Happy Clients Mean Happy Holidays- Part 2

Promotions Must Make Business Sense

Yesterday, we discussed how to identify the holiday promotions that fit for your clients. Just as important as knowing who your clients are and what makes them happy, is ensuring your promotions make business sense.

Identifying products and services that make sense for your clients is a great starting point, but the decision process doesn’t end there. It’s important to not only consider products and services that appeal to your clients, but also products that will bring the most value to your business.

Here are four questions to guide you through creating holiday promotions that will both appeal to your clients and provide value to your business:

What resources do you need in order to provide these promotions to your clients? For you to be able to provide any holiday promotions to your clients, you must have the necessary time, money, and tools. Each product and service requires different resources. …

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Happy Clients Mean Happy Holidays – Part 1

Sales is More than the Act of Selling!

December 1: cue consumer chaos.

Dare to venture into a mall anytime after Thanksgiving and you’ll be bombarded by brash, blingy sales messages. They’re everywhere screaming, “More, More, More” and “Buy, Buy, Buy!” It’s downright maddening.

Savvy small business owners know that sales is more than the act of selling. It’s an art that starts with selecting the right products and services to offer your clients. In fact, the act of selling is the last step in the sales process. Knowing your clients and carefully curating products and services you offer will guide your clients to that last step – buying!

The Holidays are already chaotic enough, this year offer holiday promotions that add value to your clients’ lives and to your business. Don’t add to the consumer confusion!

Throughout this week, we will be providing you with resourceful guides and tips to help you maneuver smoothly …

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Get a Grip! Financial Organization Simplified

I’ve got good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad news.

95 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years. Not only does this apply to photography businesses, it’s true for all small businesses.

What does this mean for photographers? 9,120 of the 9,600 new photographers who attended WPPI in 2011 will not be in business in 2016.

Why do so many small businesses fail so fast? They fail to manage their expenses.

If you don’t manage your expenses, your business doesn’t make a profit. You have to make a profit in order for your business to be sustainable.

So what’s the good news? YOU don’t have to be a business that fails within the first five years. You have the power to set your business up for success. Start out right by getting a grip on your finances!

1. GET A GRIP: Understand that your finances really matter!

Managing your finances is critical …

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How to Balance Your Left and Right Brain…and Get it Together!

The 80/20 rule will change your business and your life. You don’t have to be an economist to be a believer. In the early 1900s, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80 percent of income in Italy was received by 20 percent of the Italian population. The rule simply states that, for many events, 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.

The 80/20 rule applies to many things; for example, 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your clients and 20 percent of the population has 80 percent of the wealth.

The rule also applies to professional photographers. Only 20 percent of our business involves shooting photographs; the other 80 percent is spent running our business. Email, editing, bridal shows, sales calls, client care, bookkeeping, and marketing are just some of the tasks that can start to overwhelm us.

Since photographers are creative, we’d usually …

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The Canon 1DX: Geek-Out Product Review

Rather than beat around the bush with a long, meandering introduction and make you meticulously read all the way to the conclusion, I’ll just come right out and say it.

The Canon 1DX is the best camera I’ve ever used. Hands down. By far.

Ok, now that that is out of the way, I’ll get down to a few of the specifics — the things I love the most about it and a few of the things I wish Canon would fix/change. While I’ve been very impressed by the 1Dx, I firmly believe there is no such thing as the perfect camera and the 1DX is no exception.

Canon 1Dx, 1/640th, f2, ISO 1,000, 50mm

 

A few words about the nature of this review. First, this review won’t get into pixel peeping. There have been plenty of those out there, and a quick google search will net you plenty of 100% crop comparisons examining …

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So You Want a Photography Studio?

So you want a studio?

I have rarely met a photographer who owns his or her own business and can happily sit back and say, “I’m satisfied.” It doesn’t matter what your business is – business owners are driven and ambitious, passionate and a purposeful. And that’s what keeps them moving.

Our Studio Story

About seven years ago my wife Joy and I were traveling from Chattanooga, Tennessee, back home to Orlando, Florida. She was working as a nurse and I was working as a corporate communications executive at a healthcare management company. On the side, our part-time wedding photography business was growing. We stopped north of Atlanta to visit a friend who had just opened a photography studio. After a couple hours visiting with her, I was convinced that we needed to quit our jobs and launch full-time into the business of wedding photography. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Fortunately, …

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Is it Really the Clients’ Fault, or is it Yours?

Have you ever had a client who was upset because their images didn’t look as good as they expected?

You’re not alone. I see comments like these frequently on forums and I have had this discussion numerous times with other photographers, including photographers on my staff. Sometimes clients are challenging and are looking for ways to get a deal. More often, however, it may be your fault.

You may have fallen short of expectations in one or more of four categories:

The Creative Side of Photography: “The couple didn’t have any chemistry” or “those kids were so difficult to work with” may be true statements, but they are not excuses for why you didn’t deliver great images. If you are being paid as a professional photographer, it is your job to deliver professional images. Learn to pose people to look their best. Prompt people to react, even if it involves them laughing at your expense! …

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Dramatic Dusk Shots: How To Create Them

Shooting photos at dusk can be tricky, but understanding a few things about lighting will give your images depth and a 3-dimensional quality.

The main goal is to bring the brightness of your subjects in the foreground close to the brightness of the background. This is best accomplished by using a dedicated strobe, since they are able to output high-level light from a small, portable package.

Step 1: Set Your Background Exposure.

It’s best to use the manual exposure settings on your camera because any auto modes will attempt to balance the lightest and darkest areas of the image. Meter off the brighter part of the scene and leave the shutter set. Start with an ISO of 400.

Step 2: Add light to your subjects.

Today’s dedicated strobes deliver accurate exposures when using their E-TTL (through the lens) auto-metering mode. In this mode, dedicated strobes are designed to flash enough light for your given aperture …

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Three Business Publications Every Photographer Should Read

It’s time to put down our cameras. Step away from photography forums. Press pause on software tutorials. We need to exercise another part of our minds – our business acumen.

In order to build successful and sustainable businesses, we must venture beyond f-stops, shutter speeds and gadget gossip. Of course, those are important pieces of the photographic puzzle. They’re just not enough to carry our studios through lulls in bookings, losses of key staff or unexpected economic hardships. To ride out those storms, you need to fill your mental fuel tank with wisdom from proven business resources.

To kickstart strategic thinking, here are are three business publications every photographer should read.

1. Fast Company – it’s not just an airport newsstand standard. Although they have a printed magazine, the team behind Fast Company claims to have the most affluent and influential readership in the business category of publishing. As the world’s leading progressive business media brand, Fast Company …

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How to Tailor Your Business to Newborn Photography

Who doesn’t love sweet, cuddly newborn babies? It seems more and more popular to specialize in newborn photography, but how do you truly tailor your business to the newborn client? Read on for tips and tricks to do just that!

Show What You Love : My first tip is to show what you love. If you’re currently working with multiple markets but deep down want to specialize on one, begin by showing only work relevant to your specific target market (i.e. newborns). From your website to your business card and blog, your clients will hire you based on the content you show. If weddings and older kids just aren’t your thing, take them down and focus on your true passion instead. Building a strong brand in your chosen niche is the first step in attracting your target market and showing what you love is a big part of that. Build a Specialized Working …

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