Let's have another chat about marketing your architectural or real estate photography business and I'd like to talk about something that I think you need at the foundation of any marketing campaign you do in 2021.
If you include this in your marketing then it's going to have a significant impact on the 'what' and the 'when' of your marketing, but most importantly it's going to help your campaigns be more successful. Significantly more successful.
Here's what I covered in this episode (you can jump to the different sections in the video timeline):
0:00 - Intro
1:19 - Your marketing needs more patience
4:20 - Pushy marketing doesn't work
5:40 - Don't go cheap to get clients
6:22 - When you're patient you're less stressed about results
7:40 - Summary
Your marketing needs more patience
When you’re putting a marketing campaign together in 2021 there’s something I think you need at the foundation of your marketing and that’s patience.
I'd really encourage you to build your marketing on patience, because if you try and move your prospects through your marketing cycle too quickly you’re going to kill your business, and I’ll explain why with a little story.
Now you might be familiar with the parable of the sower, and it’s the story of a farmer who is out scattering some seed in his paddock and some of the seed lands on the path and some amongst the rocks and amongst the weeds, and those seeds either didn’t grow at all or it grew momentarily but the plants soon died. But some of the seed fell on good soil that was deep and rich and it produced a great crop because the plants had something meaningful to grow in.
So we might think of the seed as being like your dream prospects and we want to plant them in some really good soil so that they grow into great customers that work with you over and over again. And I think that’s where patience is so important, and that’s because when you’re patient you’re playing a long-game rather than doing everything for the short-term, so you’re working that soil and you’re fertilising it and investing in it even before the seeds go in. Then when the seeds do go in the soil, you know you’re not going to get a crop straight away so you’re prepared to wait, BUT you make sure that the plants get all that they need to stay healthy and grow.
What makes for good soil in our context?
I think one of the best things you can do is have a lot of great content online, both on your social media channels and on your website, so that when they hear about you for the first time and they go and see what you do they come across this great range of fantastic content and awesome images.
Now it takes patience to build that content – it’s not something you can do in one afternoon. You need a plan around what you’re going to do, and you need consistency and you need to understand the long-term objectives around creating your content, because otherwise you’ll only do it for 2 weeks and then you’ll stop. So you need to be patient in terms of the big picture around content creation.
The sales process can be a slow one
But in terms of being patient we’re also talking about being comfortable with sales as something that can take a long time, and you need to be willing to wait for that sale, be patient about it, BUT be really active and busy with what you’re doing. So you’re actually doing lots of marketing and you’re engaging with lots of people, but you’re patient in terms of not needing them to become clients of yours straight away.
By being patient instead of pushy your marketing is going to be 10 times better, maybe a hundred times better, and that’s because pushy marketing doesn’t work too well anymore, but being patient and focused on long-term relationship building is what we need to do in 2021.
So like when you’re in a rush you might be tempted to reach out to an agent with an offer straight away and you’re pushing them hard and you come across as really desperate for work, but going back to our story of the farmer that’s like seed landing on a path or amongst some rocks – there’s no soil there for the prospect to grow in so it doesn’t go anywhere.
Whereas if you make sure that your offers only go to people that are growing in your rich, beautiful soil, if you’re patient about doing that, then you’ve got something for them to grow in.
So it’s about being patient in terms of cultivating the soil before the seeds go in, but it’s also about being patient about the growth of those prospects after they’ve been planted in that really good soil.
Patient photographers don't go cheap
Ok, another implication from having patience as the foundation of your marketing is that you won’t go cheap in order to get clients. That’s not going to be your marketing strategy because it’s not consistent with taking a patient approach.
Now a lot of photographers when they’re only playing the short game they’ll resort to price – that seems like a short-term solution for your business, a way to get a few quick wins, and it is a short-term solution. I mean, it will get you clients, but if you’ve got patience, if you’re playing a long game, then you know that you want to position your business and your pricing for long-term success so you keep your prices higher instead of dropping them as a way of marketing your business.
How can patience help you as an individual?
Well, firstly I think it lowers your stress levels because you're not going for quick wins. You're playing the long game, so if you don’t instantly get lots of clients then you’re ok with that because you know you’ll win in the end if you stick to your game plan.
So if we go back to our story about the farmer sowing seed, the farmer knows that the seed takes time to grow even in the best quality soil. So you need to do the same thing – make sure you’ve prepared your soil really well, but be patient about the growth.
I think the second thing here is that you'll enjoy the sales process a whole lot more because when you’re patient you're simply building relationships, you’re not pushing an immediate sale. And that works in your favour because I mean, when do people buy from you? It’s when they trust you, and that trust can take time to build up to a point where they act on that trust you’ve established. Sometimes it might take a few weeks or maybe it takes months or years, but it’s about being patient about the sales process and enjoying the journey.
Alright, so in wrapping this up you want to be patient with the growth of your business, right, so don’t feel that you need to grow this thing in a few months.
You also want to provide rich soil for your prospects to grow in, so you want to be patient with the cultivation of that soil and make sure you get the soil right before you start trying to get too many new clients, but then when you are marketing your business, be patient with that too and don’t rush your offers. Take your time, build that trust and get the relationship going with those dream prospects BEFORE you make your offer, and that’s going to deliver better outcomes for your business and you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more as well.
Finally, being patient with your marketing is a better thing for you as an individual, but, and this is important, make sure you stay busy at the same time.
So we want to acknowledge that the journey is long, but we want to stay active and go at speed along the journey and not just twiddle our thumbs and wait for stuff to just kind of happen. You need to be doing stuff and hustle, but you need to hold that in balance with patience and acknowledging the importance of giving time for people to grow and for your business to grow.