Happy Monday everyone. Today is the day that I am going to address a topic near and dear to every content provider, and that is getting yourself hired. Time to discuss what you should be doing and not doing.
What type of photography do you do? Are you a portrait photographer that specializes on capturing family moments, or are you a real estate photographer that helps agents highlight their listings? Maybe you are a natural photographer that loves taking photos of animals. All of these have something in common and that is the ability to make an income from doing that.
The first thing that I am going to tell you is that it is not an easy job and building a client base can be one of the most stressful and disappointing things that you have ever done. If you are not tough skinned and can take some rejection this is not for you. The long term payoff can be worth it though. Keep that all in mind when determined what you are willing to do to build that client list.
Let's look at where you are with your business right now. This really applies to whether you have been creating content for 10 years or you are just starting out. You must have a website in today's industry! This is not optional and I don't care what anyone tells you otherwise A website is a destination location for potential clients to visit and see you work. A website isn't just a portfolio, because unless you are adding new content everyday, there is no reason for people to come back and visit again. This shows that you are serious about your business. Take this step very serious as well. Stay away from free sites like Wix & Weebly. They load slow and don't appear as professional. You are a professional and need to present yourself as such.
Next in line is your social media. Social media is the easiest of the things that you are going to do in an attempt to get yourself hired for jobs. The amount of outlets that you can be on for social media is endless. I tend to concentrate on just a few. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin and Pintrest. These are all free so there is no excuse why you aren't building a following on them. Set up a business Facebook Page first thing, and make sure that you get a facebook page that you will custom name, ie. www.facebook.com/damonsphoto so that you are branding yourself at all times. The same thing applies when picking out an Instagram account and Twitter. So how does any of this help you to get hired you may ask. Well before you get hired, people need to know that you are even available for hire and they want to see your work.
Now it's time to really get into the work of building a client base. This is the time that will make or break you. This applies to any type of photography as well. The internet is just a giant database for you to collect potential clients, but you'd better do your research first. Are you an automotive photographer that loves taking car photos? If that is the case, then I want you to look at every dealership within a 20 mile radius of you. Look at their website and ask yourself if the photos on their website make you want to come in and look at what they are selling. If not, there is a potential client. You need to contact with your ideas and how your abilities will help their business. Remember, they are in the business of selling cars to make money, just like you are in the business of creating content to make money. So you need to offer something that has a potential return on their investment. You may contact 30 dealerships and only get a response from two, and out of that two only one gives you a chance. Take that chance, don't look down on what didn't happen, but what is going to happen.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK! When you are approaching potential clients with your working, whether it be wedding, real estate, portrait, etc. are you the most expensive or the least expensive in your area? If you are the least expensive, do you think that your work is the least deserving out of your competitors work? If you are the most expensive, do you feel that your work is the absolute best in your area? If you think you are the best, then chances are you don't even need to build a client list because you are already there. If you are the cheapest, then it's just because you don't know how to value your work. You need to take the time and do your research. Other photographers in your area usually have prices posted on their website. That is a perfect starting point in understanding our market. Once you understand market pricing, you have to decide if that is the price you are comfortable with or not. If the market price for weddings is $800 and you won't do anything lower than $2000 it may be time to grow your business into other areas. It doesn't mean that you can't get $2000 for a wedding, but you are going to have to change the market perception of what a wedding photographer should cost.
Since you have now researched your competition, which most likely should have taken you at least a week or two to do, you are on your way forward. Pricing is just a part of it though, you have to get the clients. THE BIGGEST MISTAKE CONTENT PROVIDERS MAKE IS WAITING BY THE PHONE ASSUMING THAT THE CLIENTS WILL COME TO THEM. You are not Annie Leibovitz, you are going to have to make the effort.
What makes people want to hire you? Is your work that good, our is it your personality, or maybe just your prices? Does it matter to you why they want to hire you? If you said no it doesn't matter then you need to rethink that. Do you want to be getting hired just because you're the cheapest? If you value your work and the effort you put into it then the answer to that should be no. You should be getting hired because you know your work is great and so is your business plan and pitch to the client.
Lastly, the second biggest mistake a content creator can have is to UNDERVALUE YOUR WORK! I know that we are all trying to pay the bills, but sometimes saying no goes a long way. You saying no means that you put a higher value on your work then someone else does. That doesn't mean that you do this every single time, but when someone wants you to do something for $800 when you would normally charge $2500 you just need to be respectful and decline. Then, while you are declining, offer to help them find someone in their budget range. It's a good way to build a relationship.
This is all a base for you to work with. I will be building on this in future days. Make sure to come back and visit to see what's next.