It’s soul-destroying to pour your life and soul into your photography, only to keep getting clients who don’t value your portrait and wedding photography.
You’ve sat up until midnight countless times trying to master Photoshop, composition, posing, colour harmony, website optimisation, Facebook marketing, pricing… …and on and on.
You’ve invested thousands of £$ into your equipment and hundreds or thousands of hours into mastering your craft.
You’ve dealt with screaming children, tinkling babies, sulky teenagers and apoplectic brides and grooms. And you’ve done it all with a charming smile (sometimes behind gritted teeth!).
You’re creating beautiful photographs that capture the love, relationships and emotions of your clients. It’s literally a cliché to say that the first thing you’d rescue from a house fire is your family photographs.
So you’re creating something that has universally been agreed as being priceless.
Except, it seems, when your clients have to get their credit card out!
All that effort, skill, mastery, passion and zen-like calmness… …and for what?
For someone to say something like:
“That’s too much money”
“I’m not paying £x for some pictures”
“I can get that cheaper down the street”
“Why’s it so expensive?”
“I just want a couple of small pictures”
“Can you do me a discount?”
“Can you just put everything on a disk and I’ll just print them when I need them”
“We just want a few pictures of our wedding ceremony, so we only need you for an hour or two…”
“I’m just shopping around – I’ll call you back”
The list of soul destroying sentences goes on and on.
There are several things at play here:
- Your marketing may be attracting the wrong people
- Some of these people may just be flat out wrong for your business so it’s ok to let them go. You don’t have to work with everyone.
- Some of them would have been much more into your photography if you changed the way you work with them
It’s not the area that you live that’s the problem. I live in a low income area myself (Peterborough in the UK), and I still get family portrait orders of over £1000.
So what is it…?
People don’t value your photography if they don’t feel a connectionPeople don't value your photography if they don't feel a connection. Click To Tweet
There are 4 main areas where you need to build a connection:
- In your marketing
- When you’re talking with a prospect (on the phone and in person) during the booking process
- During the photography
- When you show your clients their photographs.
Too many photographers keep their distance from their clients. They never build rapport and they don’t know anything about the people they’re photographing. For example.
- They try and book clients directly through their website without ever meeting them
- The photography is based on what the photographer always does, rather than on what the client wants
- After the photography the photographs are all put online or handed over digitally
In these circumstances the client will never value what you do. It’s the photographic equivalent of fast food. A quick production line devoid of any emotion, connection, appreciation, personal service, passion or craft.
The photographer isn’t valuing the client any more than the client is valuing the photographer.
In truth, the photographer is teaching their clients to devalue them.
Photography is a 1-2-1 personal service industry where you build a relationship with your clients.
How can you create photographs for someone if you don’t understand what they want?
Commercial photographers are different. They always get a brief from their client. The commercial photographer asks questions about branding, the target market, the product, the usage of the images etc.
This all helps them create images their client loves. It also builds the trust and relationship so that the photographer gets hired again and again.
How do you build a connection with your clients so they value you?
There are actually two types of connection you need to achieve here.
First you need to build a connection with your client in your marketing and through the sales process so they’ll contact you and hire you.
Secondly you need your clients to build a connection with the images you create so they’ll love them.
There are so many steps and techniques it would be impossible to adequately cover them all in a blog post. The webinars we provide our members with are where we get down and dirty into the detail.
But let me give you some examples.
- Critically, you must remind your wedding and family clients how much they love each other. We’ve all photographed families where parents are shouting at the kids, or at each other. Through asking the right questions and saying the right things you can create a happier environment. The more positive the photographic experience is for the client the more they’ll love the photographs. After all – how can they love photographs that remind them of an argument!?
- Never book a client without meeting them first. There are many reasons for this, but it will help you find out what they’re looking for and cement your relationship with them. The more involved they are in the photographic process the more they’ll value the photographs.
- Always show your clients their photographs in person – ideally using a projector so they can see them at a decent size. The wow factor gets them more excited about the images and you’re with them to help them choose their order while they’re still excited.
- Openly show your enthusiasm throughout the client’s experience – from your marketing through to the delivery of the order. Clearly show how much you care, how excited you are about working with them and how happy you are with the photographs.
- Establish trust by offering a money-back guarantee, even with your wedding photography.
The more you help your clients realise how much they love each other the more they’ll realise how important their photographs are. Use your photographs like a mirror to show them their family at its closest and most loving.
The more you care about your clients and the more services you implement to SHOW you care, the more they’ll value you.
Again, we dig really deeply into all these areas (and more) with our members. So, if these issues resonate with you then we’d love you to try out our membership. If you don’t like it, you can cancel any time and if you cancel within 60 days you’ll get your money back too! That’s 60 days of watching our webinars and downloading our templates with no risk. Membership is only the price of a bottle of Vodka per month anyway – a pittance compared with how many extra thousands of pounds/dollars you’ll make from implementing our marketing, pricing and sales strategies.
We’re here to help fellow photographers understand the psychology and business techniques required to run a photography business. It’s no longer enough to just create nice photographs. There will be another 100 talented photographers in your area, so you’ve got to work smarter.