One of the hardest skills a photographer has to learn is how to effectively communicate the value of their photography to prospective clients so that they not only make sales, but more importantly get paid what they’re worth.
Getting paid what your worth isn’t easy and has been made even more difficult with the advancement in digital technology which has led to almost everyone owning a digital camera in the form of a smartphone, not to mention access to thousands of digital camera and photo editing apps.
This fact alone means photographers have to work even harder at convincing prospects that their photography is worth more than the instant in which it appears to be created.
Overcoming societies false perception of digital photography and ease in which photographs appear to be created isn’t easy, but can be achieve by first differentiating your business from your competition and secondly, increasing the overall perceived value of the product or service you’re offering prospective clients.
For example, digital files are perceived by society as worthless and therefore focusing your marketing efforts on selling digital files or loose prints which from the perspective of your client can be easily obtained via their smartphone and local mini lab is just bad business…
Do you want your photographs to promote your business or do you want them to sit on a hard-drive or in a shoe box never to see the light of day again?
So instead of focusing on what can easily be obtained, you need to focus your business and marketing on points of differentiation which aren’t as easily accessible to your target audience directly or indirectly through your competition.
Here Are Three Tips For Differentiating Your Photography Business From Your Competition:
- Don’t offer photos as digital files or unfinished prints. Focus on only offering mounted, canvas or framed photographs that will not only be valued more by your client but will continue to promote your photography and business in the future.
- Don’t sell identical products that your competition sell and by doing so you will reduce the opportunity for prospects to compare your prices with that of your competition.
- Offer products or services that has a “high barrier of entry”. What do I mean? Well “high barrier of entry” simply means that the average digital photographer won’t be able to easily reproduce your products or services without going to a great deal of effort.
Here Are Three Tips For Increasing The Perceived Value Of Your Products And Services:
- When speaking with prospects or clients implement an NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) technique called “Anchoring”. Before you mention or give away your pricing, first “anchor” the value of your product or service to a specific dollar value that represents what you believe the value of your product or service is really worth to your prospective client. This number should always be higher than the price you’re asking and as a good rule of thumb you should aim to deliver at least ten times the value of what the price of your product or service.
- If a prospect believes in their own mind that they’re receiving your product or service for next to nothing or free, they will be more inclined to become a paying client. For example, offering a 2 for 1 deal where the second item whatever that might be is perceived to be free will easily motivate prospects. (Now it also goes without saying that this technique will only work when you’re offering really value…)
- Experience plays a very important role when a prospect comes to making a decision. Therefore everything you can do to leave a positive and memorable experience from the first time a prospect contacts your business, through to the fulfillment of an order will benefit your photography business in more ways than one.
But What If I Lose Potential Clients Because I Don’t Have On Offer The Same Products As My Competition?
If your photography business isn’t unique, then you just become another commodity that can only survive by competing on price which is just lazy marketing. One skill you need to learn not as a photographer, but as a marketer is how to prequalify your prospects so that you attract the right type of client that are happy to pay you what you are worth and you are happy to work with as a client.
In this article, I’ve covered why photographers have difficulty expressing the value of their photography to prospective clients, what photographers can do to overcome this problem and how to effectively differentiate your photography business from your competition by not focusing on what can easily be obtained, but instead focusing on what can’t… by simply increasing the level of skill and quality required to creating your products and services.
So now that you’ve read this article, go ahead and analyse your photography business and your competitors to come up with a list of points that you can then use to identify specific ideas that will increase your value proposition and differentiate your business from your competitors.