HOW TO SELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS: MY FAVORITE HACK
In this blog post you’ll see how my episode on Pat Flynn’s SMART PASSIVE INCOME Podcast reminded me of the best sales hack ever. You will learn the best way to sell your photography and make money, and it’s 100% fool-proof if done right. Keep reading…
The awesome Pat Flynn put me as a Podcast guest again, this is a “Where are they now?” episode from my April 2018 episode. On the new one we talked about my new photography course called HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH: FROM PASSION TO PROFIT and my general excitement for the photography online course. OK, why am I telling you about the podcast and my course, and how can you learn from it?
WHY I HAD TROUBLE SELLING MY PRODUCTS
My first episode with Pat was about getting started on an eBook. He convinced me to release my fashion photography ebook to a number 1 and number 2 on Amazon sales for photography and fashion photography. Awesome! For the second podcast, he wanted to check up on me and I told him about the course. But he sensed my excitement and that’s the part which will really help you. Here’s what I noticed even in my own voice:
I started to think of my course for its true intention, the reason why I was doing it and then it didn’t feel like a sales-pitch at all! That is what every book ever wrote but I hadn’t felt it in a long time, and it was an awesome reminder. I’m not trying to make money from course. Now before you roll your eyes, I will be the first to admit that I want a profitable business. The entire intention of the course is to help you have an profitable business! But the BIGGEST intention is to help you. To be a mentor, to be a guide, a friend who’s been there before, and just hold your hand through the process of starting your own photography business. Suddenly I don’t feel weird talking about it - because the focus is on HOW I can help the customer/student. The same applies to you…
HOW CAN I SELL MY PHOTOGRAPHY?
How can you sell your photography services? Can you try to sell them pitch after pitch? Can you try to up-sell them on extra prints or albums? What if you tried to do gimmicks like one day only offers, etc… That probably won’t work in the long run. The consumer base is smart and they know all the gimmicks.
Before I go into the simplest and most powerful sales hack, I want you to imagine something. Today when you scrolled through Instagram, how many sponsored posts did you see? I’m sure you saw a handful blatant sponsored posts, but how many total? How many influencers held a product, and the number of celebrities pushing their products and songs? How about political pages, did they sell you any ideas? How about charitable pages? Did they sell you anything? Now lets do the same for Facebook and after that think of your twitter. When you’re done with all social channels (don’t forget all the youtube ads) and those on podcasts, think of the emails unopened in your inbox? Did you factor everything in the mail, billboards, radio, and street flyers? That’s a lot! Now do you know what I mean by a very aware consumer who knows how to filter and selectively see/hear? Great, now that we know this.. lets talk about how you can make your way through it all and win.
THE BIGGEST SALES HACK EVER FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS!
Ready for the best sales hack? You’ve likely heard it before but I want to break it down in the photographer’s world. HELP THEM. That’s all there is to it, well in a sentence but there’s more to it.
How can you be of service to them? Think about that. How can you possibly help people make their lives easier, and transform their lives? Lets break it down:
Wedding/Family Photographers: Do you help them and generations after them remember important events? Do you help them organize their day, thoughts and do with with grace? Have you ever herded (yes I used that word!) families together who may or may not all get along? Have you ever helped people select the best images of themselves, and even found their good angles for them? Have you ever made a hideous venue look beautiful and crappy overhead lights look acceptable? You’ve probably made people look thinner, taller, and made them look more in love than they are (don’t say you haven’t done that!!!). I’m not doing this project unless I can be honest! :)
I can go on and on, but everything that I listed was about how you can help them have a smoother and prettier event. I haven’t even really covered giving them photographs. You are an asset and that’s how you sell yourself. Don’t worry about the 2 for 1 offers or big ONE DAY SALES. They work for cars, phones and even low-end diner food. You capture memories and tell stories.
Sell yourself as someone who provides transformation. You transform lives and photographers who can do such wonders deserve to be paid handsomely. Sell how you can help them. You can organize families. You can make venues they booked look like venues they should have booked. You make them look like they went to the gym, when in reality you were a f*cking magician! You put families together in photographs that haven't breathed the same space in years, and you made sure to keep the drunk “fun aunt” out of the pictures. You saved reputations, made people on social media click LIKE, and you worked your ass off! That’s what you do. You don’t do 2 for 1 offers. You don’t do buy now and get a free print.
SHOULD I NOT TALK ABOUT MY PHOTOGRAPHY TO THE CLIENT?
No! I’m not saying that, I’m saying just understand your value. You don’t just push a button on the camera. You transform lives. Say it to yourself, “I TRANSFORM LIVES” - Good! Now say it without feeling embarrassed and really mean it. “I fucking transform lives, and you’re lucky to have me bitches!” - In your mind, say that to any groom & bride, or bride & bride or groom & groom. Though I shouldn’t have to say it, but I will….say it in your MIND not aloud. Can you imagine!? lol
But do tell them about your services. Do tell them about your photography, your portfolio, your photography styles and how you like to work. Do tell them which cameras you use (it matters to them sometimes), and do tell them how much they’ll be investing in your services. Do tell them how long you’ve been shooting and how great you are. But the overall message, the underlying overall message should be about how you will transform their life.
It’s a practice to accept this new way of “selling” your services and it takes time, but the sooner you start the sooner you can become accustomed and better at it. Try it!
HOW ELSE CAN I LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY?
Well...I'm so glad that you asked!
I didn't have a lot when starting out. I did wish though there was a community to help me, encourage me and share ideas with me. That's why I created the following communities to help your photography gain momentum.
INSTAGRAM: My Instagram is where it all started. Join me and the rest of us there! It's called @HowtoPhotograph and we post daily tips on photography, the business of photography, how to start your photography career and more. I also post IG Stories and now IGTV.
PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP: This is my newest extension and I love it! My PRIVATE Facebook group is exactly that, private and filled with great people. Every day new people join and all of them go through a questioning process. You must promise that you will be respectful and not spam. Hang out with us, ask questions or post your questions. I am very involved in that and contribute also. Also on Thursdays, we do a really cool and free photography portfolio review. The whole community joins and gives notes to those that want to post images. I'm also usually involved in that. Join us!
NEWSLETTER: Do you want to shadow me on set? I pick from my newsletter sometimes. Do you want to work for me, or one of my friends? I sometimes hire from my newsletter. Do you want freebies for workshops, tutorials or big discounts? It's from the Newsletter first! If you can handle 2-3 emails a month...this is for you and your email is always safe with me. Click here to join for free!
How to Photograph: From Passion to Profit: I designed a course that’s beyond a course, which is what I always wanted for myself. It’s not a course? What is it? It’s a Mentorship Program & course together. Everything you’ve always wanted to learn about the business of photography, I am teaching you in one course. You’ll learn marketing, email templates, all the requirements of starting a business, sample contracts and releases, go with me in the studio and have a full shoot with multiple light modifiers and then get access to the RAW files so we can edit together. Crazy right? Then have the option of hopping on a 30 min mentorship phone call with me! We talk about YOUR photography business, your marketing, your portfolio and more. It’s so hyper focused on you, that it’s probably the best launch pad any photographer could hope for. If you’re interested in that, sign up to get more information.
Published in part on Medium