Our bid is our last chance of having any control over getting the job. We may assume our numbers will be similar to other bidders, but I’m telling you those bid facts are often different for each bidder. Clients move quickly, speaking to each photographer/rep, sometimes unable to closely monitor the specifics of our bids. It’s our responsibility to call out the details of our pricing, making the particulars crystal clear and spelling out any potentially blurred categories. Don’t leave it to chance!
Marketing Budget Formula
How should I spend my marketing budget this year?
I have two options:
1) I have a listing agent who reaches out to specific clients.
2) I can do online or in-person portfolio reviews.
Neither one is cheap, but I can commit to doing at least one of them this year, and would like to, as I’m trying to land at least one more corporate or ad client this year. I’m also hoping to expand my reach, and not always be hired locally/regionally.
SternRep’s Marketing Budget Formula is the overall breakdown of the available imagery placed in all potential places attracting the attention of potential clients.
We call this combo- InReach and OutReach; working in tandem. Our marketing budget covers our time and hiring help in all areas, used to gain insightful feedback on what works.
Step one – updating quick + easy landing spots (website, IG + BeHance) for clients to see/find the work.
Step two – consistent content creation show-pieces for LinkedIn posts, promos, portfolio pdf, IG Reels, articles/blogs for SEO, etc., all drawing traffic to landing spots.
Step one – personal and mass engaging on all platforms generated by the timely content we have to show.
Step two – setting up reviews/meetings/showings/calls taking the connection a step further.
Step three – follow-up across all mediums on a well-scheduled system.
Saving a Client Relationship
How do you try to save a client relationship after messing up repeatedly?
Client relationships are usually not personal. They see the work you do and want that look on their brand. Treat this as a professional by showing them how they will achieve their goals using you. You can always offer a free test, but most importantly, tell them what matter-of-fact calculated new system will improve the situation. Get yourself to that level, and then with humble confidence, express how you will do it right. In the comments, please share examples of this dynamic and what you did.
Creative Calls are an Opportunity
Creative calls are the one bidding opportunity to be human to human.
Clients want a sense of you; even if they already know you, they will want a clear grasp of how you perceive this project. An expression is not always through your comments, as you may be listening to the majority of the call. Be the active listener as they will hear your reactions of nodding in agreement and overall upbeat presence.
Beauty Photography Business
I’m trying to get into the beauty photography business by going for smaller brands in my local area, but I’m finding it very hard to create leverage in this industry. I’ve tried email marketing, and sometimes their PR domains are blocked. Instagram messages think I want to “collab” with them. I’m unsure how to start networking with consumer package companies. What do you recommend I can do to be seen by commercial clients?
We all face similar challenges to get in front of potential clients, as described here, no matter which area of photography we focus on. Of course, it begins with a strongly branded portfolio showing you off quickly and succinctly. After that, it’s a potluck of strategic moves knowing which you are getting done and which need more attention.
Check out my Marketing Strategy Planner on “Downloads” –https://asksternrep.com/downloads/ where I map out all the potential ways I use to rep photographers to the appropriate clients. Pick a few favorites on my pyramid chart and see what works for you.
I send quarterly newsletters, and some keep me on their radars, but at the same time, I always feel like I’m leaving something on the table by not directly engaging with whoever opens the email. What’s the best way to send that email? Do I go direct and say, “Hey, I noticed that you enjoyed my promo, so can we set up a meeting in the future to say hello?” Do we send a follow-up to put a face to the name? I don’t want to be weird and pushy because they know I want to work with them. This outreach is tough for me, and any advice would be great!
The mistake in our Marketing Plans is to think it’s over once we reach out. That is when engaging clients with our brand begins; we open the door, growing a state of ongoing continuous awareness. With that in mind, you find any sign of response from who clicked, following analytics to see which agency is looking at your site and who liked your IG to put yourself out there in a genuine human-to-human connection. Be yourself and take them to lunch, share your response on their IG Story and LinkedIn posts, and join them where they are. You are right; they know you want to work with them, so be the spam caller with whom you wouldn’t hang up on by keeping it real.
Serious Client vs. Shopping Around
My name is XXXXXX, and I’m a food photographer. I want to know how you can tell the difference between a serious client vs. someone who is just shopping around. Is there a question I can ask, so I’m not just wasting my time?
I have found this “shopping around” of low-budget clients happens mostly for food photographers found on Google. Start-ups without an ad agency or marketing team expect photographers to do the creative work for them, so it’s up to us to quickly find out if they can afford us. Normally we base our costs on the project’s information, but with these calls, I go in reverse and give them a budget range to see if we should continue in the mad sleuth process of digging into their shot list, backgrounds, surfaces, etc. My line is, “Sounds like a fun project that may run somewhere between 10k to 30k, depending on your shot list. Let me know when you have the specifics so I can run this by our food stylist to see how many images can happen per day.”
For more specific ideas addressing these types of “blind bid” requests, go to www.asksternrep.com – https://asksternrep.com/2022/01/19/dont-waste-time-doing-estimates-with-information-we-dont-have/
and this one – https://asksternrep.com/2021/12/22/is-this-estimate-request-worth-your-time/
I’m raising my prices for the upcoming year. Should the increase be the same for all clients, so everyone pays the same? Or should the old client’s loyalty be taken into consideration? What about clients who just became clients this year?
Sustaining an ongoing business depends on constant reevaluation matching our financial intake to the reality of the cost of living. Times change, so we business owners have to change with it. Mostly, we need to stay aware of the cost of living and the current rates for our expenses. Mileage rates, meals, and electricity bills all affect our business costs. What are rental studios charging for equipment? What are assistant rates and Digi Tech’s capture package costs now? Old or new client budgets may affect bidding situations, but overall we should be charging what we need to run a solid long-term business.
Legal Obligations to a Bid
When you submit a bid – are you legally locked into it?
My answer to this is not from a lawyer but my own rep opinion: Why submit a bid if you don’t want to be locked into it? Perhaps you get busy and are offered a higher-paid job? Whatever the reason is, you would probably lose that client in the future if your availability changes after providing them the 1st hold. I say be honest and give them a 2nd hold if this is the issue. Be upfront if this is a client you want to keep. Once either of you signs a contract, you may have legal issues, so you can protect yourself by including the term – “Estimate is valid for 14 days from the date of issue.”
Video Motion Business
As I’ve entered the video motion business, I see how clients sometimes need help figuring out what they need. I’ve started asking them questions to help break down what they need and how I can help, Too often, I can’t get their answer, so I tend to make decisions for them. How do other people handle this? Any advice?
I like the clever proactive strategy you’ve developed to see where you can make yourself useful, helping to bring in more work. The best resource I know of for this type of sales approach is by one of the best educational leaders of our time – Chris Do if the Futur. He interviewed me, and we breakdown sales methods. Check out all of his YouTube and website info, as asking those questions to set yourself up for success is how he made it big!