Building Trust With Your Potential Clients

- - The Future

I know I’m more of an optimist than most, but whenever I see something like this it makes me think that the free culture/attitude is less about “I want everything for free” and more about “I’m tired of being lied and tricked into buying something and I need a way to trust you before we do business.”

Video by Michael Hanson while shooting the story for the NYTimes (here).

There Are 18 Comments On This Article.

  1. This Architect is a good “People Person.” He can sell his business and his business is local. Great for local business and someone who is not established. However, I.M. Pei wouldn’t get the kind of business he wants this way.

    The funny thing is, if the sign said, “Architectural Photography 5cents” I think customers would take you up on that! Wouldn’t their response be: “See, I knew this digial things was cheap!”

    • @Greg Ceo, But if an Architectural photographer is sitting at home with no potential clients why wouldn’t this work for him as well? The architect is willing to talk to people for 5cents not add an addition to their home for 5cents. So a photographer could in fact use the same idea and talk to people in the community that he or she would otherwise have no other contact with. One of those people may own a building or a business that needs photographing. The photographer does not do the job for 5cents, they do the meeting and consulting at that rate which we do for free anyway.

  2. Greg I totally agree with your comments. This is a perfect way to capture local business. In fact, I might even open a booth at my local Farmers Market to do kids and family portraits. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • @tus,

      i think you guys should look at this a little less literally and more conceptually in terms of building goodwill among prospects before they become clients….I don’t think the point was to go set up a booth in the square.

      • @Brady,

        also, think in terms of “how can i get prospects to come to me instead me chasing them” b/c this guy basically figured that one out.

        • @Brady, OK. But lets break photography down a bit, just like ASMP does: Retail Photography: Weddings, Family Portraits. Commercial: Editorial or Advertising= usage in a magazine page or in a commercial advertisement. Stock: Images offered for license after they are shot.

          The architect in this case is offering “Retail” services to local clients. Nothing wrong with that. Heck, he might even get a client that wants him to bid on a commercial project say, for a local museum. I’m all for it! Great! Good for him and I do like the “Spirit” of his efforts. And it worked for his business model.

          However, all I am saying is that commercial photography that is for Editorial or Advertising typically isn’t going to come from setting up a booth at the Farmer’s Market. If you shoot weddings or family portraits, this looks like a good idea.

          This might also work if you offered “Photography Advice,” if you taught photography or had your own photography school and you gave everyone tips so that they would be interesting in attending your workshop.

          • @Greg Ceo,

            It’s not about the booth being effective for photogs!(I agree it likely wouldn’t be in our field)…My point is I don’t think rob is saying go set a booth up and talk to people….There’s a bigger idea behind the guy setting up the booth that I think Rob is point out…which is create goodwill, good vibes, yadayada or just Pay It Forward….you know, like Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment!

  3. This is wonderful. Non-traditional and completely engaging. Local, yes, but if you’re struggling to find clients I firmly believe the best market to approach is where you live. This reminds me of the dial-a-song offered by “They Might be Giants”…

  4. While a great idea for local architects, I don’t see this approach working for media companies, advertising agencies, photographers, nor most creative professionals. I suppose if someone did workshops or tutoring, then maybe “Photoshop Questions 5ยข” might lead to something.

    The other thing is that most cities in the US require plans be filed for architectural changes. So an architect can fulfill a legal requirement that individuals cannot accomplish on their own. Photography has no equivalent.

  5. Grass roots marketing at it’s best. I can’t be that expensive to set up a booth. Granted this wouldn’t work for ad, fashion, nor commercial guys, well at least the first two.

    Those who are looking to supplement their income with portraits or weddings or like @Gordon Moat wrote so workshop opportunities. hey it doesn’t cost a lot to creat leads, what you do with them afterwards could be a goldmine. It apparently worked for the architech since he got most of his business that.

    By the way Tus I think it would be great, you have the location shoots, great way to advertise it!

  6. Here’s an idea.

    Set up this booth in Union Square:

    “Free Advice for out-of-work Photo Editors and Art Buyers.”

    Then listen to their problems, offer some suggestions, and when the secession is almost over, BAM! Pull out your book! After they look at your book, send them on their way with some promos and hope they remember you when/if they get rehired somewhere.

  7. I suppose that if nothing else, it’s a great way to give your business good buzz. Like you said Rob, people are tired of feeling as though they have to be on the defensive because there’s always someone out there trying to “take advantage” of a situation.
    Cynicism is more of a national condition than ever before and he’s providing people with a sense of community. His booth has a good samaritan-like quality to it.
    Thanks for posting this, it gave me a great idea for reaching out to new clientele.

  8. I remember seeing this guy out there a few months ago. great idea, and a great way for folks to find markets for themselves they never thought existed.

    even in the photo biz, we’re told how to market ourselves, and it’s all the same, emblasts, direct mail, one on one meetings, and repeat the process. it would be interesting to see what photogs are doing outside the box to promote themselves.