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Our Top Tips from Covid Isolation (Part 2)
Part Two of our Top Tips for Business & Marketing, which we came up with during our time in Covid isolation.
5. Under Promise and Over Deliver
We've all heard the phrase. While it is very tempting to promise everything to a potential client and say how great everything will be just to get the contract - what happens when it all goes wrong? You can promise all the bells & whistles - but what if your new client gets a rusty cow bell and a tin whistle? They tell ALL their contacts about how appalling you were, and everyone else just for good measure.
Maybe you think you can match your over-hyped sales talk, but if you don't learn quickly enough, or find yourself out of your depth, playing "fake it until you can make it" is an EXTREMELY dangerous game to play, and can ruin you, and your business, overnight. Especially now that social media can spread news about your failings quicker than you can draw your next breath.
Enough of the scare story. Tell your client what you can do (and be honest about this), and what to expect, and charge accordingly. If you can go that extra mile they will be delighted with the surprise, and if you stay within your limits at least they won't be let down, and everyone is still happy. Err on caution with all your promises, and where you exceed expectations then it can only work in your favour. It's that bit of the encore, the extra special finale, the one outstanding magic trick - it's that show-stopping bit of unexpected extra service and quality that people will remember you for.
6. Be Yourself
In business, authenticity attracts. If you pretend to be otherwise then you risk losing clients, losing money, losing credibility and respect.
Being yourself means not pretending to be someone else, or having skills you don't posses, or offering things you don't know anything about. At least with Bergit and myself "what you see is what you get" - and that seems to be why our clients love what we do, and keep returning. Sure, we're both quirky, and we don't hide our personalities. In fact, that's what makes Barnett Photo Studio. It's the reason why we can't "franchise" ourselves, despite it being suggested to us several times.
Being yourself - and doing what YOU do best, can reap some of the best rewards in business - and it's far easier to pull off, because it needs no effort.
7. Know your Values
Having time to think, you might like to consider the values you have in person as well as in business. They should be pretty much aligned. It is a good idea to write down a few core values that really matter to you in business. Don't make it a long list - three or four are enough.
Here are a few pointers if you are stuck - there are some of the question we ask ourselves to determine our values in Barnett Photo Studio, so they may be a good starting point for you. The questions are the same - the answers may be different for every business. What do we care about? Where do we create value for our clients? Do we keep the integrity and reputation of our brand by doing what we are doing? Are we eco-friendly, environmentally aware, sustainable etc - this is becoming increasingly more important to clients and customers when people make decisions.
Once you have your core values written down (they may surprise you), then ask yourself a crucial question. Are you communicating these core values effectively to your customers?
These values are vital to your work, your business and your brand.
For example there are people and business we love to work with - but there are certain businesses we would flatly refuse to do any kind of business with! Bear this in mind when you do business, and where you draw the line of integrity.
People value "values" very highly.
Last, but by all means not least:
8. Be CONSISTENT!
If you are not consistent in your business your clients will spot it and won't buy from you. But what do I mean with consistency? It is definitely not "copy and paste" every day your special offer. If you are a luxury brand – everything about you needs to look and feel luxurious from the very first touch point – your Social Media presence, your images and videos, your packaging, your customer service and much more. Let’s give a clearer example.
The car manufacturer Tesla produces electric cars and their clients appreciate the environmental values the company stands for. When Elon Musk invested in Bitcoin he associated himself with one of the most environmentally questionable industries. His clients started to question his real motives and his real values.
Every action you are taking needs to be in unison with your values. If you haven't thought about this before, or if it isn't the way that you bring your business forward, then maybe now is the time to have a chat. Now that we're out of isolation let us bring some progress and consistency to your business.
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