Early retired (2019), due to ill health, pro photographer and business mentor. John is classically trained, well experienced & now willing to freely share his knowledge with you.
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Though "anybody" can buy your photographic services, knowing the interests of "who" buys your work or services means you can place yourself appropriately to be seen and approached, thus increasing potential revenue.
Forget "Photography" for the moment, you are probably too focussed on it just now, to be able to detach yourself and see the wider picture of "Sales Psychology".
Let's imagine you are selling a pedal bicycle (a bike). Here is an imaginary photograph of your brand new bike, that you have made and now want to sell.
Anybody can buy but not everybody wants to. Why? The most obvious answer is some people don't know how to ride it without falling off. Thus, in terms of how we market this product, we start to think about "Features" vs "Benefits" .
(** remember, everything here also applies to selling you!**).
Looking at the bike above its "features" are things it "has". I could list a few:
But it terms of "marketing" the product, you sell any product on how it benefits the customer.
Thus looking at the list above, this bike could be marketed on benefits such as:
The two lists mainly say the same things but the first list is from the seller's perspective whilst the second, more wordy, list caters to the needs and aspirations of the client.
SELLING could be defined as the process by which one person (seller) fulfils the needs of the other (buyer) whilst transacting money.
Selling is a LOT more than just giving a person a thing for money.
Let's look at Benefits vs Features for selling you:
Imagine a 35yr old mother of 2 children, with a dog, wanting to buy a picture for her bathroom. If this woman was your potential buyer, she may want to imagine how the artwork could look on the wall, thus needs to know if it is 5 feet long, 5 inches long or 5 cms long to be able to assess this. She also needs to know if the artwork will survive the humidity e.g. a print on ultra-thin paper could disintegrate, whilst a print on acrylic or glass would easily survive but might be too heavy and need special mounting.
By providing a small, essential amount of information in your sale literature or on your website, you have entered into non-verbal communication with your potential buyer and are making their life easier. The more easy you make their life, the closer you are to a sale but you want to take the conversation from non-verbal to verbal or a more direct method, thus you leave them the opportunity to ask how much you're asking for it. Never give too much information or too many choices, buyers are easily confused and walk away.
Thus for the imaginary lady buyer above, knowing the media and support media are useful features that could benefit her humid environment i.e. then write your art-descriptions to enhance the features of the art to further benefit the situation of the client.
If you seek to sell to anybody, then you write features and benefits specific to everybody that tends to result in sales to nobody! Being specific to an individual or group of people makes it easier to sell to them, as you can tailor your marketing to their needs.
In selling my photographic services as a commercial business I value myself and sell my photographic service as a "luxury product" of high quality and not just as a cheap roll-end of carpet. Thus, it is of value to think...who has the money to be able to afford me? (the answer should NOT be "everybody"). Identify who can afford you and selling just to them, makes selling a LOT easier!
When I was shooting/selling family photography I found it was easy to sell myself to people who owned their own businesses or were Company Directors. These people valued their time and understood how mine had a cost, thus they were expecting my prices rather than being shocked by them. As a result of this knowledge, I spent my time networking with this specific group of people (men and women).
Soon after I got friendly with one such client who owned a commercial cleaning company. His work brought him into daily contact with business owners. He was happy, knowing the quality of my work, to recommend me to his clients free-of-charge. Thus, I did a good service for him and he gave me superb recommendations back, purely because he felt he knew me, he liked me and he trusted me. A win-win relationship that cost me nothing but gained me many more clients and much more profit!
HOMEWORK TO THINK ABOUT: