Do you ever have those days (weeks, months…) that you feel like you’re tirelessly treading water, barely staying afloat? You’re not swimming or progressing toward anywhere or anything. You’re basically stagnant. That has been me lately. I’ve had a stirring from within for awhile now and it has me rethinking, revamping and reworking my business from the ground-up. While it’s a daunting, scary task, it actually feels riveting and refreshing to reinvent what Holli True Photography is all about. With so many changes in the works for my own business, I decided it was the perfect time to recirculate an old blog feature: the Reader Q&A (now called Ask Holli).
IPS, MARKETING & BOOKING CLIENTS
“I would love to know more about your In-Person Sales (IPS) process. I am starting to do more of this and want to know what programs you use, what types of products are maybe popular with seniors lately…? What’s been successful?!”
~LEAH | WILD PLUM PHOTO
To be completely honest, I stopped doing IPS years ago. It didn’t make sense for how my business is structured, since most of my senior clients travel from all over the state of Oregon. It’s a big ordeal to coordinate their session around their already busy schedules, so asking them to travel to me again for a reveal and sales session, just isn’t realistic. Instead, my portrait collections are all-inclusive, with the session and products all rolled into one price. My clients choose a collection when they book with me, so they know exactly how much they will be spending and I know exactly what products they will be receiving. We’re all on the same page, right from the start.
DISCLAIMER: I believe wholeheartedly that you have to build a business that will work for you. While I understand the benefits of doing sales in-person, the reality is that it doesn’t work for me, my family or my clients. I’ve tried it and it wasn’t a good fit for my business structure. If IPS works for you, that’s awesome!! Keep offering it! If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!
As far as programs go, I use SHOOTPROOF (this is a refer-a-friend link) for all of my online galleries, digital file delivery and custom phone apps. They are amazing!! For products, I keep it simple and minimal. I offer albums, magazines, gallery & portfolio prints and for 2019 I am adding grad announcements and video.
“How to reach out to seniors when you’re just getting into Senior Portraits and how to set yourself apart?”
~KAT | KAT OSWALD PHOTOGRAPHY
To reach your target market, you have to be where they are. When it comes to high school seniors, it’s all about social media. Most teens live in their phones and social media is where they spend their time. Consumers (of all ages) want what they see. So what are you showing them? Do a quick review of what you’re posting and what do you see?
When it comes to marketing, Instagram is my social media platform of choice. It isn’t a coincidence that I focus most of my posts on what I know potential clients will want to see: my work. This allows me to tag my clients, which gets them commenting and sharing my posts, too. I sprinkle in some personal posts, inspirational quotes and behind the scenes content, just to keep it interesting. Overall, my Instagram feed is how I attract (or repel) my target market.
To truly set yourself apart, my biggest piece of advice is to stay true to who you are. Be real and authentic. Stop worrying about what others around you are doing and focus on what makes you tick. Draw from your experiences, your surroundings and the things you love. Build your foundation on that and you will be bound for success and longevity.
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
“Best method for booking? What program to use?”
~ALYSIA | ALYSIA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY
Truth be told, I am an old school girl. My current method is putting pencil to paper in my ERIN CONDREN LIFEPLANNER (refer-a-friend link). This makes my hubby roll his eyes because he thinks it’s totally a barbaric custom. I know. But it works for me.
If you’re looking for something a little more modern, I have heard amazing things about ACUITY SCHEDULING, from my friend, JOLENE DOMBROWSKI. I am currently looking into this service, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. This might be something I implement into my business for 2019.I love the idea of my clients being able to book on the spot, so I’m considering it. My husband would be so proud.