Archive for Sales

Advertiser Pledge Sets Example of Accountability in the Fight Against Piracy

Posted: June 30th, 2016

With the recent establishment of our partnership with George Mason University’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP), ASMP will begin to include cross-postings in Strictly Business about  political, economic, and social trends related to a broad range of infringement issues being addressed by CPIP and its contributors. Cross-posted from the Mister Copyright blog. It should come as no [...]

Establishing A Unique Brand

Posted: May 31st, 2016

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] It’s often the case that finding yourself as an artist is difficult with all the distracting noise out there in the business. It is a difficult thing to look within, find that inner clarity, listen to that voice within and THEN build a strong brand-name around that vision. But, as artists, this [...]

What Photographers Can Learn From Brands

Posted: May 23rd, 2016

[by Jan Klier] Cross-post from LinkedIn. On the heels of my recent post on a different way of thinking of pricing, this email newsletter by Don Giannatti, and a conversation in my braintrust group last night, made me think of a pertinent analogy to the headwinds photographers are facing: The change in power between the [...]

Rethinking Pricing of Visual Assets

Posted: May 16th, 2016

[by Jan Klier] Cross-post from LinkedIn. Lots of change is afoot in the world of visual assets, which I consider the umbrella term for still photography and motion imagery. The still photographers are grappling with an apparent imbalance of supply and demand, competition from ‘everyone is a photographer’, a client base less versed in the business [...]

How Your Portfolio Edit Can Support or Tank Your Brand

Posted: May 9th, 2016

[by Carolyn Potts] Show too much=Risk being forgettable. You probably know by now that your brand is way more than your logo. It’s visual consistency throughout your online and offline presence. Think of Apple. One of the most iconic brands we know and probably the most widely-used example in discussions about branding excellence. If you [...]

Paperwork Share

Posted: April 25th, 2016

[by Jenna Close] Paperwork shares are a great resource, but sometimes I wish I could see real-world examples of how and why photographers made mistakes. So, below you will find an actual job from early in my career illustrating some of the ways I screwed up my estimate. Brief: Creative action & lifestyle images of [...]

The Struggle With Modern Day Usage

Posted: April 18th, 2016

[by Jenna Close] The single largest conflict with my client-direct jobs is limited licensing. Prior to the internet, promotional materials required a lengthy process of design and printing. Changes to existing materials happened neither quickly nor often, thus it was easy for clients and photographers both to keep track of image usage. These days change happens [...]

Personal Projects and Getting Work

Posted: April 15th, 2016

Success Story Series  – Part 3 [by Todd Joyce] I’ve done several personal projects and I have to say that the work that I received as a result, and what I’ve learned from them have been worth every minute/hour/day/week and month spent. One of the most rewarding projects was my 30 day portrait project.  [...]

From Contact Form to Contract

Posted: April 8th, 2016

[by Pascal Depuhl] Before I ever speak to a potential client… … I usually get an email that reads: “A lead has been assigned to you”. It’s my Customer Relationship Management system’s way of letting me know someone just clicked the button on the contact form of my website. By this time, that prospective client has [...]

Client Onboarding

Posted: April 6th, 2016

[by Luke Copping] You’re in your office working, you have your music on, and you’re just getting into that flow state where you really start to ramp up your productivity. You’re wrapping up post-production, taking care of billing, and it seems like things are just falling into place for you today. And then the phone [...]

What Your Client Needs to Hear

Posted: June 5th, 2015

[by Kat Dalager] I don’t believe it’s possible to convince a potential client that they need something unless they’re already one foot down the path. If someone believes that they can get the photos they need with their smudged up cell phone, then you have to ask yourself if this is someone you want to [...]

The Bigger Picture

Posted: June 4th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] The modern photographer must be more than a camera operator. We must meet the creative team on their level by showing that we not only bring value to a project, but that we understand the bigger picture. It’s important that we express through our work and approach to marketing that we are [...]

Add It Up — Intangibles Can Help You Seal the Deal

Posted: June 3rd, 2015

[by Francis Zera] When all other things are close to equal between you and a competitor bidding on a job, intangibles, including added value, are often what gives the edge to the successful bidder. Many clients already understand the core value that comes with professional photography; they just need to find the right combination of [...]

