Leigh Kinch from Pear Tree Photography had been working full time as a police officer. His fledgling business was, in his own words, ‘ticking along’. Then he joined the EC and things went from strength to strength.
Leigh says, ““When I joined the EC, I was earning around £25K per year. Then I started to rethink my marketing strategy – rewriting my website copy, doing my 90 minutes and changing my pricing structure which meant more profit for less work.
The price of my wedding packages went up 20% without a drop in sign up and I increased our portrait photography spend from £250 per person to nearly £450, simply by changing our pricing structure.
“All this was very effective, but some of the biggest changes to my business came when I started to use Infusionsoft. I collected over 800 new email addresses in under five months, and was soon running 43 campaigns to nurture customers. We used it to send newsletters, to create landing and squeeze pages and collect data – our list soon grew by 500%. We also created an online booking system – which, coupled with selling photos online saw us make an additional £1,000 in five weeks – and it’s really helped us keep on top of our numbers.
“After seeing Jo Davies at EC HQ, we tried Google AdWords. It brought in nearly £8,000 worth of work in two months, with over £3,500 coming from just one campaign, and has seen us experience a 400% lift in enquiries through our website.
“I also set up my own online Photographers’ Mastermind Facebook Group where photographers around the country share ideas to help each other out and I run weekly Facebook offers. They all have the same deal, but a different story. For example, an offer based around the birth of Prince George made us £2,300, and we run ‘Back to School’ promotions.
“We also thought through how we could market in different ways. For instance, we became a main sponsor at a dog show, and we’ve taken part in joint ventures with a posh dog food company,with a local bridal shop, with Farnham Castle and another with a large local hotel, where we agreed to become their recommended wedding photographer.
“We also started to buy lists of people who recently got engaged and began sending them ‘chunky mail’, including a flyer with an offer and a hand written letter inviting them into the studio. In the first week , we booked five weddings, bringing in a total of £6,285 -a 100% conversion rate- and we increased our average number of portrait sittings from four to seven per week – an increase of £1,300 per week.
“We’ve achieved so much but since getting our new studio – three times bigger than the last – we have taken off even more and are flying. I have also taken on another photographer and an admin assistant.
“And this is just the start. I attribute all that we have achieved to what we have learned from EC. It’s all down to thinking about where our avatars are and working toward getting in front of them every day.”