Monday, February 22, 2016

Four tips to grow your photography brand

Nikon D4, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 5600, ƒ/1.4, 1/500
I am in Orlando, Florida covering a great meeting. I learned about four key elements today to grow your business.

  1. Avoid Complacency
  2. Know the Customer
  3. Focus to Win
  4. Work Together
Now actually I already knew this, but the speaker packaged them in a neat package for the audience.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 8000, ƒ/4, 1/500
Here is my interpretation of these points for photographers.

Avoid Complacency

If you as so dependable that your coverages all look alike you have become complacent. You need to mix it up. 

If you are struggling to do this, then just buy a different lens and force yourself to work differently.

Nikon D4, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 6400, ƒ/1.4, 1/500
I did this recently by buying a 35mm ƒ/1.4. Let me tell you I tossed out a lot of shots tonight from shooting due to the depth of field was so shallow the photos looked like I missed the focus.

Now I actually owned this lens when I first started shooting in for a newspaper in 1984. However I hadn't owned the fast prime in maybe 25 years. 

I used this lens to push me to do something different tonight.

Know The Customer

I work really hard to understand the problem I am solving for the customer. It isn't about me just taking pretty pictures. They need photos of specific things.

Way too many photographers think they know better than the customer. Actually most of these photographers don't know as much as they think.

Always know exactly the requirements that you need to fulfill for the customer so that their problem is solved. Now if you choose to go and shoot more stuff for fun in addition that is not only OK that is great.

In Matthew 5:41 they talk about people having to carry a Roman soldiers gear for one mile if you were a Jew in the time of Christ. Jesus told people to carry that load 2 miles. 

Many companies today talk about 2nd mile service and this is where it comes from. The mistake that many make is they actually think they are doing 2nd mile and they really didn't do the first mile to begin with for the client.

Focus to Win

To get a customer and to KEEP them you need to really understand the customer's beliefs and behaviors. You want to influence these.

A wedding photographer understands they are not just taking photos of the wedding and documenting it. They understand they are writing the first chapter of the book of the bride and grooms life together.

When social media was first starting the photographers who understand how to influence customer's beliefs and behaviors would Tweet photos from the day. They also helped them create those no look but touch photos of the bride and groom before the wedding. This is a new phenomenon that didn't exist before photographers started offering this and then all couples wanted it.

The photographer who first started this and other ideas quickly became in high demand. They influenced the beliefs and behaviors of engaged couples and their choices for photographers and what was concerned good wedding photography.

Work Together

Even if you don't have a staff and it is just you this still applies. If you are married your spouse can make a huge difference and you in their lives. As you work with your client you help them to see this is a collaboration. 

I learned today about how Uber delivering puppies for you to play with. Just read this story. Not only does a puppy cheer someone up like flowers it also helps the local humane society with a donation. Uber is working to make communities better in many ways.

In what ways can you do something that when someone does business with you benefits your community.

Check out Warby Parker Eyeglasses for another example of a company that when customers work with them the entire community benefits. Buy a pair give a pair.

While these four ideas are not anything new, they can revolutionize your business. However each of these requires a commitment at a pretty high level to execute them wisely.

Are you up to the challenge?

No comments: