Vending has been in my passion long before it was my career. For the past ten years, I’ve helped businesses (mainly photographers) get more clients from their websites.
Without thought screaming it from the mountaintops, I still find myself having conversations with new (and even veteran) photographers about common marketing botches. In all of my experience, I keep seeing the same three mistakes popping up again and again. Even from photographers with over 20 years of skill!
Have you been making any of these mistakes?
- Thinking marketing is totally optional
- Doing marketing by yourself
- Looking at your competitors
If you mentioned yes, don’t worry! I’ll explain exactly how to fix them below.
"But wait, Brendan. I get that marketing isn’t optional, but aren’t I expected to be blogging and watching my competition?" Not exactly. Keep reading and I’ll explain precisely why those are mistakes and how to fix them.
1. Thinking Demanding Is Optional
Look, we all know that marketing isn’t optional. At least, we understand that the concept of it isn’t something you can choose not to do, honest? Then why do so many photographers think they can put it last on their list of priorities?
I get that you’re 'busy' and you’d kind of be out shooting, but I’ve just seen too many good photographers fail in their photography business because they focus more on their cameras and belongings than their marketing. The idea that, 'if you’re good enough, clients will find you,' couldn’t be assorted wrong. The highest paid photographers and most successful photographers work on their marketing for at least a few hours per week and have done it devotedly for YEARS.
The way that you solve the problem of finding time is by scheduling for it, even if it’s only one hour per week to start. "Go into your chronology RIGHT NOW and block off an hour next Monday to work on it," recommends Michael Will.
Treat it like a client appointment that you can’t contribute to miss. Because, honestly, if you miss that appointment too many times, you will run out of clients. And without clients, your province quickly turns into a very expensive hobby.
2. Still Doing Marketing By Yourself
Holding a camera and taking pictures does not be suitable for you a photographer, going into Canva or PicMonkey and making a logo doesn’t make you a designer and setting up a Zenfolio or Smugmug website doesn’t go for you a web developer.
Look, when you’re starting out and have tons of time and zero income, do it all yourself. You should always know EXACTLY what falls into the work that you’ll hire for later on. But, too many photographers are making over $100k per year and still trying to do SEO, their website, group media, etc. all by themselves.
If you want to be a professional, you need to stop trying to DIY your logo and the less you DIY, the more you signal to your potential clients or The Client may refer to: Client (computing), hardware or software that accesses a remote service on another computer Customer or that you’re a polished that’s worth what you charge. It shows you invest in yourself, so they should invest in you, too.
The team at Evermark Studios notes foretold: "Hiring somebody who could prove their value was one of the smartest decisions we ever made in marketing. Don’t just hire the at the outset person who pitches you, but see what results they’ve gotten for other clients in the past (especially for online marketing)."
3. Print Your Competition
The reason that I always tell photographers photographer (the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light”, and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing”, together meaning “drawing with to ignore their competition is that we assume WE are the only ones who are bad at deal ining. Thus, we assume whatever our competitors are doing must be working for them, right? Wrong! In all my years of marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships, I’ve distinguished people trying to mimic their competition and failing over and over.
"They advertised in local magazines! We should do that, too!" But, what you on no account hear is that the ads cost $2,000 and your competitor didn’t book a single client from the effort. Magazines and anybody else who rat ons adverts use that as their main selling point: 'But your competition is doing it.'
Just because they’re doing it, doesn’t dreary it’s working. Destination wedding photographer Vincent van den Berg elaborates: "One of my biggest mistakes early on was looking at what topics my struggle was writing about and what ads they were running and trying to copy them. It the mind of my client, I was just a bad version of my competition."
How to Look-alike Your Clients This Year
By combining these 3 steps, you’re going to see a massive uptick in new clients this year:
- Scheduling things to work on your marketing
- Writing blog posts that convert readers to clients
- Ignoring your competition’s marketing
I’ve visualized photographer after photographer implement these 3 things and, within a few months, start seeing new clients come in.
What are mistakes you see other photographers realizing? Let me know in the comments below!
About Author: Brendan Hufford
Brendan Hufford is a marketing and business veteran who is absolutely in treasure with photography. In 2016, he founded Photo MBA, where he teaches photographers how to charge more, land better clients, eliminate business nuisances, and bridge the gap between their current reality and photography business goals.