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Clients

Communicate WIth Your Client To Aid In Negotiation

NEGOTIATING TIP 101: 

Get the most information in the shortest amount of time with a good old-fashioned client Phone Call. Use the phone time wisely to get those “awkward to ask” questions about budget, first choice, competition, and lowest bid topics. It’s that one-to-one camaraderie with off-the-cuff, less self-aware personalized touch moments. 

Following Up With Potential Clients Who Open Your Newsletter

Q:

How do I follow up with someone who appears to have opened my newsletter repeatedly, but I don’t have any relationship with them, and their agency doesn’t appear to do work that aligns with mine? This makes it hard even to know what to send as a follow-up. It’s hard to know how to open the conversation without the incredibly creepy “I see you’ve been opening my newsletter a lot this week.”

A:

SUCCESSFUL MARKETING = ENGAGEMENT

Our long-term marketing efforts are the goal, as we know how creatives move around rapidly from one client to another. While you have the correct landing info for the ones who open your promos – USE IT! Get on LinkedIn, Instagram, or their personal website, or email them and connect so you can take advantage of this rare (and expensive) opportunity. 

Who To Connect With When Approaching A Big Ad Agency

Q:

When approaching a big ad agency, who should I connect with? I usually hit up a mid-level art director, but should I be approaching producers? I tend to send expensive DM pieces, so I can’t ship to everyone!

A:

The decision-makers at big ad agencies include the Creative Director, Art Director, and Producers. All three are involved with different roles, but the AD usually chooses which photographer will be the “recommend” to the client for the final decision. My method is to contact all of them and see who responds, giving me better odds of a more personalized, well-received marketing piece.

Do You Turn Jobs Away Because of Low Budgets?

Do you have to turn jobs away because of low budgets, or do you make it work? If you photographers are in a slow period, does that make you more open to taking on these jobs?

I do have to turn jobs away regularly because of low budgets. 

My checklist to consider these lower-budget projects:

  1. Can this lead to future larger-paying jobs with this client or others?
  2. Is this a paid test that will benefit my photographer’s portfolio?
  3. Will the usage rights be controlled to match the budget?
  4. Would this be a regularly reoccurring client where fees add up as a regular gig?
  5. Does adding the client name to your client list help?
  6. Is there any chance of the low budget restricting the job quality, and if so, this is a definite NO WAY. 

Will It Help To Lower Prices To Bring In More Clients?

Q:

How do I get hired as I am just starting with my photo business? Will it help if I lower my prices to bring in more clients?

A:

Newer up-and-coming photographers can be more flexible to help build their portfolios. The flexibility of giving more of your time, post work, and more options like video can help get you started. Still, be mindful of the long-term by not lowering the value of your image usage licensing rate. 

Learn More About the Budget Before Making Your Estimate

STOP WASTING TIME DOING ESTIMATES YOU DON’T NEED TO DO!

It’s wild how many bidding requests we get from random clients that don’t even pertain to us. We must find out the budget before we waste our time. Even though that is the exact info clients usually refuse to give us, we have to push through by asking if their budget is between certain amounts. That type of “yes/no” question usually sparks a client to respond if it’s over what they have available to spend. Give it a try.

Reaching Out To Clients To Create Their Content

Q:

I reach out to clients with my ideas to create their content, but they often interpret this as non-paid free work. How do I offer my concepts as a business offer instead of a free-be?

A:

Two ways to handle this:

  1. Include pricing (or a pricing range) in your request to put it on the table without potential confusion. 
  2. Go for the clients who always pay for content instead of those using unpaid images.

Connecting With A Client Is The Best Sales Pitch

The BEST SALES PITCH I can recommend is to humanize what we call “sales” by listening. So simple and yet the most powerful way to negotiate, stay in front of clients, or sell ourselves. Take the first hello moment on a Zoom call, notice something about them, and ask a question. Connect by listening to get your foot in the doors. 

How Should Photographers Handle Job Date “Holds”

Q:

How should we handle job date “holds” when we prefer to get the higher-paying or more interesting offer when holding those dates for someone else?

A:

I am careful how I respond to job date holds. Instead of quickly saying “yes,” I’ll say, “As of right now, they are available on those dates.” Once a 2nd hold is ready to officially book you for the project, you can CHALLENGE the 1st hold to get hired on another job. It is a sensitive topic that needs clear communication before choosing one client over another.

Should I Thank a Client For a Job With a Gift?

Q:

Should I thank a client for a job with a gift?

A:

Most clients do not expect a thank-you gift as the work itself is what they are looking for. Some corporations do not allow gifts as it can be unethical from a legal standpoint. Ask clients if you can send them something and get their instructions. In my rep opinion, the best business gift has a warm personal slant that keeps you in front of them, with a friendly reminder keeping you on their mind.