I’m going to be reposting some stuff I wrote 10 years ago for the book GoingPro. I wrote that book with Skip Cohen all those years ago to help emerging photographers and recently, I re-read it just to see how much of it is still relevant. Seems like more than half so I’ll post some tidbits every month in an effort to help those of you trying to earn a living from your photography.
Tip number one – get a phone number and use it.
This may come as a shock to some of you, but in the old days, not one single professional photographer on the planet had a Facebook account. Nor did they have a Flickr account, a blog, a website, an e-mail address or anything else that involved being “on line.” Yep I know, I know, hard to conceive. But it’s absolutely true. And in keeping with my status as “older than dirt” I know this is true because I was actually there!
Truth be told, I’ve spent more of my life operating without the Internet than WITH the Internet. I’ve sold more photographs, licensed more images, booked more shoots using the telephone than the Internet. Now here’s the good news. The telephone still exists. Oh you don’t hear about it very often, but yep, I checked. It’s still there. You can get one just about anywhere. And you no longer need to rely on a lady named “Ma Bell” to pick one up.
Yes, the magical telephone still works and in my opinion, still has great value. So today’s Marketing Monday tip is short and sweet. Get a telephone number, plaster that puppy everywhere. Use it. Share it. Actually answer it. Talk to people. It’s an amazing thing. You can hear the happiness or sadness or joy or suspicion or whatever in the other person’s voice. You don’t have to rely on emoticons! You can just ask people how they are feeling, what they need, and they will tell you! Crazy right?
You should put your telephone number on every single piece of marketing material you hand out. And you should put it on your website, your blog, your social media accounts (at least the ones you use for business) and you should do so today!
People still use the telephone. They really do. Maybe not ALL people. But enough to warrant you investing in one, promoting the number and responding promptly to every single call, period.
I know what you’re thinking. “But Scott if I put a telephone number on my website people will call me!” Yes! Isn’t it wonderful? Clients and prospects will call and try to give you money. It’s like magic. Give it a try. Really.
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