This is the first “Hot Spot Thursday” feature spot, which means we look at something copy related that you can use in your business, but it’s not strictly a lesson like on “Magic Mondays.”
Peter Ahrens is a photographer from Australia. He’s also a member of the Harrisonamy newsletter which means he gets double magnifico points on top of all his photography talents. (Magnifico points cannot yet be redeemed anywhere that I know of but let’s not rule it out one day).
Peter got in touch with a copy question about what others might perceive to be his “business shaky spot” and he wondered what he could do to turn it into a killer selling point.
I thought it would make a great case study and so here we are today.
Peter’s main point was that he’s relatively new to the “industry” of landscape photography (although he’s been doing it most of his life). As he said to me:
“It’s considered a good thing when you have a large collection of award winning photographs and years of experience behind you. I think people view newer members as having not developed their style (which may or may not be true).”
So in this case, my first point would be…
Sell to your customer, not the industry
When I eventually buy my own place and turn my back on never being allowed to put nails in rented walls, I will one day buy glorious looking prints and pictures for my walls. It stands to reason that I could be a customer of Peter’s.
I don’t know how many gallery photos or years of experience he’s supposed to have, but if I was looking to buy a print, it wouldn’t bother me (unless I decided I was just going to buy for the “name” which isn’t me).
You see, if I was looking for a print and found Peter’s website, I can see very clearly that the high quality of his products is on show bare and naked for the world to see on his website.
One of the fantastic advantages of promoting photography is that the pictures speak 1000s of words of persuasive proof about the quality of his work. When I visit his site I see stunning prints, and as a customer, that’s what I care about.
A problem that is easy to fall into as a business owner is feeling that you need to convince other industry professionals about your services. But unless those people are also your customers, this isn’t the case. In Peter’s example he needs to convince his customer (and not another photographer) that he is experienced enough to offer a great service and a beautiful product.
But if you did want to have some kind of copy that tackled the “industry experience” aspect, in Peter’s case I would write about:
- His years of experience personally developing his photography skills
- His years travelling around Australia comparing and studying landscapes and scenery
- How he has won a number of awards for his photography
Those things, along with being able to see the high quality of his work, is compelling proof that he’s offering an “experienced” photography service.
What other selling points can you focus on?
Going through Peter’s notes there are some fantastic selling points that I would focus on in his web or promotional copy.
Attention to detail
Peter gave me a detailed description of how he spends the time researching, lining up and composing a shot. In fact, he tells it best:
I generally only ever go out looking for one photograph per day. There’s not enough time when the light is just right to mess around. It can take an extremely long time looking for a nice composition. I will take a sweeping pan of the scene with the camera mounted on my tripod, starting on the left, taking photos in a line moving right across the scene I’ve found. I’ll take anywhere between 3 and 15 photographs to bring back and stitch together later to create a much bigger, higher resolution file that can be around 80 megapixels with lots of detail. It can be quite hard pre-visualising a photograph and composing it this way as you never actually see exactly how you’ve framed the shot until they’ve been stitched.
As a customer, if I read that I’m going to think that not only does Peter know what he’s doing, but I’m going to realise that what I’m buying isn’t some “point and press” camera shot, it is art. And if I hang that on my wall and have my friends around do you think I’m going to tell them the story of how it was made?
Passion and responsibility
Peter is also incredibly passionate about nature and ensure he leaves a minimal “footprint” on the environments he works in. As a result he’s not about going out there to “snap the latest trend” but instead wants to create clean, simple and elegant designs that are classic and timeless. This whole ethos exudes “responsibility,” “respectability” and also “luxury.” This is definitely a selling point if your customers like to buy fine things, but also have an environmental conscience.
Rock solid reassurance
As a new name, Peter offers some tremendous points of credibility in his service which will increase trust in a customer, and I would look at mentioning these on the home page. For example:
- Very limited edition prints for exclusive ownership
- Free trackable shiping
- A money back guarantee that lasts a year
- Quality materials that are matted by hand to last a lifetime
- A lifetime guarantee on the quality of the print (full replacement if it fades)
Those bold statements of customer care and customer after care are going to be very reassuring to a customer.
When you’re looking at your shaky spot, you have to know how relevant it is as an objection to your customer. In this instance I think you can still appeal to the luxury print market by focusing on the points above. The proof is in the prints and his passion, which can be easily conveyed through the copy and the images on his site. His relative “youth” compared to his competitors can be translated into “exuberance” when you look at the vibrancy of his work and the effort he puts into telling the story of each piece.
I would have to say that Peter can hold his head high regarding the promotion of his work. There is no “shaky spot” that I can see. 😉