Good Morning Everybody,
What a day yesterday turned out to be. Here is the rundown on what's going on.
"Captured By The Light" Is Going To Be The Biggest Web-Cast Ever!
Wow! I couldn't believe it! The attendance for my FREE "Captured By The Light" web-cast [link] coming up less that a week away shot up by 20% yesterday - we now stand at well over 635 attendees! This is shaping up to be the largest web-cast I've been involved in - all pretty exciting.
My Ace #1 assistant, Nicholas, and I are going to be doing a run through this weekend to be sure all goes as planned. Nicholas will be on-line next week fielding your one-on-one questions on lighting and photography and also passing questions to me during the show. This has worked great in the past as just about every question gets answered while we are "live" on line.
Also, don't forget that we will be giving away 3 copies of my new book, "Captured By The Light" and 3 copies of my digital WakeUp Call 4 DVD set on the air. I’m looking forward to the web-cast - it almost like giving a program in person. The past webinars have been fun and informative and this newest presentation plans to be the same. You will love it. You can still register right here.
PayPal and Google Checkout Just Added To Our Digital Resource Center
Since we opened my Digital Resource Center [link] - including the best collection of value software and digital training tools available to photographers today - we have received numerous emails from our customers asking us to make available PayPal and Google Checkout.
Today we are officially announcing that the Digital Resource Center now takes both. This should be welcomed news to our international buyers. Now it makes it easy for you too to take advantage of the DRC great resources. Remember, whomever orders a copy of my new book from our Digital Resource Center, I promise to autograph each copy before we ship it to you.
Wait, there's more;~)
Jennifer has also been receiving calls and emails asking that we bundle additional combinations of materials. They did just that yesterday by adding The Ultimate Training Collection (clever name) to the Digital Resource Center. This new collection offers you the best price ever on my latest book, Tour DVD and training DVD's. You can check it out right here.
OK, gang, time to get on with today's Business Day Thursday. Here we go.
9 Ways To Find Out What Your Competition Is Up To?
So, do you know? Too many small business people walk through their world in a fog. Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to be nasty or mean with that remark. What I mean is that so many businesses are clueless as to what's going on with their competition.
We all want to do a good job for our clients. We all want to continue to learn to take better photographs. We all want to think we give our customers good value. But most of us has no idea what the competition is up to.
I get Jeff Gitomer's newsletter each week [link]. Jeff is one fired up guy when it comes to sales. He has his finger on the pulse of the new customer we are all dealing with - regardless of your profession. You can read all his newsletters here
Here are a few excerpts from his last newsletter:
Today's customer is....
* He's online. Checking out your website - and your competitor's website.
* He's Goggling, not yellow-paging.
* He knows MORE about your competitor's product than you do.
It was the last line that got me thinking. Over the years in business, it was imperative for me to know what the competition was doing. What were their prices? What was their style? What special products did they offer their customers? I always tried my best to be in the "know."
Today that just might me a little harder to do. Why? Because there are 10-20 times more photographers claiming to be wedding photographers working in your community. So you ask, "How in the world am I ever going to be able to check them all out?"
Here are my 9 favorite ways to check out your competition.
Just hit the "Read More..." link below for the rest of the story.
1. Pull up Craig's List and search for photogs doing business in your community. This might just be an "eye opener" for you, especially when you see photogs listing prices from FREE to a few hundred dollars.
2. Check Yellowpages.com for your community. It will pop several photogs - it popped 95 for me here in Cincinnati, OH. Not all the listings have a web site listed, but many do and that's certainly a place to start to visit your local competition.
3. The Knot - you have to be a member to view their listings but it's another great place to check out the competition.
4. Just Google wedding photogs in you area - lots will pop. Time to check them out, too.
5. Join your local photographer's association if your city has an active organization. It's a good place to rub elbows with like minded photogs. Heck, you may even make a friend or two who may recommend you when they're busy. In my early days of business, I used to get a lot of business/referrals that way.
6. Send in your "secret shopper". OK, you might not like the idea but major companies from Best Buy to Circuit City, to Pier 1 Imports to Federated Department Stores etc. have been price shopping the competition for years. I've been shopped a zillion times over the years. It's not fowl play, it's fair play if you want to know where you stand in the grand scheme of things.
7. Do a quick search over at MeetUp.com [link] for wedding photographers. Depending on where you live, you may just find a group of like minded photogs who meet regularly discussing all things photography. Some of them may just be your competition.
8. Oh, this one is so basic. Hop in your car and drive around visiting other "main street" studios, although there are a less of them these days. Just drop in and say "HI". Hey, you might make a new friend or two along the way.
9. Visit your next bridal show as a guest and visit all the photographers displaying their work. Bridal shows are always fun to attend because they are the greatest single concentration of wedding photographers in one place at the same time;~) Just ask any photog that's ever participated in one.
OK, if you've taken at least some of the suggestions I've outlined above, you’ve got some idea of what your competition is up to. What are you going to do about it? Do you need to revamp your products or service in any way to better compete in your area?
What can you do to differentiate yourself from the competition now that you have a clearer picture of who the competition really is?
How does your style, pricing, packages compare?
These are the kinds of questions you need to be asking yourself if you want to survive in today's wedding photography marketplace. Standing still will only get you run over.
Hey everybody, that's it for me today. Hey, don't forget to check back tomorrow for my second installment entitled, "12 Mistakes New Photographers Make When Starting Their Business."