ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

All Posts By

Blake Discher

Always Let Clients Know What to Expect – In Writing

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

Early on in my career, almost every client conflict I encountered was because my client’s expectations were out of sync with what I delivered. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve gotten much better at managing expectations, primarily through written communication instead of verbal. I’ve learned to never give a price over the telephone. I always provide a written estimate that includes my terms and conditions. In essence, I’ve sent them my contract up front. The estimate…

Read More

So You Lost the Sale… Now What?

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

As a professional photographer, it’s easy to forget you’re actually in business of selling. Sure, you create images, but without sales skills your business is likely to fail because it cannot sustain itself. Selling is difficult. It takes practice to get good at it. Naturally, you celebrate your successes, and with good reason: failure is brutal, while success is Oh so sweet. You’re hard on yourself when you fail and when you do fail, you…

Read More

Things I’ve Been Told

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

Congratulations, you’re graduating!  Over the years smarter people than myself have been good enough to share their wisdom with me.  One admonished me to share my knowledge, here’s what I’ve got this morning, in bite-sized portions: Build your team from the start. Get a good CPA, attorney, and mentor. Hang with winners, winning is contagious. Listen more, talk less. Share your knowledge unselfishly, you’ll learn more. Have an awesome business card, hire a designer. Get…

Read More

Don’t Ignore This Book Review

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t have a conversation with a photographer about explaining the value of professional photography or their services to clients.  Now in its 3rd edition, Value Added Selling – first reviewed here seven years ago today – may help you address that issue and more. ~JH [by Blake Discher] The second [now third] edition of Tom Reilly’s Value Added Selling: how to sell more profitably, confidently, and professionally by…

Read More

What Are You Selling? Photography? Guess Again.

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

One of the oldest adages in sales goes like this: Sell the sizzle, not the steak.  Think about it.  If you’re going out for a steak dinner, there are many less expensive alternatives to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or The Capital Grill.  But these restaurants are filled every evening they’re open.  Why?  Because of the service, the formal server, the ambiance, the side-dishes, and the overall experience you’ll enjoy at each.  The steak itself?  Often, it’s…

Read More

This Contract Clause Will Get You Paid

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

You’re at your wits end because you blew it… big time. You trusted the client to pay you so you didn’t bug them to pay your customary 50-percent payment in advance. It’s been 60 days since you sent the invoice, your bills are piling up, the rent is due, your son needs new shoes. Now they’ve even stopped taking your calls. Time to make use of that simple clause in your contract you rarely have…

Read More

Lose the Addiction to Vanity Metrics

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

Studies continually show that small business owners largely limit their analysis of online data to so-called “vanity metrics” such as the number of Facebook friends or likes, or the number of Twitter followers they have garnered over time. This could be because analytics provided by Google are deemed by many to be difficult to implement or difficult to interpret. This is unfortunate because this data gathering tool provides meaningful information such as: a) the number…

Read More

Do Research, Sell Value, and Don’t Quote Hastily

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

A Wall Street Journal article explained how travel website Orbitz reviewed purchasing data it had collected and discovered that Mac owners spend, on average, $20 to $30 more per night on hotels rooms than PC users.  Also, users making use of the Orbitz site on a Mac are 40% more likely to book a four or five-star hotel room. Using this data, Orbitz rearranges the order in which hotel options are displayed based on the…

Read More

Assistant Wish List? Just Two Items

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

have two criteria for assistants: 1. Never let ‘em see ya’ sweat I was working in Monterrey, Mexico for an insurance company’s annual report in a closed conference room. Four lights, I’m in the center of an open-square table layout capturing candids during the annual board meeting. Both my assistant and I were required to sign NDAs. All is good until about 10 minutes in, one of my lights blows a capacitor. If you haven’t…

Read More

Always Be “On”

By | Strictly Business Blog | No Comments

Whenever I’m asked to share a bit of business advice, this is mine: “Every interaction is a networking opportunity.” I don’t mean just business interactions. No, I mean waiting in line at the grocery store. Watching your car go through the car wash. Sitting on a plane on the way to your vacation or your next big job. Be ‘on’. All the time. Networking at the car wash paid off hugely a few months ago….

Read More