Welcome to part 2 of my continuing series "Blog Stalker Q&A"

First, a note to the stalkers--if you want to ask me a question, please add it into the comment section of the original post. You can find the post RIGHT HERE--CLICK THIS LINK TO LEAVE YOUR QUESTION. It is too hard at this point for me to keep track of emails and questions in random posts, so they all go here. Also, read through the questions already on there to try to avoid asking duplicate questions :)

In today's digest, I have twof questions to answer. First up is Eleni.

Eleni asked: Hi Jessica! I love your work and feel that I have learned a lot from the many photography-related tidbits you write about in your blog. My question is: What can new photographers do to spread word of mouth in order to attract high clientele? So many times I read that advertising and mass mailings are ineffective. What would you recommend? Thanks, Eleni

Think about it this way: when you are getting ready to make a very large purchase, who or what do you turn to to help you make a decision? The coupon that came in the mail? Maybe. The friend who already bought that car, used that realtor to buy that house, the swimming pool guy who has a track record of doing amazing creations? Definitely!

People trust people that they already know who have had experiences good or bad. When I receive a piece of marketing material in the mail I may look it over and remember the name if it comes up in conversation again, but that piece of mail is obviously biased, whereas my friend will tell me her experience honestly. With higher end bookings (or really any bookings at all), people get most of their information from either friends that they trust or coordinators that they have hired because they trust their opinions.

My goal for my business is to treat every client like they are my ONLY client. Most of my past clients will tell you that I return emails usually within the hour, am never too busy and it is never too late to take their calls, and genuinely feel that we are friends. Establishing this relationship is SO important to me not only because it makes the wedding day so much fun, but also because of the way I will continue to be involved in their lives through their friends' and family weddings. The best way to spread word of mouth is to get other people to do that for you, and when you think about it, isn't it more fun to refer a friend than just a business? The name of the game is relationships, and not only is it business-savvy to start thinking that way but also much more fun!

Geanette asked: 2 questions-1st..If you had to pick 1 workshop to attend, which would it be? 2...What are typical ps actions that you apply to you photos besides magic sharp? Thanks, you rock!

I have only attended one workshop in the past couple of years which was the Anti-Workshop by the Boutwells and the Coopers and it was absolutely awesome. However they don't have another one schedule just yet, so my picks for the next couple of months are:

Joe Photo and John Mireles: RIMROCK WORKSHOPS. This one is incredibly appealing to me because I think one of the main things people are scared of is off-camera lighting and these guys rock at it. Plus, they're awesome people and fun to be around. The workshop is coming up fairly soon, but if you want to invest in something that is WAY different than what a lot of people are doing and will really separate you from the crowd, this is the one to attend. It is November 6-8 of this year, so get on it quick!

Oh, and if you want great contracts and forms, you should check out John's Photographers Toolkit--I've been using it to tweak my contracts and papers and they are so ironclad.

Becker's Party of 5. He's got them coming up in November and December right here in So. Cal. For all I know they are already full because they book up almost as soon as he posts about them, but his party of 5 workshops are not to be missed, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro. If you want to see how someone who knows how to do things does them from beginning to end in a small group environment, you need to get your ass out to California and attend one of these workshops ASAP. Plus, I might be able to join you for dinner and/or poker!

Actions: I used to be really big on Kubota actions and I still use them for basic things, but when I want to give m images a new look or kick, I use the Boutwells TOTALLY RAD actions. They are so seriously awesome, I use them all the time.

Okay, just two questions for today, but I'll try to get into taking Friday's to post more!