As I am gearing up to review the new iPad tomorrow and reading all of the crazy news tonight with people already in line and camping out for the latest Apple gadget it always gets me thinking about their marketing power. If you look at the rise and fall and then rise again of Apple computer over the past 30 + years there are some amazing business lessons we can all learn from and many that us as creatives can really relate to. It’s pretty amazing that a company in a recession can release a $500-$900 gadget and have people waiting in line to give their hard earned money out right away. How do they do it and how can we have clients who are eager to spend thousands on creative portrait work of their families or artistic wedding photography?
Even if you hate them, you have to agree that Apple has built a very strong brand and a huge following of people who are very passionate about their products. How can we apply some of Apple’s principles towards our own photography business? How did they create such a hype that as I am sitting here writing this thousands of people are lining up at malls to buy the new iPad, camping out overnight and I am getting my alarm set to be there at 4am?
I think there is a ton of things we can learn from Apple about marketing, branding and just how they talk about their products. I know the artist inside me always wants to forget about doing any type of marketing and just focus on being creative but the reality in todays competitive environment is you have to not only be an amazing photographer to do well but also have to market yourself well. It took me many, many years to finally get this but once you do have a good marketing strategy in place you get more business and then get to shoot and be creative more.
The first thing I have learned from watching Apple over the years is their passion. When Steve Jobs used to get on stage to release a new product he didn’t just think they had a good product, he believed they have the best product ever created. If you listen to his keynotes he will talk about how their products are groundbreaking, revolutionary and will change the world. That is a very powerful statement to make! With the passion that he has for his products you are usually left really believing that product is revolutionary and just have to have it. Passionate people attract people, they are like a lighthouse against a dark sea. When our passion flows through our business it will be recognized by others. When you meet with a new potential customer don’t talk about price, types of albums you make or any specific product details. Show them your passion, show them what drives you.
Live your life with full passion! Put yourself into your photography business, don’t listen to what others are saying or doing but fully follow your heart!
Apples marketing is all about the expierience. Apple rarely talks about price, and they also put little focus on specs which really used to be rare in the computer world. With the new iPad launch they didn’t talk about RAM vs the iPad 2 but talked about non-technical things like the screen being “retina” and how amazing the experience is. Look at the video at the end of the article for the new iPad, it doesn’t really say it has 1GB ram, 32GB space or any other tech specs. What they do great if you listen to every word in the ad is show an experience and pull on your emotions.
We need to create amazing experiences for our customers. We aren’t just creating an 8×10 image for them but a life changing experience that will create memories for generations to always look back on and that are truly priceless!!!
So the question of the day for us photographers is… are we providing an amazing experience for our customers? Are we really creating work that we are passionate about and trying to push the bar up higher and higher. Are we communicating the experience and our passion effectively to our clients? Are we telling them when we first meet with them that our photography is unique, it can’t be matched by anyone out there?
Are we bold enough to fully believe in ourselves and share that true belief and passion with our clients? The buzz and branding that we create for our business really starts with us and how we speak about our work and what we do. Sharing our passion and confidence is key, so next time you are meeting with a potential client really pay attention to your words. Maybe even tape yourself if needed to listen to later, and watch the words you use to describe your business, your photography and the products you provide.
What do you think we can learn from the way Apple markets? Love them or hate them lets start a discussion in the comments below.
Also for everyone who wants to see the quality of the camera on the new iPad, images of the display and my thoughts check back tomorrow. I’ll post a few different reviews after I have a little time to play around with it.
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