189 business building ideas for photographers

Here is a starting list of 189 business-building ideas for photographers:

1) Join a professional organization. APA, ASMP, PPA

2) Start a photo blog.

3) Consider using per-image pricing.

4) Read John Harrington’s book:  Best Business Practices for Photographers. (not a NMP affiliate)

5) Define your target market.

6) Use Google reader to follow blogs of interest.

7) Develop your professional story.

8 ) Join your local chamber of commerce.

9) Comment on other blogs.

10) Enter photo contests.

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Take a Risk! Photographer Rep.

[by Selina Maitreya]

Years ago I was an agent, and repped a top photographer in Boston. I was in my game going on 40 portfolio appointments a month. Early on in the process I got very frustrated as ad’s would quickly look through my talent’s portfolio, flipping pages fast. I was usually in and out in 15 minutes.

One day after yet another quick meeting with a prospect that netted little connection and even less attention to the portfolio I left the office. I immediately turned around and went right back in. I plopped myself into a chair, and proceeded to ask my contact every question I’d ever wanted to ask. He was kind and helpful and from that very rocky beginning a new process for in-person visits was birthed. It’s one I share with my 1 on 1 clients every day. Its honest, impactful, service oriented and very quickly creates connection.

It also requires a bit of bravery, has been described as “out of the box” and I guarantee you, may make you stop and think twice. BUT…if you utilize this idea and make it your own, I guarantee you your appointments will last longer, you will gain more understanding of your client and their needs and you will make more of a connection with your contact.

When you call for your appointment communicate to your contact that you are interested in seeing them as you’d like to talk about what a valuable relationship with a photographer looks like to them, and that you’d like to discuss their photo needs and show them your work. When you are in their office, start by reminding them that you know that valuable relationships with photographers look different to different people and that you would like to know what value looks like to them.

Be sincere. You should want to know the answer to this question. You cant provide good service to your clients if you don’t know what that looks like to them.

If this process sounds like a stretch for you…stretch. Give it a try. In today’s competitive world, excellent service speaks volumes. My clients report that when they start their appointments this way, clients open up to them, they learn a lot and by the time they are sharing their work, contacts are engaged. They leave knowing much more about their clients, and their clients know that they truly care about them as well.

via Strictly Business.

Lunch on Me, a photographer’s approach to getting a meeting

[by Kevin Lock]

A successful photographer told me a long time ago that “keeping existing clients is so much easier than finding new ones.” I would add that keeping existing clients is much more important than finding new ones.

One way that I ensure repeat business from my clients is to make them feel special. I do this at every opportunity. Especially with my local clients. Why the local clients? Beside the obvious geographical reason, we share a community. For me that is San Diego. I know San Diego, and I like to share it with them.

I find out about events that my clients would most likely attend and I appear from time to time to mingle and give them a gentle reminder that I care about the things they care about and if I am not there working I am there having fun just as they are. It is kind of like sending a promo but a little more personal. Now this doesn’t necessarily quantify as a sit down ‘meeting,’ but it is is a meeting all the same. And at these events I often make more formal appointments either in person or by following up the next day with a ‘nice seeing you’ email.

My goal is to make clients really good clients and in the process develop not just a working relationship but a friendship. Once my client becomes a good client, I take it to the next level by getting involved with them socially. I offer to take them to lunch. Of course you have to be able to sense when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate and read your client carefully. Perhaps you have a client that you don’t want to take to lunch ( I have a few ), or if you are single and they happen to be married, and you are of the opposite sex, well the last thing you want to do is have your client think you are hitting on them. Exercise caution and use your best judgement.

I like to take my good clients to lunch every 3 or 4 months. I am not pushy. I don’t hit them up every week. I often will send them an email asking if they were aware of a new restaurant or a spot that has been featured in the local paper/reader, and let them know I was thinking about checking it out. Just asking for their opinion of a place (that they might not have even had a chance to try or know about) can lead to a lunch ‘date.’ I keep it open and ask them to check their calendar and let me know when it would be convenient for them.

Amazingly clients often become friends over lunch.

via Strictly Business.

Preparing for a Face-to-Face Photography Meeting

[by Jenna Close]

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again for the record: I’m an absolute, bona-fide chicken when it comes to asking for a meeting. The biggest problem with this situation is that in-person meetings are an extremely important aspect of marketing; far more potent than faceless mailers and multiple emails. The only solution I’ve found for overcoming this fear is the following:

Practice until it feels comfortable, then practice some more.

Call people you trust and perfect your phone skills in a safe environment. Put a smile in your voice. Watch your “ummms”. Strive to be natural, confident and friendly.

Actually listen to telemarketers. Once I made myself pay attention to people trying to sell me something, I learned a lot about what I DIDN’T want to emulate.

Go to a portfolio review. It’s a great way to practice talking about your work without the full pressure of a meeting. Study how you react in the face of criticism and learn what kinds of strange behaviors rear their heads when you’re nervous. I suggest taking it one step further when appropriate and question the reviewer about your desk-side manner. How was your body language? Did you appear nervous? Forget to make eye contact? What was their first impression of you as you sat down?

Ask a local photographer you admire to help you. Don’t ask them by email, CALL THEM. If they are willing, meet with them and ask for honest answers. If you can take the risk with someone you admire, you can do it with a stranger. If they say no, chalk that up to experience. Rejection is a part of this process, so it’s best to learn how to deal with it in a healthy way right from the start.

It’s OK to be afraid. You certainly aren’t the only one. I think a part of me will always be uncomfortable with this aspect of the job. However, doing whatever you can to build confidence will make the process far less excruciating.

via Strictly Business.

Is Photography Really An Art?

Photography is an art which defines the vision and thought of a photographer. Photography art is the mixture of creativity as well as science which helps in creating such marvelous pictures. Photography is important in advertising as well as journalism and every picture expresses a story. An image is the only way of expressing the thoughts of a photographer. A photographer has to be very careful while capturing images as he has to make sure that there is adequate light and enough exposure. When a photograph is technically modified it should be carefully done as it might just spoil the quality of the image.

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