Today's guest bloggers are Paul & Sylvia. They are Toronto, Canada-based wedding photographers. Find them on Facebook or Twitter. You are likely to see them guest blog here as a monthly contributors. Please welcome them on board!
I think it's safe to say that most of us, despite it all, got into wedding photography or any other photography business for the same reason. To make money. I know, I know, we are artists and we are doing this because we love what we do. This is essential, no question. You need to keep the fire stoked and the wheels turning. So what's next? Well we all know the importance of being a good salesman, for there are many brilliant, starving artists. But where do we go from here? Well, let me tell you a little story.
When Sylvia and I started out as wedding photographers and were hungry for clients, anyone willing to sign and pay our package price seemed like a great client to us. We thought, hey, we're getting paid, filling up our calendar and maybe we'll get some referrals. We would lower the price a little too quickly just to book a new wedding and began to find that everything would always come down to price. This is not the client base we were looking for. Our clients seemed happy, but the referrals just didn't come. What were we missing? Well it was at Mystic Seminars last year that the answer presented itself like a ray of sunshine through the clouds.
The answer came when one of the speakers introduced us to “The Golden Circle”. It is a simple model on how to inspire and it is the brainchild of visionary, Simon Sinek. Here is a link to TED talk presentation. It changed everything. The model itself is simple, picture three circles set inside one another. The outside ring is “What” the inner one is “How” and the centre is “Why”. A conventional company will state “What” they do, then “How” they do it, but most never make it to “Why”. This is the approach that most of us took when we started out and sadly, it's where a lot of businesses stay. There is no emotion involved in this and lets face it wedding photography and portrait photography are all about emotion. It's simply “This is what we do, here is how you can buy it”.
Now picture your business using the opposite approach. When you start with “Why”, you have immediately attached emotion. When Sylvia and I started implementing this our results changed almost overnight. At every consultation we showed the couple how excited and happy we were to be apart of their day, how much we loved creating new relationships and the energy level would soar. By simply showing our potential clients how lucky we felt to be doing what we do, we created a connection.
Isn't this industry all about relationships? We started to find that everybody we booked our wedding photography service were like old friends. We started regularly receiving emails after a consultation telling us how much they enjoyed talking with us and how excited they are that they were able to book us for their wedding. Yes, there is the odd couple that we don't feel the connection with and funny, they don't book. We are okay with this. It wasn't meant to be. We have found that the “shopping around for the best price” couples don't even contact us anymore. The most amazing thing we found was the referrals. We had multiple referrals from several brides immediately after the booking, before experiencing the service or before they had seen the photos! The price also seems to be less and less of a concern with couples spending more than ever.
Now, don't misunderstand, we know that there is a lot more to this game. We offer amazing service, awesome products and a fantastic experience. But if we hadn't changed how we approach our potential clients in the first place, things would be very different. Think about how you do things, are you starting with “Why”?
What is YOUR “why”? Brave enough to share it with us? Comment below!