become fixed they will be the ones that will best talk about you. With this simple action you make them remember you and even if they themselves are not interested, they will keep you in mind if someone in their environment needs it.
How many of these mistakes are you currently making?
I hope the minimum possible. We have reviewed the main points that you will have to cover to gain more customers. From having a defined plan focusing on your ideal client, to how to relate to the same face to face and through your online portfolio. Without forgetting the constancy, in your work, in defining your brand and maintaining contact with your customers.
Do you know any other mistake that is not on this list? Leave it in the comments and we will discuss it to take it into account as well.