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Rule of Attraction: Marketing That Wins the Clients You Want

Posted By Sean Cayton On December 2, 2008 @ 7:33 am In Business of Photography | No Comments

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Every couple seeking a wedding photographer asks themselves this question: “How can we trust this person to create what we want for the price we want to pay for it?” A couple can’t see the final product in advance, so they must build trust based on a variety of qualifiers — word of mouth, referrals from other service providers, your Web site, phone and e-mail correspondence, and so forth.

A smart wedding photographer understands the marketing importance of these qualifiers — not only because they can win you clients, but because, if you’re marketing yourself well, they will help you to win precisely the kinds of clients you’re looking for. In fact, they allow you to qualify your prospects at the same time your prospects are qualifying you.

Finding the Perfect Match

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

  • The wedding couple gets a referral from an already married couple — your former clients. Ensuring that couples from previous years can’t stop talking about or sharing their wedding photographs with their friends is a great way to generate more happy clients. It also ensures that prospective clients know a lot about you before giving you a call.
  • The wedding couple gets a referral from a planner, florist, or location coordinator. If someone who works regularly with you refers you, odds are good you’re the right fit. By regularly providing service providers with fresh samples, you can increase the odds further — by ensuring the couple has previewed your recent work before contacting you.
  • The wedding couple views your Web site and sees wedding photographs from the location they’re considering or have already reserved. This is a wonderful way to connect with the right couples. Generally, couples who choose the locations you shoot are also in line with your pricing. Similarly, photographers who work regularly at certain locations do so because they are trusted to do a good job.
  • The wedding couple finds your blog and sees pictures of recent weddings you’ve shot. A blog is the best way, outside of word of mouth, for a wedding couple to make a personal connection with you. In the case of my own business, by posting personal anecdotes and pictures of our family on our blog, we hope to make a connection with couples who didn’t know about us before starting their search.

Circle of Trust

The perfect circle of trust is built when a wedding couple makes a connection based on all of these touch points. If they do so, then we will book their wedding nearly 100 percent of the time.

Lastly, the most overlooked qualifier is phone or e-mail correspondence. Using both phone and e-mail correspondence to qualify the couple and to see what other steps they went through before contacting your business is invaluable. For instance, if they haven’t seen our Web site, we may ask them to take a look first and call us back.

The upside of all of this? Overwhelmingly, we get couples who are the right fit for us and are thrilled with their photographs and the service we provide them.

Along these lines, what are some other qualifiers you can think of that work for your business?

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