Intro by Skip Cohen
I ran the post below in 2013, so like many of your favorite shows, it's a "repeat." But it's a repeat so many of you need to read!!!
Success in your business for the new year will be about relationship building. That's your very best marketing tool - keeping in touch with your clients, communicating with them, and staying in touch: NOT texting, but actually talking to them.
While you might think some of Scott's comments from 2013 are a little dated, the overall concept has no expiration date. It's about keeping in touch with people, especially your past clients, who are your best ambassadors. I still find so many of you have websites with template email systems and not phone numbers. That might be fine, but you don't answer the email requests! There's no such thing as giving people too much contact information. A phone call separates you from the competition when people want an answer to a question.
One of the hats I wear is CMO for Platypod. So often, when I've got a customer service question, it's so easy to pick up the phone and call. In a day when we've all accepted boilerplate email responses from companies we contact, people truly appreciate getting a personal call. I also learn a lot about who they are and how they photograph and use our products.
Just remember we're a word-of-mouth business, not word-of-Internet. As Scott Stratten wrote many years ago in his book Unmarketing: Stop marketing and start engaging!
by Scott Bourne
This may come as a shock to some of you, but in the old days, not one single professional photographer on the planet had a Facebook account. Nor did they have a Flickr account, a blog, a website, an e-mail address or anything else that involved being "on line." Yep I know, I know, hard to conceive. But it's absolutely true. And in keeping with my status as "older than dirt" I know this is true because I was actually there!
Truth be told, I've spent more of my life operating without the Internet than WITH the Internet. I've sold more photographs, licensed more images, booked more shoots using the telephone than the Internet. Now here's the good news. The telephone still exists. Oh you don't hear about it very often, but yep, I checked. It's still there. You can get one just about anywhere. And you no longer need to rely on a lady named "Ma Bell" to pick one up.
Yes, the magical telephone still works and in my opinion, still has great value. So today's Marketing Monday tip is short and sweet. Get a telephone number, plaster that puppy everywhere. Use it. Share it. Actually answer it. Talk to people. It's an amazing thing. You can hear the happiness or sadness or joy or suspicion or whatever in the other person's voice. You don't have to rely on emoticons! You can just ask people how they are feeling, what they need, and they will tell you! Crazy right?
You should put your telephone number on every single piece of marketing material you hand out. And you should put it on your website, your blog, your social media accounts (at least the ones you use for business) and you should do so today!
People still use the telephone. They really do. Maybe not ALL people. But enough to warrant you investing in one, promoting the number and responding promptly to every single call, period.
I know what you're thinking. "But Scott if I put a telephone number on my website people will call me!" Yes! Isn't it wonderful? Clients and prospects will call and try to give you money. It's like magic. Give it a try. Really.
As always, Skip and I are rooting for you.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.