Photography Marketing

[quote]Want to Sell More Products? Then Get Out of the Business of Selling Stuff. Sell Experiences Instead.[/quote]

This was the message Pamela Danziger of Unity Marketing gave in a speech to the stationary industry. This article arrived in my inbox shortly after I read her book, Putting the Luxe Back into Luxury.

It was a great read because it relates to professional photography studios, and where the industry is right now. The book discusses what small businesses can do to appeal to this type of client. She also breaks down 5 personas of a luxury buyer and how to sell to each.

In her speech to the stationary industry she talked about:

The fact is nobody needs anything that the stationery industry has to sell anymore because stationery has been supplanted by digital media for communicating information, facts, dates, places and times.

Integrating this new reality about our products and services is the first step toward a promising future.

Customers have a need for different experiences that the industry’s product makes possible.  These products become the means to deliver those experiences, such as:


  • To enhance and build connections between people;
  • To share feelings, sentiments, emotions;
  • To create a personal bond;
  • To express  creativity; or
  • To make and save memories.

– Pamela Danziger from  To succeed in business, you have to think about business in new ways.

Further, she encourages one young business woman to use her website to “romance” what she has to sell to people who are in search of her kind of special, luxury paper experience.

Your website and blog are a great place to tell your story and build a relationship with readers, clients and potential clients.

Especially in a service business like professional photography, a website can be your best sales tool. In many cases it’s the first point of contact that people have with your business. We’ve all had the experience of spending an hour on the phone with a client only to have them decide not to book. High end portrait sessions require more “education” and being able to demonstrate the value of our services to potential clients.

What if you used your websites to tell the story of what you do, and how it benefits your clients. What if you had a system in place to generate leads and attract your target client. What if you had a system that built a relationship with potential clients, so that when they were ready to buy, they came to you.

It beats chasing people down and screaming at them with our advertising.

Most photographer websites and social media do not do this. We put up a bunch a pictures,  a discount offer and expect the phone to ring off the hook. And when we’re on Facebook, we don’t talk to our clients, we post offers and talk about ourselves.

Then when the phone doesn’t ring we blame amateurs with cameras.

I hear a lot of people say “I want them to call me so I can educate them.” But that doesn’t cut it anymore. In our connected world people want information now. Most likely they are researching photographers at midnight in their pajamas. If they called you wouldn’t be there. And really before they call you, they’d like to know a little more about you before they pick up the phone.

Never before have so many tools been at our disposal to help us connect with clients and prospects. But we have to stop using old marketing strategies that no longer work today.

Define your target client, design products and experiences for her, and use your website content to tell the story of the experience  she’s looking for.

What makes the experience you offer special? Or Unique. Why should people book you? Once you know that, create a way to  use images and words to tell that story to your clients.

Another thing she mentions is how the product itself is not what we specialize in.

Your specialty isn’t photography. It is a very well defined target customer that you create experiences for and photography is simply the vehicle in which the experience is delivered. [quote]Focusing on the customer experience rather than the product is the secret to selling more stationery – or anything else.[/quote]

So stop discounting your sessions. Stop talking about your camera skills and how long you’ve been in business. Quit selling your clients sheets of paper. Start giving clients what they want and not what you want to sell them. And go buy this book.


About Nancy Nardi

Founder of HiFi Social Web, Co-Founder of Seniors Ignite, website maker and entrepreneur. I help photographers and entrepreneurs leverage the power of the web with WordPress.