Today’s post – my sixth and last on this topic – covers the final four points in my 21-point checklist. It will help you improve your communication skills, give your potential clients reasons to buy from you, capture the attention and interest of your ideal clients, and get more exposure for your business. As with all previous posts in this series, the points were compiled with photographers in mind, but the general principles are universal and can be applied to any small or medium-sized business.
18. Poor communication skills
Sadly, the art of interpersonal communication in business seems to have taken a hit in recent years.
Whether it’s the apparent informality of email and social media, or that folks are just not as polite as they used to be, there’s something lacking in much of the communication we see today.
The problem also extends to the timeliness of our client communications, and the simple act of keeping clients in the loop about the progress of orders, or even responding quickly to general enquiries.
It’s true, but hard to believe, that so many photographers still lose out on getting clients simply because they failed to return an email or phone call in a timely manner.
How to fix it
The upside of this is that politeness and good personal service have become so rare that people really appreciate it when we use it.
The solution here is to simply up your game in every possible client interaction, whether they’re an actual client or just someone asking for more information.
19. No emotional ammunition to justify hiring you
There’s a saying in the sales world that people buy for emotional reasons but they use logical factors to justify their purchase.
For example, we know we want the latest iPhone because it makes us feel better and up to date with the crowd, but we justify it by listing all the new features and benefits, many of which we’ve already lived quite happily without so far.
Your photography is no different.
How to fix it
Make sure you focus as much of your website content and blog posts as possible on the emotional or subjective elements of what you do. This gives people a way to connect with the deeper reasons for hiring you or buying art from you.
20. Disorganised website structure and attention leakage
Capturing the attention and interest of your ideal clients is where your website starts the process of turning anonymous visitors into leads you can follow up with (assuming you have a good lead-generation system in place).
The problem is, most photographers end up losing potential clients because their website is hard to navigate, poorly structured, or simply has too many attention leaks in the form of unnecessary links, etc.
How to fix it
Take a look at your Google Analytics data to see if you can identify any potential problem pages where people are leaving the site (“exit pages”) unexpectedly.
Look for possible ways to improve those pages. For example, are there elements on the page that might be competing for their attention or interest? Is there enough information on the page, and is it interesting to read?
21. Inadequate business promotion
Even after you’ve spent hours creating articles and posts on your website and blog, your job is only just beginning!
Most photographers, for example, will write a blog post, hit “Publish”, and call it done. They’ll maybe post a link to it on their Facebook page, or send out a tweet about it, but then it gets left to its own devices.
Yes, there might be an initial spike of activity, but it soon trails off and the piece of content you laboured so hard over fades into obscurity.
And then you start all over again with the next post, and the next, and so on …. Not much of a promotion strategy is it?
Then there’s the big question of “How can I get more exposure?”
One thing is certain, you won’t get it by hiding behind your computer screen.
How to fix it
The key to the success of your website content, and especially blog posts, is to promote them as much as possible through every channel available, and to do so repeatedly (depending on the platform).
You should also work hard at building up a network of other business owners or influencers in your community who can help to share your content to a wider audience.
This is where offline channels and getting out into the community to meet people personally can work in your favour, because it’s all about building relationships with the right people.
I hope you have taken away some useful tips from this series of posts. To receive individually tailored advice on growing your client base, email me or call me on 020 7099 2621.
If you missed any previous instalments, catch up here:
- “Why am I not getting new clients?” – a checklist for SMEs, Part 1
- “Why am I not getting new clients?” – a checklist for SMEs, Part 2
- “Why am I not getting new clients?” – a checklist for SMEs, Part 3
- “Why am I not getting new clients?” – a checklist for SMEs, Part 4
- “Why am I not getting new clients?” – a checklist for SMEs, Part 5