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Competitors, ah, those darn annoying competitors! I guess they keep us on our toes but standing out from your competitors is no easy task in the world of photography. You may think you take better photos/provide a better service than your rivals. But to the new customer, how do you convey this?


GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – 25th May 2018

As the launch of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) nears (25 May 2018) I wanted to bring you up to date with what theimagefile is doing to smooth the way in making sure your website is ready and compliant.

First, here’s some background on what we are doing and to put minds at ease. We are:

  • Creating a new section in your control panel called “GDPR Tools” where you will be able to search based on a customer email, name or address which will collect any online orders, ask-for-email, and verified email databases so that you can generate a report, delete or anonymise those records.
  • Also before the 25 May, all relevant requests for client emails or other personal data will contain the opt-in checkbox as required by GDPR.
  • We have created a new page type called “Privacy Page” for you to add to your website should you need to. This contains a privacy policy that is compliant with GDPR including cookie policies for visitor cookies generated by theimagefile. You may also add your own custom text and images above and below the standard privacy page for any additional terms and conditions, refunds or returns policies. This page can be added to the footer of your website or to the contact page. You can use it on your website hosted here, your sales area, or link to this page from your externally hosted website. Getting this task completed before the May deadline would be prudent.

As you can imagine with the countdown to GDPR starting we are getting lots of requests for information about GDPR. Most of those queries will be resolved by the changes that we are already in the process of implementing. Other questions are specific to that particular business and we are unable to offer accurate information. The ICO offers a chatline and a helpline telephone number. We have also requested additional information from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding management of certain images for example where a person can be recognised, however, we still haven’t received a satisfactory response from the ICO.

We will be posting any updates regarding GDPR on our blog – News & Stuff.


The Importance of a Brand Audit

Think of your brand as a living, breathing thing. It has a personality and characteristics which are completely unique to itself. Over time, you can watch your brand grow and guide it to achieve its full potential. However, if your brand begins to deviate from that path, then your business could start to suffer. 

Your branding is fundamental to the success of your business. It defines your business’ identity and dictates your message to your customers. If your brand fails to respond to new factors, such as new products or an increase in customers, then it can cost you loyal clients or potentially prevent you finding new ones. 

A brand audit can prevent this deterioration by analysing your current position and content and providing new insights for you to work with in the future. 


Supersize Your Client Area Photos!

Double the size of your client area photos

You can now double the size of the photos shown on the client area page.

The client area is the page that shows one gallery image per client image collection.  The visitor clicks the photo to access, either requiring a password or not, the complete collection of images and video you have made available to your client to proof, purchase or download.

How to double the size on your page

The images shown on the client area page can now be displayed at twice the size. Try it out (you can always change it back if you want)  by going to edit the client area page (My Websites > Pages > Edit Web Pages, then click to edit your client area page). There select the option: “List galleries as a table of sample images, double standard size (280px max)” and save your changes.

Acquiring clients

Acquiring clients is a key task to master. Not all customers are hard won or expensively marketed to. Some will walk right through your door, know exactly what they want and be prepared to meet a reasonable cost without too much negotiation. Happy days!

First impressions count. Much is riding on that very first customer interaction.

Acquiring clients are definitely in the medium to hard variety. Obviously depending on the amount of money in consideration and how difficult it is to achieve the desired outcome. As with the customer service blogs which we have posted in the past, how you approach and deal with their queries will determine how well it goes and whether they can be a long-term client.

First impressions count. Much is riding on that very first customer interaction. Judging your approach means doing some homework on lifestyles, like and dislikes, likely behavioural patterns and who else they may work with. This can inform how you present yourself, your work and how hard to push initially.

  • Knowing your target market. This is key to your marketing efforts as it will serve no-one if you are speaking in a different language. Figuring out what will attract customers to your work and why, means defining your offering. If you specialise early on, be aware you will need to do less specialist work to pay the bills and keep momentum flowing.
  • Testing. There is no harm in trying a few different tactics to see what works in acquiring clients. Make flyers for specific places and shops. Change the tone of voice and the offer for each one. Offer family-style incentives for flyers in schools. Portrait and wedding ones in hotels and venues. Baby portraits and family ones in coffee shops. It’s important to know quickly what might work and what doesn’t. You can follow similar tactics online and even more targeted, but this needs a more budget-led approach.
  • Analyse your existing clients. It may be intuitive to you of what works for your clients and why they use you. But someone else may be able to analyse it more effectively. They may just provide insight that you had not considered and give you solid drivers for your next marketing push. It may be that they all happen to be from the school or neighbourhood, or they go to the same places online. This kind of information is critical to understanding patterns of behaviour and why they choose you over someone else. It may even be as simple as price.
  • Existing clients. This is your surest route to new clients but that does not mean you should sit back and wait for the referrals to happen. Existing clients need incentives. When you are working with them, don’t let them leave empty-handed. Make sure they know, with a flyer and maybe a gift, that whoever they can bring through your door will give them further discounts and special service. Referrals work brilliantly well if executed well.

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