1-Style is critical
All great artists are known for a specific and highly recognizable style. The tighter you define your style, the quicker you will grow. Style draws the right people to you and the wrong clients won’t come through your door.
2- Substance trumps fad
Being the flavor of the day can sure be fun for a season. However, like all great things we invest in, a facade will begin to crumble without the proper foundations, leaving you struggling and your clients looking elsewhere. It’s much like building a house with a weak foundation. Make sure you master your art for longevity.
3- Being good is not good enough.
Key two makes it seem as if quality guarantees success, but that is not true. It helps bring clients back and may keep them happy for a time. It even makes marketing a bit easier because you have a great product, but it is only one piece of a large puzzle. Drawing people to you is a skill in itself and is based on many things that make up your brand. Just because you are a good photographer does not guarantee success.
4- Super sales skills are vital.
We work way too hard to let the chips fall in the sales room. Sales skills take your investment of time and energy and bring them to a successful conclusion. Certainly, great sales skills are a must to continue doing what we love so much.
5- Marketing is not magic.
Actually, marketing works best from the “bulldog” perspective; being tenacious, rolling up your sleeves and going at it with all your might. My dad used to say “Make a plan, then work the plan.” Sounds so simple, but most of us have no cohesive marketing plan, change our course monthly on a whim and, if we do make a plan, we abandon it halfway through. Make a marketing plan, measure and track it and then move forward.
At the base of this statement is love and respect for the consumer, your client. If you cannot connect verbally, socially and with heartfelt authenticity, this career is NOT for you. To compete with discounters and groupons around every corner, you must add value and a personal touch that big box stores cannot. To charge more, you must create extra value-forming relationships and connecting with your client on a personal level is adds value.
Look for people (or teach yourself) the art of connection…the person in this illustration is most likely NOT:-)
Hope your week if fantastic-if you are weak in any of these areas, it is like having a table with a leg or two missing. Keep learning and keep taking courses to improve yourself. Photography is a profession that you will never outgrow or know it all…and that’s what keeps it fun! Bev