All photographers know the months of January, February, and part of if not all of March are the ‘down’ or ‘slow’ months for the photography industry. It’s a time when conventions are held and photographers take a break, rejuvenate, revamp marketing, pricing and start to gear up for the year. All good things to accomplish during this time.
There will be the occasional session. A newborn here, a child there, maybe even a wedding. Not mention the glamour and boudoir niches that start their year off with Valentines day in mind.
But what about keeping the cash coming in the doors? How are you going to accomplish that?
We all have heard of the idea of marketing to real estate agents. This is not a new idea. We find real estate agent, offer them a free family session, give them the files or print a gallery wrap for their house all in exchange for them giving their clients a gift certificate for a free session to you. It is a nice arrangement if the agent remembers to hand out the gift certificate to their client that just purchased their home.
Let’s look at working with real estate agents in a different light.
I recently read an article on Entrepreneur by Perry Marshall called The 80/20 Rule of Time Management. What I took away from this article is that I need to stop wasting my time on the $10 jobs that I can delegate or hire someone else to do for me. In the article, Perry talks about hiring a house keeper. My time would be better spent on tasks that will propel my business to the next level rather than cleaning my house. A light bulb went off.
What if I contacted the real estate agent that we worked with 18 months ago and made him a offer he couldn’t refuse.
I offered to photograph all his new listings with in 24 hours of going on the market. All he would need to do is give me the contact information of the homeowner so I could call and set the appointment around my schedule. If the homeowner(s) both work outside the home, then my agent or his assistant would need to meet me at the house to let me in. There is no need for them to stay while I shoot thus freeing him up to do more important tasks, like list another house.
I am sure you are asking how I get paid. Simple. Houses 2799 sq feet or smaller, $50 per house. Houses 2800 sq feet or larger $75 per house. Choose rates that are appropriate for your area. Put some feelers out there to find out what your market will bear.
I know. It does not sound like a ton of money. The agent I am working with will list a minimum of 80 homes this year. 80 x 50= $4000. Who couldn’t use an additional $4000 at the end of the year?
I am in and out of a house in 20 minutes. I nail the exposure and white balance and have very little post processing to do. Then I upload the files to drop box and share the link. Easy Peasy.
And the cash continues to flow in the doors during the slow season.
What other ways can you network with other entrepreneurs in your area?