Your Secret Sauce is YOU : People Hire People.posted on 16 February 2016
Developing your secret sauce in your 1st year of business
When you first considered entering into property photography think back to every article you read, every YouTube video you’ve watched, the endless late night Google searches, endless Facebook groups or even a conference or photography trade show you attended. What have been the consistent topics for success in building your property photography businesses?
- “The Latest Gear to Win New Clients!”
- “Drone or Die, to succeed you must fly!”
- “Scann in 3D or you’ll be replaced”
- “Guaranteed clients buy a FRANCHISE TODAY!”
- “Best Retouching Supplier on the Market Today!”
- “The $99 job that will kill your career”
- “10 easy steps to succeeding in Property Photography, pay me I’ll tell you!”
- “Retouching for dummy’s, cash flow for dummy’s, marketing for dummy’s etc..”
But once you gain a few clients, shoot a few properties and real estate agents want to be your BFF one thing should become very clear :
People Hire People; and the secret sauce to success is none other than YOU.
Building Relationships : Make a Connection
What a lot of it boils down to is that clients want to like and trust the property photographer with whom they’re working. They want to hire someone who doesn’t just show up, take a photo, harass for payment, and wait for a booking. What Agent’s want is a photographer that arrives at the listing professional, on-time and friendly. Someone who make’s it clear that the agent they’re working with is the only focus of their attention right then and there; that this shoot is the only thing on their minds while they’re on the property; and that they genuinely care about getting great images for the agent and vendor. When you convey these things to the agents you work with, and continue to further your photographic skills you can practically guarantee that they’ll want to hire you back again and again.
First — Second, and Third — Impressions Matter
It’s in every industry, not just property photography. “First impressions matter.” It’s a saying because… honestly? It’s true. The same part of our brain that is responsible for assigning prices to objects is the part that we use to judge people on a first impression; we use voices to immediately judge a person, and we decide whether or not we can trust people right off the bat. And we produce quality imagery to convey our talents to clients, the quality of your imagery is just as important as showing up on time and delivering your images in a timely manner.
Most likely your photos are the agents 1st test to impress upon the vendors their marketing judgment. Thus being a property photographer is to represent the judgment of your agent to their vendors. If you can assist in making a good impression for your agent, then you’ve made your job much easier. Successful honest agents who understand the importance of your contribution will treat you with respect and reward you with loyalty.
As you continue to grow just remember that new gear, your flashy drone, and your collection of available freelancers will not replace the importance of how YOU impress upon your clients the 1st, 2nd and 3rd time. The power of YOU is the advantage SMEs will always have over power hungry service groups and greed driven franchise systems.
Our Gear Doesn’t Speak For Us — Our Skill Does through presentation
You may have had clients who want to know what kind of gear you use. “Do you shoot with Nikon or Canon? How many lenses do you have? Do you use a flash?” For the most part, questions like this are useless to a photographer (and they’re also pretty useless to a Realtor, too). But what isn’t useless is the body of work we build up that speaks for us before any Realtor ever has that first meeting with us. Your website or online portfolio should serve as that first digital handshake — a glimpse of what you’re capable of doing, a promise of what you can provide any Realtor with if they want it. You don’t get images that speak for you by having great gear — you get those images by being a skilled photographer who has racked up hours of training and experience to understand the basic fundamentals of photography.
YOU. YOU. YOU.
Just remember that wherever your property photography career takes you, the most important tool you have is YOU, and not one person in the galaxy can duplicate your secret sauce.
We want to hear from you! Contact us if you want to learn more about ways to improve your own SME, and how changing to a customer-centric model will expand your business.
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