How to market your photography business – the secret to being exceptional
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How to market your photography business – the secret to being exceptional

– An exceptional photography business. Is that something you’d like to have, a business that people feel
fiercely loyal towards, a business that’s hard
to compare to others? In today’s video I’m going to talk about the difference between
a good photography business and an exceptional one, and
it’s the simplest thing. (electronic music) Now, I want to warn you that
this video is not for everyone. If you prefer quick tips, then you might want to skip this one, but if, like me, you love a story that gets you thinking,
then please do stick around. It will be worth it. So I recently left the accountants that I’ve been with for five years and I moved to a new firm. Switching accountants is just not like switching hair salons, where you simply stop going to
one and start with another. It’s a process, and when life is busy, that process could easily put
you off making the switch. It’s just simpler to stay put, isn’t it? Especially when there’s
nothing actually wrong. And nothing was wrong
with my old accountants. They did everything
that they were supposed to do and they did it well. They also charged me a
really reasonable amount. So why move? Why bother with the hassle of switching, and where’s my loyalty to this business that has been serving me really
quite well for five years? But that’s exactly the problem. I didn’t feel any loyalty. None. I couldn’t even really tell
you what they looked like. I only ever heard from them when they were chasing me up for a signature or trying to sell me tax
inspection insurance. I had no relationship with them at all. Now, you could say that’s great. That means that they had everything in order and they didn’t
need to bother me. They were efficient. Now, you could also say that I wasn’t really a big client for them
because I definitely wasn’t. So why would they bother
building a relationship with me and my business? But that is so incredibly shortsighted because I was looking for more and I was willing to pay more for it. And I’m also the kind
of client who will tell everyone and anyone about
a business that I love. But let’s shift this story
to the coworking space that I work in for a minute. My friend, Caroline,
works at the desk next to me, and there she is this day, on a Skype call with her accountant. They are chatting like old friends before Caroline then gets the answers to some questions that she has. As soon as the call’s over, I mention to her that it sounds like
she has a good relationship with this accountant. She then openly gushes
about how great they are. She’s on first-name terms
with everyone in the office. She tells me nothing is too much trouble. But not only that, she now understands her numbers in a way
that she never did before because they take the time to
involve her and educate her. It’s really clear to me that she’s like a friend to this
business as well as a client. She feels like she matters. So that same day I set up a meeting with Caroline’s accountant. Now, notice I’ve not said that this new accountant is more skilled than my old accountant, because who am I to say if that’s the case? I know nothing about accounting. But what I do know is how they made me feel from the moment I got in touch. I felt like I mattered to them. And surely the accountant who can do the best job for me is the
one who takes the time to get to know me and my business on a deeper level and actually
cares about my success. Among our most basic needs, as humans, is the need for connection and
the need to feel significant. So let me ask you something?. Is your photography business
similar to my old accountant? So you’re doing a good job for clients who come along and you’re
treating them well, but when the job’s done,
the job’s done, right? You have enough people in you’re life. Or are you like my new accountant? Are you making people feel like they really matter to you,
not just during the work that you do for them, but before they even decide to work with you, and for a long time afterwards? Can you even call some of
these people your friend now? Now, to be clear, I am not
just talking about clients. What about other business people in your area, people you
could have a great partnership with and who could help you grow? Are you taking the time to connect with them, get to know
them, and serve them? The secret to growing an exceptional photography business
isn’t a secret at all. It’s timeless and it’s easy, and with it, you will grow steadily, year on year. You simply have to care deeply about the people you enjoy working with, and then show them how
much they matter to you. Build a relationship with them and connect with them
regularly in meaningful ways. When you do this, you
will have a marketing team of past clients and partners who never stop recommending you, and they come back to work with you time and time again. Now, of course you need to find these people in the first place. That’s why I’ve created a ton of content on how to make people aware of your business, and then
get them interested. But once you do find them, if you’re not treating that like the start of a long and beautiful relationship, then you will forever be stuck in that heavy going marketing phase, always trying to find new people to market to, and then convincing them that you are worth working with. Over time, a photography business focused on relationships and
connection will be able to do less and less of that because they’ve created a marketing machine that is a thousand times more powerful, and that is happy and fiercely
loyal clients and partners. You might think that doing a good job for someone should be enough to foster this fierce loyalty to your
brand, but you’re wrong. Without the connection to your brand, that customer will have no
problem switching loyalty to a competitor who also does
a good job, but costs less. I had a wedding photographer say to me that this doesn’t apply to him. He said, “I only do weddings, and people “generally only get married once, “so what’s the point in
staying connected to them?” He just didn’t get it, and
he probably never will, because part of making this work is actually wanting to do it, not just doing it for the potential profit, but doing it because you actually want to
keep good people in your life. The profit then comes by default, but not right away, and
that’s the problem, isn’t it? We’re all looking for a fast track to success, and if something doesn’t work straightaway, we give up and move on. But it’s those with the patience to wait for the amazing results that come from this kind of connection who are running the best businesses. Jerry Maguire got it so right when he decided that chasing relationships was much more important than chasing profits. But as you know from the film, there’s no shortcut when
you take this route. There’s no get-rich-quick
strategy or golden billet. It simply takes time. So are you in this for
the foreseeable future? Do you want to build
an exceptional business that grows steadily over time? If so, there’s nothing better that you can invest your time and energy into than your relationships
with good people, and this is something that both extroverts and introverts can do beautifully. So be helpful towards, and
be genuinely interested in, potential clients and partners, even before they’re thinking
about working with you. Touch base with people that you like in a personal way and in an authentic way. Take the time to learn about and remember their lives and their families. Send them Christmas cards,
or anniversary cards if they’re wedding clients. Involve them in the
future of your business by asking them for feedback on new ideas. Connect them to each other
by making introductions. If they can help each
other, bring them together. Keep up with them and engage meaningfully with them on social media. Surprise them with inner-circle offers and event invitations. Send them emails that you know they’re going to be interested in, and do all of this without expecting anything in return,
because it will just come. Now, I totally get that
this is not for everyone. You might hear it and
shudder, and that’s okay. You can run a successful
photography business without making connection a priority, but an exceptional photography business, that’s always going to
be out with your reach. Because the difference between good and exceptional is just this: It’s how you make people feel before, during, and after working with you. But if this does resonate with you, I would love you to check out the Togs in Business membership, because honestly, we
are your kind of people. (electronic music)

About Ralph Robinson

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