Day 9 Bonus: "Networking"
Today we're going to devote an entire segment teo networking because I feel like it is so important it's such an important component of your marketing and getting yourself out there in your community and in your marketplace a lot of times when we start thinking about networking, it makes us feel a little uncomfortable because networking is putting yourself out there it's getting out there and meeting and greeting its picking up the phone and making those phone calls to people that we want to be partnered up with and networked with so step number one is going to just be to look at what's available to you right now look at what's all around you the groups that you're already involved in the people that you already know if you haven't go ahead and start making a list just think about the different places that you are on a day to day week to week basis who are you already doing business with who are you already spending time with that has a market that has a community already built for the...
m and those are the people that you want to be tied to when you've made that list we're going to put a plan in place when we plan your marketing calendar in the next segment and really think about the time that you need to be spending whether it's making phone calls or going in and meeting and greeting or setting up appointments maybe even going to photograph somebody that has a new business that you want to be tied to. So we'll work through all those things as we're going through your planning calendar, but today I want to talk to you about making those initial phone calls, what that's gonna look like, I want to talk to you about setting up displays and working your displays and how that's going to go for you and then just some key ideas for putting it all together some different ways to network with other businesses and individuals who had the same target client that you're after. So, first let's talk about making that first initial connection if it's somebody that you already know, maybe somebody that you were buying from that you're doing business with or it could be someone that's involved in a group that you're already involved in, whether it it's charity or a bible study or the gym, you know, there's all kinds of people all around us every single day that we have the opportunity to just start up a conversation with so it may be that that's going to be your initial communication, that you're just going to start that conversation and let somebody know what it is you do and that you love what they're doing, and he'd love to see how that, how you can partner together. If it's a cold call if you're calling somebody for the first time it's on your list of networking possibilities, networking opportunities, you want to make sure that when you call, you've got a couple of things in mind a couple things planned calling is all about building the relationship, starting a relationship and building the relationship because we all want to do business with people that we know like and trust we have to have that common denominator first, so when you pick up the phone, you're going to call and it's just getting to know somebody meet and greet, start the relationship, build the relationship and so will call is going to look something like, you know hi my name's, laurie nordstrom and I have a photography studio over and winterset and I have a few clients that have used your business or have used your eye care service or your dentist, you know, whatever they d'oh having a few clients at work with you or it could be that you've done business with them before, whatever it is, make that initial common ground connection first, just like you're going to do on your first phone call with a client when they call in it's finding that common ground and in talking about it so I want to let them know how it is I know them how I'm connected to them and then let them know that I've got a few ideas I want to throw out them, I want to let them know you know, we've got some of the same type of clients in mine, and I don't know what all you're doing for marketing right now, but I would love to connect with you and throw some ideas your way and get your ideas as well and see if we can brainstorm a little bit on how we might work together. I always want to let them know that I've got some ideas that are going to cost them anything and just would like toe throw him out there and get their ideas as well. I always want to put the ball back in their park and let them give me ideas also, and so I'm gonna tell them that right away on the phone call, you know, I'm gonna give you some ideas and I'd love to hear yours. And so that initial phone call is that simple it's just setting up a meeting time to get together. I usually will let them know that I want about five minutes of their time, and that is true in about five minutes with somebody new, you're going to know if you've connected, you're going to know if it's a good fit. For you or not, and learn to pick up on those cues. You know, if you sit down and five minutes in, you don't have a great gut feeling about working with this other person, thank them for their time, give them your card, thank him for the connection and and let him know that you hope that you can stay connected in the future and move on. If it is somebody that you have this connection with and feels like a good fit, then you're going to continue the conversation, and the fact that you asked for five minutes of their time in the beginning isn't going to be an issue for them because they're going to feel that connection to and you're going to be able to continue the conversation even if that person has only planned five minutes for you that's okay, you can take that five minutes, leave it on a very positive note and make an appointment for the next time that you'll be communicating the next time could just be over the phone because you've already had that initial connection you've met each other, you've done the meet and greet your now connected it's a good fit, and you continue the conversation from there really? I just want that five minutes of time that we can sit down and chat get to know each other. Usually