Do you send out email responses to inquiries, only to get crickets in return? Are you frustrated by clients that are ghosting you instead of booking you? Have you considered that maybe YOU are ghosting them? Follow ups are your job, your actual job, and Kimberley Anderson, the Copywriter and founder of Red Curl Creative, shares about the five step email system to make people respond to you instead of disappearing. She also shares insight & wisdom on website copy and connecting to your ideal clients through your words, and tips you off to what NOBODY wants to hear about on your blog or social media.
Kimberley’s website can be found at http://RedCurlCreative.com and you can pick up your copy of the Email Strategy PDF in the online store.
Are you a Supporter? Members of Photographer’s Inner Circle get access to a BONUS training video, where Kimberley goes deeper in to the 5 Email Follow Up System – available in the Members-Only Facebook Group. Want to join us? Visit http://PhotographersInnerCircle.com
The full transcript of this episode can be found at http://ReframeSuccess.com
This episode brought to you by the InstaLocal Prompt Planner – always know what you should post on social media, and take the stress out of planning. http://InstaPrompts.com
The full transcript of this episode is below.
The Show Transcript
Christine (Intro): [00:00:00] You’re listening to Reframe Success, and I’m your host, Christine Tremoulet. I believe that you can have a successful photography business and you get to define what success looks like for you. My guests and I will help you with actual advice and information on how to get there. I want you to know that I believe in you, and that YOU are enough. Now let’s get on with the show.
This episode is sponsored by the InstaLocal Prompt Planner, 365 days of ideas that I created for you so that you’re never at a loss for what to post on social media to connect with ideal clients in your local market. Learn more InstaPrompts.com.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:00:49] Hello everyone, and welcome back to another show. Joining me today is my friend, Kimberley Anderson, and I’m so excited to have you here today, Kim.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:01:00] Yay. I’m excited too.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:01:02] For those of you that don’t know her yet, Kimberley is now a copywriter and she can be found at RedCurlCreative.com. But let’s talk about your past, what were you doing prior to doing copywriting for people in the wedding industry?
Kimberley Anderson: [00:01:20] My, my sinister past, was that I was a wedding photographer for just, just a hair over 20 years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I ate my last piece of saucy chicken on a Saturday night in 2016, and I haven’t looked back.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:01:38] you had a really, really successful career, obviously. I mean, you did it for over 20 years. And, I feel like you also have an amazing second perspective on the wedding industry thanks to your husband because what is,
Kimberley Anderson: [00:01:53] Great.
I married a DJ, as cliche as that sounds. yeah. So I have like literally been involved in weddings since I was 16 years old. My father was a chef at a country club and I banquet waitress weddings. And I served chicken and beef tips and cut wedding cake. And, so I’ve pretty much just been in weddings since then.
And then, yeah. Then I was a photographer and then I married a DJ.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:02:24] looking back at that 20 year career, if you were talking to somebody that was pretty early in their career, or actually probably no matter where they are, what’s one piece of advice you would give them.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:02:38] I would say that, you need to make sure you have, I mean, this sounds redundant, but you have to have contracts and things in place because no matter how good you are, if people, and no matter how much you trust in the process and in your art, at some point in your career, you’re going to have a crazy client.
you know, it’s. It’s not, it’s, it’s sort of like a hard drive failure, kind of, not a matter of if, but a matter of when. you know, they may be super crazy, like a few that I have, or they might just be mildly annoying, but, they’re gonna, they’re gonna crop up and it’s not just because of things you did, but if you have good contracts and good practices in place, it will make it much easier to deal with.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:03:22] Right. I feel like, especially on the wedding side of things, but also portraits.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:03:27] Oh, for
Christine Tremoulet: [00:03:28] like a lot of people, there’s a lot of emotion wrapped up. In being photographed. And so sometimes that comes back to us because are you, can you share the one, what I, we’ve, we’ve swapped some stories over the
Kimberley Anderson: [00:03:47] yeah.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:03:49] you share the one request I still think is the craziest
Kimberley Anderson: [00:03:53] Would that be the golden gate bridge one? Is that the one.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:03:56] Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know that I know that golden gate
Kimberley Anderson: [00:04:00] Oh, I have so many. See, you should come join my mailing list because I share all of this stuff. So the Golden Gate Bridge one was that I had a bride that came to me and she had a binder full of photos. Right. And she had met with a company right before me who was one of those like kind of, Oh, I think it was like George Street or one, you know, one of those where , they have multiple shooters and it’s kind of a wedding mill.
And she had a photo of a bride and groom in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. And they told her that absolutely, they’d be able to do that photo for her. That was not a problem. And she showed it. She showed it to me
Christine Tremoulet: [00:04:38] In Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:04:40] in Milwaukee,
Christine Tremoulet: [00:04:40] be clear. She was not going to San Francisco.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:04:43] No, no, no. We’re in Milwaukee. And she showed it to me and I looked at it and I said, are we going to California? And she said, well, no.
