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FAST CLASS: The Business of Professional Headshots

Lesson 1 of 11

Getting Headshot Clients

 

FAST CLASS: The Business of Professional Headshots

Lesson 1 of 11

Getting Headshot Clients

 

Lesson Info

Getting Headshot Clients

so go right into it. Getting clients honestly, what I consider everything else getting clients is the easy part. The reason getting clients is easy is because of the world that we live in Now everybody needs everybody needs a head shot, everybody. How many times have you driven by a billboard on the head? Shot is awful. You know what I mean is like, you know how much of billboard costs thousands of dollars a month a month? How much is a good head shot cost? You can get a really good headshot for, like, 200 bucks anywhere, pretty much. And yet, you see guys that look like they took a selfie with their phone and put it on the billboard, I don't understand. But you have every building, every small business. All those people could benefit from a great head shot. So literally, instead of going, I'm gonna shoot pregnant mommies, which is a great business. That's us much smaller demographic. When you go, I'm gonna shoot people who need a head shot for professional reasons, that opens up a hug...

e market to you. That's one of the reasons why I remember My dad told me this when I was too young to understand what it meant, he said. Rich people make things for poor people and poor people make things for rich people. And think about what? That what that means that talk about a business model that means you can think about like in the hills of Tuscany. There's this old cobbler and a little shack, and he makes shoes for the King. And then you think about Wal Mart because they make stuff for everybody. And that's the biggest retail store on the planet. And they make potato chips that cost a dollar in tennis balls for 50 cents, you know? So when you talk about creating your business model and you could make whatever business money one. I'm not telling you what to do here, but getting clients when you're gonna open up an area of your business that you haven't been into before as a specifically to create revenue, you're way better off going to a market that reach is a lot more people. Does that make sense? All right, so everybody pretty much needs a head shot, all right, so there's two different strategies for getting clients, and some of this stuff is going to seem like Face Palm. But I want you to resist the urge to face palm and think about because in the short term, what's the first thing you have to do you want? You want to create a portfolio of professional headshots with which to market? All right, So when I first started by photographers with my wife Julie, back in whatever year that was, we didn't have any portfolio. So we're gonna put up a website and you have nothing like How do you market to something when you don't have any pictures of that thing? You get people you know to sit for you, right? I mean, I think my first website, it was just everybody I knew I got to sit for me, But my website was just this hodgepodge of just different people that you couldn't even tell what I shoot for a living. It's just different groupings of humans, and there was no specific reason for it, But I just needed warm bodies, so developed a strategy for professional headshots. But whatever stage you are in life, you know people that you're in your circle of friends that work in professional places, right? So if you have to build a portfolio of people and do a bunch of free pictures to do that, how beneficial is it to take somebody that you know that works in a law office or real estate agency or something of that nature? And they, all of a sudden on their linked in profile their Facebook page, whatever. And on all their emails, they have a killer head shot, and all of a sudden, the person sitting in the next cubicle main want to know where that where that came from. So if you're gonna give your work a way to build a portfolio, you want to give smart to the point where it might come back to you. So this is a great portfolio start at the start. Was it sound? Music started. Start. Start with your friends, but your professional friends, all your lazy unemployed, good for nothing. Friends don't take their picture. There complete waste of time, but your friends who have jobs and make money you want them because it's all about the demographic that you're reaching. So find people you know in that demographic and build your portfolio that way. That's the easiest way to start word of mouth is gonna be huge when you're talking about individual headshots, right? Individual people, When you're talking about large scale corporate stuff, it comes from a completely different place, mostly marketing materials. Now this is one thing that in the digital age now I sound like 1000 years old and the Digital Age way we have such a lack sometimes have actually stuff to put in people's hands, and you will see a huge increase in give an example of market material. Anytime anybody comes into my studio and we do a session, I have a head shot, sort of thank you card, and it says thank you on it and it's a tri fold. And on the inside, it's got three coupons for not coupons like gift cards that they could give two friends to give them 25% office section and then on the other side. It's got all my social media links in places where they can leave a review, and if they leave me a review, I give them an additional retouched images. A thank you so they have an incentive to actually do it. That's a physical thing that I put in somebody's hand every time they leave my studio and I went from zero Google reviews, I think, like 15 or 18 now, but they're huge in your online placement is user experience, right? So when somebody looks, if