Photo Article 88
A Great Lesson From McDonalds –
On Marketing Your Photography
By: Danny Eitreim
McDonald’s fast food chain is arguably one of the most successful franchises in history. The number one reason for that success can be easily applied to marketing your own photography.
The whole reason for McDonalds success is (in my opinion) their systems. They have developed a system for everything from how much a hamburger patty should weigh, to how long to cook the fries, to the various management duties.
When we order a burger in Los Angeles, it will be exactly the same as the one we ordered in New York. This is important because we – as consumers – know what to expect, there are no surprises. McDonald’s knows that people will pay x amount for a hamburger weighing x ounces. And it’s the most profitable combination of size and cost, so that’s what they sell them. There is no day to day experimentation or deviation. This works – do it.
In other words, when you find something that works – right it down! Turn it into a system! And do it the same way for as long as it’s profitable.
We as photographers know how to create beautiful works of art and we’re constantly trying to push the boundaries. We are constantly trying new techniques, new angles, new lighting. We WANT every shot we take to be totally unique and different.
This is fine – for contests. This is fine – for our own gratification. This is NOT fine for running a portrait business.
Way back in ancient times when photographers actually used film, an edgy new technique was introduced where you shot the film normally and then had it processed as though it were a slide. We call that “cross processing”.
Everywhere I looked, I saw cross processed prints. In all the hip, trendy magazines, on all the billboards, headshots, contests, everywhere! But, not one of my portrait customers ever bought a single cross processed print from me. Or one shot on infrared film. Or any other trendy, experimental fad.
What they want varies with your market age group, education and finances but whatever group you find yourself marketing to, their tastes are all going to be very similar. Keep track of which poses are your best sellers and in a very short time, you will find that almost all of your customers are buying the same basic photos.
Sell them that.
Stop wasting your time, money and efforts trying to be a pioneer! Remember what they say about pioneers – they’re the ones lying beside the road with arrows sticking out of their backs.
Find a marketing strategy that works and pound it into the ground! Stop running around constantly changing everything. Find a system that works for you and milk it for everything it’s worth. Find the poses that your customers want and shoot them FIRST.
Once you start trying to systematize the various aspects of your business, it will run smoother, make you more money and you will have a lot more time to experiment for your OWN amusement.
Dan Eitreim has been a professional photographer in southern California for over 16 years. His data base exceeds 6000 past clients, and he says that selling YOUR photography is easy – if you know a couple tried and true marketing strategies. He’s created a multimedia presentation that can teach ANYONE how to sell their own photography and generate freelance income in as little as two weeks. To learn more and enroll in a FREE photo marketing course, go to: http://www.PartTimePhotography.com
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