by Skip Cohen
Just because you didn't land a session or an event with a client doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to still build your reputation and brand.
I've written a few posts over the years about a friend who's a realtor. Being a real estate agent is very similar to being a photographer. You need people skills. It's about relationships, trust, and communication. And, just like photography, the real estate industry has seen its share of ups and downs.
Whenever my buddy loses a listing to another broker, which isn't very often, he calls the client and asks:
"I know you listed with another agent, but it would really help us a lot to find out what you felt we were missing."
Then he's just quiet and listens. The information he gets in response is incredibly valuable.
So, start talking to those clients who didn't hire you. Approach them in a way that's disarming. At the end of the call thank them for their time, consideration and wish them good luck. Then send them a thank-you note a few days later.
Too often photographers think they lost the job because somebody undercut them on price. But maybe it wasn’t the cost. They might have liked the albums they saw at another studio better. Maybe they were looking for longer coverage at their event, or they’ve read or heard more about the other photographer they hired. If you’re a wedding photographer, maybe the other photographer offered them a product you don’t include, e.g. an engagement session, a Facebook page of images or a slideshow, etc.
Take a shot at this concept and contact a client or two who didn't hire you - you might be surprised at what you learn. And, what you learn will help you create a blueprint for how to grow your business! All the answers are out there, but you won't get them if you don't do a little research and ask!
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.