somebody searching the Internet for a photographer to the head shots and they see all these listings, but one's got a bunch of five star reviews and really great comments, that's gonna be good for you. But that's an example of putting a mark marketing material in somebody's hand that has developed more and more and more business for me because I get so many people come into the studio and they go, Oh, I saw how many good reviews you had and maybe not in other types of businesses, but in the head shop business and professional headshots. It's huge. Whereas if you're shooting babies or families or weddings, a lot of that stuff is gonna be personal. Referral referrals from other vendors stuff like that professional headshots. Those referrals are coming from individual referrals, but largely more than half of what I do comes from the Internet. And that's Booth, bolstered by the marketing material side of putting people's hands so you can take something that's paper and turn it into something that actually will make you money. That makes sense. So I actually know Photographer that she goes out into her neighborhood door to door with marketing materials, walks into small business and talks to business owners. So here's my strategy. Find a building. Every building has the 1000 people inside of it that could use a headshot. Everything's a potential market. So when I say find a building, go into a neighborhood and find like the stationary store and find the real estate office and find the restaurant. All of these business owners could benefit from a terrific photo. And if you walk in and meet people using those market materials, you'll be shocked at how much business you can drum up. If you're way too cool to do that yourself, get yourself and in turn and you in turn an intern, get yourself an intern and have them do it for you. I just get out there and start drumming up business for yourself. The grass roots is one of the most effective ways to start starting a business you want to take over your own neighborhood. Where is your studio? Where is your home? Where? Your stomping grounds. Because it is an absolutely invaluable thing for people to know you. And it is the thing that is so disconnected from the world. Right now, people largely interact online. I have relatives that I haven't seen except on Facebook in like, 10 years, you know, although at the same time, like my fifth grade teachers on Facebook and I chatting back and forth with her here and there so like it's a great way to stay interconnected. But if you get out there and talk to people in a non threatening way, like, Hey, we're in the neighborhood because here's what you're doing. You're not trying to build your business based on your neighbors. You're trying to create word of mouth cause it's not them that you want. It's the 200 people that they know that they will refer you to. So even though we're talking about short term, don't be short sighted. Your main business isn't gonna come from those people in your neighborhood because if you have 100 businesses in your neighbourhood, that's not enough head shots to get you through the next five years. But the people that those 100 people know is enough people to get you through the next five years. Do you understand what I mean? So you're using short term marketing to create a long term business. Those relationships are gonna keep coming back to you because one person giving you 50 bucks or 100 bucks or 200 bucks for a headshot, whatever you want to charge is gonna be great for today. But that person referring everybody they ever meet and no to you is gonna be way better. I work with people in my own area all the time and do stuff for them for nothing, because when somebody needs something there, when somebody needs a photographer for anything, I'm gonna be the photographer that they know. Does that make sense? And I havent muddied the waters of neighborliness and friendship by taking a bunch of money for my neighbors either. So whatever you want to use that strategy, that is extremely powerful for me, and it's a great way to start short term market long term. We talked about a little bit on the long term. But here's one thing that is Ah, not done. Networking groups. Anybody been to be an eye or anything like that? Do There's networking groups 11 out of eight people have done that, so people do this wrong, they go toe. You ever see that? Like the crazy desperation in the eyes of everybody looking at it for Nelson Networking group like, Let me sell you a house. Let me sell you the house. But if you're on a networking group with a real estate agent, they would be so shortsighted to try and make you their client injuring the same networking group. They don't want you. They don't don't try to sell me a house. They want me to tell other people about them. So when you go to a networking group, don't try to sell what you're doing to the people in the networking group. Do as much as you can for them, and this is creating those relationships is an incredible long term strategy. And again, I want to get back to the point of standing in the shallow into the pool, away from the dog pile. Most photographers in the industry nowadays it's getting younger and younger and younger people who grew up in my generation and the generations coming after. They don't know how to talk to people. Sometimes you know their interactions air different. But here's the thing about networking groups. Somebody got out of bed, put on their big boy pants, got dressed and went into a meeting that they go to the Weekly biweekly Monthly. Whatever your networking group is and paid money Toby there to sit in a room with other professional people. Basically, the bar for entry is higher than just somebody would randomly meet. So you know that this person that you meet this serious about doing