Today we're going to go over a couple of steps photographers & videographers, particularly those running their own business can take today to add massive value to their business without having to negotiate on price. This post is a continuation of my first article "31 ways to ignite your photography business"
#01 Keep timelines
Yours and theirs. If you promise to deliver something by a certain day, do it! This goes both ways, if a client promises to give you something by a certain day (lets say feedback for example) then there should be consequences if they fail to do so. A client not delivering feedback on time delays their project which in turn delays your next project and affects your bottom line. Not cool.
#02 Do not discount
Once again, one of my favorites, this is simple; DO NOT GIVE DISCOUNTS! If you quote a client $5k for the shoot and they say all they can afford is 3.5k, accepting the 3.5k is just admitting you were ripping them off in the first place.
Instead, negotiate on deliverables: “Ok well we’ll see what we can do for $3.5k ” it’s important they know they’re not going to get the full service. Ask them which benefits (that all add tremendous value to their business) would they like to drop. Just don’t discount.
#03 Keep clients informed
Keep your clients & prospects up to date with industry trends, tell then what benefits an instagram video ad brings to their business, tell them and keep them informed. Doing so will keep you top of mind as well as give them that warm fuzzy "I like him" feeling when they think about who to hire for their next gig.
You can do this through nurture campaigns, doesn't have to be a manual process.
#04 Have an opinion
I can not stress this enough! The amount of articles I read from photography blogs posting about "how awesome the new sony a7siiiiiiiiii is" blows my mind. Seriously, we don’t need any more of those blog posts, everyone already knows this stuff. Yet somehow, we all (myself included) end up sounding, quacking, talking the same. So differentiate yourself by having an opinion. Start your next post with “Here’s an article I read but totally disagree with, here’s why”. The more opinionated you are the more you will attract your target audience (given 90% of the time they’ll agree with you) and the more you’ll scare away time wasters.
In short, have an opinion, back it up with facts and share it!
#05 Share credibility
You know those posts, articles and videos you find super useful. Yeah ones just like this one. Well share them with your clients, they’ll appreciate the info and you’ll be bumped back up to the top of their “Photographers I refer people to” list.
#06 Share TED talks
Similar to the last point, share ted talks. TED talks are always amazing, if you stumble upon one that could bring value to someone you know, share it! Remember your job is to be helpful & valuable.
#07 Case studies
Most photographers I meet don’t do case studies. Mostly because they don’t know where to start. And no, a portfolio where you’ve shoved ever image you’ve ever snapped does not make a case study. Fear not as I’ll have you covered, my next story will be all about making your case.
#08 The window is closing (fast)
Haha this next one is a go-to of mine. Who else has the marbles to tell a possible client this; “the window of opportunity for us to work together is closing rapidly and I would love you to get the opportunity to work with us but if you don’t sign off by the end of the week you’ll have to wait 3 months.
I only recently started doing this but it all began a couple of months back when I was sure I was going to land this big international gig. I had sent the proposal, even a couple of followup emails (NOT SAYING the “”You know, have their been any developments on the bla bla bla”), the strategic stuff. And I kept telling myself “What’s going on man, I was certain I was going to get this gig.” So I emailed Louis and said something along the lines of “Hey man, my production schedule is filling up pretty fast and you guys have gone quiet?”. That was it. And man was I nervous about sending that email. This would become the biggest international client I’ve ever had. I was really like “”Come one man…”
Anyhow, they’re in the US and I’m in Oz so I went to bed that night wondering if I would wake up to an email saying I’m a wanker and I’d never get the job..
When I woke up the next day, as expected there was a reply but to my surprise it just said “Sorry, you’ve got the job, just takes time for the purchasing department to get a purchase order for an international vendor bla bla bla”.
My point here is that; yes, I was nervous about sending a blunt email but it turned out much better than me sending 47 follow ups asking “Is everything ok, would you like to negotiate on the price” !!!
#09 Make a product
If you’re a photographer, make lightroom packs & social media psd templates if you’re a videographer, make video templates, brand guidelines, vlog or anything else that will be useful to others.
The reason we do this isn’t to push more sales or add another revenue stream (although that’s a cool idea for another story) but because it’s extremely difficult to negotiate on price with someone who made something that thousands of other professionals use. Think about it, would you ever ask Sam Kolder, Benn TK or Peter Mckinnon for a discount?
You don’t. you get a $$$ number and if you’re lucky if you get to talk to them.
#10 Eyes on the objective
I could talk about this one for hours on end. You don’t first pack your camera bag then figure out what you’re going to shoot for the day. Get the clients objectives & possible content first then plan your strategy around that, not vice-versa.
Is this easy? -No. Are clients well prepared? -No. Are clients a pain in the a$$ when it comes to gathering their content? -Absolutely! But guess what, it’s your job to coach them through the process, get the content/objectives first and then design a solution because how can we design something when we don’t know what we’re designing?
I didn’t really get this until I worked with an interior planner. When I asked him what format he wanted his videos in. He responded puzzled as he had not yet told me what were the business objectives of the shoot. That’s when it hit me. He’s a solution designer, he can’t plan out your room if he doesn’t know what the room is going to be used for (obvious right).
So why do we present photo/video styles before knowing what the business objective of the shoot is? Not sure how it started but just stop. Talk business objectives first.
Wrap-up and what's next:
At the end of the day we're all human, and really no-one is expecting anything else of you. Be as good of a human as you possibly can be without letting other take advantage of you.
Make sure to check back in next Saturday for the next 10 steps, drop a like, comment and don't hesitate to reach out if you'd like some more personalized tips on how to improve your business processes 😉.
Until then, have an amazing day!
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