You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own, and you know what you know.
And you are the guy who'll decide where to go!
A while back I wrote a blog post about the importance of making yourself different. Your target audience is being bombarded with marketing pitches on the radio, television, on line, in the newspaper, magazines and literally every where they go. Meanwhile, you're trying to figure out how to keep raising the bar on your skill set and at the same time stand out.
Well, it's the Friday before a long weekend and here are some things to think about:
Fast turnaround time: Crank up the volume on how quickly you return calls, give clients the answers they're looking for and deliver the products they've ordered early. Just a quick response will separate you from the competition. This is all about exceeding customer expectations.
Ask great questions: What do you do when you DON'T get the assignment? How about calling the client and simply ask what they felt was missing from your bid/offer? I had a friend in the real estate business in Las Vegas and whenever he didn't get a listing he'd call the homeowner. Nothing pushy, just a nice call to get some answers and it helped him build a stronger business. We all know what we do right, but we don't always realize what we do wrong.
Talk to your lab: Your lab's got new products and things you can offer your clients that probably haven't been done before, at least not often. Put together packages that are unique to your market. Again, you're looking for things that are different.
Direct mail is back: How about a personal letter to all your past clients? Let them know you're expanding your business and becoming more diverse, adding another specialty to your business. Plan the seed for a new head shot or family portrait.
Cross-Promote with other vendors and photographers: Look for partners to share promotional costs and then cross-promote each others products. There are so many logical connections and each partner becomes an ambassador for your business as well.
Seasonality: I wrote about it in a post the other day, but there's still time for a Father's Day promotion and Dad doesn't need another golf shirt or barbecue tools! He needs an updated portrait of his family!
I've talked about each one of these numerous times in the other blog posts and they represent only a beginning. There's so much you can do, including being more involved in your community You've got a long weekend and the perfect time to figure out what you could do that would make your skills as an artist stand out from everybody else!
Illustration Credit: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
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.