Business tips + 1/2 off business classes

Having a successful photography business has a whole lot to do with providing top notch customer service. You can be successful as a decent photographer with amazing sales & service, but not as an amazing photographer with lousy sales & service.

Here are a few tips that have worked wonders for our photography business:

1. Appeal to all six senses to enhancing the buying experience.

  • Provide something good for each: Smell, sound, touch, taste, sight, and energy

  • Map & analyze every point of contact, like: entry way, candles & scents, music & sounds, wall colors & images chosen for the walls, lights, brochure paper, pens, furniture, verbiage used in your brochure, phone message language...

  • If your customer feels like you pay attention to details they will view you as a professional they are willing to pay for.

2. Set the stage for success.

  • Plant Sales Thoughts e.g. “Most of my clients purchase a couple of matching coffee table books”

  • Give Gifts (food & drink)

  • Instill purchase confidence with a Money Back Guarantee (MBG)

3. Sell top down...start at the top.

  • Proudly present your best offering first…then wait. Don’t assume your customer doesn’t want or can’t afford it. Only step down if the customer clearly and verbally can’t afford or doesn’t need that much. 

4. Suggest add-on sales.

  • “Would you like fries with that shake?” makes millions in additional sales for a certain company.

5. Make the most of suggestive sales.

  • CONSISTENCY: clear guidelines that are used consistently with all customers and at every transaction.

  • RELATIVE: make suggestions based on the customer. Offer products complementary to that which the customer has ordered.

  • PRICE SENSITIVE: customers respond well to suggestions that are are less expensive than their original order. 58% of successful suggestive sell offers cost less than 20% of the original price.

  • TIMELY: Attempts to suggestive sell need to be done just before, or while the customer is placing an order. Actively listen to them ensuring that they know you are more interested in them and their needs, rather than their money.

  • BE SPECIFIC: In studies, when offering an additional item for the shopper to consider, 2 out of the 3 shoppers took the suggestion — when it was a smaller item and related to their purchase. Whereas shoppers who were asked “if they wanted anything else today" did not purchase any additional items.

7. You are the expert. Give expert advice and know your product line well. 

  • "The person who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others." –Hasidic Saying

  • Customers appreciate your experience and artistic vision, don’t be afraid to offer it. 

8. Give them a reason to come back!

  • Put special offers in every order bag. 

  • Send out newsletters and mailings on new products or services.

  • Schedule the next appointment before they leave! (Like your dentist or salon does)

9. Follow through. No matter how much a client loved you, they will forget you if you don’t keep in touch. Out of sight, out of mind!

  • Under promise, over deliver.

  • Thank you cards, Phone calls, Promotional specials, Art showings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holiday greetings, Destination photography opportunities. 

  • “Let’s do lunch”. 

  • The post-sale experience will influence the pre-sale experience of the repeat customer.

10. The all mighty referral.

  • Ask for referrals, don’t just wait for them to happen!

  • Consider rewarding your customers for their referrals too. At least a thank you card.

11. Go looking for trouble.

  • "Problem" customers are your biggest opportunity for growth. Don’t be afraid to ask, "What could I have done better?" 

  • Unhappy customers, when properly handled, can become your best customers!

12. Stay inspired and never stop learning. CreativeLive is a great resource for photographers. Get 50% off 50 business classes today, 25% off my classes with code KKUBOTA, or discover more great deals.

She told me about this lighting combo, and it's great!

A customer of ours just let me know that she got a new Stella Light, which is a unique LED battery powered light source that emits a broad, even light. She immediately mated it to her LunaGrip light modifier (on sale right now for $99!) and loved the results! I thought I would share that combo, and some other great LunaGrip pairings, with you here.  

Why use a LunaGrip?

If you want a soft, flattering portrait light, then you generally want to diffuse it. Large soft boxes have always been a first choice for this, but they aren’t always easy to pack, or set up and take down – especially when you consider an ideal size for portraits is about a 40” box. I developed the LunaGrip after 20 years as a busy wedding and portrait photographer. I wanted something that would be easy to pack in my camera bag, work with my speedlights, be light and fast to setup, and give me the most beautiful portrait lighting possible. Westcott, the brilliant lighting company, partnered with me to develop the LunaGrip, a unique handle and mounting system that pairs your flash with a pop-up 5-in-1 reflector/diffuser to softly diffuse the flash, not bounce or reflect it (although it can also be used that way).  

The LunaGrip has several advantages:  

  • You have a versatile tool that can be used in several different ways for various lighting needs.

  • In its primary diffusion mode, it produces the beautiful light quality of a 42” softbox, but at a fraction of the cost, weight, and space.

  • By adjusting your flash head zoom, you can control the amount of diffusion and look of the light.

  • It can be a super flat and stable reflector holder (used with white, silver, or gold cover)

  • You can bounce flash in to it for a crisper, broader coverage light.

  • It adapts to multiple light sources, flash or constant. 

 The Westcott LunaGrip is a versatile light modifier for your flash or constant light source.

The Westcott LunaGrip is a versatile light modifier for your flash or constant light source.

