Fashion Flair Business Tips
Five fashion flare business tips from my experience and I think later on when we have a question answered some point I'll talk a little bit about, um, selling and image presentation and whatnot, so that is eventually coming I'm gonna have kind of prompted me to remember to do that I actually not focusing on that part of business in this presentation, but I do want to touch on it for you guys. Uh, if you saw my class on wednesday, you know that I think this is really, really important if you are trying to get your message out there, you don't want to just throw any old message about your business, any type of branding just out there and hope it sticks someplace because that is a giant waste of time and if you're trying to be shooting and behind the camera, maybe you want to do these bigger productions uh the more time you just saying okay, I'm gonna throw an ad someplace and hope that somebody sees her, I'm gonna put a couple photos up on facebook and hope that gets me traffic that's no...
t efficient, effective you have to go to your audience, you have to have a consistent message, so that's kind of what my wednesday class is all about um what I say is a good way to approach this is figure out first you're consistent message what do you want to say about your brand? So when I was in upstate new york and syracuse that's why I went to school my message wass I am a wedding photographer with a fashion flair that will make you feel like a model on your wedding day that was kind of my brand of my message and you know, if you go to me, you're going to feel looking feel like a model uh what who do you want to say it too? So you get really specific because by getting really specific, you can answer a lot of questions to help you save time. So for example specific I want women because usually they're the decision makers for photography um eighteen to thirty five um within a fifty mile radius of syracuse and they need to be engaged, right? So okay, so if that's my target audience got really specific, who I want to say it to the last part is how and where can you get your attention? So maybe you're putting your promo at a bridal studio and maybe you find some way to kind of team up with them like, for example, you take a bunch of their dresses I did this with danielle's bridal in my town you take a bunch of their dresses put on a model, shoot them and beautiful beautiful light, really dramatic situations, and then give them large prints to put up in their bridal salon. So it's actually places where it's actually of locations where the thiss bridal studio is our this bridles, uh, boutique is located using dresses they have in stock and a photographer in the area. So you say you can look like this in this dress and it's helping them sell dresses? Um, and so you're helping them, so maybe it's teaming up with them because they already have your target audience right there. Or maybe there is a central new york bridal magazine and, you know, an ad might not draw attention, but maybe you could do a guest article for the magazine about what their considerations when picking your wedding photographer. Or maybe write a block post about top ten tips of looking best in your wedding photographs. Thanks for tips proposing and we weren't, you know, like the sticking your chin out just a little bit and lowering your shoulders. Maybe you could do that. So for me, it's finding out once you know what you want to say and specifically who you want to say it so you can break it down of how you can get their attention. Uh and how you can get them to take a look at your work so my tip to you is really figure these things out what you want to say who you want to say it somewhere you confined them otherwise just putting photos up on facebook and sending adds to the newspaper is not going to help you it's waste of time and money um this is actually what I just touched on marketing collaboration if you can figure out what others stores or services in your area I already have your target market and how you as a photographer can work with them they already put a ton of resource is into attracting the same target market so now you just got to get yourself in front of those same people so maybe it's going to be a children's boutique and you do the same thing with the photographs and you photographed their clothing uh there are plenty of things one of the things that I did is thie it's kind of the hair and makeup salon around the corner we offered fashion floor sessions together so I'd leave promo cards from them at my studio vice versa and I so I'd say you get your hair and makeup done there and they also have promo so they're promoting me I'm promoting them it's kind of two people towards the same and goal and so therefore it's saving money on resource is for advertising and promoting so market collaboration, marketing collaborations I think is important um it's hip you might consider just like taking page of out of the playbook of creative live is holding competitions people like competitions so a competition that I held was an equivalent of america's next top model but for my city um and so I'm encouraging it was geared told only towards female high school seniors and so they could submit a photo and kind of their favorite photo of themselves and that I would pick top ten to photograph and so they each get one shot and then the number one winner one they're free you know mega senior portrait package with me something like that but it's getting everybody to know my brand that I have kind of a fashion flair to it it's introducing people that I do senior portrait photography and fashion photography and so you're thinking of how can you hold a competition to get people excited and aware of what your brands all about so many different ways you can do this? Yeah you would hold a competition would you steer away? I see so many people do it like fan page on their facebook fan pages and sometimes I feel they're doing