One of the most annoying aspects of running a photography business (or any business for that matter…) when first starting out is having to deal with “Price Shoppers”.
Price shoppers are those annoying people that shop around looking for the cheapest products and services that they can find before making a decision on whether or not to buy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain as much as the next girl, but when running your own business your time is valuable.
If you allow price shoppers continually interrupt and abuse your most valuable asset you’ll eventually become a physical and emotional wreck.
I love receiving enquiries regarding my services, but the problem with price shoppers is that they are only focused on one thing price…
…and once they’ve got a price whether it’s high or low they’re no longer interested in speaking with you, instead they’re more concerned with speaking to the next vendor and comparing prices.
Why Is This A Problem For Your Photography Business?
Enquiries of this nature usually only provide you with one opportunity to convert a prospect into a customer which is difficult and depending on the time of the enquiry you may not exactly be ready or in a frame of mind to do so…
Therefore you’ll miss out on capturing valuable revenue for you and your photography business.
Also let’s not forget to mention that enquires of this nature can add up resulting in a significant loss of your valuable time and money.
This is why you not only want to be conscious of price shoppers, but you also create systems and processes to manage your enquires more effectively.
So, What Can Be Done To Fix This Problem?
There are in effect two strategies that you can implement and utilise in order to:
- Reduce your exposure to price shoppers saving you time, which in return equals more money in your pocket at the end of the day,
- Increase the likelihood you will convert a prospect into a buyer,
- Build an asset that will continue to generate long term revenue for your photography business.
The first and perhaps the most difficult strategy to come to terms with is how to correctly…
1.) Preframe & Position Your Unique Value Proposition
So, what on earth do I mean by that?…
Good question, “pre-frame or pre-framing” is an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique.
Without getting too technical, it’s simply a process of qualification and disqualification that is achieved through copywriting, the art of persuasive writing for the purpose of advertising or marketing.
A recent case study published in “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior” (Written by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman) highlights the power that preframing can have on a persons decision-making ability.
Conducted on a class of over 900 college students, the initial concept was to test how psychological influences would affect a student’s decision-making process, when logic would dictate otherwise…
They decided to use a substitute teacher as the primary focus of their study, but before the substitute teacher arrives and starts speaking, all students were handed and asked to read a short biography about the new substitute teacher.
But What The They Didn’t Know…
But what the they didn’t know was half the students received one biography, half of the students received another and the only difference between the two biographies handed out was one word.
“Mr Smith is a very warm teacher…” and “Mr Smith is a very cold teacher…” other than that the written biographies were identical.
The substitute teacher then entered, lectured for 90 minutes and then left…
After which researchers surveyed all of the students to find out what they thought about the substitute teacher.
Interestingly they took the survey results and then matched them back to the students based on the biographies that they were originally given and ask to read.
90% Of The Students…
90% of the students that had read the biographies which identified the substitute teacher as “warm” said that Mr Smith was amazing, empathetic and his teaching style really resonated with me and as a result I learnt a lot from his lecture.
The students who had read the biography that identified the substitute teacher as “cold” said that Mr Smith is hard to understand, he didn’t emphasise with me and it felt as though he was talking down to me the whole time.
Each group of students attended the same lecture, the only difference was one word in the biography that they had read prior, resulting in a completely opposite experience.
The preframing experienced by these students is also happening with your marketing and how prospects relate to you and your business.
So, the message you communicate to prospects will affect how they will subconsciously interpret and interact with the next stage of your sales process.
Attracting the perfect customer and repelling price shoppers isn’t entirely straight forward, but can be achieved through a variety of techniques and I have listed examples below:
- Use qualifying or disqualifying words and phrases in your ads to reduce advertising costs and increase overall profitability by only attracting the right consumer.
- Use pricing within your advertising to only attract prospects that can afford your products or services and exclude price shoppers who can’t or aren’t willing to pay you what you are worth.
- Use “Calls To Action” in your advertisement to lead your prospects through your sales process. For example, inform prospects what they need to do next after clicking on your advertisement. Prospects who aren’t prepare to follow through with the next step in your sales process will avoid clicking on your ads, thus reducing your advertising spend.
So, What Are Common Mistakes Photographers Make When Creating Their Marketing Communications or Messages?
Without a doubt the biggest problem photographers face when marketing is not solely focusing on solving one problem for one target demographic.
Instead photographers continue advertising every product and/or service they provide to all who will listen. I recommend you avoid being broad and instead specialise in selling only one style of photography to one specific customer.
The second strategy is far more easily understood and practical by nature…
2.) Generate Leads That You Continue To Communicate With Overtime
Lead generation is perhap one of the most important and ignored aspects of running a business and to be honest if you were to ask a photographer what lead generation was or how they use it in their business I would be willing to bet that their responses would leave a lot to be desired.
So, What Is Lead Generation & Why Is It Important?
Lead generation is the practice of collecting a prospects personal information (whether that be an email address, postal address, mobile or phone number) so that you can continue to communicate and follow up with them regarding their initial enquiry of interest for your products and/or services.
On average it usually takes a prospect at least seven points of contact prior to making a purchase decision which means the chance of converting a prospect to a customer the very first time you meet is extremely low and difficult to achieve…
In comparison, offering prospects something of value (preferably free) in exchange for their contact details has a high chance of success and provides you with multiple opportunities to convince your prospects that your product and/or service is the right solution for them.
Here’s An Example Of How You Could Easily Implement This Strategy Within Your Photography Business:
First off, don’t display your prices on your website, instead offer a price guide either in the form of a PDF or on a hidden web page in exchange for a prospects name and email address.
After the prospect submits their personal details via an online form automatically redirect them to the hidden price guide as requested. Also don’t forget to send them an automated email containing a link to the price guide for future reference.
It sounds simple right? …But what do you do with all those leads?
Most business owners are very capable at capturing leads, but when it comes to effectively following up and converting prospects into buyers that is an entirely different story.
What Are Some Of The Common Mistakes Photographers Make When It Comes To Lead Generation?
One mistake I see photographers make is spending far too much time on social media without having any clear understanding of it’s ROI (Return On Investment).
If you were to look at the average ROI for small businesses across the board you would come to the realisation that there are far better methods for marketing your photography business that would provide a greater return on your investment than that of social media and one example would be email marketing.
Another mistake I see photographers make is that they don’t think of “marketing” as a long term exercise and therefore don’t achieve their desired results.
By not focusing long term marketing activities, photographers miss out on opportunities to continue to build trust, cultivate relationships and convey the true value of their products and services to prospective clients.
Also, let’s not forget that this technique can also be used to follow up with existing clients to increase their overall level of service satisfaction and to generate additional sales in the future.
So, if you’ve read this far you’ve now learnt why it’s important to not waste your time, effort and money on price shoppers, what specifically you should focus your efforts on instead and how to implement a systemized process for managing your enquires and communications more effectively.
If you would like to improve your photography and would like advice on how to do so, considered joining our community forum where you’ll be able to have all of your burning questions answered personally by me and from other photographers.