In the summer I can find my 13-year-old son in front of the History Channel a little more often. Who doesn’t love a good piece of history? Especially history that links to the present and has a telling way of connecting the two. One of the most powerful marketing tools that you have is examining your own company history.
I constantly talk to photographers who want more Facebook fans, more marketing events, and more ways to find new customers. But trying to find new customers in new ways is not always your strongest way to build your business. Instead, I have found that by taking a good look at your past is a great way to find out your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities and the things you should avoid! In most cases, you’re already doing things right. Your growth is stronger when you study your history of marketing efforts, organizational processes, editing and shooting styles and almost anything you have worked on and build on these things to help you improve your game! Sometimes your history can “tell” you more about what you should do or not do than any business book or workshop ever could. So you don’t always have to keep searching for new ways to build your clientele.
Here is a couple of exercises to get you started in learning from your own experiences:
1 – Go back through your last 6 months of business and list every client that you have had. Then next to their name, list how this person found you.
2 – Looking through this list of the different ways your clients have found you, find the ways used most often and list them in the order of most used ideas on down.
3 – Take your top three ways that clients have found you. These are your marketing strengths. Ask yourself what you can do to better improve these avenues of getting new clients.
For example, let’s say that out of your last 32 clients, 17 of them came as referrals, and this is your number one way that you got new clients. Great! Now ask yourself, “How can I make my referral program even better so that I can double the amount of referrals I am getting?” Improving the programs you already have going will not bring you better results, but will often times cost you much less. Focus on strengthening your strengths!
After you have studied ways to improve the things you do the best, then take a good look at what you’re doing not so well, and ask yourself the same question. You will find that over time, your business will be producing more and you will be better balanced as you strengthen both your strengths and your weaknesses.
Amy Fraughton is the owner of Photo Business Tools, where she helps hundreds of photographers build more clients and sales!