That’s the Hoan Bridge. And we have a bridge here in Milwaukee. Believe me, it looks nothing like that. and it’s not even the same color. I mean, it’s like not even close. And I said, no, that’s the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. And she was so embarrassed, and I was like, that’s okay.
Easy to make that mistake, but she was so embarrassed, like the whole thing just went downhill from then, and she didn’t hire me because I think she was so mortified. So I thought that’s the one I had shared with you,
Christine Tremoulet: [00:05:27] No, but I love that because I’ve gotten similar, you know, I’ve gotten people, they’re having a. Downtown Houston ballroom wedding, but can’t like make it look like we’re on the beach and
Kimberley Anderson: [00:05:36] right? Right. Yeah.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:05:39] You know, I can’t, I can’t make sure you get a glorious sunset at your wedding. I don’t have control over the weather.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:05:47] Yeah. Well, we get that a lot here too, because they want sunset photos over like Michigan, and we face these Lake Michigan East. So I’m like, well…
Christine Tremoulet: [00:05:57] just, I just hit a map pop up in my head and I’m like. Lake Michigan is on the East side of the
Kimberley Anderson: [00:06:04] city. It’s on the East side right.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:06:07] so you can have gorgeous sunrise photos, but not sunset.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:06:12] not sunset unless you want to travel to Michigan real quick. So, yeah. I mean, it’s just, again, you just, especially when it comes to weddings, people are emotional and, often not thinking straight. it’s kind of like, I hate to use a political, equivalent, but you know, it’s kind of like right now what’s going on, like two sides that both see something and so completely different ways that.
One’s memory of it is so completely different from the other, and they’ll never agree because you know, and that’s, that’s what I’m talking about is at some point in your career that will happen, there will be a bride that will tell you that she’s positive, that you took that photo of her and her bestie outside on the terrace and it wasn’t you like.
It was somebody else, but her memory is, is that you took it. Yeah. And you know, how do you deal with those scenarios? and how do you not let them, like totally affect you and, ruin your day and, make you just feel like crap.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:07:08] Yeah. Exactly. Because that can be very frustrating when people come back and say, this is what I expected or this is what you promised and it isn’t what you promised. And that’s where I feel like copywriting, the copy that we put out there becomes so important. It becomes very important. Like what we say, is really clear to people.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:07:30] absolutely.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:07:32] And that we make sure that what we say is something we can deliver
Kimberley Anderson: [00:07:36] Right. And , that’s what I help with. As, you know, everyone wants to sound cool and they want to, they want to be the cool photographer, but not everyone is cool. Like some people are more reserved and that’s okay. Getting your voice across is really important because you don’t want to come off as this uber hip, cool person.
And then when you meet. You’re a little bit more reserved. That’s going to make the client very uneasy. So having your voice come through in your website and your emails and everything is just, it’s really important.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:08:10] I feel like this actually hurts a lot of people that they have copy on their website that they’ve seen. Other people have similar copy. They consider that person to be successful. So they try to use that formula on their own website. But then when I meet them in person, yeah. All the time.
I will own up to the fact that I’m sure I’ve done this. I know I’ve done it, right, but I’m not denying this is it’s a human trait. But then when somebody meets with you later on, what they experience is a psychological disconnect. They, they can’t necessarily articulate it, but they’re like, “Is this person that I just met in person? That same person that I was following online and being interested in?”
Kimberley Anderson: [00:08:56] Right. And, you know, and, and it’s not sustainable for most people because, you can come up with a pithy thing here or there or copy something or, but , it wears on you. I mean, we all know how hard it is to come up with content over and over and over. And if it’s not in your voice, you’re just not going to be able to do it for long.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:09:15] Right. It becomes really exhausting. , and like I said, people can’t, they can’t figure out why they don’t feel comfortable, but they just know that something’s off. On the other hand, I think it’s so important to infuse yourself into your copy.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:09:30] yeah, absolutely. Because, you know, like attracts like, the copywriters that I follow, I happen to write in a very similar tone to them and I know that, and I mean, not exactly, but, I like their stuff because I wish I could write more like that. I wish more of myself came through.
Then, then they do it. So it’s just natural that when, , someone is reading through your social media or they’re looking at your website or even in the tone that you use in the emails that you write to them, that it’s all really consistent and it’s all really relatable to them.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:10:04] I’ve often told a story about how I was trying to shop for a portrait photographer for our family in another city. It was going to be where my inlaws live, and I narrowed it down to three photographers and I reached out to all three. But I realized that because none of their websites gave me anything about their personality at all.
I was ultimately shopping based on the commodity and we, we hate that. We just hate it when people inquire and say, hi, are you available for this date? What’s your price?
