I’m back from meetings in LA, and now on the final days of packing, laundry, cleaning gear, and spending last few precious moments at home before I head out. This marks the beginning of my season of Chaos – in the next three months I’ll shoot El Salvador, Malawi, Uganda, Tunisia, and a yet-undecided country in S.E.Asia. I’ll let you know when I do.
Chase Jarvis said something in his talk in NY recently – that the secret to wowing a client is to under-promise and over-deliver. I’ve thought alot about that proposition in the last week, specifically the over-deliver part. At my client meetings last week I was told I’d saved the client $25,000 in post-production costs, that’s why I’m thinking about this. Because great photography – to the client – is more than just great images – it’s a package. I’m learning just how important this is to my clients with every assignment.
My recent Self-Promotion series talked about marketing yourself in terms of benefits to the client – clearly part of that is your unique style and your ability to bring home better images than the client – or you – thought you might. That’s key. But if you can offer them other benefits – better images, better files, better workflow, better relationships – you’ll become increasingly valuable to them.
So over-deliver, but be careful with the degree to which you under-promise. It’s important to you to be able to sell the full package that is Brand You to your prospective clients. I’m not disagreeing with Chase, lord knows his experience is greater than my own – I’m just offering a different perspective on the same principle. Don’t sell yourself short, but give the client more than you promise.
If you aren’t already reading FreelanceSwitch, you should be. They recently ran a great piece called Differentiate or Die: Marketing’s Magic Bullet