April 4, 2022
I know a lot of photographers can get anxious about having to sell themselves or their services. I believe, especially as a baby or birth photographer, you have a duty to sell your services. Your clients don’t get a second chance to photograph these moments. And if they don’t hire someone or don’t hire someone trustworthy – they could regret it quite literally for the rest of their life.
In fact, we often hear from second time moms – “I wish I knew about you when I had my first baby.” And I can FEEL the regret in their voice because I share that same regret after not having a birth or newborn photographer for my first son.
What if someone out there suffered from chronic headaches. They were in pain almost everyday and it was affecting their day to day life. What if you had aspirin for sale and you knew it would help them – would you keep it from them because it costs money? Would you feel badly about making a profit on aspirin so you can keep selling it to more people who need it?
OF COURSE NOT! You have something that will help people and it’s ok to make money AND make a profit selling that thing!
When you start to shift your mindset around selling yourself from “taking money” from someone and instead think about it like “serving” someone – the way you approach getting clients will really shift. They need what you have to offer! Do you believe that? I hope you do! When you believe it, getting clients to book with you will become so much easier!
Let’s take a luxury service as an example because photography isn’t a necessity right?
I’m willing to bet you let your kids participate in sports or activities like dance or gymnastics because it’s fun for them. Is that sport or activity necessary to their survival? No! Does their coach make a profit doing something they love? I hope so! Have you ever felt badly about paying them for serving your family in this way? I’m willing to bet not!
Now, hopefully we’re on the same page about selling and how it’s not natively salesy or slimy or wrong.
The first is understanding that, unless you’re trying to trick someone (which I know you aren’t), selling your photography services is actually a good thing for both you and your client!
For someone to book you, they have to not only KNOW who you are and know about your business but they need to know you for something.
Nike is a clothing company known for athletic wear.
Louis Vuitton is a handbag company known for quality
Tesla is a car company known for innovation.
You’re a photography company known for ______. What is it?
It could be a genre of photography, it could be an editing style, it could be a certain product you offer. What are you known for? If you don’t know, your community and clients definitely won’t know right?
When someone knows you and your photography company, that doesn’t mean they like you or trust you yet. It just means they know who you are. It’s a large group of people.
Not everyone who knows you will like you! The truth is only a small group of people will actually like you!
I was having a conversation with a student inside Marketing School who lives in a city with several popular birth photographers. And she, like I’m sure a lot of you, was having a hard time imagining why someone would hire HER when they could hire the popular birth photographer.
Her conclusion was what most photographers initially think, which is – I’ll just be cheaper than the popular birth photographer and that is how I’ll stand out.
I reminded her (and I’ve reminded myself of this as well) – not everyone likes that popular birth photographer! In fact, they might NOT like her.
We all have different personalities and different people that we vibe with. Some people will like you and some people won’t.
So, be authentic. Use your personal brand. Share your story. Not everyone will like you, but YOUR PEOPLE will like you.
The more your community knows you, sees your name and starts to like you… the more they will start to trust you.
There are 2 primary ways to build trust – online and offline.
Enter photography contests // win awards
There are organizations like PPA (Professional Photographers of America) and multiple newborn and birth photography organizations that do contests. Participating in these and winning them of course quickly and easily builds trust in your community because an outside organization is recognizing your business for excellence.
I have to mention getting certified in birth photography as well as a way to build trust. When you’re working towards your certification as well as when you’re certified it shows your community you’re taking your business seriously by investing in education.
Consistency is another way to build trust online
When your audience sees you showing up consistently online whether that is your blog or social media, it builds trust. They see you’re reliable!
Show off your knowledge to build trust
Even if you don’t know everything about photography, share photography tips for your clients to demonstrate your knowledge. Show them how they could take better photos with their phone. Share a lighting trick or a way they can get real smiles from their toddlers or how to get a toddler to sit still. I bet you know a lot more than you give yourself credit for about photography! And when you show your audience how much you know that will most definitely quickly build trust!
Take an interest in the lives of people you come in contact with.
I have this friend, we will call her Molly, who always makes me feel really special and important. When we meet up for lunch, she remembers important things going on in my life. She asks me really specific questions and she listens. Like really listens. I always leave those lunches or times I hang out with Molly feeling rejuvenated and inspired. I want to be a better mom, friend, wife and business owner after hanging out with her.
I also have a friend, we’ll call her Jen, who makes me feel drained after we spend time together. She’s a pretty needy friend who often has something negative to say about whatever situation we’re in and I feel like she’s just waiting to talk when we’re having a conversation.
My question for you is – are YOU Molly in someone else’s life? When you interact with a potential client or midwife or other vendor … are you being Molly or Jen?
Intentionally be “everywhere” your ideal client is hanging out
Marketing experts say you have to be seen 7 times before someone will hire you.
Back in 2015, my clients started telling me they were seeing me “everywhere.” and I’d started to put together what is now my 7 step marketing system. And by being “everywhere” I built really solid trust with people who’d never even met me.
I’m laying out this 7 step marketing system in my upcoming live training. So if you’re struggling to get booked…
Friend, you’re not alone. A lot of photographers struggle with getting quality bookings from ideal clients and it’s usually because they don’t have a marketing system in place. That’s why I’m excited to offer this free training that will show you how to get fully booked without discounting your prices.
All of the tips from this episode will help you build the know, like, and trust factor with potential clients so that when they’re ready to book photography services, they’ll think of you first!
The steps are:
(1) Understanding your duty to sell and serve
(2) Become known for something
(3) Get your right people to LIKE you
(4) Build trust with those people so they feel comfortable hiring you
These steps are in this order for a reason, so start with the first and work your way through until you can comfortably check them off one by one!