Ross Eason Reveals His Secret Weapon
With so many people able to operate a camera, the mystery that photography once held is gone.
In fact, many of the jobs we used to do, our clients are now happily doing themselves! The challenge is to point out the difference: why do our photos look better than theirs, and how can we show our clients this?
“When I receive an inquiry by email or telephone, I try to get myself in front of someone as quickly as possible. Not only is it harder for them to say no when they meet you face to face, it also lets me show them examples of my work and explain my USP.
“I take an interest in their product, rather than just turning up and giving them a price. And if I know who they are trying to reach with the photography, I can also present them with a PDF document of sample photos relevant to their project. It’s also important to know who the final decision maker is and, if it’s not the person I’m dealing with, I’ll see if I can include them in the process.
“Today you have to bring value to the proposition, such as finding a way to save them money. The reason I still have my biggest client after 15 years is that I continue to bring value to the relationship, not by saving them money (as much as they want that), but by suggesting ways to do it better, faster or more creatively. Value should not be confused with discounting. It can come from input, professional conduct and good advice.”
Ross emphasises that lots of photographers can ‘save you money’, so you need something else.
“I know a lot of clients take their own photos and employ people who are keen on photography. Most art directors are pretty good photographers and Nikon and Canon have automated their end. So has Adobe for the editing, so I have to ensure that I offer something they can’t do.
“My USP which I take to just about every job is lighting”, explained Ross.
“The majority of my work uses lighting and it creates a big difference between what I’m offering and what my clients can produce on their own. Even when a job doesn’t require lighting, I will turn up with it just in case, reinforcing the difference a professional can make.”
Ross Eason M.Photog., HLM is a commercial photographer in South East Queensland. He is an AIPP National Vice President and has been in business for over 30 years. www.easoncreative.com.au