It's been a few years since my good buddy Scott Bourne shared this short post, but it's so relevant right now. I'm hoping this might get a few more of you thinking about your approach to the business as seasonality starts to kick in and activity in 2018 ramps up.
But there's one assumption Scott, and I always make with every post. We assume you know what you're doing with a camera in your hands. It won't do any good to think through everything in your marketing arsenal if your skill set is at best mediocre. Anybody can get their first customer, but the key is to get the second, third, fourth and beyond. And, all along the way you want to exceed their expectations and have them insisting their friends look at your work as well.
So, at the same time, you're reading Scott's post, think about your skill set. Are you doing everything you can to be the very best photographer you can be? What do you need in your skill set to raise the bar on the quality of your images? You won't be able to follow Scott's suggestion about taking time to figure out what your perfect customer looks like if you're at the computer for hours on end cleaning up your images.
Short and sweet - what is marketing?
The word marketing means many things to many people. Lots of folks think marketing means advertising - and it does. But there’s so much more. Marketing is a big tent that covers public relations, communications, social media, branding, networking, etc.
It’s important that all emerging photographers understand how wide a swath marketing can cut because if they don’t - it means certain actions aren’t being taken that could lead to more business.
In its simplest form, marketing is a bridge - it’s like a bridge between you and your intended prospect. The core of ALL marketing activities is understanding who your customer is and what they want. The rest of marketing should be devoted to thinking of ways to make sure the right people are hearing the message and you’re giving them what they want.
Everything from what you sell, to how you present it, to how you promote and price it is marketing. Most of your day should be spent trying to figure out what your perfect photography customer looks like and exactly what they want. That is marketing. All the other stuff like ads and press releases, and logos and business cards, those are just the vehicles by which you execute the marketing plan. So spend time on these two questions.
Who is my prospect and what do they want?
If you can answer both questions accurately and deliver, you will absolutely be successful. As usual, Skip and I are rooting for you.