Last week’s article introduced my take on the reasons photographers and videographers lose prospective clients. I focused on two common pricing errors plus the importance of a human connection, and this week, I’m examining three other important reasons.
You Failed to Convey Value
Your branding, pricing, and prospecting techniques should all convey value. If they don't, then you shouldn't expect anyone to pay a premium for your service. If you're not sure how to convey the worth of your service, work on articulating your value proposition clearly and powerfully on your website. Try reading the new copy out loud, then practice adapting your proposition to each new client.
Persuasive copy on your website is important, and it should read as succinct and relevant. Still, you may need to explicitly define the value of your product before a client understands your work and pricing. Savvier clients might readily "get it,” but others might need proof of your unique value. That's where reviews and testimonials come into play.
Let's say five photographers are putting in a bid for a project. The five bids are in roughly the same range, but yours is at the high end. The client happens to like your work the most but isn’t sure you're worth the extra cost. Here’s one way to make your case:
Look, I'm not the cheapest photographer in town, as you probably already know. But if you look at my reviews, you'll see the difference in value that I provide my clients. I create better than my competition, and I have a strong commitment to each job.
You should also provide examples of your clients getting a strong return on their investment. Reviews speak for themselves. You will rarely need to point to them if they're displayed prominently on your web site.
Reasons Beyond Your Control
In our business, jobs often go elsewhere because of reasons beyond our control or knowledge, which can be a tough emotional challenge. You need thick skin to survive as a freelancer and your resilience is something you can develop. Dwelling on "the client that got away" is lost time and energy. Dwell instead on what you can accomplish.
Sometimes, you'll never know just why you didn't land a job, which can be frustrating. A lost prospect might be caused by one of the reasons listed in the previous article, or it might be any of the following:
- Budget constraints
- The project fell through
- The project was put on hold
- The other bidder was closer in proximity and you needed to charge for travel
- Prospect's company was bought out or dissolved
Most photographers deal with several bid requests per week, often of which only a minority turn into paying jobs. A thoughtful strategy for pricing and bidding comes into play here, but that’s a subject I’ll address in an upcoming article.
Lead image by Tim Gouw on Unsplash, used under Creative Commons.