Archive for Marketing
Today I looked at my subscriber list numbers. There were 80 people who have unsubscribed to my newsletter since I started it.
Not everyone is a good customer for you.
First of all, what is a target market? A target market is the group of like minded people (psychographics) that can afford you, can get to you, and they want a certain product or service you provide (demographics).
As a photographer, I am sure you have a certain target market. You might want to be known for high school senior portraits, newborns, or weddings. Each of these photographic styles would appeal to its own unique target market. You would not send a family with a newborn a wedding promotion or a bride-to-be a high school senior brochure.
If a person does not fit in your target market, they probably are not likely to purchase from you. Right?
So here is where a fresh look at “rejection” might help you. Look at the uninterested people as checked off of your list. These people do not want or need what you have, so you are free to move on to those that possibly do.
I no longer feel bad about seeing an unsubscriber. I don’t take it personally anymore. I look at the fact that they did not fit the profile of being the perfect potential customer in the first place. I only have time to work with interested prospects so the smaller the list the better.
So instead of looking at rejection as rejection, consider rejection as a filter instead. Make room for the good customers in your life and your list.
© 2012 Barb Gordon Photo Coach
When you are writing your marketing, website, or brochure copy, remember you are trying to connect with your prospective customers.
Focus on using the word “you” more than you do “I” or “we”. Make the piece about them, their needs, and their wants. Honestly, consumers only care about themselves and what benefits them.
For example, I just designed a new postcard mailer and my first attempt turned out to be all about me. “I have a product to sell and I am out of storage space so I am having a sale.” And we wonder why our marketing doesn’t work!
My second draft is much better, I only had one word referring to me and four referring to them.
Try and concentrate on the result they will get with your product or service and speak to them with their interest in mind.
- An ad for a college is best said, “You’ll study important topics such as…” instead of “We offer these topics…”
- “You will also be a part of a special online community of fellow students with whom you’ll be able to communicate as you progress through your program.” Is better than, “We offer online learning as part of our program.”
- “You can easily buy…” instead of “I sell…”
When you are done writing your content go back and count the number of times you use the word “I”, “we” vs. “you” and “your”. If you have more “you” than “I”, you are in good shape!
It can be very difficult to see our business from the customer’s perspective. After all, we know our business so well we take so much for granted. Or maybe, you are new to business and are still struggling with some of the common problems.
This past weekend I had an experience that might help you see your customers from their perspective. And once you see your customers from a fresh perspective, your frustrations with challenges can melt away.
This particular challenge is how do your first time callers feel and what might we do better to convert them into a customer?
Here’s a recent experience I had that might be a good example for you to get an idea how a prospect might feel. I was at a large horse fair trying to learn more about what feed to use for my horses. (I have only had horses three years and still find feeding them properly is complicated.)
I stopped at a booth that I thought would be the answer. I found myself tongue tied at how to start the conversation. (This is where a good salesperson or representative could have been a great help.) I was so unsure what to ask first that I almost left the booth.
Tip one: some prospects will not try very hard to get information.
The real question in my heart that I could not verbalize was, “How do I find out about horse feeding options and more importantly, is this the right feed for my horses?”
That is when it hit me! So that’s how our prospects might feel when they call our studios! They do not know how to say, “how do I select a photographer and are you the right photographer for me?”
So naturally our prospects start with “how much does it cost?” This question right out of the shoot makes most of us cringe. Most of us are unprepared on how to handle this smoothly.
We all know that cost is really irreverent when it is a product we want or need (within reason of course). Look at all the money you spend on your hobby. Answering the question of cost does not have to be the first topic addressed.
Tip two: help your prospect get the information they really need.
I was not going to start the process of learning about horse feed by asking the price first. Not only is that not my mindset, it would not tell me what I really needed to know. Your customers could be the same way.
So I, the introvert, struggled and felt weird until the other man in the booth, the nutritionist, took over the conversation from the untrained salesman who did not know how to interact with new people.
Tip three: learn how to interact with new people especially if they are more introverted and need a little help expressing themselves. Be careful who you put on the phone when new prospects call for information. An untrained person can loose many sales for you.
Once the nutritionist was helping me, things went great. He was friendly, an expert, and only looked at me while he talked. He did not try to get to the next person in the booth until he felt that I was completely done and understood on his product.
Tip four: pay attention to your prospect and listen carefully. You will have plenty of time to make suggestions and influence the sale later.
It made more sense for me to purchase feed in my local area. The nutritionist made sure I knew where to go and what type of feed I needed to get. He gave me his card in case I had any additional questions.
Tip five: be helpful and invite them to continue the conversation later if necessary.
So, next we need to talk about how you specifically apply this experience to your studio. We’ll talk about that next week, come join me. Meanwhile, I encourage you to pay closer attention to interactions you have while you shop and see what you can learn.
(c) 2012 Barb Gordon Photo Coach
I was reminded how important headlines and the first sentence of a post are when I googled “Iowa Horse Fair” to check next year’s dates so I could mark my calendar. A blog post I did about my attendance at the event last year came up number six on a search. Wow, was I was surprised. But it reminded me how using the right key words are important and how more thought should go into using them.
Writing headlines and captivating copy is not my number one strength, matter of fact, this one was boring, but as I said, it came up as number six (the third one in the screen shot) from matching key words.
The first sentence after the headline is really important! Make it count. You want your readers to continue.
Most of all, share great information. We are not all gifted writers but don’t let that stop you. It is more important to be marketing yourself.
There are many marketing errors we have all made but I thought I would share four that come to mind fast with you today.
Mistake number one is not putting out an offer. Simply sending out a postcard, brochure, or price list without an offer is not going to get much response. Take a look at advertisements you receive from national chain stores, there is an offer. A percent off, a free something, a bonus of some type something to compel you to consider their product or service.
Mistake number two is giving actual dollars off coupon.
When you create your offer, I would discourage a cash discount. I saw a clothing store send out $50 off coupons. I thought it was a great idea that might catch a high school senior’s eye, or at least their mom’s.
Let’s think this through a little. First of all let’s assume you charge $50 for an 8×10 for this example. Compare giving your customer $50 cash off of their order vs. what it would cost you to “give” them an 8×10. An 8×10 would cost you two to four dollars to make and they would be getting a $50 value. A cash discount of $50 costs you not receiving $50. Buy giving away a $50 value 8×10 instead, you saved $46 to $48 dollars cash money and your client still got her $50 value!
This coupon might work just fine for a retail store but I tried it and realized that it was a big mistake for me.
Mistake number three is not including a call to action.
When sending out a promotion, a short deadline is a must to urge the client to act promptly. You do not want to have an offer without an expiration date, you want them to call now and not set your promotion aside and think about it. The words “Call today” or “Call Now” are common.
Mistake number four is a big display ad in the Yellow Pages.
Most referrals for service based businesses like ours comes from word of mouth. Print ads do not seem to have much impact. The phone book seems like a big waste of money.
In my area of Cedar Rapids, Iowa there are a lot of display ads for photographers. I noticed in the Des Moines, Iowa phone book area there are no display ads for photographers. What is the difference? It actually becomes a competition between photographers of the same area. Understandably each photographer is trying to get noticed over the others. This is great for the yellow page ad representative in Cedar Rapids, but it is only draining the advertising budget of the local photographers. The Des Moines group is smart and saving a lot of money.
Where are most people going to find you? Ask them! But I bet they will tell you it is word of mouth, and the internet will be the biggest responses.