When I first met photographer and business coach Mark Rossetto last year at WPPI, I was intrigued. As a successful portrait and wedding photographer, he had shifted into helping thousands of other photographers in his home base of Australia and across the world, to grow their own businesses.
Last year I had a personal coaching session with him, in which case I saw the number of jobs I was getting skyrocket. That has paid off, as my bookings have continued to increase this year at a rapid rate.
This year, Mark came out with the Master Your Marketing online course, to help photographers get their marketing going and start to bring in clients. He gave me a test drive of the course, to see what I thought of the concept and to see how it would help photographers. Here’s what I found.
The Master Your Marketing course is broken up into eight different easy-to-follow sections, similar to what you would find on LinkedIn Learning or KelbyOne platforms:
- The Fundamentals: Mark walks through the client journey, buying cycles, active and passive marketing, branding and more.
- Know Your Numbers: Business overview, talking about your past numbers and figures to forecast your future business.
- The Gift Voucher System: Which special offer works best, and what should each offer include for marketing?
- Mark’s Top Marketing Strategies: A step-by-step plan on exactly what to do to run Mark’s top marketing campaigns.
- Create a 12 Month Marketing Plan: A big hurdle, creating this plan will be one of the most rewarding courses you’ll ever do for your business.
- Marketing Ideas: With the industry constantly changing, Mark discusses some unique and effective marketing ideas.
There are also two other sections — an introduction to walk you through everything, and closing with a few final tips on how to seal the deal with your clients.
Clients are made, not found
It’s important to educate your clients about what you do. Your website might show gorgeous photographs, but there’s no information for the clients. There are no action steps. Instead, make your website about the client experience and educate your potential clients about what you do and how you do it. A blog is a great way to do this, but you can also invite them into your world with a welcome video. Both allow you to talk about the steps from start to finish, telling your client exactly what to expect.
The biggest thing is there has to be a call to action. Make it clear how clients can book you with not only a contact page but with other buttons and call to action segments scattered throughout your site.
At the same time, it’s important to not always sell. Excite and entertain versus sell, sell, sell.
Stop saying you’re “just a photographer”
Elevate yourself by creating a 10-second elevator pitch. In Mark’s example, he compares saying he’s “a photographer” to the following:
“I’m a professional photographer who works with families in a fun and relaxing environment, to create amazing wall art that transforms your house into a home.”
It’s as easy as that. By being specific about what you do, it shows the other person that you’re a professional.
Be seen seven times
Research has shown that brands need to be seen seven times before clients act on any marketing that you do. This gives them the proof you’re real, trustworthy, etc.
What counts as being seen? Social media posts, online ads, the branded polo you’re wearing, the photos your past clients have on their walls, etc. Get out there, spread the word and be consistent in your brand.
Quick wins and goals
It’s important to create goals for your photography business. That includes daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and long-term goals. The goals you make then help you come up with a marketing plan where you know exactly what to do and when. Mother’s Day just happened last weekend. Did you send out postcards in April to your clients to book Mother’s Day-centric photoshoots?
Quick wins might be asking people in your area for business, posting regularly on social media, appreciation gifts for your clients, etc. Long-term goals might be preparing high-quality educational videos, building relationships with other businesses (think wedding venues) and photographers, text message marketing, etc.
Regardless, it’s important to have a marketing plan. Think about things you can do now … and what you can do down the road (but start planning).
Learn how to forecast your business
By anticipating the coming months, you can plan and see potential problems before they come into view. Sure, most of us aren’t mathematicians or financial advisers. But we can look back at our past, see what we’ve done historically, and plan for a sustainable business going forward.
In addition to keeping track of your sales, it’s important to keep track of your leads. How many leads have you converted to bookings? How many leads went elsewhere or decided to pump the breaks on their photography needs?
Knowing your numbers helps you take control of your business, and can tell you when and where to put your efforts in the future.
Closing and converting
You’ve got all the leads — now what? How do you answer the question, “How much is product X?” Mark gives several tips here, but it’s all about connecting and building rapport with your clients. He highlights a simple six-step phone script to help you convert more bookings, but it all comes back to your client experience.
It’s important to educate clients about what you offer, your process and what they can expect as the client before, during and after the photoshoot.
Is it worth it?
Absolutely. While I’m not 100% finished with the videos, I already know these are things I can continue to look back upon and reference. As I stated earlier, Mark’s personal coaching has helped me to boost my business like none other, especially in the past 12 months. I can’t wait to put some of these new ideas to the test.
Even though Mark gears his coaching to primarily portrait photographers, the ideas still hold true for other genres. It’s easy to adapt what he’s saying for my own use case of corporate photography.
Want to get a sneak peek from Mark before you go all-in? Check out this podcast with me and Vanelli from late last year, where Mark discusses the client experience wheel, or sign up for his email newsletter for a free eight-part video course.
Click here to learn more about Mark, and to see how he can help you boost your business! If you’d like to sign up for the Master Your Marketing course, Mark is offering $200 Australian off, valid through June 10, 2019. That’s about $138 right now in the States. Just use the coupon code Photofocus$200 to get your savings!
For more on Photography Marketing, see my weekly column.