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  1. #1
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    Business Tips for Success - #1 Have a Website

    Saw this in my recent issue of Rangefinder and thought it was worthwhile posting a link to the online article. Some individuals will likely disagree with a few of the pointers, but for those who have ambitions of nurturing a successful business, the article has some good info.

    http://www.rangefindermag.com/reposi...orum_Cohen.pdf

  2. #2
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    Yep lots of good tips. It really should all be common business sense but sadly it isn't. Common I mean.
    Ouch.

  3. #3
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    i'm too lazy for some of it...but i'd say i do 7 out of the 10 there. i DEFINITELY need to offer more products though. lately i've been booking weddings on flat rates and giving them cost on prints...or as close to cost as smugmug lets me anyway. but i really need to try to push albums or books, i just don't feel like putting them together.
    40d | 5d mk II | 2.8/16 zenitar fisheye | 16-35L | 35L | sigma 1.4/50 | sigma 2.8/50 Macro | sigma 1.4/85 | 70-200L IS
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    disclaimer: posts are for personal entertainment only...not to be taken seriously...ever.

  4. #4
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    Chatting with other vendors at the bridal show, it was a fairly common complaint that email and webforms attracted nothing good. The commonest comment was that people that emailed rather than phoning were a complete waste of time as regards retail business.

    Basically, that article in Rangefinder was a great big steaming pile of dung. Nothing could be further from the reality of the real people I meet that have their own businesses. We have mostly tried the same things and none of them work (which we have found out don't work, completely independently). We have found what works and in this business, it's trade fairs and word of mouth.

    The commonality is TV and press advertising cost lots of money and don't generate more income than expenditure. As for internet advertising, that's the biggest rip-off ever - particularly Google add-words. Most of us were extremely dubious about the worth of websites.

    Let's put it like this... I used some of the same photos from my online portfolio on my physical display and got enquiries about bookings from 25% of the attendees at the bridal show. That was considerably more than what other photographers had at that show. My website does not attract anywhere near the same attention.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2008
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    There were some things i agreed with and some i didn't.

    However, i have always found that a website should be complimentary? Complimentry? to any visual profession. I would find it hard to get by without one, but it won't do much on its own. Its almost always something i refer to, "Got any more work we can see?" "Oh sure, let me just load up my site." And its something that will always help make a sale that i couldn't finish in person.

    Example : Hey steve, how did you like the photos? Oh i loved them, you should give me your card so i can give them to a friend of mine whos interested.

    (Said friend will then most likely check out the website before making a call.)

    Alot of people have "heard" i do photography, but untill i show them something, they likely wont be very interested. And i find it hard to carry a worthy portfolio at all times, though i did have a pocket one for a while. I know that in their shoes, i would do the same. I wouldn't bother making a call before i can see something on a site, it wouldn't be definitive, but it would be a required first step for me.

    "Oh you know a good makeup artist? Cool got a card? What no site? Meh, i'll think about it."

    Mind you, im not interested in weddings at all, im doing my best to push towards more artistic and less commercial stuff, so i might not be in the same vein as you guys. I also don't have the stress since photography doesn't earn my keep.
    Last edited by Csae; 03-15-2009 at 08:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    Chatting with other vendors at the bridal show, it was a fairly common complaint that email and webforms attracted nothing good. The commonest comment was that people that emailed rather than phoning were a complete waste of time as regards retail business.

    Basically, that article in Rangefinder was a great big steaming pile of dung. Nothing could be further from the reality of the real people I meet that have their own businesses. We have mostly tried the same things and none of them work (which we have found out don't work, completely independently). We have found what works and in this business, it's trade fairs and word of mouth.

    The commonality is TV and press advertising cost lots of money and don't generate more income than expenditure. As for internet advertising, that's the biggest rip-off ever - particularly Google add-words. Most of us were extremely dubious about the worth of websites.

    Let's put it like this... I used some of the same photos from my online portfolio on my physical display and got enquiries about bookings from 25% of the attendees at the bridal show. That was considerably more than what other photographers had at that show. My website does not attract anywhere near the same attention.
    "Birds of a feather flock together."
    Ouch.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdifoto View Post
    "Birds of a feather flock together."
    Big difference - I and the people I speak with are real world professionals, not online wannabes.

    Here's a photo of my table at the trade show.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Rhys; 03-16-2009 at 08:26 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    ... My website does not attract anywhere near the same attention.
    Obvioulsly, I think you need a good website for it to useful. And by good I mean it should look technically well put together as well displaying your talent. I know if I was looking for a wedding photog nowadays and I got a name or business card the first thing I would do would be to check out their website - and what I saw there would likely be a big determining factor in whether I used them or not.
    Michael B.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    Big difference - I and the people I speak with are real world professionals, not online wannabes.
    It's ever so slightly possible that those other "real world professionals" had shit websites too. Just having a website isn't enough. It has to be appealing too.

    Despite what you and your "real world professional" friends think, having a good website can be beneficial to your business. I'm speaking from first hand experience. Sometimes they meet me in person first and are handed a business card THEN check out the website, other times they find me via Google or some other means and check out the website. No matter how they found my website, they are definitely looking at it before they call me up and schedule a meeting.
    Last edited by cdifoto; 03-16-2009 at 08:37 AM.
    Ouch.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdifoto View Post
    It's ever so slightly possible that those other "real world professionals" had shit websites too.

    Just having a website isn't enough. It has to be appealing too.
    No. Again the comment - not just from the photographers - is that websites do not attract clients that are willing to pay. The time when websites do pay is when you're advertising to the commercial sector rather than the retail. As an example one company (non photography) there had commercial and retail sides to their business. The commercial website was really helpful to their business. The retail side was so problematic because of the timewasters that their retail website generated. Their actual shop had no such problems (other than tourists coming to look, not buy).

    The message I keep hearing from customers is not "what's your website" but basically "go to trade shows and forget that internet crap".

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