Overcoming the age of “Good Enough”

Posted: June 2nd, 2015

[by Michael Clark] A few of the questions posed to us for this week’s series of blog posts are: What do you say to convince clients that they need professional photography?  How do you convey the value of unique, powerful images to a buyer who’s on the fence? How do you describe the value of [...]

Explaining Value Starts with Questions

Posted: June 1st, 2015

[by Tom Kennedy] Professional photographers often describe their value in terms of the ability to deliver superior aesthetic results consistently under any kind of pressure, but especially deadline pressure. I appreciate that definition as an expression of professional value and believe in its truth. They may also describe their value in terms of being able [...]

Preparing for a Face-to-Face

Posted: April 30th, 2015

Social Media is a great tool but nothing beats real-world face time.  This excellent advice on getting ready for those one-on-ones was first published here on April 30, 2012. ~JH [by Jenna Close] I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again for the record: I’m an absolute, bona-fide chicken when it comes [...]

Portfolio Reviews

Posted: February 7th, 2014

[by Michael Clark] Over the years, I have found that meeting with a potential client face-to-face and showing them my work is the most ideal form of marketing. In person meetings allow the client to get to know me and my work in a way that no other form of marketing can match. Of course, [...]

Portfolio Presentation Prep – Tips to Help You Become a Star.

Posted: February 6th, 2014

[by Carolyn Potts] “And now…. you are live!” Ever feel like your in-person portfolio presentation is a bit like being a contestant on American Idol? Whether you’re “performing” at a one-on-one portfolio presentation or at a portfolio review event (where you’ve signed up for a series of 20-min. with multiple reviewers), to cement that contact [...]

To Dread or Not To Dread – The Initial Potential Client Meeting

Posted: February 5th, 2014

[by Kimberly Blom-Roemer] The idea of going to a “job interview” and sitting at a table with people that I were sure were looking for every reason not to work with me was a constant source of stress, anxiety, negativity, and dread. I couldn’t go on thinking like that. So, over time I developed a few [...]

Look Before You Leap

Posted: February 4th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] First of all, congratulations on getting an appointment to show your book in person. More often than not, buyers are viewing books online as websites or customized pdfs rather than physical portfolios or iPads. But that’s an entirely different article. Let’s presume you are going to meet with a real, live person. [...]

A New Portfolio and the Open Road

Posted: February 3rd, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] A Guide to Showing Your Portfolio. This past fall, I jumped in my car and headed to the Big Apple to network with agencies and magazines. With a tank full of gas, my new portfolio and a stack business cards, I set out without any expectations; I simply wanted to get out of my [...]

Getting More Bank from Your Work

Posted: April 25th, 2013

[By Shawn Henry] We all know that editorial work doesn’t generally pay fees comparable to the corporate market, but it’s possible to boost the total income from editorial assignments with just a little extra effort. My standard workflow is to process every assignment through Lightroom: after making general adjustments to all the files, I produce [...]


Posted: April 23rd, 2013

[By Jenna Close] Many of my clients are corporations who build things like solar installations and substations.  For any given job, I might be shooting a completed project, documenting construction, photographing portraits of CEO’s or all 3 things combined.  One thing I always ask these clients before I submit my estimate is this: “Is there [...]

Prospecting Gangnam Style

Posted: February 8th, 2013

[by Richard Kelly] I know you are probably looking for a different type of blog post after reading that title, but I think the beat of Psy’s song is appropriate when thinking about prospecting for new clients.  After almost 25 years in this business I have tried everything. When I look back though my successes [...]

How to Find Prospects Online

Posted: February 7th, 2013

[by Rosh Sillars] The Internet is full of opportunity.  When looking for prospects, I recommend using multiple online tools. The first step is to set up Google alerts for activity in your town or region. What you set your alerts for depends on the type of photography you create.  For example, an architecture photographer sets [...]

Repeat Clients are Prospects, Too

Posted: February 6th, 2013

[by Kevin Lock] “Pete and Repeat walk into a bar.  Pete walks back out.  Who doesn’t?” “Repeat.” “Pete and Repeat walk into a bar.  Pete walks back out.  Who doesn’t?”… Repeat clients should not be over looked as prospective clients.  Most of my work is by word of mouth, via FAP and serving repeat clients.  [...]

