Wandering through the archives, I found this post by good buddy, Scott Bourne. I've written a lot over the years about the importance of building relationships. In fact, I've often quoted Scott Stratten and talked about his book, UnMarketing. His tag line says it all, "Stop marketing and start engaging!"
In our email, Internet world so many times we lose the personal touch. We email and text back and forth; deal with clients who want instant fulfillment and over and over again, miss the opportunity to strengthen a relationship.
It's a short post with a very important point. Marketing today is all about building relationships. Focus on getting to know your clients, never compromise on quality and exceed expectations. As always, you've got to make yourself habit-forming!
If you want to sell photography (or anything else) you should spend more time caring about what your customers care about and less about everything else.
Your customers don't care what your Klout score is, which of your lenses is the sharpest or which brand you shoot with. Your customers care about having photographs that make them (and their families) look good. That's it. That's all.
The online camera forums are full of discussions about photography but, not the people who buy photography. Want to stand out? Want to get ahead of your peers, including those with nicer gear and more experience than you? Simply start caring about your customers. Put all your focus (pun intended) on them and their needs. This is NOT about you. This IS about them. The sooner you realize that - the sooner you'll start to thrive as a professional photographer.
Let the nerds in the photo forums duke it out about which lens is sharper. You go out and make your customers happy by paying attention to their needs and making them look their best. You'll win every time.