Tips for Offering Holiday Specials

Besides the obvious profit incentive, offering holiday specials and promotions is just another excuse to be creative and to offer existing and potential clients a great experience. Here are some specific tips and tricks to doing this.

–Start early. Be ready early and give your clients a reason to book early such as a print credit.

–Re-release previous events on Pictage and opt-in to Holiday promotions and specials. This is an easy way for you to make money without providing an additional service. For an overview of Pictage’s holiday promotions, order-by dates, and additional tips, click here.

–Holiday shoots and mini-portrait sessions marketed specifically toward the end product of Holiday cards.

-Offer Holiday portrait packages including the shoot and Holiday specific products such as Holiday cards.

-Find a cute Holiday card templates. You can customize them as you wish, but this is a great start for you to offer a great creative product for your …

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How to Avoid a Social Media Disaster

Here is another article that, by glancing at the title, immediately caught our eye. For any business, small or large, social media is becoming a part of the greater marketing picture. Whether or not you use it is your choice. If you do, here are some tips on how to do it right. This article was written with language specifically tailored to a corporate company, but that doesn’t change the overall message.

Thank you to Mashable.com for the consistent interesting and educational content.

Clay McDaniel is the principal and co-founder of social media marketing agency Spring Creek Group. Find him via @springcreekgrp on Twitter.

If there’s one thing that keeps social media marketers up at night, it’s the ever-present threat of a PR disaster. By now, every marketer is well-aware of how quickly dissatisfied consumers can turn to the social airwaves to vent about a brand. Nestle, BP, Domino’s, Southwest Airlines, and many …

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Why You Need to Monitor and Measure Your Brand on Social Media

Whether you are actively developing a social media presence for your brand or just dipping your toe in the deep and ever-changing ocean of social media chatter, you probably realize that monitoring and measurement are quite important. Although there is no shortage of social media monitoring tools, each one is a bit different in its approach, methodology, metrics, depth of analysis, channels measured, reports and UI. The existence of this many tools and the fragmentation of the tools market is evidence of the fact that the space is not quite mature, and doesn’t yet have a set of agreed-upon metrics and best practices.

In your search for the right tool(s), you should be looking to both monitor and measure your brand on social media. The two terms are used somewhat interchangeably, and although there is some overlap and similarity in business goals, monitoring and measurement are distinct processes. Let’s take a …

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Putting Professional Back Into Photographer

Clients choose a photographer based on two main reasons: they like the photographer’s work, and they like the photographer’s demeanor. However, these initial reactions can be diminished if a client has a bad experience before, during, and after a photo shoot. The best way to create a positive experience with every client is to have professional standards by which your business is run.

From my own practice, mistakes, and peer advice, here is a list of 8 vital ways to ensure “professional” is part of your title as a photographer. Note that none of these items have to do with image style, posing, or creative lighting, so they are all very simple to master right away!

1. Dress Professionally When a family or a couple arrives at a shooting location for their session, more than half of the time they are dressed up for the occasion. There is a strong principle in the …

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How Your Creative Products Can Help Set You Apart

I remember when I first started offering Canvas Gallery Wraps in my first year of business.  I could never see myself as a client purchasing an $800 canvas print, it sounded so expensive.  I really wanted to sell them to my clients instead of the traditional photo print because I loved the way my work looked on the beautiful canvas! But I questioned if clients would actually pay that much for a picture.

I also loved to design and sell coffee table books to my portrait clients.  The books took me a long time to design.  I realized I wasn’t making very much money for the hours I was putting in.  I wasn’t serving my business well by not charging enough for my work. But I just couldn’t see selling a book for $500.

There’s a huge temptation to run your photography business in fear.  Fear that you may never make a …

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How I Am Building Vendor Relationships

As a new photographer, I can attest to the difficulties that exist when trying to establish myself in a market full of very experienced and talented photographers. This is especially true when working on establishing vendor relationships.  Here are five tips I have found that have really helped me in this endeavor.

1. Target Vendors.

When choosing vendors I want to build a relationship with; I do NOT use the shotgun approach.  I look for vendors who have a similar vibe as my business.  I work very hard on building my brand, the look I like to portray, and also who my target clients are.  I then gravitate towards vendors who compliment my work.  A little obvious but important when building a relationship is to know the vendor’s products and use their services when possible.

2.   Don’t Expect Anything!

The best way to approach a vendor is to set up a face to face …

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Are you taking full advantage of your guest list?

First, I’ll start off with a confession.  My name is Emily and sometimes I shoot and burn.  Anyone else out there with me on this one? I know, I know, its not easy to admit in this community, but I know a ton of photographers do it. Why do I sometimes shoot and burn? Honestly sometimes after dealing with all that comes along with selling and processing an Emily Photo wedding package, it’s nice to do a 2-hour shoot, burn a disk and be done.  Done in just a few hours, ahhh doesn’t that sound great? For me, this model doesn’t make sense for my wedding or portrait clients, but for a child’s birthday or anniversary party, it works great!

I’ve been booking more and more of these filler gigs and I began to wonder, is this worth my time?  I’m making $300 maybe $400 for a few hours on a …

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Predict Your Sessions and Sales

Now that you know your gross sales goal by running a break-even analysis, you have to figure out how to actually make that money!  If you have not run your break-even analysis but still want to try this out, remember that most photography studios need gross sales of $150,000-250,000 depending on if you have a studio or not.  You forecast how to make your gross sales by making educated guesses on your sessions and sales.  You break your gross sales down by how many products and services sold at what price.

Here is an example: if your goal is $200,000 in gross sales per year, you can photograph 20 weddings at $10,000 each.  You know your salary and all expenses are covered at this point if your break-even analysis showed you need $200,000.  Anything over $200,000 is extra cash for you and the business.

It is more likely though that you offer …

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Trying to Please

Trying to Please

Who is your marketing or your product or your effort trying to please?

Every campaign that I’ve ever seen fail has failed for precisely the same reason: it pleases the wrong person. Think about it… it wouldn’t have launched if it hadn’t pleased the boss or the client, right? Pleasing the wrong person meant failure.

The same thing is true on a deeper level in your career choice or what you write or what you say or what you sell or how you sell it: if you are working hard to please the wrong people, you’ll fail.

Does that critic or that buyer or that spouse or that girlfriend or that investor really matter as much as you think they do?

Written By Seth Godin

For more articles like this visit Seth Godin’s blog.

This blog post was written by Seth Godin, an entrepreneur, marketing blogger, and best selling author of books like The …

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Where have all the clients gone?

In one of my recent posts here on the Pictage Blog I wrote about some core things that I think new photographers should know.  One of the suggestions seemed to resonate with a good number of people – both in the comments, and in conversations I’ve had since.  Since it seemed to be something that a good number of people struggle with, I thought I’d go a little deeper here.

First, here’s what I wrote:

Finding clients isn’t that hard.  Waiting for them to find you is.

A lot has changed in the last few years.  People keep talking about how the economy has effected everyone’s business.  I’m sure it has, but what I’ve noticed is that there are two types of photography business right now:

A) Photographers with growing, thriving businesses, with more work than they need.

B) Photographers with struggling, dying businesses.

The difference?  The one’s with growing business are the one’s that work harder …

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