It's that time of year when, for most of you, things are relatively quiet. It's the slow season, but as I've already written numerous times before, that doesn't mean it has to be slow for you. Now is the time to be fine-tuning various aspects of your business. However, everything you're hoping to do in 2019 starts with your mindset.
There's a great one-liner I've shared before. While I'd love to take credit for it, I first heard it close to forty years ago from Ed Foreman, a terrific motivational speaker. I heard him speak back in my Polaroid days. I've quoted him easily a dozen times in the past in both live programs and posts.
"If I can see the world through my client's eyes, then I can sell my client what my client buys!"
So, before you continue to lay out the year ahead, plan your marketing strategy and start thinking about how you're going to grow your business, read that one-liner once more.
It goes a lot deeper than just putting yourself in their shoes. You've got to literally work to see things the way your clients do, and that includes their perception of you. It's all about building trust. It's about listening more than talking. It's about putting your mind's eye into high gear and visualizing how they want their images to look, and why they've come to you in the first place. You've got to sense their concerns together with their expectations and create products unique to them and express their personality, lifestyle, and passion.
When I interviewed Kirk Voclain many years ago for an article in PDN, he talked about the key to success in photographing high school seniors. It was all about talking with them and watching for the most natural expression when they hit a topic they loved. It was about creating an experience for them. I'm paraphrasing a little, but Kirk's comment really stuck with me:
"Skip, there are a lot of mediocre photographers out there who make a great living photographing seniors because they make the sessions fun!"
Think about that...now raise the bar and be more than just a mediocre photographer. Listen to your clients, see the world through their eyes and don't forget about "fun." "Fun" is that all too often lost word in business today and we all need to work to bring it back!
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.