when we're planning networking and we're planning on getting to know another business owner or individual who has contact with our target market a lot of times all that we can think about our displays we want that display up, but I want you to think about all the other ways that you can connect and work with another business and so I'm gonna give you a couple of ideas and you may have some ideas that spring from this, but here's just a few of the things that I've done in the past to network with other businesses and the first is really to find out how they're currently marketing and so I wantto, you know, right now it's so available to us we can stock them on facebook, we can google them, we can, you know, just figure out really what they're doing in the marketplace, so maybe they have a really busy facebook page and they've got a really good interaction with their community that way, maybe they have a really strong block and they're networked with other businesses that they're pulling in onto their block. Maybe they have a really interactive website and, you know, so that's something that's, fun and different that they're doing, maybe they're even doing print advertising, maybe it's, a newspaper magazine that their marketing in but I want to find out all of those things before meeting with them and of course I'll be asking them questions about their marketing opportunities as well but I want to find out first really what they're doing, how they're out there in the marketplace and then figure out how I can tie into that so for example, if somebody has a really great blogged blog's need content and you know bloggers right now there's a a jillion of them and you know, there's all kinds of ways to get involved in somebody's block by either providing an article to them providing images for them to use along with their own articles linking to things that their clients are going to find exciting and interesting and so you know, look and see what their block content is about what is their focus and usually blog's have some type of theme and so if you go in and kind of, you know, just research a little bit and see what they're blogging about and then offer to write an article about that and then link back to each other and that's a great way to get exposed to their community to their client base so blogging and a newsletter same thing if they put out a monthly newsletter a weekly newsletter quarterly newsletter it doesn't matter if they've got a newsletter that's going out I want to do that same type of networking with them I want to provide an article for them I want to provide images for them you know, something that's going to go out into their newsletter and so if I'm talking to somebody and you know, talking about I see that you guys do a quarterly newsletter and I really love what you're doing I would love to provide content for you, you know, do you need images you need articles? How can I help you? We always want to go in with a service attitude and if we love what we do that's an easy thing to be able to give to the people that were networked with and so block content whether it's images linking teo other businesses and services that are of interest to their clients on article of interest you know right now is we're getting ready for christmas and the fallen holiday seasons it's a great time to just write an article on personalizing your holiday gifts you know you could write about gift giving during the holiday season whether it's a photo jewelry or handbags photo handbags you could do iphone cover's, ipad covers no pads and you know there's all kinds of fun little gift giving things to do around the christmas season and you could write an article about that and that's going to be interesting to any reader and so we've got kind of a little built in article right now that's so easy to do around this season in this time so see who you can network and get that article out too if you're using that type of article for several different businesses, you want to make sure you change it up a little bit because there's something about google that when things are repeated it takes you down in the ranking instead of up so you won't always make sure that you're rewording at a little bit changing things around providing maybe a different set of images for each article that you're providing but you know, look at different ways that you can be networked with another business around the things that they're already doing what do they already have in place that you could jump into always go into it as a service you know what can I do for you and that's a way to get that other business really excited about working with you blogged the newsletter something on their website maybe it's a new business that is really putting a lot of money into their marketing maybe they're new in town and they really want to get the word out so they're advertising in the newspaper or a local publication a magazine you know, maybe they're taking out radio ads and so you know these people have those marketing dollars to spend and they're excited about marketing they're excited about getting out there in the marketplace and so maybe you could offer to go in and shoot a quick promo video for them you know, three to five minutes that they could put on their website and you're doing this service for them, but of course your name is on it and they're gonna link back to you into your website and so it's a way for you to mark it and be out there in the marketplace and b already introduced to their client base just by providing a service to them and when we can go in with those types of services, whether it's just photography, you know, here's their new business or even an existing business, maybe they have a new location or a new product line, maybe they've brought in a new manager or employee, a new owner, it could be any any number of things that we could go in and do some images for them almost as a journalist and go in and take those images right a quick article and provide that to them that they can use in their marketing and of course we've now provided a service for them. We have started this relationship, they're goingto love us