Networking as a freelance photographer in Los Angeles
Small business networking notes and advice and for photographers and BNI members in the San Fernando Valley from a meeting I attended.
SIDENOTE: I’ve been a member of BNI now for a little over a month. So far it’s been a good experience. I hope to be able to refer my clients to trusted services and to meet new clients that I would be happy to do with business with. Some of the information below may be old hat or too specific, but I thought should include it to share what I can. Personally really value someone’s advice and personal experience with products and services, ergo I find the group’s concept useful, and am happy to refer people who are trustworthy, tried and true. I hope there’s a nugget in here for others.
- I have to trust you first before I can refer you as a photographer
- It’s not what you know but who you know
- Pricing, timing, not as important as a trust relationship with potential clients
- Do you provide photographs or photography or multimedia services Tangible vs Intangible
- Configure your cost by the hour or by the service
- How much time will it take a client to trust you is based on how much personal information/access you share and the cost of your product
- What is the risk of doing business with Photographer that you know versus a Photographer you don’t know?
- A bad wedding album or a great wedding album!
- Tangible product with low cost is more easily referred frequently than the a service that is expensive.
- Am I referable?
- Do I deserve referrals? Do you make good pictures or offer quality multimedia services to your wedding clients or non profit organizations?
- Constantly seek feedback and advice
- If not, change. If so, expect success and stick with it.
- Punctuality is important to make the most out of time and relationships: Be early for weddings, be prepared in scouting out locations in advance, come with scouting notes when necessary,
60 second commercial
Introduce your business, (Today I want to talk about), End with a hook and your name again
LCD Lowest Common Denominator little chunks of detail that set you apart
MY LCD could be storyteller, prepared, deadline, customer service, flexiblity, affordable.
Include materials that support
- Nathan Morgan Photography offers these specific services:
Advertising, Sports, Unit Stills, Commercial / Industrial, Events / Functions, Food, Portrait, PR / Corporate, Press & Journalism, Still Life / Product, Annual Reports, Wedding photographer in LA, Christian & Non-profit photography. Multimedia services, still and audio multimedia production.
- Nathan Morgan Photography targets these specific markets:
Editorial clients, government agencies, healthcare, actors, brides, grooms, healthcare, non profit orgranizaions, NGO’s, faith based organizations, Christian organizations.
Particular Benefits of Nathan Morgan Photogaphy
Versatile, hard working, great attitude, affordable,
Nathan Morgan is a a qualified professional photographer
- 60 second commercial
- Intro, Name, Company, Profession what we do
- LCD: List one
- Talk about that LCD attribute
- Do the ASK!!! (Be as specific as possible NAME it spell out what you want
- Close Name company Professiona and memort hook
- ! and 5 should remain the same
- 2,3,4 shoudl change weekely
60 second Commercial
- Start with the Industry you want to meet.
- INDUSTRY Wedding and Non profit/ Faith based media
- COMPANY: ABC Wedding planners
- TITLE: Event coordinator
- NAME: Mrs. Johnson
My ideal referral would from the company of ABC wedding planners, The even coordinator named Mrs. Johnson,
- I’m Nathan Morgan the groups photographer
- LCD: I’m prepared
- LCD: I love to eat and I love to make food smile, more specifically I photograph food and venues. You can ask you kid to smile and it’s an ok photo. It takes expertise to shape light and make a bowl of soup look like something you know tastes good when you see it. I’m passing around a sample of my food photography
- The perfect referral is your friend the owner of your favorite Thai restaurant in Sherman Oaks, Studio City, versus San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, Southern California
- So the perfect referral this week is a wedding planner/ event coordinator you know would like to consider adding a photographer to their pool.
- I am a visual storyteller.
- Again my name is Nathan Morgan with Nathan Morgan Photography
BNI Referral request
Don’t say Anyone, Small Business, or Full Serivice too general but ask for specifics from your sales force
Today I’m looking for the owner of a business with 5 or fewer employees
- I have referred…I have a testimony…
- Always have a testimonial to someone otherwise BNI itself for the visitors
- Cell phones must be turned off
- Don’t text in front of people who are serious about their time and talent
- We do not pass leads we pass referrals Open and honest communication is huge with any discrepancies.
- Praise in public, critique in private.
- Invite new members and guests
- Perfect opportunity to pass a referral
- I don’t know a faith-based photographer
- I need a photographer
- I can’t find an editorial photographer
- I want a wedding photographer
Long term strategy: Not a get rich quick game, but a marathon, give it time,
How to give good referrals
- Tell experience you had with other member
- Give out the business card of the person you are referring and ask for the individuals cards
- Ask if it’s ok to have the member call
- If answer is yes fill out referral slip and give it to the chapter member at the next meeting
What is a good referral
Top 10 things successful members do
- Trust takes times
- Don’t say anyone or full service
- Ask for what you want
- Stand and say I HAVE (testimonial or referral)
- Get and train you substitute
- Follow up
- Give feedback to your referral sources
- Do one-to-one dance cards
Determine your target market: wedding ptography, headshots, non profit, editorial, sports, public relations and annual reports, food photography, travel photography,
EDGE of target market
Youth sports, family portraits, senior portraits, event photography, bah mitzvahs, real estate photography, product photography, baby photography
For fellow photographers
What are you best at?
What are you worst at?
How can you improve your networking skills?
END OF MEETING
Wedding Photography, Editorial assignments, Weddings, and Headshots support Photographer Nathan Morgan’s philantropic projects, enabling him to collaborate through stills and multimedia with faith-based, Christian and non-profit organizations who are committed to making a difference. I would be privileged to tell your story and make beautiful pictures for you!
We are a top photographer in the Studio City, California Professional Photographers guide on MarketingTool.com.