Kimberley Anderson: [00:10:41] Right, right. But yet, there’s nothing about you on the website,
Christine Tremoulet: [00:10:46] Right? Nothing that makes you stand apart. I knit. So if one of these people had just said, , even a little nugget on there, you know, when I’m not doing photography, I like to crochet. I still would have had a sense of, Oh, this person is my person. This is who
Kimberley Anderson: [00:11:04] yes. And photographers, especially, they think that the photos are enough. that’s the thing, like, well, I put a bunch of pretty photos on it. They should be able to tell and it’s just not true. People can’t tell.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:11:19] Or they can tell. They can tell, just like my case, I like these three. They can tell that, but they can’t tell anything further. And then that’s when they fall into the trap of feeling like, okay, now I have to ask about the price because the price is going to be the deciding factor.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:11:37] because that’s the only thing they understand.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:11:39] Almost everybody has pretty photos on their website, so. I can’t, I can’t choose you just based on those pretty photos alone. I feel like we have to take it a layer deeper and talk about who we are or why we do what we do, what we love, who we are outside of work can come up in all those things.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:12:02] I tell people that all the time. You literally need to tell people who your clients are. My clients are people who [fill in the blank]”.
Because people like to identify with that. They like to say, “that’s me! I want that.” You know? It seems so silly, but it’s that one little phrase.
“The clients who hire me, this is what they want.”
Christine Tremoulet: [00:12:25] And you can’t say, the clients who hire me want somebody that owns a camera and will show up.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:12:32] I mean, that’s part of it. I’m assuming they want that too, but you know,
Christine Tremoulet: [00:12:41] Okay. You and I have been in this industry for a really long time, and that’s a lot of the websites that we see though. I see a lot of people that, that’s essentially all the, like, I know that they are much deeper than that, but that’s a lot of what they’re just saying.
I’ve got a camera, I show up and I take pictures and. That doesn’t differentiate you from the person that is a mile away from your business that also has a camera and
Kimberley Anderson: [00:13:08] shows up.
And it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have either because they don’t care.
That’s another default is to talking about gear or technique or, you know, they just want to know, am I going to get pretty pictures? Are the kids going to behave? You know, that’s what they want to know,
Christine Tremoulet: [00:13:24] Right. Right. But then beyond that, if they’re trying to choose, they want, they want to know why they should.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:13:30] right.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:13:31] You know, what can they, I love how you said that. The needs something to identify with. They want to know that they are part of, the right people making that decision.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:13:42] I mean, we all want that, right? I mean, we’re looking at something online. We read the reviews. you know, at least I do. I read reviews all the time because I want to know , what did they like about it? What experience did they have? But we’re not doing that ourselves in our copy to our clients.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:13:57] Right Right now. A second interesting thing happened to me when I tried to book photographers. Um, and by the way, I was that client. I was the person who said, I need a photo session on December 26th or I also made it very, very clear in my email. I am a photographer. I’m not trying to shop you. I’m not just trying to shop you and get your price list.
I really am a legitimate client with money to spend. I, I need to hire somebody.
Out of the three people that I wrote only one person wrote me back and I wrote them back with some questions And they never responded
How to stop being Ghosted by Your Photography Clients
Kimberley Anderson: [00:14:41] You got ghosted! No say it isn’t so!
Christine Tremoulet: [00:14:45] I was ghosted.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:14:47] No. Photographers never ghost people.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:14:49] Well and that’s what I want to talk about is how do we not ghost our potential clients I I and you you nailed it. Like we all think, “Oh, I never! I respond to every inquiry!” Beyond just the initial response what what do you feel we should be doing?
Kimberley Anderson: [00:15:08] Following up.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:15:10] How many times should I follow up?
Kimberley Anderson: [00:15:12] At least five. At least.
I have learned that with photographers that getting them to five is usually about as far as I can go. And I think that’s okay. There are some sales companies and knowledge out there that says seven times. If that’s not comfortable for you, that’s fine, but here’s why five works.
The first two. You’re on a fact finding, you’re giving them information, you’re giving them something of value, telling them how it is to work with you. The third one is a, “Hey, don’t forget”, and the last two are closing the loop, basically saying, “I’m going to go away now. You know where to find me.”
That seems to work.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:15:56] Okay. I like that. Like it’s so simple. Just five steps, you know, the first one, here’s, I always made it like the first ones. Here’s, here’s the information you just asked for, and the second one, almost like a checkup saying did you get the information or is, is there more to that second.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:16:15] Well, I like, I go on the assumption that they did get the information and they need more. And so what I’ll do is I’ll pull something out or that first email and say, you know, I touched on this briefly, but let me talk a little bit more about my process.
Just go on the assumption that they’re still checking you out, and they just haven’t gotten back to you yet.
By the third email, you’re starting to put a little pressure, like sessions are booking up. I generally book this far out. You know, there’s kind of a whole kind of psychology to it. By the fourth email, you’re basically like, Hey, I’m still here. If you’re still interested, let’s go.
