My biggest collection of books are on marketing.
I have always said I have the heart of a photographer and the soul of a marketer.
I attribute this to a long and (so far) continued success running my own photography business shooting weddings, babies, children and families. Life is good.
One book that always stood out for me was from Robert Cialdini. He studied influence and wrote the definitive guide on that topic titled: “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”
It is a must read for any serious student of marketing.
Here in a nutshell are the key elements of influence and some quick ideas how they may apply to running a photography studio…..
As humans, we generally aim to return favors, pay back debts, and treat others as they treat us. In our photography studios we can use this in many ways. A free gift, excellent service when they arrive at your studio. It’s a very simple idea, and easily implemented if we pay attention and put it into action.
2. Commitment (and Consistency)
Cialdini says that we have a deep desire to be consistent. For this reason, once we’ve committed to something, we’re then more inclined to go through with it.
This is very easy to implement in our photography marketing. I call it jumping through hoops. Get your clients to jump over one, and then the next, next, next is easy.
Getting your clients to come to the studio for a no obligation portrait planning session is one way to get them to “commit” to the simple action of showing up at your studio.
On fairy day, when we promo mini sessions for only $97.00, pre-paid, we are in effect asking them for a payment commitment. A commitment to showing up and a commitment to paying us. It’s one of the best steps to a larger sale.
3. Social Proof
This principle relies on people’s sense of “safety in numbers.”
This one is easy for photographers. One of the best ways to “sneak” this principle into your marketing and sales could be to show a large wall portrait, and say something like: “We find when most families come in for family portrait session, they…..bla bla…” Talk about whatever….print finish, canvas, clothing ideas….it doesn’t matter. The idea is you are using social proof and showing them an example of what “most families” do….It creates a social proof effect.
Cialdini says that we’re more likely to be influenced by people we like. Likability comes in many forms – people might be similar or familiar to us, they might give us compliments, or we may just simply trust them.
D-uh….does this one get any simpler?
Be someone they like. This doesn’t mean be a pushover or a mushy people pleaser. Don’t get this confused. You create likability by asking questions and listening.
The best read on this topic is How To Win Friends And Influence People
We feel a sense of duty or obligation to people in positions of authority. This is why advertisers of pharmaceutical products employ doctors to front their campaigns.
In our studio we play good cop, bad cop. I get to play artist. My wife gets to play manager. She’s no nonsense and she’s very, very good at it.
Easy for me since I get to be exactly who I am. Fun, childish, creative, outlandish, crazy…..on and on. When it comes to closing the sale, I bring her in. They all respect her authority.
This principle says that things are more attractive when their availability is limited, or when we stand to lose the opportunity to acquire them on favorable terms.
We use this all the time on marketing our Fairy Day, babies first year and any studio promotion. All promotions and offer need to have a deadline and a sense of scarcity. Otherwise, your offer will die.
It’s that simple.
I feel that every photographer should and would benefit by learning as much as they can about marketing.
Read something everyday. Keep feeding your mind and watch your photography grow, your profits, your confidence and your creativity.
Many feel the same way I do:
Marketing is EVERYTHING.
Robert N. Provencher – Your Master Coach Marketer
“If you want to be a profitable and successful photographer, then study profitable and successful photographers.”
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