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what are you really selling in your photography business

What Are You Really Selling?

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Is marketing a dirty word for you, associated with being pushy and full of hype?

The Truth About Marketing

That perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Marketing is the process of helping people value what you do Click To Tweet

This is really important. It is our definition so etch it in stone in your mind or tattoo it on your forehead!

Another way to think about it is this: how you focus your prospects desires into demand for your photography services and products.

And taking this a step further, people will buy more of your photography more often and for more money when you help them see that what you offer actually fulfils their desires.

This is critical – you are not trying to trick them into buying something they don’t want.

So how do you do this?

 

The Art of Persuasive Communication

Through the science and art of persuasive communication. The more that you show that your offer is the way to fulfil their desires, the more people are going to want what it is that you offer.

Think of it another way. Why are you a photographer? why do you believe that people should buy your services? Or beautifully framed pieces and handcrafted albums? What experiences led you to believe that these are important? That preserving and cherishing photographs is important, that they should be valued and invested in?

It’s important to remember that the majority of your prospects haven’t had the experiences that led you to these beliefs and values. So how can you take your prospects through an accelerated version of the journey that led to your beliefs? So that they can build those same beliefs – that investing in and cherishing in beautiful photography is a valuable thing to do?

 

Value Perception

You can also look at it from the point of psychological value creation. Compare two cars – an Aston Martin and a Jaguar, or even a Ford. There is a lot of psychological value difference, created by the brand. Now some of the differences will be physical, but there is a lot of perception difference too.

If your marketing is doing it’s job, it will get people to the point where your services and products do not need to be sold. Peter Drucker has been quoted as saying that the goal of marketing is to make selling superfluous. Just think about Apple, they are masters of this. If you doubt this just think of the queues that develop outside their stores when a new iPhone is released. Those iPhones are already pre-sold.

 

Implicit & Explicit

If you have studied any copywriting articles or courses you will know that traditionally we market with features and benefits. For example, features being that the iPod has a 40GB hard disk. The benefit is that you can have 10,000 songs in your pocket.

These are important but I want to take you a step beyond that and think in terms of explicit and implicit.

Explicit is what you are selling, implicit is what your clients are really buying. It is the outcome of the outcome, the psychological benefits of the ultimate outcome.

Let me give you an example…

Your client buys your portrait photography services for a family photoshoot, including an album and wall art, with their two sons, one of whom is about to leave for university and the other is about to move to Australia. That is the explicit.

The implicit is what they are truly buying. They are buying a treasured reminder of their time together as a family. A feeling of togetherness, closeness, pride in their children. The warmth that Mum feels when she looks at the portrait of her sons. The sense of nearness it brings when they are far away. A sense of pride at how their two young sons have grown up into such fine, handsome adults. Pleasure, joy, maybe even a sense of showing off when the neighbours come round and see the portrait.

Those are just a few examples.

So what are you selling both explicitly and implicitly? Brainstorm it, I find a mind map is great for this, and share some of your answers in the comments below.

About the Author Louise Beattie

Louise Beattie is founder of the Prosperous Photographer. When she isn’t helping photographers fill their diary with clients by transforming their website from a pretty "brochure" to a hard working lead and client generating machine, Louise loves time playing with her dogs, MotoGP and watching The West Wing (again). She also likes to geek out about business and marketing.

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