Business is a Fulltime Struggle
May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
Starting Photography by Akili all I knew was that I wanted to work full time as a photographer and that I wanted to do so out of my own organization. I didn’t necessarily want to have my creativity bound by the limitations of another photography company or be required to photograph only in a studio. As a photographer and business owner I wanted to be able to produce images outside the box. My overall goal was to define my own signature and have my clients fall in love with the style I presented them in.
Very quickly you realize it is not as simple as it sounds. You realize there are many components that are required in order for your business to remain successful and thriving. I am still in the building phase of my business but things I have found to be the most important are the tips I learned in the workshop with Michael Port.
Marketing will not get you customers for your business, it will only get you the awareness you need to bring in potential clients. It is the concept of trust over time that will ultimately get you the business. So often we get hung up on the idea of marketing that we forget to be natural and true to our product and client base. Yes, marketing is a vital component to any successful business but it should not replace you as the face of your company.
Learn to say no
It is ok to tell a potential client no. Not every client will fit your business dynamics or what you are looking to accomplish in the long run. Being a new business and needing to bring in the profits I wanted to say yes to everyone that ask. What I found was I was doing more and more work that farther and farther away from what I actually wanted to do. When you are positioned far away from your client base how can you possibly reach them? I am confident now in taking the time to evaluate just which clients I want to reach, how to market specifically to them, and being comfortable with telling another client that we are not a good match. There are exceptions, and this may be when you have a client that is in a market that you would like to expand to or had contact in the market that you want. Those opportunities of course should be explored and when possible accepted.
One focus area
At first I was all over the place. Like I just said I was taking clients for the sake of taking them so that I could meet my bottom line. When branding yourself, it is important to do it in a way that is strong and positively reflects you as well as your business. There are multiple markets I would like to include in my business plan. However, if I attempt to focus on all of them at the same time how can I give any one market my full potential. Michael Port suggested you outline your desired markets and start with the ones you have the greatest checkmarks in. These checkmarks can be contacts, interest in the market, knowledge in the market, and so forth. Then commit to each market for three to six months, placing all the others on the back shelf. Put them in rotation and see how your business grows.
I will be doing all of this for myself in the coming weeks and I am anxious to let you all know how it goes. If you decide to join in, please be sure to fill us all in on what you find works and doesn’t work for you. My intention is for this to be a learning tool we can all benefit from and enjoy.
- 7 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Photography Business (business2community.com)
- The Essential Guide to a Basic Business Plan (or, How to Avoid ‘The Tactic Trap’) (thewordchef.com)
- 10 Tip To Start Photography Business (camerahugger.wordpress.com)
- Thoughts on ‘Amateur’ and ‘Professional’ Photography (petapixel.com)