Clarity First

Posted: February 5th, 2013

[by Colleen Wainwright] I so hate chasing prospects that I’ve arranged my entire life–not to mention my marketing and branding philosophy–around not having to do it. But the one time I did a massive prospecting project, I learned the key to coming up with a great “list”: hyperfocus. The year was 2008, and I was [...]

Ferreting Out Relevant Contacts

Posted: February 4th, 2013

[by Jenna Close] There’s a lot of information at our fingertips these days, which is a plus when it comes to researching prospects.  Here are a few of the tools I use: LinkedIn: I don’t connect to photographers on LinkedIn, instead limiting my network to people I’ve worked for or had contact with through my [...]

Do Your Purchase Biases Effect Your Pricing?

Posted: November 2nd, 2012

[by Blake Discher] I attended several of my fellow speakers’ presentations at PhotoPlus Expo this year and thought I’d share something that struck me as very important as we all sell either our services or our products. I listened to Tamara Lackey, a Durham, North Carolina based portrait photographer giving a presentation titled, “Portrait Sales: [...]

Who Do You Talk To

Posted: October 26th, 2012

[by Blake Discher] After you introduce yourself to anyone, ask them what they do for a living.  They’ll tell you then almost always ask you what you do.  Rewind to three weeks ago: So I’m sitting next to a guy in a plane on the way to the west coast.  Strike up a conversation, ask [...]

Ask About the Budget? Always!

Posted: June 15th, 2012

[by Blake Discher] Photographers sometimes call me for pricing advice when they get a project that is a bit outside of their normal type of work.  I’ll always ask them, “Did you ask your client what her budget is?”  And they sometimes say, “I didn’t, that question never yields an answer.” Never?  I doubt it; [...]

Negotiating is a Full-Time Job

Posted: June 14th, 2012

[by Barry Schwartz] If you’re in business for yourself, you’re negotiating even when you only appear to be pushing paper around. For instance: proposals and contracts.  You have a potential client with whom you have discussed – at length – all the particulars of a job. As you write the proposal, what you say, where [...]

Negotiation Starts with Value

Posted: June 13th, 2012

[by Charles Gupton] The most important element in any negotiation process is defining the value of what is being exchanged. Without a clear understanding of what you have to offer and its value to the person you’re communicating with, the negotiation process will quickly become frustrating. The challenge for many commercial artists/photographers is that they [...]

The Power of No

Posted: June 12th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Yeah right.   I want that job!   Who can say no in this economy?   If that’s your negotiating position, I’m here to tell you – that’s not negotiating.  It’s begging.   Have you every been pulled over for speeding and tried to negotiate your way out of a ticket?   Nope, it’s called begging.   And [...]

Value and Vision

Posted: June 11th, 2012

[by Jenna Close] Most business people understand that added value = added expense.  However, this can be difficult to comprehend with photography since some of the value we provide is intangible.  When negotiating with a client, I make every effort to explain my creative vision, particularly if they have mentioned that they really like my [...]

Marketing Assistant or Photography Assistant

Posted: June 8th, 2012

[by Susan Carr] We all must give the sales and marketing of our business a high priority. We know this yet we still look for the magic bullet that will give us financial rewards minus this work. Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way. Marketing are the tools we use: our web site, blog, social [...]

You Could Hear, “Sorry, Your Children Are Ugly”

Posted: June 7th, 2012

[by Blake Discher] Photographers are not usually the best editors of their own work. The task of choosing which images belong in your portfolio, either online or analog, is often best left to anyone but yourself. We’ve all photographed that executive who woke up grumpy or turned a very boring office into an acceptable background [...]

Consultants & Reps & Assistants (Oh My!)

Posted: June 6th, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] If you’re having trouble marketing your business, it may be time to look beyond traditional DIY strategies.   Depending on your circumstances, a consulant, rep or in-house Marketing Assistant can be just the help you need. Consultants are perfect for those who are looking for guidance in a specific area such as getting [...]

Showing Up is Not Enough

Posted: June 5th, 2012

[by Colleen Wainwright] Think of the best classes you’ve ever taken–the ones that engaged you, challenged you, and stuck with you for years afterward. Chances are they weren’t just winners just because they were expensive or the teacher was great, but because of what you brought to them: a genuine interest in learning, your full [...]

