- Share Your Story – Sometimes when I am working with a client I ask them why they’re in business in the first place. Most of the time we don’t jump into business because it’s easy. If we wanted easy we’d be working a 9-5 where our taxes are taken out on our behalf instead of a business where every day feels like a hustle. I work with a lot of wedding photographers in group and individual coaching. I’ve also mentored a lot of photographers over the years. When we start the work of diving into find your story and your why the first thing a wedding photographer tends to say is, “Well I do wedding photography because I just love documenting love.” Now, I’m not saying that’s not true. I’m a wedding photographer too and I do love documenting love. I’m just saying there’s probably a deeper meaning to the work you do. The how and why you got into business wasn’t an accident, even if sometimes it feels like it. There are reasons you stay and continue to do this work. My why comes from a place of always feeling inadequate and never fitting in. When i got into wedding photography and business I do feel like I stumbled into it by accident, but I stayed because there was something about the wedding industry. It turns out I photograph weddings and specifically offbeat ones for weirdos like myself because I know what it’s like to feel like a weirdo in a sea of normality. I wanted other weird people like me to feel like they could be welcomed, embraced, and comfortable in their skin at their wedding. It’s hard to make less traditional choices in a wedding and stick to them. You meet with a lot of resistance and it means a lot to me to be my clients’ biggest fans when I grew up in a place where I didn’t have any. That’s a big part of my own why and my story. Sharing that with you helps you identify with me and it helps my clients too. They know there’s a reason and a deeper meaning behind what I do. Sit down and start figuring out what your story is and be open to sharing it with your customers so they can feel more invested in you and ultimately that investment is trust.
- Behind the Scenes – Since customers want to trust you more one of the quickest and easiest ways to show they can is by sharing what’s going on behind the scenes. This is a very social media oriented solution to developing trust. Posting simple photos of you or your team working, learning and trying to make the business better shows your customers that you are invested in your business. It shows them how you work and those things both lead to a great deal of trust. Plus behind the scenes content for social media always does really well if you’re looking for more ways to increase your interactions and followers.
- Be Yourself – I can’t say this enough, but it’s important to be yourself in your business. When we put out a very formal, business-like mindset and vibe to people sometimes it feels like we’re trying to be something we’re not, even if we have the absolute best intentions. It’s better to just be yourself. Don’t try to be anyone else or what you think the customers want. What the customers really want is to see who you are. When you open the door just a little bit to share about your life with them you open the door to opportunity at the same time. Share about your deep love of high heels, your guilty pleasures and things you normally wouldn’t. While they may polarize some customers away from you, it solidifies the trust in some clients and makes them incredibly loyal ones. Loyal clients are your advocates and will breed more loyal clients for you and that goes on from there. In fact, that’s something I learned from one of my favorite books by Peter Shankman, Zombie Loyalists. It’s all about how to build loyalty with your customers and turn them into your biggest advocates.
Group coaching is coming up and you can sign up over here. It starts March 23rd and I’d love to have you there so I can walk you through this process and make sure that your brand is two-fold, with a complete picture and a concrete message to your customers. Group coaching is limited to 10 spots, but if you really feel that one-on-one coaching is something you need we can do that too! In the meantime make sure you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope (@carrieswails) so I can keep you in the loop and help you learn more about branding, your message, and how to take that to the next level!
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