Article by Daniel Waters - www.getprophoto.com
However good your photos are, you need to be able to sell them. There are many good photographers out there, so why should someone choose you? This is where having good copywriting skills becomes crucial.
Fortunately, it doesn’t cost any more to write good copy than bad copy. However, the difference in results can be huge.
Although writing persuasive copy is an art, there are some broad guidelines that will help you improve. In the same way you apply photographic techniques like ‘The Rule Of Thirds’ and‘The Law Of Reciprocity’ you will be able to apply the principles in this article and instantly improve your writing.
How many times have you been on a photographer’s website and read a long list of meaningless ‘features’like this:
- 20 years’ experience
- Quality service
- Photoshop work included in the price
- Professional Italian albums
- Top of the range equipment
- Money-back guarantee
- Photos taken in your home
The reason these bullet points aren’t effective is because they’re not telling the full story. 20 years’ experience is great, but what’s the benefit to your clients? Try explaining why these points make you better than the competition, like this:
- You're not restricted by time: Some photographers give you a 'timed slot' of 30 minutes to an hour. I don’t want you to feel like you’re in a production line, so I don’t put a time limit on your photography session. I’m a photographer who only wants to create photos that touch your heart, not just snaps. I'm only finished once you're happy you have photos that you'll love. This is why so many of my clients actually cry tears of joy when they see their photos for the first time.
- The studio comes to you: Where do you and your children feel most comfortable – at home, right? So, I bring my lighting and backdrops to your home where you’ll feel relaxed and your smiles will be far more natural. Also, we can include your home and garden within the photos because this often gives the images even more meaning than sterile studio photos.
- You’ll look absolutely stunning – guaranteed! Whether you love a natural look or creative effects I’ll spend hours enhancing your portraits in Photoshop. The end result is you get to own beautiful fine art wall portraits to enjoy in your home, for a lifetime. If you’re not delighted with the results I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure you are delighted – including giving you all your money back. You can’t possibly lose.
I haven’t just explained the benefits here; the copy also generates more emotion and shows that I care. Writing like this also helps show your enthusiasm and enables your personality to shine through. People buy from people they like so if you sound nice, genuine and trustworthy they are much more likely to call you.
Portrait and wedding photography is an inherently emotional product so it’s easier to write about it in an emotional way. Write about how your photography will make clients feel. You want the reader to start thinking about their family. After all, what’s more important than family? Nothing ever stays the same, kids grow up and people pass away so you need to express the importance of photography to the family legacy. To create emotion in your copy you need to write from your heart. This shows you really care about what you are doing and are passionate about it, too.
People don’t like making decisions or spending significant amounts of money. If you guarantee that you’ll give your client back all their money if they’re not delighted with their photos then your client has nothing to lose. Don’t just state ‘Money-back guarantee’. That doesn’t build any trust or rapport. Look at my earlier example of how I articulated my guarantee. Trust and rapport is so important, particularly with wedding photography where you can’t retake the photos.
Nothing beats having dozens of glowing testimonials from your clients- it shows you're popular. Ask all your clients for feedback and for permission to quote them. Most happy customers are only too pleased to do this. It’s best to include as much detail about the person giving the review as possible because this enhances their credibility. Scatter your testimonials throughout your website and put them next to the relevant photos. Use them in your adverts and direct mail too.
Don’t stop collecting testimonials. Most companies get half a dozen and then don’t feel they need to bother any more. The more you have the more powerful the message it sends out to new customers. Also, now and then one of your customers will leave you a really stunning, heartfelt review.
The long And The Short Of It
You should keep your sentences, words and paragraphs short. A sensible average is 16 words. Any sentence of more than 32 words is hard to take in.
Keep writing until you feel confident that you’ve addressed every concern they may have and that you’ve explained every benefit your photography service has to offer. By the time your prospective customer has finished reading they should have no sensible reason not to buy from you.
The purpose of each sentence you write is to make the reader want to read the next sentence. That’s why using ‘questions and answers’, or ‘problems and solutions’ is so effective in marketing.
Use The Word ‘You’
You probably haven’t noticed, but this post has the word ‘you’ in it a lot. Putting ‘you’ before ‘I’ shows I’m thinking about you and putting you first.
It’s a huge turn-off when you go to a website or pick up a brochure and all the company talks about is what they do and how long they’ve been doing it. Yawn! So, what? What’s in it for me?
This is what everyone is thinking when they read your copy. Every time you write something you need to explain how the reader benefits. So, it’s fine to say you’ve been in business 20 years, but don’t stop there. Write something like this:
- Relax, you’re in good hands.Your photographer is the most important person you hire on your wedding day because they’re the only person who spends the whole day with you. Of course you want a photographer who’s lovely and helpful, but you also need someone you can trust and rely on. I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings over the last 20 years and I’ve seen it all, so I’m prepared for anything. My experience helps ensure everything runs smoothly and I’m always by your side if you need help or advice. Why not give me a call now and I’ll send you my report that reveals the 10 secrets to planning a successful wedding in Cambridgeshire.
The only way of knowing if your new copywriting knowledge is having any impact is to test the results. Are more people calling you or emailing you? Always ask your clients how they heard about you so you know the impact of any marketing activity you are doing. If you run an advert or direct mail piece every month then try changing one thing each time and measure the difference in response. If you change too many things you don’t know which change worked.
It won’t be long before you realise just how many new customers you can get simply by writing more persuasively. And it doesn’t cost a penny.
For more information on Daniel Waters and his photography, visit his profile page and website - www.getprophoto.com