Seek Synergy – Not Pain Relief

Posted: June 4th, 2012

[by Carolyn Potts] “The whole is greater than the sum of parts.” ~Aristotle The relationship between a photographer and a rep or studio manager must be based on a deliberately created, synergistic relationship. Synergy occurs when two individuals (or companies) are made stronger by combining their different– yet complementary– skills and abilities. It brings value [...]

How to Become an Expert at Negotiating Price with Clients

Posted: May 25th, 2012

[by Susan Carr] No one enjoys talking about money, at least only a few strange birds do. For those few, it is a game. If they are selling, they work to get the highest price possible. If they are buying, they want the lowest. As independent working photographers, we are all entrepreneurs who have to [...]

Bringing Up Budgets

Posted: May 24th, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] When it comes to talking money with clients, there are two different strategies I follow depending on circumstances. If the person calling is someone I’ve never heard of and it’s clear they don’t have much experience with hiring photographers, I will usually bring up the budget right away.  I don’t want to [...]

Pick Me, Pick Me, Pick Me

Posted: May 11th, 2012

[by Kevin Lock] Clients… we need them.  I like to think that most of the time, they need us as well.  From time to time I ask ‘why me’?  Why do my clients pick me?  My first thought is of the most obvious reason.  The images.  Most of my conversations with perspective clients are a [...]

Stop Guessing

Posted: May 10th, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] When it comes to how or why clients choose photographers, there are probably as many answers as there are clients.  What really matters is how your prospective clients view photography and photographers. Instead of imposing your own values and assumptions, why not go straight to the source?  Depending on your relationship with [...]

Provide a Positive Solution

Posted: May 9th, 2012

[by Thomas Werner] During difficult economic times it is easy to become frustrated as you work to hold onto existing clients while growing and changing your business. Do your best not to let your frustration enter into your work or your conversations, the end result will only be detrimental to yourself and your business. Clients [...]

Selecting Photographers

Posted: May 8th, 2012

[by Tom Kennedy] My observations about selecting photographers for assignments goes back to my time as director of photography at National Geographic.  Fundamentally, I saw it as my role to identify photographers who could contribute to the magazine on the basis of their talent, creative vision, and passion for particular genres that would be useful [...]

Take a Risk!

Posted: May 4th, 2012

[by Selina Maitreya] Years ago I  was an agent, and repped a  top photographer in Boston.  I was in my game going on 40 portfolio appointments a month.  Early on in the process I got very frustrated as ad’s would quickly look through my talent’s portfolio, flipping pages fast. I was usually in and out [...]

Getting Appointments

Posted: May 3rd, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] In today’s fast-paced work environment, convincing prospective clients to carve out face-time is harder than ever.  With fewer hours to spare and more photographers clamoring for attention, these tips can help you stand out from the crowd: Do your homework. Make sure the people you’re calling really need what you sell.  I [...]

Why Getting a Meeting is Like Internet Dating

Posted: May 2nd, 2012

[by Barry Schwartz] For a huge number of very complicated reasons, some years back I developed an expertise in internet dating. OK, it’s because I was single. Since then, I’ve counseled many of my (anxious) friends in how the thing works.  It’s pretty straightforward. You get online, do some research, and look for potential dates. [...]

Lunch on Me

Posted: May 1st, 2012

[by Kevin Lock] A successful photographer told me a long time ago that “keeping existing clients is so much easier than finding new ones.”  I would add that keeping existing clients is much more important than finding new ones. One way that I ensure repeat business from my clients is to make them feel special.  [...]

Preparing for a Face-to-Face

Posted: April 30th, 2012

[by Jenna Close] I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again for the record: I’m an absolute, bona-fide chicken when it comes to asking for a meeting.  The biggest problem with this situation is that in-person meetings are an extremely important aspect of marketing; far more potent than faceless mailers and multiple [...]

Test Market Your Elevator Speech

Posted: March 14th, 2012

[by Jay Kinghorn] In the book, The Lean Startup, author Eric Reis encourages entrepreneurs (yes, this means you) to test the assumptions you have about your business, particularly as you start a new endeavor. As my company has worked to refine its positioning, I’ve been testing my elevator speech at business networking events to see [...]

