Marketing Minutes - Growing Your Photography Business
Hello all. Between the comments here on the blog, and the kind emails we've received, it seems you'd like to hear more from my wife, Rose. As requested, I think I've convinced her to take a more active role as a writer here on the blog, so I hope you enjoy. Without further ado... here's Rosie.
Well, I’ve been officially roped into the world of the bloggers. What started as an innocent blog about my trip to a card shop resulted in praises from strangers and a big grin of stress-relief from my husband. How could I resist coming back? I think somehow I have even agreed to contribute weekly to the blog or at least twice a month. (I’m blaming it on sleep deprivation, but there’s no getting out now)
I will be starting with what I call Marketing Minutes. 'Marketing' - because apart from being behind the camera, marketing is the aspect of the business that is my area of expertise. And ‘Minutes’ - because a mom with four babies and a home-business has no more than minutes to share anything. So here goes…
My marketing background began 8 years ago when I started a Mary Kay business. Within 9 months, I was driving a free car and in little over a year I was a Sales Director. When my first daughter was born, I was already a Sr. Sales Director with my second company car. Needless to say, I moved fast through the world of sales and I acquired many hours of experience and training in marketing. When my daughter was born, I resigned from my position as Sr. Sales Director and joined my husband in pursuing our dream for a photography business.
Now that you know a little about my background, here’s my “Marketing Minute”…
Marketing is defined in the dictionary as “the activities of a company associated with promoting and selling a product or service.” Well, you need a customer in order to buy or sell something, and you won’t have customers unless they know about the service you have to offer. With this in mind, one of the most important parts of marketing is informing people about your business. This sounds really basic, but you wouldn't believe how many of us never open our mouths to tell people about the services that we offer (even I am guilty of this in some crowds). It wasn't until just recently we added TJP magnets to the sides of our minivan, and almost daily people in the carpool line say… “Wow, I never knew you and your husband had a photography business.” What an eye opener? There is no excuse for this, especially from someone who should know better.
There are many reasons why we keep our mouths shut, but here are the top 3 in my book.
1) I don’t want to be pushy,
2) I don’t want to annoy anyone.
3) I don’t want to be rejected. (This one is the most common and the most paralyzing.)
The most important lesson I have learned about marketing through my sales experience is that you MUST overcome the negative self talk that keeps us from telling people about our business. Ask yourself the following questions…
1) Do you believe you are a great photographer?
2) Do you believe that everyone deserves to work with a great photographer and have great pictures of themselves or their special event?
If you said yes to these questions (if you have a business, I hope you said yes) and if you believe like we do that this business is first and foremost about serving your clients, then it’s unfair for you to keep silent. I don’t know if you noticed, but all of the reasons for not sharing your business with others started with “I”. When we only think about what’s comfortable for us, it’s easy to stay quiet. But when we believe in our services and we think about what’s best for our clients, then we can’t help but tell everyone we meet about how we can serve them. You wouldn’t want someone to miss an opportunity to capture that perfect smile or that special memory. You wouldn’t want someone to just settle for a photographer, when they could have a great one (that’s you by the way!) When you think about these concepts, not sharing with potential clients about your business almost seems selfish.
So the take-away from today’s Marketing Minute is: stop thinking about yourself, and start sharing your business with others. If you don’t, they’ll never know what their missing.