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What Are Your Services Worth?

What is a photoshoot worth? Well it can be worth a lot to me but then again I am a photographer. So how can I work with a client and show value both to my client and to myself? To answer that I can also ask another question, what is my client’s product or service worth to them or their business?

 

The reason I am even posing these questions is because I am in the midst of working out a deal with a potential client that has value for both of us. My client needs images to promote their business (a sort of chamber of commerce) and I need more local business. So what does that mean to both of us? Well it means we both have something of value that is as good as money.

 

I have the desire to do more business locally for a plethora of reasons, the least of which is the cost of gas these days.  Traveling hundreds of miles is getting rather expensive and that means that my client has to pay more for my services. By staying local I can support my neighborhood and hopefully have more of my local investments come back to me as more clients! So how can I get in touch with these potential clients?  I just moved here 15 months ago and in this area, that is very new.

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Consumer Value or Valued Customer

Which is more important: consumer value or being a valued customer? It’s true that every person wants to get a great deal.  After all, who doesn’t like saving money? One has to ask though, is that more important than being valued as a customer?

 

As our world gets smaller the distance between individuals seems to be becoming greater. Personalized services are becoming more valued due to the fact that they are indeed getting rare. In an age of mass marketing, cookie cutter solutions, assembly line products and one size fits all where has personal service gone? It seems that very little is made or done for individuals any more. More often than not things are marketed in a way that is supposed to be personal when in fact the product or service is not personalized at all.

 

So how do I try to provide a personalized experience for you, my client? Easy, I work with you.

 

I think I have said it before on this blog, my first job in life was working for a family business gutting fish all day – week old fish at that. That job taught me a lot of lessons when it comes to my business and a lot about life in general. When you work for family you are not just another employee. You are expected to do twice as much for less than half the paycheck and no recognition.

 

Today I run my own business and I want my clients to think of me as that family employee. I am going to do as much as I can, as often as I can, for as long as I can and I want you to get the credit. My goal is to make you look as good as possible and the only way I can do that is to understand your wants and needs. That means I have to work with you, understand the problems you have and help you find solutions that solve those problems.

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The Value Of Quality

 

In past articles I have written about when good enough isn’t, how to save money with photography, integrity, quality service and a lot of other things. So what is the message this week?  In a word, quality.

 

What value does quality photography have to the average client? Whether they realize it or not my clients want it, need it, and, in fact, they require it.

 

Advertising, corporate image, marketing, all require that you get your message out there. It takes time to build a brand that creates an image of quality and value for the money spent. If we look at the auto industry we can see perfect examples of what branding can do for a company; how putting forth a positive image can make or break you.

 

It doesn’t matter what brands I name, Hyundai, Toyota, Chevrolet, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari, all make you think of an automobile.  But, if you look at each of those names, each conjures up a completely different image and gives you a completely different type of vehicle and a completely different feeling.

 



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Value Added – Buzz Words Or Real Service?

 

It seems of late I am constantly hearing the term “Value Added”. To get the upper hand on your competition you need to have a message that shows your Value Added proposition or something that helps you stand out from a crowd. So is this just a new buzz word or is it a new way of doing business?

 

For many it is a new way of doing business. For far too long you got what you got and that is what you paid for. Photographers, writers, advertisers, suppliers, whoever always gave you what you ordered or contracted and that was that. The value was in the service or product they delivered. Today the idea is to add more to what you are giving your clients hence adding value to your service or product. For me this seems like customer service.

 

I was raised in a family business, a seafood restaurant, my first tasks were gutting fish and peeling potatoes and it was all I did all day. My father instilled the old adages of “the customer is always right” and “take care of your customers and they will take care of you.” In a family business you are expected to do twice as much work for half the pay and none of the glory. But it teaches you a lot. (That is my father in the image below. Hey it is a photography blog.)

 

I swore a long time ago that I would never gut another fish or peel a potato. I never stopped giving customer service though and I never will. I’m not sure how often the customer is actually right but they will take care of you if you take care of them.

 

I do my best to promise the right service in my photography business and I try to over deliver whenever I can. I want my clients to be not only happy with the quality of my work but impressed with how I do business. For me that is customer service.

 

Is customer service a value added proposition?  I wish it weren’t but it seems that in today’s world it can be. Going the extra mile (another of my father’s sayings) is not a bother or even a choice for me. Doing the extra is what my clients deserve. They are paying for quality and quality comes in many forms. Quality is in the images I deliver, it is the service I give and it grows into the partnerships I have and will have.

 

Taking the time to grow and foster a relationship with my clients does what my father taught me; take care of your clients. In turn I hope my clients stay my clients for a long time to come. I want to build relationships with them and get to know them and their businesses so I can give them more the next time I work with them. I want them to value my skills and services as much as I value their business.

 

Does all this become a “Value Added Service”? Beats me. For me it’s just good old fashioned business.