Sales ≠ Bragging

Posted: March 9th, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] In my seminars and consultations, I meet a lot of photographers who feel uncomfortable about sales.  Most of them, like me, were raised to believe that it’s wrong to toot your own horn.  We feel embarrassed talking about being “the best” at something.  It feels like bragging and we were taught that [...]

Talking With the Decision Maker

Posted: March 8th, 2012

[by Blake Discher] When a potential client contacts you for an estimate on a project, you should always try to determine if you are talking to the decision maker.  Ideally, you want that person to hear what value (or differentiation) you can bring to the project. Remember the “telephone game” back in grade school?  If [...]

We Don’t “Close Deals”

Posted: March 7th, 2012

[by Selina Maitreya] Ok, lets get right to the point.  In assignment photography we don’t close deals.  Your job is NOT to walk into an office, and walk out with a PO for an assignment.  Anyone who tries to teach you how to “close the deal” simply doesn’t know our industry. You need to cast [...]

Do You Use Word Pictures?

Posted: March 6th, 2012

[by Rosh Sillars] The next time you meet a potential client, don’t tell them what you do, explain in vivid detail how you can help them. Here’s an example: When I meet designers, I ask them if they’ve ever had a client send them a folder full of unusable photographs for an upcoming project, such [...]

Where is Your Mind?

Posted: February 14th, 2012

[by Charles Gupton] Where is your mind when a client calls or emails you about a project? Invariably, my mind is buried in the details of some other project — or I’m on location shooting. Where my mind isn’t, at that moment, is on the client’s needs or concerns. But I know that if I [...]


Posted: October 14th, 2011

[by Barry Schwartz] “When you create something out of nothing, the first rule is to agree.” ~ Tina Fey talking about the process of improv at Google headquarters with chairman Eric Schmitdt. What else is it that photographers do, but exactly this? The first part: creating something out of nothing.  The second part: getting your [...]

No Small Decisions

Posted: October 12th, 2011

[by Richard Kelly] “There are no small decisions in moviemaking.”  – Sidney Lument , Director (pg 112 MAKING MOVIES by SIDNEY LUMENT Vintage Books) If you change “moviemaking” to photography, well you get the picture. This to me summarizes all my decisions from art, to craft to commerce. Every action has a consequence, or a [...]

Quotes that Moved Us Each to Action

Posted: October 10th, 2011

[by Susan Carr] This week five of our blog contributors, including myself, will share quotes that have been meaningful to each of us in the course of developing our careers. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; [...]

How to Collect on Every Invoice

Posted: September 16th, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] I feel like I’m about to jinx us but in 22 years of business, my studio has collected on virtually every invoice we’ve written without ever once going to court. We do a lot of the same stuff already mentioned this week and a few things that weren’t: We ask new clients [...]


Posted: September 15th, 2011

[by Kevin Lock] Are they really clients if they refuse to pay up?  I don’t think so.  I have another word for them. Let’s call them what the court calls them: Defendants. I am not litigious, but I refuse to be taken advantage of.  I’d rather not sue, but I have had to.  As a [...]

Building Relationships as a Cash Flow Tool

Posted: September 14th, 2011

[by Selina Maitreya] Initiating a relationship with the accounts payable contact at each company hiring you, immediately after a job is confirmed, is a wonderful cash flow tool. When you reach your new “partner” introduce yourself, and in a friendly way inform your contact that will soon be working with their company and that you [...]

Know Your Enemy

Posted: September 13th, 2011

[by Richard Harrington] There are several reasons you might not be paid by a client (and most have little to do with a dissatisfied client, aggressive behavior, or conspiracy).  Here are a few practical strategies I employ at my office. Use s systems of deposits. We will bill incrementally for work.  An initial deposit, another [...]

Past Due Accounts and Collections

Posted: September 12th, 2011

[by Steve Whittaker] Timely payments are important in any business. Your reputation and credit depends on being able to pay your assistants, employees, vendors, loan payments and any outstanding balances. A clear contractual agreement on both sides in the beginning is important. Our terms require a 50% retainer in advance before assignment date. With the [...]

Who’s on First….?

Posted: September 2nd, 2011

[by Kevin Lock] We all have our own reason for getting into this business.  For me it just kind of happened.  It was something I always did and to be honest I didn’t plan on making a living doing it.  Perhaps you had a similar experience and find yourself in business struggling to make a [...]

