It’s good to review what is working in your business. Often the best actions you can take are the simplest. The simplest are usually the most effective and benefit your company the most.
Here is a list of 11, low-cost action items you can do to help grow your photography business.
Photocards: I made my career handing out 4×6 photocards. I design the cards in Photoshop and print 50 to 100 at a time at the local lab. I give them out like candy. Always have them with you.
Rate List: Keep an easy-to-access list of your rates so you never have to guess. Guessing off the top of your head often leads to under bidding. If the job is not on your list, say no.
Say no: I hurt my reputation early in my career by taking on jobs I didn’t have the skills to complete properly. Don’t squeeze jobs into your schedule that you don’t have time to do well.
Refer: Refer jobs you cannot take on to other photographers who would do the same for you. Offer to trade commission (25 percent is standard) for referrals.
Reminders: Send appointment reminders. Phone calls, e-mails and texts all can increase appointment success rates. This is especially true for retail customers. Even business-to-business clients appreciate follow-up and a friendly reminder.
Prepare: Plan for your assignments the day or night before. Confirm locations, times, contacts. Make sure you understand your assignment, review all your equipment, make sure you have extra storage disks and that your batteries are charged.
Follow up: Make sure everything went well. Ask questions, such as: Is everything as you expected? and Do you need anything else from me?
Workflow: Create a timeline and work flow for all your jobs. Make sure you have a process for all your projects.
72-hour rule: Don’t let more than 72 hours go by before connecting or updating a current client on the status of their project.
Send a thank you card: Everyone appreciates a hand-written thank you card. They play a big role in client retention.
Testimonials: Get testimonials as often as possible; they are very powerful. Accept them in writing or take a quick video after an assignment. Place them in your collateral. Display them on your website.
What would you add to the list?