Full time photographer Kevin Mullins is explaining his business tracking methods in this article over at Professional Photographer.
He shares great tips on how to use metrics as a simple way of increasing your possibilities in landing more and well-paying jobs. With his advice you will be able to plan your business marketing better and make sure your potential clients find you at just the right time.
One of the core concepts I took away from university and into my professional life (even before photography was my career) was the ability to use trend analysis to forecast and plan. Today, I use this mechanism to plan my marketing campaigns and identify the best times of the year for me to target my potential clients.
As a wedding photographer, I don’t engage in ‘traditional’ marketing – I have never attended a wedding fayre, never taken out print advertising, don’t have any affiliation or agreement with venues and don’t pay for editorial on wedding blogs, etc. For me, my marketing engine is my website, my social marketing and word of mouth.
Ever since I’ve been a wedding photographer, I have tracked every single enquiry I have received, whether I have been free on the date or not. It takes seconds, and the information that I track gives me very valuable metrics that allow me to make informed decisions in the future. The information I track for every single enquiry is:
– Date of the enquiry
– Date of the wedding
– The venue the wedding is at
– The source of the referral (if known)
– Whether I am free or not
This information alone is enough for me, over the years, to plot a trend showing that (for me at least, and I would guess this is the same for most wedding photographers) the busiest enquiry period is January and February and then again towards the end of summer. There is a lull in enquiries for the rest of the year. This makes sense of course as people get engaged over the festive period and then again when on holiday during the summer.
It also gives me metrics as to the best referrers of business (on my contact form I ask people to supply this information) and also the venues where I am being linked to the most. The fact that I may have been unavailable for some of the dates is irrelevant.
By having all this information at your fingertips, you can make educated assumptions on the forthcoming year in terms of pricing and marketing. Clearly you also need an accountant to do your books, but the ability to simply look at data yourself and identify trends and potential snippets of information (such as best referring source, etc) will give you perhaps a small advantage over the competition going forward.
Kevin Mullins‘ article was originally published on Professional Photographer.