LED Lights

The Stella Light is an LED constant light. It uses the newer COB style LED, which is more compact, efficient, and higher output than traditional LED lights. They also tend to have smoother light output. This unit can be battery or A/C powered, is waterproof, dimmable, and claims 1000 lumens of brightness. It fits beautifully in the LunaGrip light modifier and now you have the perfect, soft and diffused constant light that will travel anywhere and fit in your camera bag! What you see is what you get. 

 The Stella Light is an LED light with a dimmer and bright output.

The Stella Light is an LED light with a dimmer and bright output.

If you want a light with variable color temperature, take a look at the Fiilex P360EX Variable Color LED Light 

Here’s another more affordable option if you don’t need the battery option: The Godox SL-60. This 60W COB LED unit is plug-in only, but has very high color accuracy and claims 4500 lumens of brightness. If you need something much brighter, they also make 100W, 150W, and 200W versions.  

Flash systems

If you are balancing your lighting with daylight, you’ll need the power of a flash. Here are some other cool flash lighting systems that work with the LunaGrip too. The LunaGrip has an easily adjustable bracket, making it workable with most any compact light source, from speedlights, to compact flash heads, to constant lights.  

If you want something really compact and versatile, check out the Godox AD200 TTL Pocket Flash Kit. You can also get it with a wireless controller for your camera brand (highly recommended unless you already have a wireless trigger system). They are very compact and offer 200WS of output, similar to some speedlights. It comes with interchangeable heads too, a standard speedlight style (use this with your LunaGrip), and a bare bulb head (great for lighting up a whole room). This setup with your LunaGrip would be easy enough to hand-hold. 

 The Godox AD200 is a highly regarded and versatile flash for pairing to your LunaGrip.

The Godox AD200 is a highly regarded and versatile flash for pairing to your LunaGrip.

If you need more oomph, The Godox AD600Pro Witstro is a 600WS battery powered strobe. It’s a bit bigger than a speedlight setup, but offers much more power. They are also TTL compatible with most cameras, which is cool. It would be great for use on a lightstand. They also make a 400ws version

B&H also makes the Bolt VB-22 Bare-Bulb Flash. This 360WS flash can be triggered by your existing wireless trigger or using their proprietary receiver setup. Bolt makes several other units if you need different options. 

Some battery power options for A/C lights

The Naztech Volt Power Station is a portable battery pack that can also power A/C plug-in gadgets up to 85w. So you could power your plug-in LED light (upto 85w) or even most laptops, for a while. 

 The Naztech Volt is a battery that can power your USB devices AND an A/C powered device, like a laptop or A/C light.

The Naztech Volt is a battery that can power your USB devices AND an A/C powered device, like a laptop or A/C light.

How to mount lights to the LunaGrip.

  1. If you light has a hot or cold shoe mount, you can simply attach it to the bracket/clamp that the LunaGrip comes with, bam!

  2. If your light has a 1/4”-20 threaded hole on the bottom of it, you simply unscrew the cold shoe mount included with the LunaGrip, and use the retaining screw to thread in to your flash.

 Remove the cold shoe and use the retaining bolt to connect your flash. The bracket can be adjusted vertically, flipped, or mounted using the lower holes for fitment to almost any light.

Remove the cold shoe and use the retaining bolt to connect your flash. The bracket can be adjusted vertically, flipped, or mounted using the lower holes for fitment to almost any light.

If your light has a lightstand mount, then you just need to use a spigot, like this:

 A simple little adapter is all you need to mount most any flash to the LunaGrip.

A simple little adapter is all you need to mount most any flash to the LunaGrip.

The spigot will have a 1/4’-20 threaded hole on one end, and you detach the included cold shoe mount on your LunaGrip and use the screw to attach to the spigot instead. Then just attach your flash bracket to the spigot. All set!

Keep in mind that you can use most compact studio lights with your LunaGrip. As long as the face of the bulb is not too far forward of the mounting bracket, it should fit on the LunaGrip bracket. [show impact light and measure distance to mount]

By the way…

CRI is a scale to 100 representing how accurately a light source can reproduce color compared to standard daylight. 100 is comparable to the source, and 90-95 or higher is desirable for accurate skin tones and color work. 

TLCI is a new measure that indicates how much color correction might be necessary. It is more applicable to digital imaging. Look for lights with high ratings: 95+ for CRI or 90+ for TLCI

Kubota DASHBOARD is a Professional Photographers Hot One

 
Get Started
 
Login
 
  DASHBOARD   Actions   Borders   Textures   Bundles   Get Started   Help  
 
Professional Photographer 2018 Hot One  
The DASHBOARD is hot!
 
The DASHBOARD has been honored as one of the featured selections in Professional Photographer magazine’s Hot Ones.

Kubota Market DASHBOARD
Access over 600 actions, borders, and textures, and automate photo editing with the Kubota DASHBOARD for Photoshop. Quickly search your actions, as well as all Kubota effects by name, photography type, and style. Mark your most used effects as favorites. Easily apply or paint on effects, and quickly undo. Export effects for customization and batch processing.
 
Get a Free all access trial for 7 days!
 
Kubota Market DASHBOARD Video
 
  Learn More  
 
Kubota DASHBOARD Subscription Plans