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Lesson 35 Client Portfolios Marketing´s archives ↓

Lesson 35: Page 01

Lesson 35: Page 02

As you prepare to enter the world of commercial photography, you will begin by developing a list of clients.  You will target this list based on what you feel are your areas of interest, experience, and your perception of available work.

There are numerous types of clients out there:

  • Advertising Agencies
  • Graphic Design Firms
  • In-house Art Departments at Corporations
  • Retail

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Lesson 35: Page 03

Understanding Clients: First, look at your own experiences

How many times have you dined in a restaurant and felt your grumpy waiter was lousy? Have you ever greeted a gas station attendant with a “good morning” only to have them udder no response? Maybe you went to the bakery for early cup of coffee with a bunch of photo friends before heading out to shoot and found the baker testy when six people show up two minutes after he opened. You have probably experienced something similar  when dealing with people in various businesses. It certainly has happened to me many times and each time I wonder “if this was my business that person would not be working for me.”

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Lesson 35: Page 04

A Few Tips on Clients

  • Accessibility. Clients want to be able to locate you and receive prompt replies. I can admit that I have lost sales and assignments because I was not able or did not get back to the client quick enough. You should always return their calls within one day at a minimum. However, I have lost assignments because I wasn’t able to reach the client within one hour which seems ridiculous to me but it’s a reality. Make sure clients not only have your studio phone number but also your cell phone number. You may find that they text you if getting a hold of you is important.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 35: Page 05

Are you the worlds greatest photographer?

Really, raise your hand if you are the best photographer in the world. Did you raise your arm high or merely twitch your pinkie finger? If you raised your hand high then you have an ego and if you only twitched a finger then you may suffer from a lack of confidence about your work and your ego needs a boost.

We all wonder, maybe whine, when sales aren’t happening and no one is requesting our work. We want and need our work to receive praise but even more, sell! We need the praise for the ego and we need the license fees to pay the bills. Egos are fragile for some, rock solid for others, and out of this world for a few. Wherever you are in here, your ego can be your best business asset or your worst.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 35: Page 08

Finding The Clients

You have no business without clients! And how you find them, market to them, and work with them is crucial to the success of your business. You can simply start by going through the local phone book, or online directories, to determine who is in the advertising and design business. In addition you’ll find local companies, both small and large, that may have needs for commercial photography. You can also purchase mail lists from companies who specialize in creating such lists of ad agencies, design firms, in-house corporate departments, magazines and editorial clientele, the music industry, and other specialty groups that might use professional photographers.

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Lesson 35: Page 07

Pros and Cons

The good side of either type of relationship is that you get business and hopefully plenty of it. You want to be the first photographer they call. Helping your client is the core to all successful businesses. They have a need and you fill it, but at what price? The business relationship can be profitable while the business/social can as well, but maybe with some strings.

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Lesson 35: Page 06

Managing your ego

A good ego is crucial when it comes time to present you and your work, estimate a project, or negotiate a sale. It provides you the confidence to negotiate the real value of your work and make the deal.

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Lesson 35: Page 09

Keeping clients tuned into what you are doing and on a regular basis helps eliminate that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ problem that will plague every photographer if they do not stay on top of this. I have been contacted by countless up and coming photographers wishing to assist me. I ask them to send me a card or something with their phone number and to stay in touch. They never do and then when I need an assistant and my regular assistant is not available, I scramble to find someone else. Stay in touch with your clients or they will forget about you faster than you think!

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Lesson 35: Page 10

Self-promotion

Throughout my career, I have utilized a variety of different approaches to marketing my photography business. I have done source books, including the Black Book for 3 years, Direct Stock for 2 years, and a couple smaller publications. These were very expensive! The Black Book was a double page spread. I have consistently used direct mail as my main marketing tool.

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