The busy season is back and in full swing for many of you. And, while I understand time is at a minimum, that doesn't mean you can ignore the critical elements of building a stronger business. So, I've put together the Fast Food Friday series, and just like a good diner, there's a "blue plate special" almost every week.
Here's my hope - we're all too close to our own business, and so often we can't see the forest through the trees. We do things out of habit; manage by the exception, and often focus on more significant projects and miss the small ones. Each Fast Food selection is meant to help you fine-tune another aspect of your business.
This week's special, and number eleven the series is all about one of the saddest and easiest challenges to fix in your business - understating the value of what you offer. I accept you're all artists, but no excuse for you to ignore the use of adjectives when you're describing your services.
It's time to stop understating your products!
Most of you describe your products/services in a way that could put a rock to sleep! This is your business, and NOBODY can provide the magic you do - you help people stop time, capture priceless memories and see all the emotion around them they usually miss. So let's beef things up a little and go back to seventh grade English class - the one many of you cut!
Here are some examples:
I know I'm using a lot of wedding descriptions, but it's the one specialty we all understand and easiest to share examples about. However, every service and product you offer, regardless of your core specialty has the potential to be more appealing in the description.
Many of you also offer too many packages. I still believe you only need three, a low, mid-range and high-end. And, regarding consumer buying habits, just like buying a car, we all tend to migrate towards more "accessories." No car salesman has ever shown you the bottom of the line first!
Personally, I like coverages that have a descriptive word that denotes value. An easy example is using Platinum, Gold and Silver. And, if the best word to describe your low end coverage is Aluminum - then it's time to hang up your camera!
Here's an example of how spicing up the description might sound with a wedding photographer's top level package.
Our Platinum Wedding Coverage has been created to make sure you don’t miss
one single moment of your special day. It’s about capturing the love without the interruption!
A romantic engagement session anywhere you’d like us to be.
Two outstanding professional photographers on the day of your wedding.
Coverage starts with the excitement and anticipation captured at the rehearsal dinner
right through to the tear in Mom and Dad’s eyes as they watch the last dance.
Online hosting of an unlimited number of stunning images,
posted online before you’re back from the honeymoon.
Two designer handcrafted all leather 50 page albums custom
designed to share with your grandchildren years into the future.
Two smaller family albums which are complete replicas of your final album,
capturing all the memories of your special unique day.
A complete set of deluxe first edition prints.
The two sentences highlighted in purple are just added frosting on the cake. I wanted to bring a little emotion into the mix. Every bride's biggest fear is based on stories she's heard about photographers taking so long on the traditional bridal portraits the couple missed their reception. Most of the time it's an urban myth, but I thought I'd jump right in and address it. The second highlight hits on the emotion of the day.
And if you hate what I just wrote, that's fine, but I've read so many descriptions from photographers who have entirely understated their services. I want you to put a little more thought into what you write in your brochures, websites, and blogs. Whether a wedding, an event, a family sitting or just a business headshot, nobody can provide the magic of a great professional photographer.
As Tim and Beverly Walden have shared so many times in their workshops, you're not doing a portrait sitting, but creating an experience! And, to take it a step further, they don't create a portrait but a priceless family heirloom to be handed down to future generations.
On a descriptive writing site for teachers I found the following:
"The primary purpose of descriptive writing is to describe a person, place or thing in such a way that a picture is formed in the reader's mind. Capturing an event through descriptive writing involves paying close attention to the details by using all of your five senses."
This is from a site helping teachers with their students. You don't have to go back to school, just think about the advice above and the next time you're trying to describe what your services are in writing, think about what you're trying to say. You know how to capture a picture in your camera, now how about paying attention to the one you're creating in your reader's mind!
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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.