Messaging for Photographers: A Way to Crush Your Competition

Aug 27, 2021
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There is a tremendous amount of competition in the photography industry now. In the 12 years that I have been shooting I have never seen this many photographers in the boudoir genre. 

If you want to stand out, you will have to rise above and level up. I had the chance to sit down and chat with my good friend and business partner Lacy Morgan, to talk about how changing your messaging can help you stand out from your competition and allow you to book more clients. 

What is messaging?

Messaging is the language that we use across all of our content that you share to build and nurture an audience. It is what you put out to the world that will ultimately help you book and retain clients.  

Why is messaging important?

Messaging is the most important piece of your business to help you gain clients and give them an amazing experience. 

What we are seeing in the photography industry

Photographers are using pre-packaged language that they either have gotten from someone else or it is inspired by someone else. They will use the same words that they have heard before and what they are noticing is that they are not really being heard. They are putting in all of the work to get the engagement and they are getting crickets.  Their messaging is lacking. 

Explaining vs Persuading

With messaging you can either be explaining or persuading. What we are mostly seeing in the industry is that photographers are using explaining messaging. While explaining messaging has a purpose and can book you some clients it is not going to help you stand out against your competitors. 

Here is a little example of explaining messaging. You put up a post on social media wanting to book bridal boudoir sessions. You post a gorgeous amazing picture and you tell them that you are booking 1-hour bridal boudoir sessions. You let them know the date you are holding the sessions, the cost and you tell them the time slots available. You let your potential clients know that the sessions include hair and makeup, a 5x7 groom album and 20 digital images. At the end of the post you make sure you add in that there are a limited number of spots available and to hurry up and book. 

While all of that information is important to include in your messaging it will be white noise to your audience. With explaining messaging you are missing a huge component to grab your audience's attention and make them want to book with you. 

With persuasive messaging, instead of telling your audience what you do.  You are going to tell your audience how they are going to feel once they have gone through a session with you. We all know that our clients are likely to be nervous about a session because they will have to be vulnerable and that may be scary. 

Now if you are using persuasive messaging throughout the entire process.  You will talk about how you are going to be the person that is going to take them through this experience and make them feel good in their skin. Tell them about all of the positive results that will come from a photoshoot with you. You are no longer just selling them a photoshoot with that 5x7 groom album and digital images. You are persuading them on the experience they will have and the feeling they are going to experience after the photoshoot is done. 

Let’s go back to the example of wanting to book bridal boudoir sessions. You will need to be very clear about what they are getting but to take it to the next level and use persuasive messaging you will want to lay groundwork of the experience. First we will need to understand what our client’s greatest desire and fears are because that will help you develop the language. 

So for these bridal boudoir sessions they are wanting to give their groom something for their wedding. We will tell them that we are going to guide, coach and direct them. That it is not their job to know how to take a great picture, that it is ours. We let them know that they are going to feel and look amazing. That they will feel confident and comfortable in their own skin and we are going to help them deliver a gift to their groom that will remind him that they are the best gift that he will ever receive. 

Framing your posts in such a way will hit all of their desires and squash all of their fears. I know that this can be a little tricky because it is not something that is intuitive for us but with a little bit of practice and a shifting of your perspective this concept of persuasive messaging will be a game changer for you and your business. 

Want to learn more about how to stand out against your competitors? Check out my podcast Make Your Mark- A Photography Podcast to listen to the full interview with Lacy Morgan and other episodes here: https://www.dbirdsong.com/make-your-mark-podcast

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