Business owners, how do you know your marketing works?
Easy. Your competitor(s) steals your idea. Well, that’s being a tad unkind. Instead, they might borrow it, or adopt it, or trial it, or roll it out, or … you get the picture. Happens a lot to us, which is why I know we’re on the right track. Models get ‘borrowed’, clients get contacted with a ‘super cheap offer’, new photographers enter the market offering last year’s ideas they’ve ‘discovered’ doing a little online ‘research’, new marketing campaigns get ‘copied’ – sometimes within 24 hours.
As a business owner it’s your job to see through the smoke and mirrors and make clear, conscionable decisions for the benefit of your business, which includes your individual financial well-being as well as those of your family, your staff, your staff’s families, and your creditors amongst many others. So, why would you go for an imitator to provide your photographic and/or communications requirements when there are innovators who actually get what it is you’re trying to achieve? I’ll tell you now, when you book us for a commercial job we capture your images for a reason – not just for the hell of it. That is, we ask ourselves what purpose the photo will serve then we ensure it meets your intended needs. We never just turn up and take a photo without thinking how that photo sits in the grand scheme of what your marketing or communications campaign is trying to achieve.
When hiring a commercial photographer, if it comes down to cost ask yourself these key questions:
1). What happens if the job is too complex for the person I appoint? Can they grow and adapt or will the outcome be compromised?
2). Are they able to offer the quality I need at a reasonable price?
3). Are they able to back that up with the service I expect, again at a reasonable price? It pains me to say it but a lot of photographers (and fauxtographers) have the people skills of a house plant or they’re either artistes or autocrats. Either way, you’re the client – and hopefully a paying one at that – so you deserve the full engagement of your contractor.
4). What happens if something goes wrong? Do they perform off-site back-ups? Are they insured? Do they keep copies of my images in case I lose them?
5). Do they have the gear for the job, and the training and wherewithal to know how to use it?
If you’re not satisfied with the answers your prospective communications partner – and that’s who you’re commissioning – can supply then look around. It might cost you a few dollars more in up-front costs but the saving at the back-end is well worthwhile. Hell, in today’s economy wise investing is one of the best ways to setting yourself up to do well in the years ahead and contracting a skilled, professional photographer is one of the wisest investments of all.