it just to get more like numbers versus just doing it on the block would you kind of do both or just do the block post and link it to approaches you? Khun d'oh one thing that I did is I had an email and said email me you know you can even see the photos so he didn't just have a ton of photos plus I don't want anything inappropriate, you know stuck up there I don't want to worry about it on and then posed the top select on my facebook page but I do want more like I do want more people to my page but that's okay, another thing that I did is I teamed up with our local clear channel radio station um from one year for a competition so they are getting a free, you know, three thousand dollars package from me as the final prize that we teamed up together and they actually hosted the competition and I was just the prize it was giving away, but every time they talk about this competition, it was lindsay ather associated with wedding photography or senior portrait and fashion photography so it's kind of free advertising for me, which I checked for you know how much it was for similar kind of ten or fifteen seconds slots on the station? I save thousands of dollars by doing that but offering my one free giveaway my one free competition so that's something I'd consider doing as well for a wedding shoot do you think that's too much? I would like to get into shooting weddings and I've done some proper weddings but I've never shot a real wedding so how do you shoot a real wedding when you never shot a real weighing? Does that the whole in general? I mean, what I did is I assisted another photographer um about six times that that was my under my recommendation to you um just chat along you know what to expect? Remember the second or third wedding I did? I barely got a picture of the first kiss because it doesn't come the same time in different religions and I didn't know that I thought it all like they all kiss at the same time and I thought they'd all say the same thing like you may not cost kiss the bride that does not always happen, but I do know that s a recommendation is that you practice makes perfect and go watch and then eventually from assisting second shoe if you want otherwise you khun really just watching old reflectors and whatnot? Um there was one other thing related to holding competitions I was going to say, but it's gone so it'll come back okay. In the meantime, I have a question for you from britney lauren who's in portland and britney asked, do you decide who wins the contest or do you ever have other people just judge so you might don't get accused of being biased typically a lot of times for these types of competitions you find somebody else to judge whether it's you know hair cells make up artist in town or to somebody of note or maybe you have it be the radio deejay if you teamed up with them a lot of times like for example, one of my really good friend brooke shade and she has a lot of competitions on her block and so she always has a guest judge s o that it's like she doesn't have to worry about the hassle and then you know you should probably recognizes some of her fans worked at that point so just kind of makes it easier so I would probably get someone else to do it if you can but you always of course get the final say or you could treat it like your model scout and you're picking as the photographer and this is your model scouting that was more geared towards mine on facebook like a lot of them stay well like this come like my page and then go like that picture and that way that's how they pick the winner and yeah that's what I meant in that sense not just yeah yeah popularity exactly yeah yes it's actually it applies to you oh plus my understanding is that's actually not allowed but yeah exactly and so many people do that I won't know tell us a little bit about the dialogue that you would use when calling the radio station to get them tio offer your competition? Definitely. So when I when I first did, is it called on I'm trying to think of what the actual position of the individuals, but I said, I'm interested in doing a collaboration. I'm a high end portrait photographer in the area, and I would be interested in teaming up for a competition where I would give away a package valued at whatever two thousand dollars, three dollars, and I said no for this competition, you know, I'm not asking for anything of you, just the fact that you mentioned me as one of the main prizes for this. And, you know, I have some really great ideas on what the competition might be and how it appeals to your demographic. So it's actually doing a little bit of research, I knew that this to the radio station that was listen to its sixty five percent of their listeners were female, so they want to have competitions that are geared towards women. And so I went in, I had a meeting, and I laid out kind of the big ten's, becks, best, uh, next top model competition, but we had to call something a little different because, you know, you can't copy whatever, um, and so and I went in, and I just said, so here's my proposal to you here's how you can and this is I said, okay, you can also have people submit the photos, you can put them on your website, which is going to drive additional traffic to your website for people see which is additional ad revenue, so I'm letting them know what they're getting out of it. They're going to get additional traffic to the website, which makes the money, and I'm giving them a free package worth three thousand dollars. So I'm just saying, in the end, it's not about me, it's all about them and what they're getting out of it and how it makes their target audience happy. Okay? Um, two more things, er, target gatekeepers it, for example, if you're aiming for high end weddings, then bodies, people have event planner, so if you could get an event planner on your side, if they know that you can if there's a stylized wedding that you photograph it well, or that you can team up with this event