Are You Really the Buyer?

Posted: September 1st, 2011

[by Blake Discher] Of course, you can’t ask the person on the other end of the phone that question; at least I’d advise against that sort of blunt questioning. But when a prospective client calls on the telephone to ask about your rates for an upcoming project she has, it’s imperative to know you are [...]

Clarity & Audacity

Posted: August 31st, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] In Googled:the end of the world as we know it, New Yorker Magazine columnist, Ken Auletta, describes Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s first pitch for substantial funding.  They were asking for $25,000,000.00 (yup that’s 25 million dollars). Auletta writes: …[they] made a brief PowerPoint presentation to establish the most telling [...]


Posted: August 30th, 2011

[by Rosh Sillars] Determination is an important part of sales.  You need to do what it takes to connect to and build quality relationships with decision makers. While sitting in my office, I overheard one of my sales representatives talking with a prospect.  The prospect wondered how my sales rep found his number and knew [...]

The Power of Differentiation -or- What’s Your Hedgehog?

Posted: August 29th, 2011

[by Charles Gupton] One of the most important components of the sales process is differentiation. Establishing what makes you different in the eyes of a potential client can go a long way in shortening the time it takes for you to land a prospective client . I can’t even estimate the number of times I’ve [...]

Your Favorite Bookmarks…

Posted: August 18th, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] This week, we are focusing on our contributors’ favorite bookmarks.  The places we go when we’re looking for information, inspiration, insights, training, time-saving tools and more; the bookmarks we find more valuable than the millions of other potential bookmarks that populate cyberspace.  And there are millions. Now that the vast majority of [...]

The Tire Salesman

Posted: August 1st, 2011

[by Jay Kinghorn] I have a tire I’d like to sell you. It’s just one, but boy is it a beauty—dual-channel treads for wicking away the water on rainy roads, knobby tread for traction and gravel, plus, it’s won numerous awards for its handling. How much would you pay for this tire? Probably nothing.  No [...]

Hanging with Winners

Posted: April 13th, 2011

[by Jenna Close] On the last day of SB3 in Chicago, I was standing in the back of the ballroom watching 200+ photographers practice their sales and negotiation skills.  I was enjoying the energy and camaraderie that filled the room when I heard Blake Discher mention ‘hanging with winners’.  The concept should be a familiar [...]

Just Five a Day

Posted: April 4th, 2011

[by Jim Cavanaugh] If you set aside a half-hour aside every business day to call just five new client contacts, at the end of the year you will have made contact with over 1,250 new potential clients. Jim Cavanaugh is an architectural and aerial photographer based in Buffalo, NY. He is President of ASMP.

Who is My Competition?

Posted: March 25th, 2011

[by Kevin Lock] I am my only competition. That is a fact. I consider working as a photographer to be similar to being an athlete, say a sprinter, in the Olympics.  Some would call that sprinter a competitive athlete. To back up this claim some might argue that the sprinter was in a competition and [...]

Amateur Photography & Home Improvement

Posted: March 23rd, 2011

[by Jay Kinghorn] Last week my wife and I began renovating our master bedroom. We hired a professional flooring expert to install the floors and a finish carpenter to complete the baseboards. We prepped the room for the flooring and painted the walls and trim. Hiring professionals to do the important detail work like the [...]

Reduce your Competition Through Loyalty

Posted: March 21st, 2011

[by Charles Gupton] There are usually a couple of reasons why a client initiates working with a photographer for the first time. It’s often our style of shooting, our approach, or our expertise that distinguishes us from our competitors in the mind of a client. But it’s usually a different set of values that builds [...]

LinkedIn – A Powerful Client Research Tool

Posted: March 16th, 2011

[by Jim Cavanaugh] LinkedIn has become my most important tool for identifying new clients. While not as popular or user friendly as facebook, LinkedIn has a different culture and is much more about business. Every time I have a new person “link in” with me in LinkedIn, I will add their e-mail address to my [...]

The Business of Facebook

Posted: March 15th, 2011

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Facebook has grown to be one of my most important business resources.  Once you move beyond Farmville, horoscopes and what your long lost high school friend had for lunch, there can be a wealth of information and the ability to reach out to and build relationships with current and prospective clients. If [...]

