As photographers, we’re visual storytellers. But we often forget how to tell our own stories. It’s important, not only for self-development and improvement, but also for marketing purposes, that we have a story. A pitch. An introduction.
What Makes a Good Story?
A good story is one that’s memorable. We might not think our stories are anything special, but it’s important to make them special to us. What we show passion for will ultimately be noticed by a perspective client.
For me, my focus is on corporate events. My story entails showing the excitement around the corporate environment. Thus, my pitch might start off something like:
“I’m Bryan, and I’m a photographer who focuses on showing the excitement surrounding a corporate event.”
But any photographer could say that. What makes it memorable?
“I’m Bryan, and I’m a photographer who focuses on showing the excitement surrounding a corporate event. I love capturing people in the moment, having fun and enjoying each other’s company.”
Do you see the difference? By adding some specifics on what I enjoy about capturing corporate events, I make it more personal. It means more to me, which in turn will mean more to a future client.
How Can I Develop a Good Story?
Telling your story is often harder than it seems. For me, it took quite a long time. I knew I was a good corporate event photographer, but why?
In one of the early installments of this column, I wrote about asking your clients for reviews and testimonials. I learned a lot about why my clients came back to me time and time again. And I realized that they were helping tell my story. So if all else fails, reach out to some of your most loyal contacts and ask them for feedback. Ask them why they hired you and how they found you.
Where Should I Use My Story?
You should be prepared to tell your story whenever you talk about your photography. Consider it your elevator pitch, the opening paragraph on your website’s About page, and the first thing you say when talking or writing to prospective clients.
That’s not to say you need to rehearse your story. But be prepared to tell it in a quick timeframe so you can get the point across without going too much in detail.
What’s After My Story?
When someone is interested in your story, you want to be prepared to answer any questions surrounding it. You might be asked to show off some of your photos. Have your portfolio available on your phone or tablet. Be prepared to give the person a business card and to discuss your work with them in other ways.
Having a good story is a key part of marketing for professional. For creatives, it’s even more important. By being able to tell what you do, you put a picture in your future client’s mind — without even showing them a picture first.
For more on Photography Marketing, see our weekly column.