“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
by Skip Cohen
It's "Hump Day," and I do my best to keep it relatively short but still relevant. The "why" we do things is at the top of my mind this morning.
As a photographer, your target audience doesn't care what awards you've won, what gear you have, or how your grandfather gave you your first camera. All they want to know is "why" you love being a photographer and if you can be trusted to capture the kinds of images they want.
Too many of you write your bios, forgetting about your audience. When it's time to open your heart, you submerse yourself in meaningless factoids about your skills. If they're reading your bio, they're already interested in getting to know you better - don't bury them in your list of print competition awards, gear details, and the history of your business. Tell they why you love imaging. Share why your clients trust you to capture what's in their hearts.
It's the "why" that makes us all more interesting. It's the "why" that makes my story different from yours. It's the "why" that takes millions of stories from people worldwide and gives them color, emotion, and commitment.
In terms of my "why" - I simply love photography and the business of helping more people understand its importance. I love working with so many of you to help you see your potential, and in turn, you help me see mine. I feel a special rush walking into any photography convention, conference, or trade show.
And it's not just conferences and conventions - In a few minutes, I need to head up to Clearwater (near Tampa) to catch up to a whole bunch of great friends on Scott Kelby's The Grid. Eddie Tapp is in town and a guest, along with Larry T. (founder/inventor of Platypod), Larry Becker, Judy Host, and the whole Kelby Media team. It's that energy of being together with great friends that confirms I love this industry.
Stop worrying about "what" you do and start sharing with people "why" you do it. The "what" is from your left brain and a series of cut-and-dry statements; the "why" is the right brain and is all about your personality, passion, and emotion. Plus, your "why" is unique, while your "what" is often the same as everybody else's.
Happy Hump Day!
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.