Thursday, April 04, 2013

Sales Success Secrets – The New Series: #1 – Market Styles, Not Specialties!

Good Morning Everybody,

CAmera CraftsmanLaDawn and I were recently honored with an invitation to attend the Camera Craftsmen [link] annual meeting this year held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Camera Craftsman is a small group of some of the best photographers in the country. It is also one of the oldest and longest organized associations as well. Most of the members have been not only my friends but also my mentors for many years. I was really looking forward to spending some time with them.

The group has been holding these annual meetings for over 100 years during which the members share together any number of ideas from photographic inspiration to marketing success. Each of the 50 or so  attendees take about 15 to 20 minutes to make their presentation to the rest of the group. You get the idea that there is some fabulous learning going on for all present during the three days of the conference.

Greg and LesaI took notes on just about everybody's presentation but, one marketing presentation really stood out for me. The presentation was given by my good friend Greg Daniels [link] who hails from Titusville, Florida. Greg is one of the finest portrait photographers in the country and just a few years ago received one of the highest photographic honors for his fabulous photography. He was awarded the ASP Fellowship [link].

Greg StudioGreg is not only a fine photographer but he and his wife Lesa also run one of the most successful high-end portrait studios in the country. Their portrait photography is astoundingly beautiful. You can check it out for yourself at their website right here. But, let's get on with the reason for my post today.

Market Styles, Not Specialties!

Greg 2How many times have you heard or seen photographers running their seasonal specials? I know photographers who run baby specials, high school senior specials, families portrait specials, etc.  This seems like it would be the right thing to do at first glance. Heck, it’s what we learned in photo seminars for decades! And many photographers continue to think it is the right way to achieve marketing success in their business of photography.  Me included till I heard Greg’s wise words of advice a few weeks ago.

Greg pointed up the one glaring fallacy of that assumption. He said that if we are going to market just for baby portraits we eliminate all of our other clients that might be looking for something other than baby portraits during the seasonal special. Greg's point was that we should never limit our client base during any of our seasonal promotions!

Greg suggested that during our seasonal promotions we should be selling styles instead of specialties. He suggested that by marketing styles we reach our entire target market every time we run a promotion. His idea hit me like a bombshell. He cannot be more on target with his advice.

All these years I've been attending seminars learning how to run baby specials or high school senior specials. Greg Daniels hit the nail on the head and clearly pointed out that all of us have been severely limiting our marketing possibilities and our sales potentials by limiting our target audience!

Gregs Styles

Greg defines his styles in three separate categories: Today’s Classics Environmental, and Fine Art. When he runs a seasonal promotions he features one of those three styles. In doing so he can reach his entire target audience with each and every one of the promotions. He's not limiting his audience in any way by offering, say a baby special for the month of June. By offering his environmental style promotion during the month of June he can reach his entire client base – a much smarter way to promote than the way most of us have been accustomed to marketing in the past.

Greg 3The more I thought about it, it was like a breath of fresh air when it came to marketing photography. Why shouldn’t we try to reach out to our entire client base every time we market instead of just a limited segment of our client base? I think Greg hit the nail on the head with how he decided to transform his marketing strategy for his studio.  His sales success has certainly proved his point.

So, How Are You Going To Make That Happen In Your Own Studio?

I suggest that you sit down with your friends, staff, fellow photographers and brainstorm some of the different styles that your studio could offer. Heck, don't want to spend the time doing that? Then just copy what Greg Daniels is doing in Titusville, Florida. Like they say, why reinvent the wheel?  All kidding aside, I’m sure you could come up with your own styles that fit you and your studio’s “personality.” It’s important with any new marketing strategy that you get  started NOW!

Greg 4

Greg’s presentation offered a great insight into how each and every one of us can be much more successful in our own studios. High-fives to my good friend Greg Daniels for one of the best marketing tips I've heard in years!  I also recommend that you be sure to check out Greg Daniels website right here to get a better idea of how he is defining and differentiating his styles and also how he presentations has worked with his clients. Greg’s work is gorgeous and you won’t be disappointed by spending a few minutes hanging out there and viewing his galleries.

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Hey gang, that's it for me today. I hope you enjoyed the post and I certainly hope it brings you some margin of success in your own business. On that note, I'm out here.

Everybody have a great weekend and I'll see you soon.

Adios, David

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