for doing that and our name is going to be all over it. And so those air really great great ways to spend time networking and marketing in those ways that yes, it's going to cost you some time but it's not gonna cost you dollars out of your pocket in the beginning when you're ready to expand in a new direction or be in front of a new target client base, so think about all those things that are already available to that other business that you want to network with and how you can get plugged right in a few other ways that you can work with existing businesses are to get gift cards in their hand. We actually get the hard plastic cards printed for our gift cards, they look like a credit card and we get those printed from marathon press and those go at the top of a folded four by five card, so it's just stuck in there, and then we personalize it for the business on the inside of the card. So we'll just print a set of, you know, twenty five cards or fifty cards for the business, and I usually suggest just starting with those twenty five and getting those printed and just letting them know, you know, a soon as you go through these, we definitely want to get more done for you, so let's, just communicate on how that's going for you. But the personalized card is the way that we, you know, keep things less expensive by just doing twenty five at a time, and we can change those up and personalize it for each business. And if you don't want to invest in the hard plastic cards, that's okay, just do a business size card from your lab, those air, super inexpensive, we get ours from a c I and there, you know, very expensive, a set of fifty for like, twelve dollars, and so that's a great way to just print those gift cards as well. If you don't want to go the route of the credit card hard plastic looking card, if there is a business that is working with your target client already, then they've got a built in advertising route to that client, and so provide them with gift cards. It might be a home builder or a landscape er, it might be a high end spa or hair salon, it could be a gym if you're photographing women, what a great place to have gift cards available would be at a gym and working with personal trainers who are are working with women, and as they hit goals, they could be gifted with a gift card to your studio, to your business. And so think about all the different businesses that you could tie into, and you always want those gift cards toe look like they're coming from the business, and as if that business paid for them, and so your gift card is going to be from the business and so working with a home builder the gift card might say something like you know thank you so much for purchasing your home with us we want to gift you with a portrait session your first family portrait session in your new home and so it looks like it's coming from that business and these air great gifts for businesses to give whether it's ah session or it's a dollar amount teo to be able to come in and spend with you those were great gifts for other businesses to give it especially when it looks like it's coming from them they get super excited to give them and they're giving them to your target client you know, you always want to make sure that you have really clearly defined where your target client is spending time and spending money and you know, hopefully that's been drilled in by now but you know, if you know that if you know that's your target client that absolutely do whatever you can to get them in front of you and you know, I I've said over and over that I would do a free session any day of the week for the right client I want those people who I want to do business with to want to be calling the studio so you know however I can make that happen whether it's true gift cards or another way would be even doing gift baskets with other businesses and so for example, maybe there's an area where there's five or six businesses that are really targeting your target client we'll team up with those businesses and maybe there's five of them and you so they're six altogether and at each one of those businesses there's going to be a a place for people to fill out a little card and enter a drawing and the winner of that drawing monthly is going to get a gift basket and inside that gift basket is going to be a gift from each one of those six businesses, so it can be a really, really nice and substantial prize a really cool gift basket, but once a month you're going to get together with those different businesses and maybe it's a monthly lunch where or breakfast it could be anything but his time when you get together and you're going to pool all of those names, each one of the people who have put their name in the drawing at each one of those different businesses are going to come together and you're going to create a database ah whole list of, you know, new potential clients that you guys can market two together and so you may do a cooperative newsletter together that ties in to that contest and, you know you could even do at different businesses you know for every x amount that you spend your going to get your name in the drawing for the gift basket so it's just a way to get your name out there and tie in with other businesses that are already doing business with your target client and then rewarding them at the end and then your reward is growing that database growing that marketplace that you have tio reach out to and then let's talk about displays and that seems to be everybody is kind of main goal when they're talking about networking with other businesses and hopefully you've gotten some other ideas as well. I love teaming up with other businesses even if displays aren't an opportunity there. So maybe it's a realtor where I'm not going to necessarily being doing it a display with but I can tie with them and giving gift cards to their new clients that they're working with so displays are a whole other ball game and I love doing displays with other businesses and I'll tell you back in the day when I was first starting back in two thousand when I opened up my studio, I realise that too reach out to my main target area, which was des moines