The fifth email is literally just hit reply and let me know if you would like to take me off my followup list. Now what you do with them from there is your choice. If you have a list, you could add them to the list for a monthly newsletter. just because they didn’t hire you for their wedding doesn’t mean they might not hire you for family photos or newborn photos or whatever else you do.
So I basically go with, the thing is. Until they tell me not to contact them, I’m still allowed to contact them.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:17:26] right I found, I’ve had people come back at. I don’t know, like the fourth email, fifth email where suddenly they go, thank you so much for checking in with me. I got really busy at work or this happened with my family or
Kimberley Anderson: [00:17:42] Right? I, you know, and I say all the time that between the third and the fourth email is where the gold is. And most people don’t go that far. and here’s the worry. If you’re not, maybe your
competitor is,you know.
You follow up once maybe maybe twice and the second one is just a, “Hey did you get my email?”
And meanwhile your competitor is sending them “Let me talk a little bit about more, here’s a session I did here that might interest you. Here’s a great location And…”
Christine Tremoulet: [00:18:12] There’s Tips on planning.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:18:13] Yeah They’re they’re giving them more information. If you’re a Susie homemaker and you’ve been contacting four photographers, and then your kid got sick and was in the hospital for a week, and all of a sudden it’s been three or four weeks, and you come back to your mailbox and there’s one photographer who’s still been checking up? Who are you going to book with? Are you going to go dig up those other three that you’ve fallen off their radar? Or are you going to go into your inbox and go reply, tell me more?
Christine Tremoulet: [00:18:42] I think the only way you’re going to end up going back to one of the ones that have ghosted you is if they had presented something that really made you feel a strong connection, or maybe if you were recommended by a friend.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:18:57] Yeah, absolutely. I mean I’m not saying that there’s no chance they’re going they’re
Christine Tremoulet: [00:19:01] Right But it but it’s slim
Kimberley Anderson: [00:19:03] it’s slim. Right? I mean you know you go shop for a car and the car dealership guy calls you back couple of weeks later to check and see if you still have a car, and maybe it just fell through, and you’re like, “You know what? I don’t have a car. How can you help me?
Christine Tremoulet: [00:19:19] Now using that example, a lot of people are really upset when they respond to an inquiry and they never hear back from the potential client.
We get upset when we are when we feel like we’re being ghosted. But that car example is always my example for that.
I went car shopping, I looked at cars at five dealerships, I bought a car at one dealership.
I don’t bother going back to the other four. I never have.
Now, if the sales guy at one of the dealerships I didn’t buy from, or the sales woman, the salesperson, follows up with me a few days later and checks in and says, “Hey are you still interested in this car? I know you said you wanted it in this color, and we just got one in , et cetera.”
Then I’ll respond to them. Then I’ll tell them, “Oh my goodness Thank you for, thank you for following up, I went a different direction.” But otherwise, don’t be surprised that your potential inquiries don’t come back to you.
How to Deal with Pricing
Kimberley Anderson: [00:20:22] No. They don’t, and people take it so personally. And I think, I think that’s kind of an artist thing . Especially when it seems like they were really good fit, and generally the time that you know as photographers that we get get ghosted is right about the time we send out our pricing. So right away we jump to the conclusion that it’s the pricing.
And you know, I would say probably 90, 90% of the time that is what it is.
But really? What are you going to do about that? You’re not going to bring your prices down for one person to make yourself feel better. So if someone does drop communication with you, and you continue with your followup, to me it just feels like well I did my job.
If they don’t feel comfortable, or their mama didn’t raise them right enough to reply and say thanks, but you’re out of our budget, we went with someone else? Oh well. You know they’re moving on. You know there’s other fish
in the sea.
The Big Hangup Hurting Photographer’s Businesses
Christine Tremoulet: [00:21:14] And I think you said it right there. We did our job. This is your job, is to do the follow up, to go through the loop, to check in on them. That’s your job. That’s not their job as the client.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:21:29] It is your job. Right. It is your job. It literally is your job because you can be the best photographer in the world, but a good portion of this job is marketing and sales.
You have to find a way to do it that doesn’t make you feel gross
Because that’s the big hangup. I don’t want to be pushy. I don’t want to be salesy.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:21:50] This is a huge passion point of mine. Like you are a business. Your number one objective as a business, you may not realize this, for those of you listening: your number one objective as a business is to sell. It is to make money. That’s the point of being in the business is to make money.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:22:12] The perk is that you get to do what you love. That’s the perk.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:22:15] Right! The perk is that what I’m selling is taking photographs, and getting to work with clients, and all of those things. But at the end of the day the IRS defines your business as a business because you’re selling and making a profit. That’s what makes you a business.
There’s greater conversations out there about well no, it’s all, you know success is about this, and you have to be doing it… No. Really. The IRS says you’re a business because you’re making money, and therefore you’re a business. And that’s selling.
So I’ll, I’ll step back down off that soapbox.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:22:56] No, I’m I’m up there with you. Otherwise it’s a hobby, right I mean
Christine Tremoulet: [00:23:01] Otherwise it’s a hobby. It’s an expensive hobby if you’re not making money.
