It is not about what to charge, it’s about how to get paid what you’re worth as a photographer. Much has been said about the changing of the client/photographer relationship and most working pros agree that we are not in the same game anymore. Both as individuals and an industry, we need to try new and different techniques to take charge of what we charge.
Update Your Web Sites
Web sites are a hybrid marketing tool, working both as an ad and as a portfolio. As ads, they are broadcasting your message to the widest possible audience. As portfolios, web sites work with all the intimacy of the one-on-one previously only seen in the traditional sales call.
More Effective E-mail Marketing
E-mail campaigns are effective when properly done. One single email with no plan for a theme or goal will yield minimal results. Here are some things to remember:
- Use a subject line that is concise and relevant to the client. The subject line should contain at least one keyword that is a benefit to the creative services client. For example, try “photography for communications” or “design to increase sales”.
- Test how your email will display to clients. Today’s Email Service Providers can help you with this and are worth the time, attention and money (and some offer free start-up packages!)
- Use a good permission based e-mail list. Your best e-mail address list comes from current clients and good prospects that have consented to email contact with you. This consent may come from visiting your web site, replying to your direct mail, viewing your portfolio or buying a list.
- Have a specific goal and “call to action” for your email campaign. What EXACTLY do you want your clients and prospective clients (could be two different e-mail campaigns) to do when they open your email? People do what they are asked to – not much more or less.
Don’t Give Up on Direct Mail
“Something different” is the key to getting response from mail with a stamp – many creative professionals have used direct mail in the past but the usual methods are simply worn out.
- According to the Direct Marketing Association, direct mailers that offered premiums received response nearly 400 percent more often than their general mail counterparts. Traditionally these are specialty adverting gifts such as notepads, note cubes, tote bags, t-shirts, stickers, calendars and coffee cups… but what is your challenge? Find something that is affordable and appropriate to your targeted photography audience!
- Talk with your printer, Variable Data Printing (VDP) allows you to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail marketing by making your printed pieces more personal and targeting specific segments of your client lists.
- Think about working with a copywriter! Most creative professionals are visual artists and not experienced in writing ad copy. Like your e-mail, direct mail needs a strong “call to action” and needs to tell your clients and prospective clients exactly what you want them to do. Beautiful images in your direct mail mean nothing if they don’t drive response.
Don’t Forget the Human Touch
Technology makes it easy to the personal touch! When you have a web site and use e-mail to contact your customers, you may think there’s no reason to contact them in person. You may feel justified in not picking up the phone, attending a networking meeting, participating in community events or even suggesting meeting for coffee if you think technology is doing the job for you. It is not. A web site or e-mail is never a substitute for a client or prospect hearing your voice or seeing your face.