planner to do a stylized engagement shoe, or you just say to the event planner like, listen, I'll do a couple free things that you can throw in his value added for your for your clients. That'll make you look better than you're getting your eyes and your photographs in front of the right individuals so for me just keep that in mind I sent out pro mose kind of like this two different vendors in the area indifferent gatekeepers saying like let's team up um I'm seeking exclusive clients um and I know that you have them kind of thing um number four utilize social networking I won't go into too much because they have the whole class but my tip would be do blogged and do facebook the pictures if you have a bride and groom interview them and ask them questions doesn't even need to be on video but have them write an answer a questionnaire um and say the cottage you first meet and talk about them falling in love and then include those words with a story of their engagement session versus just photos of the engagement session because that's that's nice but doesn't help your search engine optimization that's that whole class was about but you social networking it will help you and the number five is a consideration, but what I did is I focused on being a little more exclusive I didn't want people to think I was the type of studio that was you know you kind of just show up and you have your portrait taken instead it was more of an event instead of buying photos you're investing in photographs so it's, the terminology that I used and the way that we would set up sessions to review your images instead of printouts of your proofs, it's just about being exclusive so that that's, where I wanted to put my time and effort into having hiring clientele that took my photography and my efforts more seriously. So that's a tip for you if you'd like to kind of put your heart and soul into your work, I feel like it will be a lot more rewarding, too try to get to the point where more exclusive, who are not in your target market, so to speak, people that are trying to like this happens a lot with me is that people are like, oh, no, no, no, I just wanted disc, and they're trying to cut the price, and I don't want the engagement session and, like, they're trying to custom make their own packages super easy, I just say, this is what I do, and this is my package, and this is my business, I'm never mean about it, and I'm like, oh, I I understand that there I'm I actually know that they're several photographers and area that offer that if you're interested, but if you want my services, thes air, you know, these the packages is and I but I can guarantee you'll be happy you know, just that kind of thing is you're just talking through it but I very firmly had my prices in my packages because my first three years in business I was letting people talk me down in price and I was letting people try to get free stuff um once in a while I'm absolutely fine saying you know what I will throw in for you an extra image or something or you know what a sixteen by twenty canvas of that I will throw things in if I think it's going to the difference between having that large wedding and not but for people that are just that uh they just don't have the budget for what I offer and want something totally different they don't want what I have to offer so I guess the general question was around your sales process and what it is that you sho um or that you did when you were doing this show so I was gonna explain the difference right now it is totally different with my commercial clients because depending on the situation they might actually get hundreds of images to choose from if that's what the client wants to see the whole edit and I just get rid of the really really bad ones and they can pick and choose and they leave my hands they look at it online in a gallery and they pick but that's not how it worked for what I had portrait clients, how would work? Because I would shoot several hundred images of a session, and I would try to narrow it down for me to maybe sixty to one hundred images that I would show them in my studio projected up on a screen actually had a large white wall and in that situation, um, what I would do is I would pick my top three to five images that I would re touch, and I would carefully retouched them to be exactly how I want them to be. So maybe three pictures, and I really try to push those because I'm an expert on imagery. I know what the best photographs are. Um, but we would do in that session. It wasn't on the day of the shoot was on another day, they'd come back and it's an investment session, not a purchase orders. What do you know, it's? Not just like a buyer photo session. You call it your your photography investment session? Um and so from there they would look at the maybe sixty images and I'd helped them narrow it down to what they couldn't live without and then figure out what kind of packages or products they needed to be able to get all the images. That they couldn't live without so people use you would get it down to forty or thirty or twenty that they could not live without. Okay, so what do we know? D'oh? Um, and then nothing ever left my hands on retouch, so they never got proofs to go with them because my brand is retouched high end images, and so I don't want anything floating around that shows the originals. So it was all in person and every study, every profession will tell you you make a lot more money with in person sales versus online could. When you're online, you have your stack of bills sitting to your right. Uh, and you have somebody you know, in the background saying they need money for this. That and the other first is when you're in the studio, you have the photographer educating you and why this is a great image and your purchasing decisions and how large it should be. So again, it comes back to you would have talked about educating your clients, I'm having them there and educate them on investment.