What Actually Works to Book Photography Clients in 2019?

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What Actually Works to Book Photography Clients in 2019?

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Disclaimer:

You’re going to need to come into this with an open mind, because EVERYTHING has changed.

I haven’t seen a change this big in the photography industry since digital cameras came onto the scene and replaced film cameras.

That change put a HUGE chunk of established career photographers completely out of business because they refused to go digital (while new photographers who embraced the digital camera completely took over the industry and thrived).

There’s an equally powerful shift going on in the photography industry right now, and if you want to have a successful photography business in the future, you have to understand and react to it.

You MUST be willing to change how you’ve done everything.

Go against what everyone else in the industry is still teaching as BEST PRACTICES.

Let go of how you think it *should* be.

Embrace what is actually happening and working today to get clients.

If you can’t do that, this will be a complete waste of your time (so feel free to click the back button now).

But if you can embrace the changes and react to them, then everything is going to become so much easier for you. I don’t know if there’s EVER been a better time to be a photographer (truly).

So are you in?

Then let’s do this.

In 2017, I started to question if it were really possible to make a living as a professional photographer anymore.

I’ve worked with over 120,000 photographers since 2011, teaching them how to get photography clients and run their businesses, and a disturbing trend was becoming clear.

Photographers everywhere are struggling. 

I keep seeing this again and again in various photography groups:

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1-Market-is-Saturated
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1-iphone-good-enough

People just don’t value photography like they used to before, and market is more saturated than ever.

Everyone just DIY’s their photos with their phones, and it’s hard to find clients who are truly willing to pay prices that are profitable.

Sure, they are out there, but they don’t NEED us like they used to.

And DSLR cameras keep coming down in price, making it easier than it’s ever been for new people to flood the market and become a professional photographer.

Have you noticed this as well? Are you also struggling to compete for clients and get anyone to book?

This massive decline in the photography market has accelerated in the last 18 months and photographers are genuinely struggling.

Worrying that they won’t be able to keep doing photography.

Dropping prices, taking any job they can, just to stay afloat and get by.

It is causing genuine anxiety and depression for many photographers.

I see comments like this all the time:

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Many saw this decline and  assumed the market was dying, and instead of looking at the big picture, they just gave up.

quitting the photography business

They went back to a soul-sucking 9-5 job, because they had to pay the bills.

(And photography wasn’t cutting it anymore.)

When really, they just didn’t realize that all these “Best practices” that USED to work to get clients now actually make things worse.

They were doing everything right, according to most leaders in our industry. They just didn’t see the big shift that had taken place.

While demand for traditional types of photography has gone down rapidly, a NEW kind of photography client has emerged. 

And this, my friend, is good news for you.

This new kind of client doesn’t want to DIY their photos.

They WANT to hire an expert (and are willing to pay good money for someone who really understands what they need!)

They have an ongoing need for photos, month after month, and will hire you every month or quarter to work with them on an ongoing basis.

Plus, demand is growing in a BIG way for photographers who really get them and their needs, so it’s never been easier to book clients.

But you’ve got to ditch outdated “Best Practices”

You MUST understand exactly who these new clients are and what they want, and get rid of several outdated “BEST PRACTICES” that will turn these new ideal clients away.

For example, take In-Person Sales.

Lots of leaders in the photography industry are STILL teaching that In-Person Sales are absolutely necessary for making significantly more money in your business. 😱😱😱

But if you insist on doing In-Person Sales and focus on selling AFTER the session is over, you will NEVER book a single one of these awesome new clients.

(And you won’t feel the need to go shower after a high-pressure sales meeting, either!) 

So absolutely NO In-Person Sales Allowed.

Seriously.

And this isn’t the only big difference.

I’ll explain exactly why this is and share the other outdated best practices in a few moments, but I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. Let me come back to my main point for a moment.

Once you understand this new client, everything becomes so much easier.

I mean, you’re still going to need to put the time in and change a LOT of outdated practices in your business, and you’re going to need to learn a totally different way of marketing.

You’ve got to do the work, just like with anything else.

But it’s so much easier this way.

If you’re still trying to book traditional photography clients, you’re basically swimming against a strong current.

Everything is going against you and pushing you backwards.

Sure, you might be able to make some progress. But it is exhausting, and doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s so much easier to turn around and swim WITH the current than to swim against it. You’ll go further, faster, and with less effort.

When you do, everything starts to fall into place.

The struggle you’re experiencing?

  • It’s not your fault.
  • It’s not because your work isn’t good enough.
  • It’s not because you don’t have what it takes to run a successful business.
  • And it’s certainly not because you haven’t tried hard enough.

The reason you’re not as successful as you feel you should be by now is because you’re trying to swim against the current.

You can TOTALLY do this. You just need to pivot.

The struggles you’ve been facing are simply because you’ve been following outdated advice from other industry leaders that doesn’t work in today’s new market.

This isn’t about YOU or how you fall short at all.

In fact, you may have been doing everything “right”.

This is about understanding and marketing to the new kind of client that actually WANTS to hire a photographer instead of doing it all themselves.

And when you understand this shift, everything changes.

Not only is the market growing fast, but this new niche of photography is brand new, so there’s very little competition from other photographers, making it easier than ever to book these clients.

You can stop doubting and start feeling confident.

You can prove to yourself and to those closest to you that you CAN do it.

You aren’t just “doing photography” on the side anymore. You’ll be able to confidently stand up and say “I’m a professional photographer” without any doubts or hesitations.

And that’s what I want for you.

That’s why I wrote this free series for you.

But don’t just take MY word for how much this is growing.

Look at the results from a few of the people who joined me in a free 1K Weekend Challenge, where I told them exactly what to say and do to book these new clients… (click to enlarge)

So WHO exactly are these new clients?

Summary: 

  • Most photographers are struggling to book clients (it’s not just you).
  • The type of client who values professional photography and wants to hire a professional has changed (and demand is now growing!)
  • Outdated Best Practices that are still being taught by industry leaders & educators turn these New Clients away