I hired you and not the other photographer, because …

We spend a lot of thought and time on advertising, promoting, website design, SEO, CRM, email marketing, … to be on top of mind of our potential client at ‘the moment of relevance‘, as Google calls it. So now you’re on the phone with him – what do you talk about? Obviously there’s the information you need about the production of the shoot, how many images, how they’ll be used, … but all photographers should be doning this. So what sets you apart? What makes you the guy or girl that this potential client is going to hire?

I mean apart from the obvious: that your work is first rate and that you can deliver and that your style communicates what the client wants to images to say (you know the 1,000 word bit). I had a phone call today with a new client that drove this point home for me (hence this post).

He had found me online, liked my work, contacted me through my website and was captured in my CRM tie-in, got an immediate email response from my website (read more about how automation on my website lets me do all this). So through the captured phone number and email address I contacted him back to discuss this job.

The conversation ended up turning to another photographer that he had spoken about this project with. “I like the way you are thinking about my product, the other guy was only interested in talking about who he had photographed for in the past.”

Our conversation had moved from the details of the current shoot (how many images, what background, usage, …) to the next shoot – thinking through how this product needs to be displayed in an editorial fashion to explain and show case how it is to be used.

That’s what made the difference. I was thinking about how to make his product look good, how to help him, how to drive more sales from his website to his pocketbook; instead of making me look great (some of my clients are national brands: Mars, Tyco, L’Oreal, Frontgate, Boston Proper, …), but I was more interested in offering him a solution to his company.

Do you think he will spend more money on my shoot than on my competitors? Do you think I will be shooting for him for the second editorial shoot? Does he trust that I will deliver images that make his product look great? You betcha!

I will be photographing for him next week, because I took the time to listen to what he wanted and needed, I offered suggestions of photos and solutions that he had not thought about, and I want him to succeed in his new venture. Why? I want to grow with my clients, so that they will hire me for all of their upcoming work. And recommend me to their friends and business associates, because word-of-mouth advertising for my photography is far better than any email blast.

(I just read an article “Make People Love You Madly: The No-Fail Framework for Marketing Yourself” by Colleen Wainright on the Adbase blog.)

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