September 7, 2021
Hey y’all, I’m Tavia Redburn and I’m the founder of The Beauty in Birth where I train photographers how to go full time. Today I’m going to share 4 tips for booking more clients directly from Marketing School for Photographers students!
We’re recording this episode live on Facebook so if you’re here live and you have questions as we go, please ask them in the chat and I’ll stick around to answer them at the end!
Recently we asked our students inside Marketing School for Photographers to share some of their stories about how their businesses have grown in the past 12-18 months and I pulled out these 4 tips to share with you today based on what they said.
If you want a little dose of inspiration and motivation, head over to thebeautyinbirth.net/vote to hear their stories and vote for your favorite. The winners are going to get some awesome prizes, so head over there and vote!
I’m always blown away by what can be accomplished in a short amount of time when you really put your head down and do the work! And a lot of these students built their businesses through the pandemic so they’ve erased that excuse of “Oh, I can’t because of COVID.”
1. Become known for something by specializing
I sound like a broken record, right? But this tip was significant for my student Tia, she said: “I have relationships with most of the midwives in the area and most of the doulas. Because she specialized she said,
“I’ve raised my prices and I’ve booked births at those prices. And I was scrolling through the local Facebook group the other day and someone was looking for a photographer. Someone had screenshotted my page and posted it. I had no idea who this person was who shared my page. Scrolling through the comments, the lady who was the original poster said, ‘I’ve heard about Tia and she’s awesome.’ It’s just been great to see that people know my name, people that I don’t know.”
And here’s the thing, specializing doesn’t have to be birth! It is what I chose to specialize in, but a lot of my students have had success specializing in newborns or even weddings too. The key is just to choose a specialty and then put it on blast!
Niche down then expand if you want – don’t have to stay that niched forever. The point of niching is to quickly become known for something.
2. Surround yourself with a community of peers
A great side benefit to the Marketing School for Photographers is the incredible community. They’re helpful, kind, knowledgeable and always willing to chip in and help each other. It’s definitely a different vibe than the free FB group because everyone there paid to be there and there is a different level of commitment involved when you’ve paid to be a part of something.
I interviewed another student Lydia, who is also now a coach inside Marketing School and she said the same thing about the community. She said it’s like getting your mom or your friend’s opinion on your price – they just don’t understand that world. But when you have people in your corner who are in the same space as you, you know you’re getting quality advice!
You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with – so who are you surrounding yourself with? Who are you letting speak into your life?
How this worked out for this student,
“The community that comes along with being part of the Marketing School of Birth Photographers is huge. I’ve met some amazing people. Any question that you have, whether you are starting out and you’ve never photographed a birth or you’re experienced, you just get so much feedback.”
3. Work on the back end of your business when your bookings are slow
So the truth is we have students all over the country and all over the world and everything is different as far as the pandemic and what’s open and what’s not. So from the very beginning of all this, I told my students – if you can’t shoot births or sessions right now, please take advantage of this down time to work on the back end of your business! These are all the things that you normally don’t have a lot of time for because you’re busy with sessions. Things like…
…those things you keep putting off because you don’t have time are the backbone of what makes a successful business so while you’re a little slower or can’t shoot sessions, take advantage of that time by doing these things!
The last one is one that I don’t talk about much publicly but we talk about this a LOT inside Marketing School, and that is…
4. Be yourself online
I LOVE this one, because I know for me, it was tough to be myself when I was first starting out. I felt like I had to be super professional and speak like the queen or something.
But the truth is, that wasn’t me. The real me says DUDE and “like” and TOTALLY. So I started being more myself online! My grammar wasn’t perfect, I made spelling mistakes and I was ok with all of that.
So are you trying to be someone you’re not, online? Is that attracting your ideal client?
Here’s what my student Chelce had to say about this,
“Once I started being my true self on social media platforms – cursing, using my day-to-day language, posting my day-to-day life, personal stuff, just being real – that’s when I found my people and I am almost booked for the entire year.”
Q: I’m so shy, I don’t think I could ever do a live!
A: You totally don’t have to do live! You can be yourself without being on live.
So this is one of the mistakes that I made, Cassidy: when I would write social media posts, I would write them like I thought they should. I wouldn’t really sound like myself. I would say things that I thought needed to be eloquently stated.
But once I started to share stories and started to speak like I talk online in my captions, I started to attract my right people. So you don’t have to go live – of course, there are a lot of benefits to going live, but if you feel like, “I’m too shy to go live, I don’t know what I would say,” just start with this being yourself with what you write on social media. Hopefully that helps.
Q: How do I talk to birth centers? Do most have photographers that they already recommend?
A: Stacie, my answer to this question would be to really try to find vendors (midwives, doulas, pre-natal chiropractors, or maybe a birth class instructor), find people on your same level. That’s my best piece of advice when it comes to networking like this. Because when you are trying to shoot really big, for people who are already established, who already have a community and an audience and you’re trying to build a partnership or connection with them, it can be more challenging than if you find somebody in your same level.
For example, if you have photographed 5 births let’s say, find somebody who’s in that same experience level and start to build relationships with those people who have the same experience as you. And as you both grow together, you can start to reach larger businesses like birth centers and things like that that might be interested in collaborating with you.
Thank you guys so much for being here on this Quick Tip Tuesday episode, live on Facebook.
We’ll talk to you next time, have a great week!