business and potentially has tons of contacts for you to deal with your goal is not to sell to them. It's the relationship market with them. Does that make sense? And this creates a huge snowball effect for business. And again, most people in the photography business are not doing this at all. Does that make sense? Cool blue, for you guys are smart. Dig it. Hotels and convention centers. Now this is not specific necessarily to everybody, because if you're in like West Chester Seinfield Ville, Iowa, you may not have any convention centers, and I get that. But if you are in Atlanta or if you're in Vancouver or if you're in Colorado Springs or wherever you happen to be, there are places their people come there to do. Business thesis there. If you're in a big business center or near one, most people are within an hour of a major metropolitan area. This is a huge, huge opportunity for business. You can create a relationship with every hotel in convention center that does events has a person who was in charge or multiple people who were in charge of putting on those events off, selling those two businesses, putting on conventions, all that type of stuff. When somebody comes in from out of town and they book a convention somewhere, they very much rely on those people. So if you're the concierge slash corporate event person for a hotel convention center, you want to be a problem solver for your client, the person who's putting on the convention. So when they need a photographer and you've got that answer that makes you look good to them, that's where you come in. You can make them look good and create a relationship where they're funneling you to their corporate clients. Does that make sense? You can create long term business by creating relationships with these hotels, convention centers. And I will tell you this. The people who put those events on very often are part of these networking groups, and stuff is a great way to meet these people in a professional capacity, although you can't have successors walking in there and begging them for business. I mean, that works sometimes, too. But find yourself giving something before you ask for something. If they have a cool event, coming up with great decorations is gonna make their place look good. Offer to show up and take pictures just for them. Do it for nothing. If their staff needs headshots, do head shots for their staff. All the stuff that you can do for them so that they can see that your work is good and they could see that you're willing to work with them also. And that can create a huge, huge benefit for you later on, because these things is where the big money comes in. We'll talk about that. Here's one that was just pointed out to me recently. Schools and MBA programs have a lot of people going through graduate school. They're putting out hundreds of graduates every semester at these MBA programs. So if you have a school or anything nearby, fantastic place to mine for professional clients, these people coming out with an N b a. These air movers and shakers, people that are really achieving to the highest levels of business a lot of times some of them are bums, but mostly those air hardworking professional people. And this is a great way to get with the teachers, instructors and even student counsellors in these schools and MBA programs, because it's really good thing to have a great head shop for a resume going out. I get that all the time. So why isn't this a great place to mind clients? You could even create a relationship. In fact, with one of these schools where you show up one day and anybody who needs a head shot, you could just do a volume band run through like 200 students, and that's a real and you could do that every semester. That's an awesome, recurring bit of business for you. does that make sense? Cool with that. All right, Reviews and social media We talked about this. I've had really, really good results with advertising on Facebook and Google. AdWords for professional headshots. If you're CEO isn't great. When you start out, spend a little money and get the AdWords. People sometimes still do click on there, mostly in their eighties. But people do click on those ads sometimes, which is pretty cool. We're supposed to laugh there and again. We talked about the reviews. That is the thing that is going to skyrocket you up in the rankings is the quality of your business can be determined by user interaction as far as all the Google machines are concerned. So ask for those solicit those and create a little marketing materials that we had zero. And now we have a bunch on Facebook and on Google because of that, so as a really good, very powerful long term

Class Description

FAST CLASS:

Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: The Business of Professional Headshots with Gary Hughes


SUBSCRIBE TO CREATOR PASS and cue up this class and other FAST CLASS classes anytime.


Professional headshots are in demand! Learn how to break into this lucrative genre of photography in The Business of Professional Headshots with Gary Hughes.

Professional headshots are an easy addition to nearly every photographer’s list of services and in this class, you’ll get up-to-speed on everything you need to know to launch a headshot business.

You’ll learn:

  • 6 Primary styles of corporate headshots
  • The gear that gets the job done
  • Basic posing theory
  • How to get clients and manage inquiries
  • Retouching, organizing, and delivery tips and techniques

You’ll also get to watch Gary in action as he demonstrates shooting and retouching a variety of headshot styles.

If you want to bring home more money and book more business during your slow times, don’t miss this comprehensive guide to running a lucrative headshot business from Gary Hughes.

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