We've arrived at Act Three of our show: "You ARE good. You LOOK good. Now ACT good."
- In Act One, we talked about how Expertise is the DNA or backbone of your photography business.
- In Act Two, we explained that branding is the expression of this expertise.
- Now, in Act 3, we make the claim that it's not enough to claim and express expertise. You have to walk the walk.
All this expertise and branding needs to lead to a profitable business, otherwise it's just another pretty face.
That is where marketing comes into play.
We've read a million and one high-falutin' and even confusing definitions of marketing. But we here at 16 Hoops only have one way to explain marketing. It cuts to the chase nicely.
Marketing = Messaging that creates a steady pipeline of high-paying, ideal clients.
Powerful marketing works like a funnel. A magic funnel, at the end of which your ideal client is throwing money at you.
Your messaging tools
You can get your message out there any number of ways.
Most of the time, businesses message potential customers using tools and channels like social media, SEO, email, blogs, etc. They create their own content, and also pay for advertising. They rely on both words and visuals.
Websites (and by association copy and visuals) are BY FAR the most underused and abused tools in photographers' ditty bags.
A website, when built well, will be working that magic funnel 24/7--even while you are sleeping. It's a living, breathing organism and it's the best salesperson on your team. Every single word and visual should be chatting up your ideal client and asking for their business the second they land on your page.
But instead of tapping into this potential, most photographers throw up a gallery (oh, good, you ARE a photographer. CHECK!), call their pricing page the ubiquitous "Investment," post a tab called "Information" in the nav, and call it a day.
I won't get into a teardown of photographers' sites here. We'll save that for another week.
But I will say: it's time for a revolution in websites. If that intrigues you, head over to our Survey, and let's chat.
A recap of This American Tog
Act One: Expertise is the foundational DNA of your business. When defined effectively, It's uniquely you. It can't be duplicated. It's difficult to mine--not just anyone can do it. But once you do the hard work (which, by the way, NO ONE except you is doing) it's transformative for your business.
Act Two: Branding is the expression of your expertise. When done effectively, it will speak directly to your ideal customer and bypass everyone else. Those perfect customers will be attracted to you like bears to honey.
Act Three: Marketing is what brings it all together in a message that resonates with your ideal customer. It takes your expertise, your branding, and takes it out onto the open road, full throttle, like a funnel to your ideal client.
Put them all together, and you, my friend, have a lethal, unstoppable business. It's the survival of the fittest. You have just become the top of the food chain.
We're 16 Hoops. Back next week with more stories from This American Tog.