"You can be childlike without being childish. A child always wants to have fun.
Ask yourself, 'Am I having fun?' "
Years ago good buddy and SCU Faculty member, Jim Garner produced a series of hysterical videos. They were Jim's own interpretation of "The Office", but all about business as a photographer. Each one was brilliant and very funny. I remember thinking as I watched them, "This is great stuff, but it sure doesn't do much to attract clients!"
The next time I saw Jim I asked him, besides being a kick for his peers to watch, what purpose did they serve? I still remember his answer, almost word for word,
"Are you kidding me? Brides watch these things and they see how much fun I am. They want to hire me just because they know they'll have a good time working with me!"
A few days ago I posted two videos by Ron Dawson, going back to the WPPI 2008 convention. It's Ron's brilliance combined with Joe Photo's sense of humor that makes them so much fun to watch. Once again, these were about marketing. Remember the target audience - professional photographers going to the convention that year. There were three episodes and they all ran leading up to the awards night and targeted attendees.
This week I was sent the link to Tiffani and Mark Dhooge's new website. They've been regular attendees each year at our summer programs. They're passionate and very focused (no pun intended) on each client, but they also want to present a personality that's wonderfully human. I know that sounds so simplistic, but they pride themselves on just being who they are, a couple of fun people to hang out with.
Just this banner ad for their new site conveys two photographers who are going to bring an aspect of "fun" to everything they do. And there it is...my favorite word, "fun" and a concept that's too often lost in business today. Not only are you allowed to have fun, but you're doomed without it!
All of us, me included, have days where "fun" is a lost concept, overshadowed by the stress of worrying about the challenges of business and life that get in the way. That brings me full circle to my point...
It's not important whether or not your subjects give you the old stereotypical "smile" just before you click the shutter - it's important that YOU smile when you're working with every client. You can't smile if you're not having fun and if you're not having fun then kick back for a few hours, whatever time is necessary and figure out what you're missing.
You'll never grow your business or be as happy as you'd like if you're not having fun in the process!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.