Succeeding In The Face Of Diversity - part 1 of 1 2

Published 01/08/2008


Rocco Ancona

It can easily be said that digital technology has been the single most dramatic force of change to ever affect the professional wedding and portrait industry. It has brought with it benefits and cost savings that were never thought possible just a few years ago.

With all good things come some bad! This same technology that we are enjoying has also brought great cost savings to the general public. So much so that many now have cameras that are producing image qualities at the same level as professionals. It also creates a perception in the public's mind that they can (or their photographically inclined friends or relatives can) produce results almost as well as professionals but for a fraction or none of the cost. And for those who acknowledge that the results are not as good, many are simply happy to accept a lesser quality image in return for the substantial cost savings realised by doing it themselves. This has negatively impacted the volume of work that was previously availably and if we do not develop business strategies that educate the public and prove there is good reason to invest in the skills of trained professionals, then we as an industry are in for a rocky future.

Tackling this problem head on are two very successful photographers from Australia, Tero Sade and Rocco Ancora. Both have nursed and adapted their businesses very prudently through constantly changing times.


Tero Sade and his wife Julie have built and continue to run one of Australia's most successful portrait businesses. The basis of their success has always been Tero's unique view of the portrait market and his innovative approach to marketing to it.

Tero's view is that we work in a speculative market, and based on a set of assumptions and observations of human nature, one can create steps and systems for a successful portrait business that can be replicated in many different environments. It is one thing to generate great numbers of portrait sessions but another thing entirely to maintain a healthy average-sitting sale. Tero likens the portrait procedure as a journey and has systems in place for every stage of the journey from lead generation, how to handle the enquiry, the planning session, the shoot and sales appointment. Even the price list is part of the system. The theory goes that the sales process starts before the client even phones the studio and if you put the steps into place, nurture the relationship you will maximise the return and create a very happy client.

Having the steps in place is one part of the challenge, then you need to get the phone to ring and this is where lead generation programs come in. Tero and Julie have fine-tuned Third Party Marketing to the point that they can confidently achieve conversion rate to the tune of 20%. "It's a great way to predict and control your workflow" say Tero. Instead of running a few advertisements and hoping for the best, you are out there being proactive and making the phone ring.

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1st Published 01/08/2008
last update 06/11/2019 11:08:38

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