As we walk through the trenches of our business, it can be easy to forget the excitement and fun our clients feel about booking us
When we get tied up with thinking about the accounts, editing styles, processes and workflows all the way through to updating software and making sure our insurance stands up to the task, we can quickly forget about the magical concept that it is being an equine photographer.
First of all, let me tell you that we all go through this, and will continue to go through this over and over again throughout our careers. If you have been working away, head down and blinkers on, then that’s great! Seriously, we have to be goal orientated and focused to be successful and to keep moving forward, but ask yourself this: “When was the last time I looked at the core of my business and felt excited about what I offer to my clients?”
Write down what you offer. This might sound silly, I hear you… “Hannah, I offer photography DUH!” Well, is that all you offer?
Do you offer –
And most of all, do you actually realise how special our job is? Do you know what you are making someone feel when they see beautiful images of them and their horse?
We can take for granted that we know these things. We live this business, day in, day out but our clients don’t. They may have seen you at a local show or been told about you by a friend, what are they going to see or hear when they reach out to you? If you have ever thought to yourself, “They will never pay that, I’m only offering photographs, and the person down the road does it for £50!” Then this is the exercise for you.
Your clients get so much MORE than photos. They get memories, an experience and pieces of art that they can own and cherish for the rest of their lives.
Now, write down everything included when someone works with you, all the way down to the polos you always carry with you for rewarding the horse.
Once you have done this exercise, look through all of your marketing material and your emails, do you mention any of it?
Plus, this exercise is to bring your self-esteem back to where it should be, flying high – we offer great experiences, we just need to be reminded sometimes.
Look at your business as if you were the client.
Take a run through your experience as a client. Remember, you work for your company, so if you don’t focus on your customers on a regular basis, what do you think your CEO is going to say (yes, it’s you – but you can still be a bad ass!)
When someone first connects with you about a photo shoot, do you email or text them back with a message that really sounds like “ You probably won’t book and I’m sure you’ll think I’m too expensive, I wish you could understand that I am worth it” or do you pick up the phone and connect to them on a human to human level.
If you called your business today, would you put the phone down feeling excited?? Even the clients who cannot afford us, should walk away feeling like they want to save up, to have the experience and photoshoot with you. We all have that brand that we connect with, that we can’t afford – but we can save up and dream. That’s how all your enquiries should feel. Those who can afford the experience book, and those who can’t save up.
Of course, there are clients out there that simply don’t value photography or value it to the point of £100. That’s fine and that’s all the time we will spend thinking about them. That’s what you should do in your business, don’t worry about the phone call where the client says £695 for a shoot! I can get it for £10 down the road – cool! I wish you luck and that is all the time to give it. They are not bad people, that are just not your people!
So, look through the entire experience with you, after the phone call how can they book and pay? How do they pick the date? Do they receive anything in the post? How do they prepare and so on.
Once you have looked through your process, be honest with yourself, are you proud of this process and are you feeling excited about a photo shoot with you? If your answer is no, look for the gaps and the upgrades you can implement and do them today!
Believe in your business.
So many photographers feel like they are cheating. We certainly have the imposter syndrome, and it’s because we truly adore what we do, and it’s not fair to make money and profit from that. Well, my friends – I’m here to tell you, it is fair and if you don’t, someone else will!
Clients book us because they have a need for our services. We don’t force people to have photo shoots, our clients want to be photographed with their horses, they want to capture the true friendship they have cultivated, and some want to spend thousands on frames and albums afterwards to remember it.
Stop feeling guilty and start embracing your business. Love the business as much as the photography.
If you feel it, so will your clients and future clients.
Go through all of your online and physical marketing material, your social media and your website – what does it look like to a client? Do you look confident and exciting to work with? Do you believe in your business and do you love it?
If you love it, so will they!