When I meet with photographers often the number one struggle they are experiencing is finding new customers. Even after trying everything, the outcome is never what they planned.
I’ve been through it, too – I can relate. I once spent $3500 on a magazine advertisement and it didn’t lead to anything. I’ve also spent more on Facebook ads than I made off of them. I’ve been to a few wedding shows that flopped, too.
The problem is that most business owners are looking for cold contacts.
A cold contact is someone that found you through your marketing. They either saw a Facebook advertisement or met you at a bridal show or stumbled upon you on Instagram, but otherwise they have no other relationship with you or your company. Think of it like meeting someone on Tinder. Unless they’re hot, it’s so easy to just swipe left without giving them a second thought. They could be the perfect match for you but you didn’t even give them a chance. Shame. Your customers could be doing that very thing. They’re swiping right past you….or should I say left past you?
Here’s the problem: they don’t trust you yet. In order for a client to hire you for something as important as their wedding photos, you need to earn their trust. They might like the images they see in your portfolio but the glue that binds the deal is always trust. So how do we gain enough of their trust to land the first date and meet them for a consultation?
Here are some ways that you can show that you are trustworthy:
- Get Yelp, Facebook and Google ratings (I’ll teach you a really great way to do this soon)
- Put client testimonials on your website and have them rate you with comments on your Facebook business page
- Join a professional body such as the Better Business Bureau
- Awards (such as a Fearless, Alpha Wolf Award or CPC Top 30 Under 30)
- Getting published
- Have a guarantee and a contract that not only protects you, but also provides assurances for your clients
- Take classes, attend workshops and conferences, and let your clients know that you are educating yourself.
Beyond all those though, is the most powerful trust-maker of all. It’s something you don’t think you have a lot of control over, actually, you do. It’s a free taste-test of what you can do for them. People are inundated every day with marketing messages and now, more than ever, our brains have become deaf and blind to these messages. We’re sick of being sold to. So, in the midst of all that noise the easiest way to stand out is to NOT sell.
This sounds counter intuitive but it works. It’s a matter of putting your product/service in the hands of your customers without them needing to buy it from you. Have you ever signed up for a free trial offer from Netflix? Now, can you even remember your life pre-Netflix? It was sad.
At no risk to you, Netflix is letting you take them out for a spin and they’ve done this over and over again – 64 million times.
That’s the power of the free taste-test. Even drug dealers do this. How many anti-drug videos did you have to watch in school where they showed some dealer telling someone their first hit is free? They’re clever. Dirty, but clever.