it's about forty five minutes to an hour from where I live to reach those people and so I knew that displays were going to be my main thing and it certainly was definitely grew my business in those days and, you know, displays or something, I believe that is like a it's, an extension of board of mouth, because now you've got this business that's willing to display your portrait and, you know, basically saying to their clients, no, this is our photographer of choice, this is who we trust, this is who we've done business with, and we're referring, this photographer, so I love displays, and especially if you have a home studio and not a retail location or you're all on location, you know, those displays are going to be a great, great way for you to show clients potential clients, your images and your work, and allow them to experience that even if you don't have a retail location, so being tied with other businesses in that way is gonna be huge for your business. And so to get those displays, I still want to start in the same way that we talked about earlier, I want to just start with that first phone call, I want to get five minutes of their time to sit down and see if we're if it see if there's a connection and then start building the relationship in that way, I never want to go straight to a business and say, you know, hey, I'd like to hang on display here. I think my my pictures would look awesome in your office. You know, that's not the way to get a display. We always wanted to be about them and what's in it for them. And so first is just to get together, start building that relationship, start talking about how we can network together. And then I want to always, always photograph that owner's family or their grandkids, you know, whatever it is that you're into and you know, your target client list is going to be different based on where you are and what you want to photograph, what your specialty is going to be. But whatever your specialty is and your niche is there's always going to be that list of other businesses that are also marketing and selling to that same target client. So that's what I want to show in the displays exactly what I want to be selling you. No, I want to be directed and niche in my displays as well. And so for me that's going in and hanging children's portrait and and family portrait. So I want to do that as well. And so I want a photograph, the store owner and any key players in that business I want to photograph their families and give them the experience of working with me first. Because if I just hang a display and I haven't worked with the people directly, then you know, how are they going to be able to talk about the ex experience or talk about the images other than they just like what's hanging on the wall? And so I always want to work with them first and take them through the entire client experience just like a regular client, and so I'm gonna work with them first and you know, and I'll ask them, is there anybody that you would like tio gift with a portrait session? Anybody who you want to make sure we've got their images here on the walls and we're going to start with that and usually those air people that are working there in the business or closely tied to them, so we'll plan a weekend or an afternoon where we're going to photograph those select families, give them the experience, work with them and hang a few images for them from there. I want to grow that display, and so I'm gonna work with that business just like I would as if they were a client. So I'm gonna go and photograph their walls in their business and I'm going to take him into preview and I'm going to design some groupings right on their walls or design exactly where I'm going to hang large canvases or whatever we're going to do there and I always want to make it fit into their decor style just like a client and so depending on what they have going on is a theme or a motive there in their business I'm gonna decide whether I'm going to hang campus wraps or traditional framing or hand painted wild survey framing it's going to be one of those three just like I do for my clients I wanted to fit in with their decor style the main purpose of photographing the families and the people that work for the business are two really just build that relationship I'm not giving them product other than what's going to be hanging there in the store and I'll talk to you a little bit more about that as we move further the next thing I want to do is photograph a handful of their favorite clients so I have designed for them in preview exactly where I want to hang things and I'm showing them just either blank frames or blank canvases showing them placement and kind of how that's gonna look in their business and I can then let them know exactly how many families I want a photograph or how many kids I want a photograph by where we're going tio place the portrait's in their business and so if we've got six campuses toe hang we've got ten campuses to hang I'm going to then let them know I want youto hand select you're six favorite clients or your ten favorite clients and then we're going to contact them and let them know you know my name's laurie nordstrom and I'm a photographer here in the area I'm working with x y z business to hang new artwork there in their business and they have chosen your family to be the models and so that's how that conversation is going to go if they as a business don't want me making the phone calls if they want to make the phone calls themselves I'm gonna write them out a little phone script and at the end of that phone script it's going they're going to ask the client you know are you okay with me now giving your information tow lorry so that she can call you personally and set up a time for your session? So I do want to make that personal connection always but sometimes there's a business that maybe they have confidentiality uh rules maybe it's a doctor's office or you know, someone that can't necessarily just hand out their clients name and phone number and that's ok, I'll write a phone script for them I want them to be saying what I want them to say, but they'll call that client and then asks