Thursday, January 26, 2012

Business Day Thursday: The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker – 10 Steps To Growing Your Business For 2012

Good Afternoon Everybody,

It's busy as usual around here, not just with PhotoPro Expo, but with a few other projects we got on the front burner.  So, that said let's get right to today's post.

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker – It's Time To Meet Them All

Closing The Deal - iStock_000003393797XSmallI want to pose a question. We are nearly through the first four weeks of the new year – a half percent of our promotional opportunity is now behind us for 2012. My question – what have you done to start promoting your business to make 2012 a brand-new, successful year?

This is the perfect time of year to go out and reintroduce yourself to old vendor buddies you may have worked with in the past and, just as importantly, knocking on doors of new vendors you would like to do business with. I think that when we come off of the Christmas holidays everybody just enjoys catching their breath for a few week and slowing things down before they begin to rev up the engines into the New Year. It’s just human nature.

Time To Get Get ‘Er Done!

But while everyone else is catching their breath, it's our opportunity to act! That is to be;

  • Knocking on doors,
  • Making phone calls.
  • Dropping e-mails to everyone we work with or could potentially work with within our community of wedding vendors.

Heck, things are slow anyway around everyone’s studio this time of the year so why not engage in the most important thing we can do to ensure our success retell 2012. That means getting out there and start making friends with the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.

Okay, maybe not those people but for sure the bridal consultant, the florist, the baker, the lighting technician, the wedding venue staff, and anyone else that we've ever worked with in the past or anyone else that is involved in working with brides and grooms in our community. 

handshakeThankfully I learned this a long time ago - if you want to be successful you have to stay connected. Staying connected these days means via Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. But if that's all you plan to do your only exerting half the effort that you need to be exercising to be successful in 2012.

Before Twitter, Facebook, blogging;  successful photographers around the country made it a point to connect with the wedding vendors in their area. That is still the most important person to connect with if anyone is to be successful in this business. You need to reach out to the vendors, let them know who you are and what you're about, and communicate to them why you feel so strongly about your photography. You have to communicate you passion to them.  And even more importantly, discuss with them about how you both can work together to enhance each other's success for 2012.

It’s Time To Start Now! Time Is Running Out!

Busy - iStock_000004567789XSmallSo, are you going to put off till tomorrow what you need to start today? Sit down in front of your computer. Google wedding vendors in your area and then do this:

  1. Make a list of the vendors that you would like to work with. Make a list of vendors that you've worked with in the past.
  2. Then, come up with a plan as to how you're going to interact with these people.
  3. Note their name, address, e-mail, and phone number.
  4. Spend a few minutes trying to find out some information about each one of the vendors so that you have some talking points when you eventually connect with them.
  5. Send them an introductory e-mail introducing yourself and your business to them and simply ask if they could find a little bit a time to meet with you.  Be sure to explain that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss business options that would be mutually beneficial to the both of you.
  6. Next compose a letter which basically makes the same request. Hitting them a second time, this time via snail mail, just raises your business profile slightly more with them. Basically, the one who knocks on the door most often will get the door open for them more often than the person who knocks only once.
  7. Now make a new list. List the talking points that you would like to discuss with them. Be sure the talking points include a little background about you, about your business, about your commitment to your clients.  And then get creative and list the several areas on how you could both work together to help each other grow your businesses.
  8. Next, give them a phone call and talk to them in person. In my opinion, the personal phone call is the best way to get the result you want …. a meeting with your potential business partner.
  9. Prepare yourself thoroughly for the meeting with your vendor buddy. We prepared with solid answers as to the questions that they might ask you. Be prepared with good ideas for co-promotions of both your products and services, and be prepared for them to say no to any of your suggestions. I learned a long time ago that no is never permanent. No is only temporary and we can always ask the same questions again down the road. So, don't be disappointed
  10. Thank YouAnd finally, whether you get the appointment or not, thank your colleague for his/her time for taking the time on the phone conversation, at the meeting, and hopefully obtaining your desired intention -- to be working together in the future.

Do It Now! NOW!

Sales GrothFolks, I think this is so important to your business success you just have to get moving on it right now. Forget the fact that you haven't lifted a finger to do a thing for self-promotion in 2012 with nearly 10% of the year behind you – get over it, and get moving. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to start grooming your business for success in 2012. Now is the time for no more excuses. Now is the time for sustainable commitment to your businesses success for 2012!


Dave CrossHey gang, that's it for me today. I got a quick meeting across town in about an hour so I better get moving. I'll plan to see everybody again tomorrow bright and early. We have my good buddy Dave Cross coming to town and I'm looking forward to sitting in on his program - The Photographer's Photoshop CS5 Power User Tour [link]. Hopefully I'll see some of you there. On that note gang, I’m scooting.

I'll see everyone tomorrow, David

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