Why You're Not Booking Personal Brand Photography Clients

 
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WHY YOU’RE NOT BOOKING BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY CLIENTS

I hear it all of the time from new brand photographers. They want to break into the personal brand market but claim they can’t find clients. They don’t believe there is a market in their area.

Here’s my top 5 reasons why you’re not booking brand photography clients:

1. NOBODY KNOWS YOUR A BRAND PHOTOGRAPHER!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done a little research on one of my new students and when I click on their social media page nowhere does it even MENTION that they shoot brand photography!

If a potential client clicks on your website or social media channel is it clear immediately that you’re a brand photographer?  Or do you simply have a tiny tab hidden somewhere between weddings, boudoir and pet photos?

People are intrigued by personal brand photographers! I guarantee that if you go to an event full of women in biz and tell them that you’re a personal brand photographer they’ll want to hear more! Don’t just say “photographer” bc there is nothing that differentiates you between the 5,000 other photogs in your area.

If you want to be a brand photographer you need to shout it out - from your social media channels, to your website, to local networking groups!

2.  YOU’RE SO FOCUSED ON WORKING WITH “INFLUENCERS” YOU’VE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD WHO NEED YOU.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to work with influencers. (Hi! Amal Clooney, call me!) It’s the up and comers, the local businesses, the moms working from their kitchen table that really need your help and will be the bread and butter of your business.  Please don’t be so caught up in trying to make money off of “influencers” that you forget about the business owners right on your own block. Do your research, offer them a few minutes of free advice on how they can level up, create a solution, and boom- You’re booked!

3.  YOU’RE HANGING WITH THE WRONG CROWD.

And I don’t mean your oldest friend, Stacy, who used to roll joints in homeroom and now owns an edible chocolate cookie company (let’s be real - she’s probably your dream client) but you’re not moving far enough outside of your immediate circle. If all of your friends are now stay-at-home moms whose biggest challenge is finding the right baby yoga class then you’re probably going to need to expand your reach a bit. 

Invest in yourself and your business. Get to know new people. Join local networking groups, hang out at a co-working space, sign up for business building courses where other business owners are and start creating real relationships with the kind of people who need your services. 

4.  YOU ASSUME “IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME…."

While that may have worked for Kevin Costner, it’s NOT real life. You need to get your ass out there, step wwwaaayyyy outside of your comfort zone and let people know who you are! (See reason #1 above) You need to educate your clients. You need to send people to your website and then educate them once they arrive. For years, a big portion of my clients found me because they were searching for headshots, came upon my page and realized they wanted this “personal brand thing” They had never heard of personal brand photography - but they knew that they wanted it!

5. YOU’RE NOT GIVING POTENTIAL CLIENTS WHAT THEY WANT.

Too many photographers today are still trying to up sell branding clients with wall portraits.  While I think there is a legitimate market for this - REAL personal branding clients want DIGITAL images that they can use for their business.  They don’t want (or have time) to sit thru in person sales sessions just so the photographer can make more money on wall portraits they don’t want or need.

I have a lot more to say on this and it’s something we talk about a LOT inside of my private, student only Facebook group!

 

Heidi Hapanowicz

Heidi Hapanowicz is a personal branding photographer and visual marketing expert for online entrepreneurs.