for the permission for me then to call and so I'm gonna then call the client I'm going to set up an appointment with them and the goal is to photograph them for the display as faras what we're communicating to them and what I've learned is that each and every time I'm calling one of these clients you know they are always excited I end you know, thirteen years of doing this have had hardly anyone ever tell me no and I want to say hardly anyone because I don't really remember any time being told no but I don't want to say that I have had one person tell me know in the past so I'm gonna say hardly anyone has ever said no typically what happens is people are thrilled they're so excited and they do want more information they want to know you know are they going to get to see all the images are they going to get to buy anything I have people ask lots of questions you know what do we get out of this and that's okay you've got to expect those questions but my answer to them is always and I will say that you never have to bring it up yourself they're going to ask you so don't go into a display opportunity thinking you know I'm asking them for this favour they get teo you know be the models for this I'm gonna have to give them images I'm gonna have to you know give them two eight by tens or whatever is in your mind to get rid of that thought you are hanging a display in a business that is what they get, they get to be the models and it's super fun and it's super exciting for them. And remember, you've hand selected thes people by hand selecting the businesses that you're working with. These people are your target client, and so by knowing and believing that they're your target client, you can know and believe that they're going to come in and they're going to spend money with you, they're going to invest with you, they're going to become clients that will come back to you again and again. The great thing about a display is that you're exposed to new people and basically handed your target clients by creating this display and that's. What it's all about it's all about getting new clients so don't ever take things down, offer your studio walls air out of your home and go hang them don't ever hang portrait's from past sessions. The goal of the display is to get new clients, so get new clients. Ask the business for a list of their favorite people that you can call and you can communicate with. So I want to just call I want to let them know what we're doing, we're creating new artwork for this business, and they've been chosen to be the models. At some point they will ask am I going to get to see all of the images and I'm gonna get to buy anything or how does this all work and that's my opportunity to say to them and this is scripted we say it the same way every single time and my answer is you know what absolutely we're going to take you through the process just like a regular client we're gonna bring you back in about a week after we photograph your images you're going to get to see everything and if there's anything you'd like to purchase that's great if not that's ok too and so the pressure is completely off of them purchasing or me selling I'm telling them we're going to take you through this just like a regular client there was no pressure at all there's nothing there obligated to buy or to do but they're going to see everything just like a regular client I do want to take them through the process just like a regular client because I want them to know what to expect the next time they work with me and what happens is every single time we go through this process those clients do purchase they come back, we show them their images, we go through the process just like we normally would and I will even tell them through that process you know, because we want to make sure that we take you through the entire experience just like a regular client I'm going to be asking you to walk through your home and just take some snapshots of any wall where you'd consider hanging your portrait because I'd like to really do something special for you that you're going to enjoy every single day so take those snapshots and I'm gonna design something I'm gonna design a custom wall concept for you for your living room or your family room or one of the kid's bedroom so we're going to do something really special for that room and so I'm gonna have take them really right through the process just like a regular client and so then the opportunity is there for me to bring them into a gn order appointment and actually sell to them and by doing this you will always you may not have your typical average sale every time with this but many times you will and sometimes it'll be even over and above because you're now reached out to this new target client that you maybe didn't have access to before and so you will sell to them and by doing this I have never been out of pocket for the displays that I'm hanging I could always take that profit that I make from the sales of those display sessions and go ahead and then purchase my display from that I also want to let you know that if you're doing a display make sure that you're working with your lab or you're working with you're framer, because a lot of times, if you're ordering a certain number of large pieces at once, they'll give you a discount on that, so don't miss out on making that connection and just letting the the vendors that you are working with. No, you know, hey, here's, what I'm doing, I'm excited to grow my business, and of course, that means more business for your vendor, and so, you know, hopefully they would turn around and say, you know, yeah, you're ordering ten frames of the same size all at the same time, so we're going to give you twenty percent off for, you know, whatever they might do for your displays, but ask them, and so save money that way, but you're also going to make money, you're going to be profitable as a business and start working with new clients in the right way you're going to be sitting down with them, you're going to be presenting their images to them in person, going through everything with them, making suggestions, and you will sell, so you're going to be