The term “marketing” is thrown around a lot in business and I think sometimes it is used to describe a whole bunch of things. While we could definitely talk about this topic for days, I want to focus on two parts of marketing that every photographer should know in order to share and market their business successfully! Today, I want to share two marketing terms you need to know as a senior portrait photographer. I truly think everyone should know these terms!!
By definition, marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services including market research and advertising. But before we can promote or sell our services as a photographer we need to know what makes us different and what our value is to our potential clients. This is the secret sauce of marketing!!
The first thing every photographer needs to know is their unique selling proposition or USP. It sounds super fancy, but it’s not. Basically it means the reason your products or services are different (and better!) than your competitors. Think about it like this: why are you a better photographer for a potential client than someone down the street?
Face the facts: the photography market is a crowded place to be! I hear it all the time: “there are soooo many photographers in my town!”. Uh, yeah. I get it! And that’s OKAY because there is truly room for all of us and our clients. Remember, you’re not everyone’s ideal photographer and not everyone is your ideal client. That’s why it’s great, in fact, that there’s so many photographers out there. This is where your USP comes into play. You have to be able to communicate what makes you different and the right photographer for them, your ideal clients.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is: what’s the unique point of differentiation between you and another photographer? To help you answer that question, you need to figure out what you do in your business. This covers everything from how you communicate online, handle inquiries, and book clients (and literally everything in between). I recommend making a list of all the things that you offer: hair and makeup, products, and non-tangible things too! Think about the feelings you help create, or parts of your customer service.
Now take it a step further and think about it personally, not just from a business perspective. As photographers, we are the only ones running our businesses so our personal uniqueness can make us stand out. What experiences do we have that allow us to connect with potential clients and stand out?
If you are still having trouble answering these questions in order to come up with your USP, then ask your clients!! I know it sounds super simple, but it’s really the best way to find out why they chose you! Ask why they chose you, what their favorite parts of the experience are, and things like that. Those answers will help you develop what your USP is!
The next term you need to understand is your unique value proposition or UVP. This is similar to your USP but it’s really about telling your potential clients about how their lives might be improved by working with you. What value do you provide them? By being able to demonstrate the value you bring to someone’s life, your prices will look reasonable in comparison. You want to be able to show potential clients what the benefits are by using you as their photographer and make sure those benefits outweigh the cost of the service. This can be something tangible or something like their experience with you that leaves them feeling better than they did before they worked with you.
Okay, now that you know what USP and UVPs are for your business, you’re probably wondering what the heck to do with that information. It’s simple: you need to share that with your potential clients! Once you know what makes you different and valuable to potential clients, you can communicate those things through your marketing platforms (social media, website, emails).
Really it comes down to this: figure out what makes you different and then create messages that continually communicate this to your potential clients. Repeat and share it often and remember to show the value that you provide!
I have a brand new course called The Senior Posing Academy (to be released soon)! This course will teach you the importance of posing, the entire posing formula and show you exactly how this formula works on senior sessions! If you are interested in being the first to know when this course is available, be sure to go to the waitlist and add your name so you’ll be the first to know (and get a special discount). And don’t forget to grab my FREE Posing Guide, 1 Pose 50 Ways.
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