Photography is expensive, I mean and we all know this, which brings me to another interesting point I feel like we should touch on because we all know that photography is expensive.
Should we be writing blog post about that though?
Kimberley Anderson: [00:23:24] No.
Now you’ve got me, you’ve got me on this thing. No.
Here, would you like the list of things nobody cares about? Because I’m going to give them to you.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:23:33] good
Kimberley Anderson: [00:23:34] nobody cares how long it takes you to edit a wedding or how much hard drive space you you have. Nobody cares about your gear and your upkeep of your gear and how much your gear costs and how often you have to replace your gear.
Every single thing that I see out there like that, I want to slap the photographers who posts those things.
When’s the last time you saw an accountant put up a post about how when I charge you $350 for your taxes it’s because I had to take four years of analytical whatever ? Or I had to do forensics accounting and I had to update my CM-PCE-a-thing and it costs me $450 every 18 months?
They don’t care.
What they do care about is what you do for them and how your processes work. They care about that.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:24:30] Yeah, I do think some, I mean some of your clients might care that you’re properly insured, et cetera. But that’s not like, that’s not a blog. Like they don’t really care about – they care about it but…
Kimberley Anderson: [00:24:42] Well, they want to know you’re insured, because it’s a once in a lifetime event.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:24:47] Or it’s a I mean a portrait session At least you can repeat it but yeah and in the case of a wedding it’s once in a lifetime
Kimberley Anderson: [00:24:54] Right , and also they care because they saw it on a checklist somewhere and someone told them should they should care. I don’t go into my mechanics and ask them if they have all their whatever because I don’t know what they are.
But, yeah. I assume they’re, you’re there, you’re paying taxes, so we’re good, right? I don’t say to them, what degrees do you have from Honda, so that I know you can work on my Honda.
So a little bit but not as much as you think.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:25:23] Just to be clear we’re not talking – and that’s why I brought up like the insurance thing – it’s one thing to say I’m insured and I keep my gear up to date, et cetera.
We’re specifically talking about those validation posts, I charge a lot of money because do you realize what my business costs to run?!? And they normally seem really angry
Kimberley Anderson: [00:25:47] They’re always yeah, angry and they’re combative almost.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:25:50] yeah Well and I think they’re written when we have a serious – confession time – I had a post similar to this. I basically had my prices and then I had a are you curious what goes into the price And you could click on a link and go to another page. That. That.
Right away, everybody was like, yes, that’s amazing! Can I copy this? Can I share it? Because people don’t understand.
I had a wedding planner reach out to me and they said, “Oh that’s bad. Bad idea. Take that down.” And I, because I was in it, where I felt like everybody was telling us we were too I didn’t to take it down.
But when I went back, what fortunately it was a point in time where I was pretty fully booked, and by the time I looked at it again? I know, man my inquiries dropped. And fortunately I caught it and pulled the page off my website before it really hurt me because I did have stuff book pretty far in advance. I was like “why have my inquiries gone down?”
And then I was like, “Ohhhhhh…”
Because while I felt that I was valid, and I did have one client who told her mom, in the meeting, her mom was like “Oh these prices!” And she right away, but she was into cameras. She was into photography. She was not a professional photographer, but she had cameras, so she was like, “Oh mom! She’s got like she’s got all the Canon L series lenses and stuff!” To her it was a big deal, so I guess I had one client that benefited but that’s it’s so not worth your inquiries going down and everything
Kimberley Anderson: [00:27:31] else.
No, I mean I just look at any other industry and see see where you see that. It just doesn’t happen. You don’t need to explain.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:27:42] Right? I’ve never seen a a steak house that says our steak is $62 Oh by the way it’s because we get it from this ranch and we do this and it’s aged and do you know what our rent costs for this restaurant That’d be the most ridiculous thing I would walk out of the restaurant and leave
Kimberley Anderson: [00:28:05] Right I mean they can imply it in their copy all over the place You know they can imply this ranch and Oh
Christine Tremoulet: [00:28:13] These cows are fed by … I love that I picked steak because Kimberley hates steak, but it’s like my favorite food. No.
They can imply it. I have seen restaurants do this really successfully where they just throw in a word that, if you’re in the know? Great.
A good example might be if I got a brand new camera body and I posted about it on social media. “Yay! I got this new camera body. I’m so excited. I love it.”
Cool. Then they have an idea of what gear I have, and if they want to do research, like what does that camera body cost? Oh my God, that was $4,000! Cool. Like that’s up to them though. I’m not saying I’m expensive because I bought a $4,000 camera.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:28:59] Right. Yeah. Agreed.
That’s my little soapbox thing.
I’ll get a photographers who will want me to write posts like that or blog posts like that for them, and I’m like, and I will, but I will make them spin it a little bit different.