profitable, and then you're also gonna have that display, which is going to bring you more business, and the next thing with those displays, one of the things that I've learned over the years and you know that school of hard knocks man, it hits me in the head every single time, but one of the things that I've learned is if I go take a beautiful brochure or something that's beautifully printed and have it there for the business to give to their clients they don't really care about it, you know? They may have even done business with me and love me but that's not their motivation on a day to day basis they don't care about handing my beautiful printed piece to their client and so I would encourage you to dio what I've learned to dio and that is to ask each business owner that I'm working with what information do you want to make sure is in your client's hands every single time, and so it doesn't matter what kind of business it is everybody has that one thing a top ten this or a you know, top three that or something that they want to make sure that information isn't every singles client every single client's hand. And so I want to print that for them and I'm gonna print that beautifully for them on a card and that'll be on one side of the piece and then on the other side of the piece will be my information so it'll be info about the studio it'll have the web site information all the information that they need and a call to action I always want to make sure I have something in there that's enticing, you know, pick up the phone and call now, so make sure you're working with your display partners in that way and really making sure that the peace that you had there is not just a marketing piece for you, but something that's going to help them out as well. The great thing is, once you have a couple displays under your belt, you've got those displays to go back teo and get those six new clients those ten new clients whenever you want, and so if you've got a slow time in your business, you can just pick up the phone and call that business owner again and say, hey, let's, let's get those that display switched out, you know, do you want to send over six to ten knew of your new favorite clients to me and I'll go ahead and contact them for the display. The other thing that happens is once your display is up, it's going to generate buzz and so people are going to ask, you know, how do I get to be in the display? They're going to ask the business owner that and so make sure you tell that business owner people will be asking how they get to be the model for the display you could run a contest in your business you could do you know for every x amount that you spend or for every this product that you buy, you're going to get your name and a drawing to be the next model for our display and so they could even have some fun with a contest or, you know, just hand select as many new people is you need each every in a few months I don't ever tell a business owner how often I'm going to change up the display and that's something that I used to do I used to say, you know, we'll switch your display out every six months and that worked great for me for a while as I was building my business, but you'll be surprised once you start building your business and it and it gets busy, you know that six months comes up really soon and so now I don't tell them a specific amount of time I just plan it for when we have a slow time or you know when my calendar is not full, I can call a business and I can say, you know, hey it's time to switch up that display let's let's call ten new people and get them excited about working with you and you know and that's one of the thing for the business as well we want to talk to them about having those portrait's displayed how it builds community in their business and people are so excited to be a part of that and they send their friends and family in to go and see their images displayed and so taking the display even a step further you could do an open house each time that you hang a display in a business you know, talk to that business owner and let them know you know, once we get this hum, I know you're going to be super excited to show it off so let's invite in those people that we displayed as our v I p guest and then they can inviting people to see the display and we can do an unveiling and do an open house and that's a great way for you as a business tau host an open house and get exposed to other people that are your target client base without having a studio space or even you know home maybe that you want to do an open house and so think about all the different ways that you can tie in with other businesses to grow your business and you know, doing this is you have to make a plan and it is a lot of work and that's why I want you to get things written down, I want you to start with a list of first the businesses that are right available to you think about the clients that you have that owned businesses there are so many small business owners all around us that love you know ways that are thrown at them for marketing and for networking in ways and opportunities that don't cost them anything and you can provide that to them so look at the clients that you already have what businesses they have or where they're doing business and who you can network with and make those list write things down and decide on for you how many people you want to be contacting in the next month in the next quarter in the next year and we're going to play in that out as we plan our marketing calendar very soon and I hope that you've gotten some good ideas today in the segment for networking with other business is putting yourself out there and in ways that you know don't hurt so much you know we're all a little bit afraid especially in the beginning to put ourselves out there but if you go with a service mine and with a service attitude that you're going to be offering to help another business as well you're going to get a lot further with it so put that in your mind instead of you know what can I get out of this what's in it for me instead think about what's in it for them and how you can communicate those things to them