Selling yourself, being a creative person, does not often come natural. We generally don’t like to talk about ourselves.We find it hard to explain in a salesy way the reasons working with us are more beneficial than any other option. In general, it does not come naturally to most people, so how can we combat this?
Marketing your business is critical and if you are a one-man band, you are central to the business. Waiting for business to come is the classic pitfall. Whether in a random conversation on the train or with potential customers in your studio, being at ease in these situations means talking fluently about why you do what do, what are the best facets of your offering and also being clear about what you are not.
This last point is sometimes easier to figure out than what you are as a company. Make a list of the things you do not want to do and cannot do. This will help you clarify what you are. It’ll crucially stop you thinking about the things you do not need to waste time on. At some point in the future they may become relevant again. Keep that list and when it is time to reflect, bring it out.
Your passion and knowledge for photography, regardless of your style, is the ultimate selling tool.
- Putting yourself out there means promoting and telling the world what you do. This does not need to be cheesy or showy. Sales skills done well are more about offering a solution to a problem, helping a customer reach their goal of putting on an event or delivering the best present possible.
- Sometimes your greatest strength is that thing which you feel is a weakness. If your style is quiet and low-key, promote this aspect as your way of operating. Plenty of customers will find this approach appealing. Similarly, other customers will appreciate a very direct approach, taking charge of proceedings and schedule. You cannot, nor should be, be something you are not.
- Your passion and knowledge for photography, regardless of your style, is the ultimate selling tool. In general, people have heard or seen most sales tricks but what they cannot deny or mistake is genuine passion. They want to be reassured by an expert, to know that their priceless moment will be valued and captured perfectly, as well as in ways they may not have thought of. To be surprised, even.
- Marketing and new business is a habit, much like practising your art. It is essential to keep up momentum on all aspects of the business, and promoting yourself is no different. Promotion will become a strength if it is given the proper time and attention, so make time every day to make a couple of calls, scope out some potential avenues online and send prospective emails. Similarly, set out a plan and a series of goals to reach. Once you start ticking them off, the momentum will build and it should take on a life of its own where the goals will change and a system will gradually form. Confidence will build over time and you will be a natural at selling yourself – without knowingly knowing it! BINGO!