Photography Marketing & Selling Secret #36: The A.R.P. LAW

photography marketing make connectionsAs a photographer, it’s very easy for us to get caught up in the lighting, and the posing, the equipment, software, backgrounds – all that wonderful stuff that helps us to create beautiful images.   However, we must make sure that we are not forgetting what is probably the single most important aspect of being a professional photographer.   This one thing goes well beyond even our ability to create great photographs, because, without this one thing, we won’t have anyone to photograph, and we won’t be able to capture our subjects looking their very best when they step in front of our camera.

Today, I want to discuss the all important A.R.P. law. This is one of the most vital laws I’ve ever discovered for my photography business, and I know it will transform yours as well.  Whether you’re working out of your home, a store-front studio, commercial space – wherever your photography business may be – this law will be crucial to your success.

A.R.P. stands for:  your “Ability to Relate to People.”
This is truly the single most important skill you can develop as a photographer, as it is a part of every single step of the photographic creation and sales process.   Don’t underestimate the importance of this.  It’s easy to disregard this and think: “If I just create wonderful portraits, people will flock to me.”  That is not the case.   It never has been, and it never will be.   There’s so much more to it than that.

In business, it’s all about building relationships, and we do this by empathizing and relating to our clients and prospects.   It’s the business-owner who understands and HONESTLY does this who will be truly successful.   The success you have, and the profits you bring in through your photography business are DIRECTLY proportional to your ability to relate to people.

Why is your ability to relate to people so important?  Let’s look at each step of the process here:

1st – You have to get people to find you and contact you in the first place. This is done through your MARKETING.   The best marketing, in any business, is marketing that appeals to people on a EMOTIONAL level.   Well, the best way to talk emotionally to someone in marketing is to be able to RELATE to them, so you can talk in terms of what THEY want.  Make sure that all your marketing, including social media and your website, use the A.R.P. law!

How can you do that?

A – Make sure all your marketing talks in terms of how working with you will benefit THEM.
B – Tell stories in your marketing – stories about why you got into photography, clients you’ve worked with whom you’ve really moved with your photography, etc.   Stories build rapport so much better than just stating “THE FACTS.”
C – Ask questions, even in your marketing where they “can’t” respond back.   Posing questions in your marketing shows that you care about them, and that you understand the questions they might have going on in their heads.

2nd – You photograph them. Obviously, the better rapport you’ve built with them, the more you can “relate” to and with them, the more natural they will look on camera, and the better they will look.   It’s so much easier to create a wonderful photograph of someone who likes and trusts you, than someone who is shy, nervous, and doesn’t really feel connected to you in any way.

3rd – The sales. There is no better way to sell photography to anyone than to build a great rapport with them.  Period.   They need to trust you, and even more, trust that you have their best interests at heart.   The only way to do this through your ability to relate to people.

Use the same tips given on the marketing section above when you’re doing the sales to the client to build that great rapport.

4th – Referrals! The more you relate to your clients, the more they like and trust you, the more likely they will be to refer you to their friends and family!   Referrals are one of the best ways to get new clients, and as you master the ARP law, you will find yourself getting more referrals than you ever thought possible.

There are four very good reasons to become a master at relating to people, and these don’t even take into account the relationships you have with your staff (if you have any) and your friends and family outside of work.   Every part of your life will grow and prosper because of this law.   Keep this in mind throughout every day.   It’s one of my favorite “LAWS OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE” ever!


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Creativity International / Charles Lewis Photography PO Box 848, Ada, MI 49301 | 616-868-0373