When most of us hear the word “sales”, we get a little sense of “ugh”, “yuck” …or hesitation. When it comes time to ask for money or to close that booking, so many of us are just not comfortable putting ourselves out there. We get these mental blocks from maybe growing up being told “don’t talk about money- it’s not polite”, or just how “sales” are perceived in society in general.
In the video/podcast, I briefly go over how to overcome these feelings, but here, I go deeper into the best ways to leverage the type of “sales dog” you are to be confident in finding the right type of clients so that sales part feels more natural to you!
What are ‘Sales Dogs’ and how do they relate to the photography business?
These sales dog personalities are based on a book by Blair Singer, called “Sales Dogs: You don’t have to be an attack dog to explode your income”.
In this book, the author goes over the 5 dog personalities that can be seen in a sales person, and how to use the strength of these personalities to effectively manage a sales team.
It’s a book published in 2001. I read it a long time ago and it really stuck with me. I just thought about this book the other day and I realized the principals taught in this book apply to the processes we take to book photography clients. Although the book is about different sales personalities described in different dogs, and also how to effectively manage sales teams, these sales personalities can be seen in how photographers conduct their businesses too.
I am personally a Pitbull, Golden Retriever, Chihuahua mix. Yes, I am a total mutt!! As you go through this post/video/podcast, take note of which ones you are so you can create an action plan on how to make the best of your personality, how to find the right clients for you, and how to make the booking process a breeze.
For each of the types, I will go over:
- The personality
- What you can learn from that
- How to leverage the personalities to book more photography clients
- What type of ads are the best ones to run!
You will see that each of these types of photographers will also attract a certain type of clients, and that’s the beauty of it! Through this process, I hope you get clarity on not only what type of photographer you are, but the type of clients that might be a great fit for you. Pretty fun, right? Here it is!
The Pitbull Photographer
The first personality is the Pitbull. (Excuse how it’s a little bit overgeneralization of a pitbull. I know they are a loving breed like any other dog!) Most pit bulls are fearless – they’ll go after anything like it’s their last meal. The book states that this is the most stereotypical “sales” personality.
Lessons You Can Learn from a Pitbull
When in doubt, just go for it. Get in front of as many people as possible so it’s a numbers game.
How to leverage your pitbull-ness as a photographer to get more bookings
Automate everything! Since your strength is going after it, and doing it as much as possible, it’s best to set up a process that’s automated. Use systems like HoneyBook and Zapier that will automate emails, send proposals, and get clients booking fast.
Have a chat system on your website: The quickest way to answer your clients’ questions so you can get them to the (automated) contracts and booking form quickly is to just answer them on the spot! Install a chat feature on your website!
The best type of ads if you are a pitbull: Yelp Ads
Yelp ads aren’t really there for you to engage and nurture your audience. It is a numbers game, where you reach people who are looking for your services, you will get inquiries, and oftentimes, the first one to get to the inquiries wins. Pitbull types will thrive under Yelp ads! This is similar to other budget-oriented platforms like Thumbtack.
The Golden Retriever Photographer
Golden retrievers are nurturing, and they want to do everything for their clients. They will chase any bone that their clients throw at them. Cuddly and warm too!
Lessons You Can Learn from a Golden Retriever
Focus on giving more than anybody else. Most likely to get more referrals! The downfall with the golden retriever is we tend to give more when we should be charging more. So upselling isn’t a strong suit. (Could learn a lot from taking IPS classes!)
How to leverage your golden retriever-ness as a photographer to get more bookings
Have a really nurturing welcoming landing page, and your email sequence should also be very welcoming – warm and fuzzy! Show that you care and you’re going to do everything to make them happy – maybe a free gift?
Unlimited customer support! Offer all the support and handholding to your clients. Give them styling guides and location guides. Offer to meet them for coffee. Be available via text, email, and everywhere!
The best type of ads if you are a golden retriever: Facebook Ads
As a Golden Retriever, Facebook ads is probably a good place to advertise because you can show off your images or write a paragraph about who you are and what you offer and a lot of other ads do not support that.
The Poodle Photographer
At home with the world of class and is well connected. The Poodle has all the new gadgets and toys.
Lessons You Can Learn from a Poodle
If you are a poodle, public speaking or networking events are a great place to be! Also, having your own amazing branding shots is important to showcase your brand personality.
How to leverage your poodle-ness as a photographer to get more bookings
Have a super on-brand website, booking forms, and styling guides! All the fancy stuff basically, and maybe you can hire somebody to do your bookings because it kind of gives you extra street cred, right?
The best type of ads if you are a poodle: Instagram and TikTok
Showcase your amazing work and influential side on TikTok and Instagram. Bonus if you have “famous” people in your grid or videos.
The Chihuahua Photographer
Tiny, but mighty knowledge. You know… won’t stop talking with all the knowledge in the world with lots of caffeine. 😆
Lessons You Can Learn from a chihuahua
Share your knowledge with your clients by finding out their needs and really explain how things will work. Find and be up-to-date on new locations, lighting, and details. A lot of people do appreciate that detail-orientation.
How to leverage your chihuahua-ness as a photographer to get more bookings
Blog posts, blog posts, and blog posts for everything a client ever wants to know about! Make sure to add that “book now” button on each page, and follow up with an email that directly relates to how they found you and what they are looking for! (Maybe direct them to a few more blog posts. haha)
The best type of ads if you are a chihuahua: SEO
I know this isn’t really a type of ad, but it’s still something you have to invest a lot of time in! If you are a Chihuahua, you probably already nailed SEO down on your website and then some, so do I need to go on? No, you will probably correct me on something.
The Basset Hound Photographer
Slow and steady wins the race, classic, laid back, dependable, patient, and great at building long term relationships.
Lessons You Can Learn from a basset hound
Win clients with your laid backness, which is calming to people. Stay consistent – in your work and communication. Really good at in-person and phone conversations to convey their vibes.
How to leverage your basset hound-ness as a photographer to get more bookings
Traditional, simple to navigate website and system. Get them on the phone! Maybe list a “starting price” on the website, but don’t reveal everything until you give your clients a full dose of your personality. Get them on the phone and build a relationship first.
Have a well paced follow up system to warm them up until booking (and of course, beyond).
The best type of ads if you are a basset hound: Google Ads
In Google Ads, clients will come to you because they are searching for the exact keywords you are putting in = predictability. It’s nothing flashy, just your website getting pushed to the top of the search results = low key.
There you have it!
Which dog do you think you are? You can totally be a mutt! I am between a Pitbull, Golden Retriever, and a Chihuahua. Or… you can even be a dog walker! So, if you are a Pitbull, you can outsource booking (like a Poodle) to a golden retriever, and outsource editing to a chihuahua, and on-going client management/retention to a basset hound (weekly newsletter, review, etc.). You can arrange the perfect team to leverage all the personalities. Fun, right!?
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