Part two

Where do you fit?

As the choices available to business and consumers become increasingly clear and easily comparable, you’ve got to either be different …. or cheaper. You will fail if you try to do both or neither”

Seth Godin

(Book: Small is the new big)

 

I used to start my workshops with these questions;

  • Are you a photographer who tries to do business, or?
  • Are you a businessperson working in photography?

Totally not the same!

If you tell me, you are in the business of taking photographs… you’ve also missed the point. L

Let me give you a hint with this question:

Why do clients come to you?

Think back! Why did the last client come to you?

She or he had a project, a problem that could not be solved without the help of a professional. A creative solution maybe!

I’ll bet your last pay-check (you should have one) that your website as well as many other in your area were visited. Yet, you got a call! Why?

Luck of the draw or your style, your signature, your story? Or maybe you posted your price list and you are the cheapest in town. Really!

Do this exercise:

Take a look at all the photographers’ websites in your area including yours. 

What do you see?

So many try to copy each other because they have no clue how to create their own style and then they wonder how they can’t sell their “art”.

At the last art show visited, we saw a young photographer who went around different old industrial sites. He transformed simple, rough looking images into art pieces; printed them large.

It was very unusual but beautiful at the same time. A definite style; a signature.

Where would he sell these images? How about in various Chambers of Commerce? How about in companies who are featured?  Both contemporary or passed.

They were a testimony of a past industrial age.

Back to you!

Here is a short 8 questions test:

Answer honestly!

yes

no

1: Have you spent time in creating your own style?

 

 

2: Did you study the techniques of composition, lighting, other than in the camera’s instruction manual?

 

 

3: Have you compared your website to your competitor’s?

 

 

4: Have you been impressed by one or more of your colleague’s website?

 

 

5: Was there anything exciting about their website?

 

 

6: Was there anything exciting about their style, signature?

 

 

7: Do you get most of your business through referrals from past clients?

 

 

8: Have you learned any basic business techniques?

 

 


If you’ve answered “NO” to any of these questions, maybe you should reflect on finding solutions. Because, I know you have issues.

Remember my first article when I talked about our buying process. 

  • What do you think goes in your potential client’s mind when she or he shops over the internet for a photographer?
  • What do you think they are they looking for? Boring images or something unusual, creative?

Finally, closing with a story.

3 years into building my studio, I hit a wall. Not able to find marketing solutions, I turned to one of my good clients; a guru. The first question Maurice asked me: “What do you want your client to say about you and your studio?”

My response: “I want my clients to tell their friends and colleagues that dealing with our studio was the best quality/ service/ price ratio in the metropolitan area.”

After 25 years of staying focused on that answer, many clients gave us amazing testimonials that proved we did just that. We were not selling photographs; we were selling what photographs would do for them.

What do your clients tell their friends and colleagues about you?

You certainly want them to pick you because they can’t get the same experience elsewhere.

I invite you to reflect on these thoughts.

My name is Andre Amyot and I bring moments of reflection to professional photographers.