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Are Elaborate Promos Worth The Money?


Are elaborate/over the top promos worth the money to get a client’s attention? If so, should more simple promos be sent first so you are potentially already on the client’s radar?


Depending on your budget, I like to stick with consistent, well-designed promos with a quick, concise message. The expensive promos we can send or hand to clients could be a striking piece that ends up on their wall, getting the attention of a long-standing art piece. I’ve seen this happen, but it’s like going to Vegas and playing the High Roller risky games.

Email Promo Clicked Lists


What do we do with our email promo “clicked” lists?


To know who CLICKS from our email promo to our website supplies valuable feedback shaping our marketing direction. Analyzing this relevant resource can be what you need to know.

  1. Put them on a hotlist and use every method to follow up with them, including following and engaging on IG.
  2. Look up all the others at that agency or company on Agency Access, yodelist, and LinkedIn to get them on your lists. If your work is applicable for one person at that place, I will put money down that the same is true for the others.
  3. If one of your top dream list clients didn’t have any clocks, you know you have some changes to make.
  4. Compare the marketplace segments clicking percentages to see which category of clients your work is attracting vs. which types are not being drawn in.
  5. When you get an unusual amount of clients or lack of clicks from one email, use that to analyze what was different, like your subject line, the time or the day of the week, wording changes or design.

Do You Always Expect Clients To Negotiate?


How do I leverage this abundance of accolades and high end client work to get more exposure? My past mailers and hand curated Do you always expect clients to negotiate? Or do they just walk away sometimes if the price is automatically too high?


Unfortunately, clients walk away for so many reasons beyond our control. I like to feel out the situation to hear the temperature of their response before fully committing to a price. Odds are more in our favor if we can create a human connection off the bat, helping us open the doors of communication. The conversation can include the openness to flexibility by discussing a price range before we officially submit an estimate. If clients know we are willing to bridge, they may be more apt to negotiate.

Leverage Client Accolades To Get More Exposure


How do I leverage this abundance of accolades and high end client work to get more exposure? My past mailers and hand curated marketing promos have yielded a 3% response rate, and I must say I’m a bit frustrated.


Emails, in general, seem to be a dying breed pushing us to figure out new ways to be in touch. They are no longer the one dependable marketing tool as they now serve one piece of the promotional pie.

You know I’m all about Instagram, so that is my first suggestion, but of course, we still need to push those promos out.

Email promo material should go out in two separate ways, which will, in turn, support each other:

  1. Mass email lists will have a lower response rate because they are a larger list of unknown clients but provide us with solid marketing open/click data.
  2. Smaller fine-tuned lists built around those we know, and those who open/click the larger mass emails will get better traction.

Cinematographers vs Photographers


Why can the best cinematographers serve the story and change their look for each script, depending on the requirements of the script, but if a photographer does that, they are condemned, overlooked and discarded for being a “generalist?”


We get to choose two types of paths: technically savvy with a lot of variety or those who provide a more specific curated style, look and feel.  Both options can work, giving you a long-lasting accomplished career, usually depending on your situation, the size of your market, and your skillset. I’ve repped both of these and found the careers of generalists depend on the relationships they build, and the specialists get jobs for their portfolios.

Bidding for Branding Services


I was invited to bid for what developed into branding services for a white-labeling startup company. The company to whom I was “bidding” did not actually provide a specific scope, brief or RFP. Such is how it grew into a “branding” project. Their communication with me wasn’t very responsive. I interpreted it being more like an RFI, providing them with the following:

  1. A list of typical deliverables.
  2. A list of things not included.
  3. A budget range with minimum & not-to-exceed amounts. 
  4. An explanation of how scope development was needed to pinpoint the actual cost of services. 
  5. Scope development was included in the minimum.

What is your opinion on my approach on the above mentioned project?


This request sounds like the massive amount of undeveloped clients using social media mass photographer reachability to save them money. You’ll need to quickly assess if this is a reliable potential client or an “info for free” mass request.

They are asking you to be their creative development ad agency so you can:

  1. Do that for free.
  2. Give them your hourly rate for that type of branding work.
  3. Tell them to contact you again when they have their shot list spec sheet prepared. 

Don’t Waste Time Doing Estimates With Information We Don’t Have

We can’t be spending our time doing estimates on information we don’t have. 

I’m hearing a ton of complaints from photographers wasting useless time on estimates that don’t turn out to be the real deal. I hear you! With no bid spec sheets, I get many of these requests that won’t reveal the budget upfront, so I focus on the points that help me see if this client is even ready for an estimate. Our goal is to quickly open up the communication doors, giving us a clearer sense of what we are dealing with.

My quick first step estimating questionnaire:

  • What is the Usage?
  • What is the specific Shotlist?
  • Do you have a creative deck with the layouts + mood-boards?
  • What are the talent rates?
  • Do you have stylists you like to use?
  • When is the creative call?

Creative Concepting Fee


I feel like I’ve hit a wall with my business. I’m bidding on some jobs, but I’m not getting them. Clients want to get a crazy amount of images per day, and the budgets have shrunk. I’m struggling to stay on top of my game. Advice


I base the creative concepting fee on the amount of time it will take you. It is ultimately the same equation as the shoot rate or creative fee minus the usage amount. Of course, this is adjustable to fit into your budget as there is no absolute structured fee for this, but my approach is time + stand-alone talent = money.

Is This Estimate Request Worth Your Time?

Is this estimate request worth your time?

If only we could find out the budget, that would make it all so simple, but clients tend to keep that to themselves. 

3 ways I open up the conversation by presenting the question differently:

  1. Name a high amount to question what they have in mind.
  2. Under or over a certain amount can help to get a yes or no. 
  3. A range amount $ between $ offers a safe and manageable option.

Negotiation Can Be Tricky

Negotiation can be tricky, especially in unknown scenarios with no previous relationship with a client. My goal is to figure out what the client has for a budget, even though they usually won’t offer that info. I like to begin with a higher $ than I’m assuming the budget will be. That higher starting point approach depends on creating an honest two-way discussion from the start to achieve truthful negotiation.