Well let’s talk about if you want to talk about your editing process, because you think that’s important to clients. Let’s tell them how it benefits – I mean what does this do? The fact that you hand edit every single photo let’s talk about why you feel that’s important? What differences is it going to make for the piece of wall art you’re going to sell them? Let’s sell them on the fact that you are literally putting your heart into this art, instead of lecturing them about how long it takes you to edit a section.
So It’s not misguided it’s just, it just doesn’t work.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:29:47] a little wording tip here that I think might help some people.
I always use to tell people that I edited their images the ones that they saw when we did their proofing session or if I use online galleries and that’s the file that if they bought the DVD, or sorry USB. Oh my God! I just like flashed back in time to 2009!
I promise you I’m not giving anybody DVDs. I don’t even own a DVD drive, and they don’t either. Nobody’s got DVDs anymore.
But if I’m saying these are the images I put online for you to download, whether I’m using a gallery, or if I send them a USB , or however I’m delivering the files, which is not on DVD. That this is that level of editing.
The reason you should buy your wall art from me is on through and meticulously hand edit that image, I fixed stray hairs, I will do whatever it is that I did that was different.
So in the case of weddings, if you ordered an image for me and somebody had their eyes kind of closed, or a half blank, or weird expression? Those are the images that I would do some swap Photoshopping on. But I did not do extensive Photoshopping, unless you edited a print from me, whether it was 8×10, wall art, whatever.
That’s how I made it really clear to them, the difference between getting the files and getting that.
And I knew I had hit the mark when I had a parent say back to me, “Oh yeah, this is our archive, these are like our negatives, but the actual art is when we get the canvas wrap from you.”
And I did a little dance around the room.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:31:33] Yep, That’s perfect.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:31:34] I gave myself an out. I told everybody, “if I meticulously hand retouched every image? It would take six months before you saw your photos. So that’s why I only do it on what I print.”
And for clients who don’t understand the difference, who are just saying I just want the image? For at least, for my clients, that gave them enough of an understanding of the value of coming back to me for the print. That they didn’t just need a file that they were going to go take to some local lab that would do a mediocre job.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:32:07] Right. See that resonates with people so much more than how I edit my photos, a 700 word blog posts
Christine Tremoulet: [00:32:15] Yeah. They didn’t need to know how I edited, they just needed to know the difference and why.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:32:20] You made it about them. You were stating a benefit to them, and that resonates in everybody’s mind.
People Buy Benefits, They Don’t Buy Features
Christine Tremoulet: [00:32:27] Right. People buy benefits, they don’t buy features. They they want to know what the benefit is.
When somebody is buying the plane ticket to France, they’re not buying the seat on the plane. They’re buying the fact that the plane is going to get them to France.
They want to know where you’re going to get them in the end.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:32:48] Exactly. You know, when you’re selling a piece of wall art you’re not just selling a 16 by 24 canvas, you’re selling “a piece of your family’s history that you’ll see every single day.”
That’s the benefit to them. And in an industry like ours, we’re dealing with high emotions. We’re dealing with heartstrings. It’s okay to capitalize on that.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:33:12] Yeah. We’re not, we’re not using, like it’s not a gross thing. Like, “Oh you’re manipulating them.” No.
And in reality that’s why people came to you.
Should You Have Pricing On Your Photography Website?
We talked about this ghosting situation and I’ve what is something that you can do on your website, to help potential clients so that you don’t get ghosted?
Kimberley Anderson: [00:33:39] I think having a range of your pricing is important.
I know there’s a lot of pushback on this, like get them to contact you, but there’s a lot of people who will just bounce from your website if they don’t have just an idea of where you land. A simple line like “most clients invest blank.”
Because, If it’s wildly above what they can afford? If you’re twice what was the top of their budget as you’re starting? They’re not even going to get in touch.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:34:13] Oh yeah I feel like I still had people get in touch all the time because not everybody reads every page on your website.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:34:21] don’t always read Yeah And that’s another issue That’s a whole other issue a lot of that comes down to formatting. That’s a big thing on websites.
Writing in big blocks of text. People don’t read like that anymore
You’ll notice now even when I write blogs two to three sentences per paragraph no more than that.
Lots of headers, lots of bolds. H1, H2s, lots of bullet points, because people skim and when their eye falls across something that’s interesting or that is meaningful to them? Literally they back up and reread it again; they read what was above it and then read what was below it to put it into context.
That’s another really great way to get people to pay a little bit more of attention so that when they do contact you they have a little better frame of reference But yeah it is an issue and then you have the people who aren’t reading at all and are literally just copy pasting to 40 or 50 photographers and that’s just gonna happen.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:35:19] It does. I mean that’s just how they shop. And that’s okay.