Selling Your Price

Posted: March 11th, 2011

[by Susan Carr] As photographers we are confident skilled visual communicators. When it comes to pricing our work we may lack, in equal measure, the skill necessary to articulate our pricing structure in a clear and concise manner. Talking about price can be uncomfortable for us. However, when we are confident in how we determine [...]

Do You Overuse Email?

Posted: February 15th, 2011

[by Thomas Werner] Overly frequent e-mail promotions and updates can have an effect opposite of what you have intended. It may only be e-mail, but if you are not sending a new project, or have another relevant update, stick to a once every two, three or four month mailing. You don’t want a simple e-mail [...]

Will Your Likability Help You Succeed?

Posted: February 11th, 2011

[by Charles Gupton] At the start of a new year, many photographers focus on building their revenue by focusing on finding new clients for their services. Those prospective clients, like all of us, solve their daily challenges by selecting people and services that add the most value to their lives. Most photographers define “providing value” [...]

New Clients: Get Creative and Go For Quality

Posted: February 10th, 2011

[by Jenna Close] My client base can be loosely put into two categories: those that help pay the bills and those that push my boundaries, bolster my brand AND help pay the bills.  I think this is an important distinction when considering how to find new clients.  What do you REALLY want to shoot?  Once [...]

Searching for Synergies

Posted: February 9th, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] As I was finishing breakfast at a diner in Miami yesterday morning, a stunning visual caught my eye.  The flat screen TV across the room was showing a commercial I’d never seen before and it looked like my studio’s still work come to life in motion. “Oh my God” I said to [...]

The Quickest Way to Find New Clients

Posted: February 8th, 2011

[by Rosh Sillars] The best place to find new clients is through old clients. Pick up the phone and say hello.  You have clients out there ripe with new opportunities. If you don’t know that, it’s because you haven’t followed up in a while. Never assume anything. Maybe your client was a one-time assignment, maybe [...]

Want to Find New Clients? Follow Me

Posted: February 7th, 2011

[by Kevin Lock] Start with A, ASMP that is.  Your first step in getting more work is working on your Find A Photographer listing (FAP).  FAP… get it up, add to it, keep it updated, and buy more portfolios. (They are cheap.)  That is what I did and it has bumped me up in the [...]

Are People Really Still Making Calls?

Posted: November 5th, 2010

[by Suzanne Sease and Amanda Sosa-Stone] A mutual client of ours recently worked on her brand, portfolio and marketing strategy (with Suzanne).  Then she came to Agency Access to work on implementing her marketing through Campaign Manager (with Amanda – a year long plan to make sure marketing is being done).  After getting her beautiful [...]

‘Stop telephonin’ Me

Posted: November 4th, 2010

[by Ellen Boughn] Lady Gaga has it right when it comes to the interrupting phone call: ‘Stop telephonin’, me. Stop telephonin’, me. (I’m busy). (I’m busy)’, she sings. When you pick up the phone to call a client, it had better be about something they want to hear.  And cold calls? If the reception on [...]

Getting and Using Referrals

Posted: November 3rd, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] “Nice day we’re having”  “How about those cubs”  yeah, it’s hard to start the conversation, but I still make calls to new ADs etc to get to know them.   I like to mention a person who referred me to get things started.   “Hi (AD), (Other person at agency) mentioned I should call [...]

Just Pick Up the Phone!

Posted: November 2nd, 2010

[by Judy Herrmann] I love e-mail – it’s efficient, it’s fast, it’s effective.  It’s great for just about everything, except when it’s not. Dealing with a conflict?  Pick up the phone. Chances are that e-mail’s going to make a bad situation worse.  People can’t hear tone and most people (myself included) are scanning through a [...]

Cold-calling Doesn’t Have to Leave You Cold

Posted: November 1st, 2010

[by Barry Schwartz] You’re starting out.  That means you probably have more time than money, and fewer clients than you’d like.  (This can happen to established pros, as well, but that’s another post…). What to do to pass the time?  Got internet? Got phone?  Got voice? Like a good photo shoot, do some prep.  Once [...]

