I’ve discussed a few times about the importance of having a consistent brand. While having a consistent look and feel to your marketing materials and images is important, there’s another consistency you should have a photographer — the experience you provide.
Think about this. Is there something you always do when meeting a client? Do you wear something special? Do you shake hands a particular way?
One person who thrives at this is fellow Photofocus author Levi Sim. Those of you who have met him know that he’s usually wearing two things. One, a bow tie. And two, a hat. Now, I personally couldn’t dream of pulling this look off, and let’s be honest — not all of us look great in bow ties like he does.
Despite this, is there something you do, or a particular way you look and present yourself, that makes you stand out? In other words, how will you be remembered by your clients and potential clients?
Find a unique trait — but not too unique
It’s important to have your own unique trait. But you don’t want to be too outside the box either, to the point of weirding out your clients. At the same time, what you do doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical trait — it can be the way you prepare or present yourself.
For instance, I have a rule that I have to show up 15 minutes early to a photoshoot. Not only that, but I send a consistent reminder three days before the photoshoot using Studio Ninja, which automates the process for me.
On the physical side of things, I dress pretty similarly for every photoshoot. For me, this usually means dark pants (khakis or gray pants) and a dress shirt. I’m a no-tie-guy, as I feel that this gets in the way of me performing my act as a photographer (my tie regularly gets in the way of my Peak Design Slide strap).
I also purposefully lean in while shaking someone’s hand. To me, this shows I care about the relationship, and also provides the client with a firm (but not too firm) handshake.
Lastly, I’m a smiler, and I love to laugh. I regularly tell little jokes with the client, and ask them about their personal lives. For instance, I ask if they have a family, what they did over the weekend and where they went to college. This lets me establish a relationship beyond just a business one, which ultimately makes the client feel more comfortable before the photoshoot even begins.
The possibilities here are endless. In essence, you want to strike a chord with your client, and be remembered for something. This is especially helpful when dealing with large organizations or ones that don’t hire frequently. You’ll be remembered as the “guy with the bow tie,” in Levi’s case, or the “guy who’s always there early and really gives an effort to know us.”
So what’s your unique trait? How will your clients remember you?
For more on Photography Marketing, see my weekly column.
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