I used to have a pricing page but then I also added the price to my contact page because if they didn’t bother going to the pricing page or sometimes it’s funny even though it was in the site navigation at the time that it just seemed like people just didn’t see it Well also we sometimes use words that confuse them I don’t I don’t think every person understands when you say investment.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:35:49] yeah And that jargon is a big thing
Yeah And an investment could mean different things I have clients who thought that image was something different than a photo They think it’s fancier you know use normal people words You don’t need to call it a JPEG call it a digital file You know Most people understand now especially what a JPEG is versus raw or something like that You don’t need to get that technical.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:36:17] Or because if they don’t understand it and you say I might give you JPEGs they’re going to write back and say can I put those on Facebook?
Kimberley Anderson: [00:36:26] Yeah Right I mean 100% the entire intent Of your website and the copy on your website is to get them in front of your face That’s what you want because if you’re a photographer you know as well as I do that you probably have a pretty good closing rate once you get them face to face by face to face I mean you know video phone call or in person if you meet in person
They’re so overwhelmed with information, and how many of us have had a client where you were meeting with them and it was clear that either they didn’t remember your website at all, or they were talking about another photographer, or they got confused everything that’s on your site is to get them off your site which sounds crazy but
Christine Tremoulet: [00:37:09] Right I feel like everything that’s on social media is to get them to your site
Kimberley Anderson: [00:37:15] yup.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:37:17] Because, I will still argue in our current day and age, even if somebody is inquiring through Instagram or Facebook? They probably still went over and looked at your site a little bit. Most of the time.
I think that’s starting to shift I will acknowledged that that is starting to shift some, but I feel like they’re still going to go over to your site for a little bit, and then come back to Instagram and inquire. So your website still matters. Okay Yeah.
They’ll look at it, and it just gives you a longer runway for them to look through information on.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:37:55] Well and you know, there’s no SEO benefits to Instagram or Facebook, as we well know so…
And we don’t own them do we ?
Christine Tremoulet: [00:38:04] Nope I mean all the time there are reports of people their Instagram accounts with their Facebook business pages being shut down and it’s sad and frustrating and everything else.
But it can happen and it can happen They don’t have to give you a reason they can just shut it
Kimberley Anderson: [00:38:27] Yup yup Then that whole thing you’ve built poof
Christine Tremoulet: [00:38:36] yeah Yeah I know I know you and I both agree on this If you write some really amazing content for Instagram or Facebook copy it paste it put it on your website Now you’ve got it in your library It’s in your archive It’s your encyclopedia of you And information So there in that way it’s serving you.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:39:00] Yup It should be It should be on your blog It should be somewhere
Christine Tremoulet: [00:39:05] yeah somewhere
Kimberley Anderson: [00:39:06] where Google can crawl it
Christine Tremoulet: [00:39:08] Yeah any other closing
Kimberley Anderson: [00:39:13] this has been great we’ve we’ve hit on all the things we don’t like and like so I do have a ebook on how to write a killer email followup sequence And I said that they should be five emails.
It’s a downloadable PDF and you can download it and it will walk you through paragraph by paragraph ideas to build out email sequences.
When I first started writing this book, I did an informal poll on my Facebook page and my email list to find out how many times people followed up. And I was like, you know, be honest. Like tell me the truth.
And 80% of the people who answered it said they only follow up one time after the initial inquiry.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:39:53] So they send one response and then they send one follow up.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:39:58] Followup. Yeah. And that’s it.
If they don’t hear back they don’t pursue it. And most of the reason why was, “I don’t know what to say.” Which I totally get that.
Like you send out the information, and then you check, and then you do a check back in. Is there any questions I can answer for you? Blah blah blah. And then they don’t answer you. So, what do you say to that, right?
So what this series does is it gives you things to say to them. So that if they’re still listening, they’ll get back in contact with you
And you can write these up. You can load them into your CRM, if you have one, to go out automatically. I even give you how many days I generally suggest to wait in between each one. Or you can send them up manually if you prefer, and kind of personalize them.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:40:44] Just for anybody listening, A CRM is is the client relationship management system but it’s that there’s so many out there I don’t want to accidentally exclude somebody but it’s something like do you use Tave, or Pixifi, or 17 Hats, or Honeybook…
Yeah whatever, HoneyBook, Sprout Studios – there are so many of them but if you have one of those? A lot of times they’re going to have a feature where you can just put these emails in and schedule them out. Or maybe, depending on what you use, maybe they’re a template. And if you don’t have one of those
Kimberley Anderson: [00:41:20] Yeah you can you can schedule things out in g-mail too and that’s free it just gives you a point of reference It gives you somewhere to start on that what to say and so that you can you know build out these emails do your followup And again I think a lot of people have written back to me and said you’re right it was between the third and the fourth one And I never would have sent that third email.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:41:42] We don’t want to feel like we’re the person chasing the other person. It reminds me of that online dating where you messaged someone, and you didn’t hear back from them. And you messaged them a second time, and you don’t hear back from them and you’re like well, I don’t want to be the creeper who just keeps messaging them.