I am a Salesperson

Posted: September 24th, 2010

[by Blake Discher] Repeating my mantra “photographers are salespeople first, image creators second”, I thought I’d share two of my favorite blogs on the topic of sales. The first, written by S. Anthony Iannarino of Columbus, Ohio, offers straightforward suggestions and tips to help you with just about every aspect of the sales process including [...]


Posted: September 15th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] The power of Hmmm.   When I’ve asked a client if they have a budget, when they tell me, I usually just say “hmmmm.”   It’s amazing how many times they’ll then say, “I may be able to get you XX more.”hmmm” has made me more money than any other sound or word. Todd [...]

Going Up?

Posted: September 3rd, 2010

[by Judy Herrmann] In a bad economy, helping people understand exactly what you do, why they should trust you and how you can help them matters more than ever.  So take a few minutes to hone one of the most important (and cheapest) marketing tools there is: Your Elevator Speech. Laura Allen, co-founder of, [...]

Sweet Dreams

Posted: August 13th, 2010

[by Blake Discher] Suddenly you’re wide awake in the middle of the night. The nightmare was horrible, worse that that monster you thought was under your bed when you were six years old. In the dream, you received a call from a potential client, all they said was, “Good morning, we need a photographer for [...]

Find a Photographer

Posted: August 12th, 2010

[by Todd Joyce] Membership has it’s privileges and one of the benefits of being and ASMP General Member is being listed in For what I do, I don’t get a lot of calls, but every so often I do get a call that is a result of FAP. Over the years, I’ve gotten about [...]

Telephone Tips

Posted: August 11th, 2010

[by Charles Gupton] With the rise of on-line social media and texting as means of communication, there seems to be a breakdown in the awareness of proper and effective use of telephone skills in the business environment. After witnessing and experiencing a number of breaches, I thought I’d offer some observations that may offer some [...]

Selling What Makes You Different

Posted: August 10th, 2010

[by Jenna Close] My partner Jon and I shoot photos mainly for the alternative energy market.  This is our niche, and we spend a lot of time following the industry and thinking about how we can better serve the people we want to work for.  Often we are asked to price aerial photography, and often [...]

Connect and Reconnect

Posted: August 9th, 2010

[by Kevin Lock] Want to boost your sales.  Connect.  Reconnect.  Build a relationship. Connect with your clients.  Really connect. Then reconnect. It is not rocket science. Be yourself. You are much more than your art, your imagery or your next possible job. You have to sell yourself. The sales will follow. If your client likes [...]

Are You a Good Listener?

Posted: May 6th, 2010

[by Blake Discher] When you’re on that call talking to a potential new client, remember to count to two before you answer any questions or ask new ones.  This two-second buffer will help you to be a better listener because you won’t need to be thinking about what you’re going to say next while the [...]

5 Recession-Proof Sales Strategies

Posted: April 9th, 2010

[by Judy Herrmann] 1) Ask for Referrals – Let your clients know you’re looking to grow your business or take it to the next level.  Even if they don’t have names for you immediately, planting the seed will pay off in the long run.  If they do give you names, there’s no better way to [...]

You Need to be a Salesperson First

Posted: April 8th, 2010

[by Blake Discher] Even in these stressful economic times, your business will be more successful if you are willing to recognize one fact:  you need to be a salesperson first, and a photographer second.  Many photographers take great photographs, but far fewer excel at sales.  When I speak to audiences about negotiating, I’m always quick [...]

What Is Your Leverage?

Posted: April 7th, 2010

[by Paul Barholomew] We can be cheap, we can be talented and we can offer something unique. These are just a few examples from a long list of features and abilities we can offer to our clients. Ask yourself, how do you wish to sell your services and how will you be portrayed? What makes [...]

An Old Salesman’s Secret

Posted: April 6th, 2010

[by Rosh Sillars] Early in my career I worked at a furniture store to earn extra money. One day an older salesman came in to buy a chair. We began talking and before long I sensed that he had taken a liking to me. Naturally we talked sales. He asked me if I wanted to [...]

The Salesperson Called You

Posted: April 5th, 2010

[by Judy Herrmann] I hate sales.  I hate cold calling.  I hate closing.  I hate the artificiality of it and I hate how it makes me feel.  For years, I’ve arranged my life so I didn’t have to engage in sales.  In 1992, we hired our first in-house salesperson.  Since then, we’ve had two other [...]