One of the most important skills you can have as a photographer when not behind the lens is knowing how to craft a cold pitch that will get potential clients’ attention and separate you from the herd. There is tons of competition in this industry and to stand out from the rest we need to operate creatively and fluidly in the back end.
Today we’ll get into how we go about crafting pitches that are sure to increase the chances of your prospects taking a serious interest in what you have to offer. In time as you continue to refine and modify your techniques a higher successful response rate is sure to be inevitable. So if you’re ready to innovate the way you approach building your clientele, read on!
Start with a personalized compliment
Starting with a personalized compliment when you are pitching an idea to potential clients is a critical step in the relationship-building process. First impressions are of the utmost importance. Personalized compliments are the number one way to start to build rapport with someone.
Introducing yourself with a thoughtful, specific compliment helps create a better first impression and encourages the client to genuinely listen to what you have to say. More so, when your compliment is detailed and specific to them, their business, or their product, it shows that they aren’t just receiving a generic automated message and that you took the time to research and dig into their company.
It also shows you care enough to take the time to recognize their achievements or successes before mentioning anything about yourself, thus improving your chances of achieving a successful pitch.
Get straight to the point and don’t be vague
When a client initially receives your cold pitch, they are looking for substance, not fluff. It is important to get your message or idea across quickly and effectively. Business owners have such limited time. You need to grasp their attention fast. You don’t want to drag out the conversation or be vague with your intentions.
Get straight to the point in the opening of your email (after you’ve done step 1 above) and explain your idea as concisely as possible only keeping details that are essential.
Avoid any confusion about what you’re offering. Be sure to use language that is both concise and clear and don’t forget to include a bullet point or numbered list if you have to. I sometimes like to use a different colored font for these critical parts.
It is also important that you clearly explain that you have a rough plan and offer some creative ideas for photography or content creation. Research their business. See where they could be lacking on their website or social media. Maybe you recognize they need more short-format video content.
As an example perhaps you see a custom sauna building company that offers delivery service on their website but there’s no visual content on their socials at all to speak for that service. Be a problem solver and find holes to fill.
Your job as the photographer and one driving the conversation is to make it as difficult as possible for your potential client to say “no” because your idea is so well thought out and useful. This is ultimately done by doing all the hard work for them (by coming up with areas for improvement or identifying lacking areas in visual content) and having answers already prepared for questions that may arise from their end.
If you’ve identified an area that can be improved upon and your idea is a good one, it’s likely the person you’re talking to will get excited and add to or build off of your ideas. This is where you can engage further and work together so that you can prepare a refined game plan and land the gig. Be sure to listen to their ideas! You’re there to execute someone else’s vision by utilizing your skillset and creativity. Never forget that.
Keep your message short and sweet
When sending messages to potential clients, it is critical to keep your messages as concise and relevant as possible. The only things that should ever be in your emails and messages, besides sentences that build rapport or showcase personality, are relevant facts about your ideas for the project and your credentials.
Keeping your messages clear and concise ensures that your recipient doesn’t get confused or overwhelmed, showcases that you know how to stay on track, and allows them to comprehend exactly what you are offering.
When messages “run away” in terms of length, you increase the likelihood that the reader loses interest and your message gets sent to the trash bin or left on read. Time is everyone’s most valuable asset.
Make sure to prioritize clear communication so your reader understands what you’re proposing without taking up too much of their time. You can elaborate on details later when they are ready to move forward with the next step of your proposal.
Be more than a photographer. Leverage other skills you have that set you apart
There is always a creative way to differentiate yourself from the crowd in any scenario. We all have additional skills beyond photography. Find a creative way to offer or utilize them to sell your potential client on the photography gig. This is another chance to develop a creative approach.
For example, if you’re a podcaster and you’re pitching a cabin that you want to shoot, mention that you could record a video podcast in their rental in addition to snapping photos. Another example could be if you’re an expert in SEO, mention how you could optimize their website after you deliver the photos.
Demonstrating the diversity of your skill set will showcase the additional value proposition you bring to clients and make you stand out. Maybe you’re excellent at writing copy. You could offer to write a few captions for the reels or photos you deliver. When you emphasize your standout qualities, you ensure that potential customers won’t forget about you.
Send voice memos instead of text
Sending voice memos via text, email or DM is a great way to show assertiveness, and confidence and deliver tone. How many people do you think send potential clients voice notes? Close to zero. This is an excellent way to stand out from the slew of messages and emails clients receive and be impossible to forget.
Voice memos can lead to strong first impressions, and they also allow you to get way more information across quickly, which is valuable to both you and the potential client. They will also pick up on your personality, which could be the deciding factor when making their decision about you.
People like to work with someone they connect with and who gives them good vibes, not necessarily the most talented. Crafting unique voice messages shows confidence and keeps you at the forefront of their mind.
Include a link to your portfolio or website
A better way to increase your chances of getting an intriguing response from a potential client is to provide them with a link in your initial email to a portfolio of your work. This doesn’t have to be a website if you can’t afford hosting fees.
Google Drive and Dropbox have free options where you can store folders of past work and PDF pitch decks specifically tailored to the creative ideas you outlined in the initial email. Your pitch deck is where you can be much more descriptive and elaborate, as you dive deeper into explaining the concepts and ideas you have.
Presenting two to three narratives or concepts for them to peruse will ensure that they are given enough information to understand what you’re selling.
To wrap up
Hopefully, these tips were helpful to you! We hope that they aid you in increasing the number of clients that reply to your messages and emails. Remember increased responses in itself is a win to celebrate. Once you begin getting more responses, you can begin to fine-tune your conversations to successfully land a job from start to finish.
Implement as many of these tips as possible into your strategy and track the results over time. See what works best for you.
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