The photography industry has never been as easier to enter and it has never been more competitive.
One of my strengths is having many long term clients that I carefully nurture and service.
One of the ways I create this is when I am working with a client, whether it be new or long term, and while I am working on the job at hand, while I consider it very important, it is not as important as the next 10 jobs with that client.
This shows up in many different ways. It can be doing what ever it takes to accommodate all requests (Lately there have been alot around turnaround times of images), being gracious when quotes are unsuccessful, being accommodating about timings/cancellations/pricing usage etc, and being grateful about working in this industry.
One example was I showed my folio to a education institution in victoria when they were looking for a photographer to shoot the annual report and publications. I missed out on the job, but was understanding and gracious even though it was a real bummer with a great concept and look they were wanting to create.
Several years later, one of the juniors in the room had a senior role and another education institution, remembered me from that meeting and called me in and they have now been a client for over 7 years.
Another example is I was asked to shoot some corporate portraits in Sydney for a new client that was an insurance company. They had found me this site, executiveportraits.com.au , It was only for a short half day, and normally what I do is organise some other shoots to make the trip worthwhile.
With the corporate portraits work, I often minimize travel costs by splitting them between clients and sometimes wear a portion of the costs myself.
On this occasion, I couldn’t organise other shoots but I chose to go up anyway as it was a new client. The shoot was completed, there were requests for fun “hair swapping” portraits to be available and shown that day which were all accommodated. The whole shoot had only minimal earnings for me but I approached it as an investment in the future, I was thinking of the next 10 shoots with that client.
That client grew to be one of my top 5 clients within 2 years. The biggest and best result was a few years later, that client changed jobs and industries, and I was able to introduce her another arm of my services with truckphotographer.com . The client's new role has had that company grow to be my biggest client in that area.
It is approaches like this that helps me have a point of difference from the many other photographers in town.