But the difference is this isn’t dating. This is your business. I feel like I need to just hand everyone a permission slip the money is in the followup and I’m giving you permission to follow up And I like having this number this like it’s five you’re not going to follow up You know you’re going to give them an out
Kimberley Anderson: [00:42:20] Yeah. Oh, and that’s that’s a good point I should bring up. In every single email I give people the option to say stop contacting me. And I don’t just mean – I mean some with the CRMs they’ll actually have an unsubscribe. But literally in the bottom I’ll say, “Hey if you found someone and you don’t want me to follow up, just hit reply and let me know and I’ll take you off my list.”
Really casual every single time every single time.
Also putting a call to action in . “If any of this is confusing just hit reply and let me know what you’re thinking.”
That’s really important for open rates because if someone does hit reply and asks you something? Gmail and all the other email carriers see that as a positive interaction. That means that this is a healthy exchange. You’re not just spamming them.
And there will be people who will just reply and say take me off, and that’s fine And then that’s all you have to do. You don’t even have to reply to them or anything.
The bulk of people will just not respond. There’s not too many people that I have ever had who have unsubscribed from an email sequence as far as a client goes. If you have a mailing list that’s that’s a totally different thing.
Usually clients will just say nothing.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:43:27] I feel like that’s the moral of our story. You’re going to get ghosted. But don’t be the one doing the ghosting.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:43:36] Yeah. It you know and we all do it.
You wait too long and then you feel weird, and “Oh geez, you know, and now I’m going to be that person.”
And you go between the am I that person who doesn’t respond, or am I that person who finally responds after couple of weeks and now I’m that loser person who never got back to you.
Just realize that it is just part of the culture now. Not responding is the new normal.
I just take it as a sign that that person just was not meant to be. And I have had people come back, a year or so later, and be like I’m really sorry I dropped off. Yeah I’d like to talk to you again about that. Can we re revisit that.
And because I haven’t had a weird exchange with them – that happens. I saw someone the other day on a Facebook group who literally and you were on the thread too, where the girl got ghosted and she was very upset about it. And one of the photographers said, “well I just reply and say did you ghost me?”
NO. I mean, maybe they meant it to be funny, and light, and cute, but let’s not forget that that doesn’t translate an email, and embarrassing the person is never a good idea.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:44:47] Yeah. Right. Right. Embarrassing them making like you want you want your potential clients to feel amazing and like heros. Not embarrassed and like yeah I don’t know, it actually kind of goes back to that online dating thing. I mean that’s one thing If you put in online dating like did you ghost me?
Okay that’s probably fine because you don’t care. You don’t actually want to have any more interaction with that person. But I don’t know if that’s how it works in online dating anymore? I’ve been married now for 15 years, so y’all don’t come at me and tell me how it works. I don’t need to know.
Where you can find Kimberley online
So you have this amazing Guide PDF guide that they can get and we’re going to put a link for it in the show notes and everybody can find you at RedCurlCreative.com
Kimberley Anderson: [00:45:45] Yup. You can find me on Facebook, there I’m Red Curl Creative and I think on Instagram I’m Kim at red curl creative
Christine Tremoulet: [00:45:53] Hm I thought it was just red curl creative there too Now we’re both like wait a minute we follow you at look at me I’m totally pulling up Instagram right now Well you can’t look at me because it’s his voice only but I am pullng up Instagram right now red Oh it’s @RedCurlCreativeKim
Kimberley Anderson: [00:46:12] Oh there we go that’s me So you can find me
Christine Tremoulet: [00:46:14] on Instagram. And she will come up because she is the woman with the glorious red curly hair. So yeah, no question where that came from.
So thank you again for joining me. It has been so much fun I’m so glad that you’re joining me today!
Kimberley Anderson: [00:46:33] It has been fun
Christine Tremoulet: [00:46:34] As we mentioned at the start Kim does offer copywriting. If you are looking for somebody to help you with the copy on your website, if you’re looking for somebody to help you write blog posts.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:46:50] Yeah. Wedding and events. So I write for DJs, photographers, florists, wedding planners, boudoir photographers, children photographers, so pretty – so mostly weddings but also pretty much any genre of photographer.
Christine Tremoulet: [00:47:04] You’ve been in the photo industry for so many years, and I think that’s a great thing between going out and in choosing a copywriter I think at the right knowing that you have such an intimate knowledge of the photo industry and the wedding industry so that you’re able to help us out there I can give I can give her a glowing endorsement She has written copy for me in the past when I have have needed things written and has been such a fantastic experience. I think it’s a true talent to be able to articulate other people’s words in their voice.
Kimberley Anderson: [00:47:40] Thank you
Christine Tremoulet: [00:47:41] that you have. So thank you again for joining me today
Kimberley Anderson: [00:47:45] for having me All right Follow up Follow up
Christine (outro): [00:47:53] Thank you again so much for joining us. Show notes for this episode are available at ReframeSuccess.com. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your friends and be sure to leave a five star review.
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Thank you again. Until next time!