Growth only happens outside your comfort zone!
by Skip Cohen
The start of fourth quarter seasonality is only a few weeks away, and you're all hoping for a busy holiday season. Time flies, and before you realize it, you'll be chasing last-minute details for IUSA, WPPI, CES, or smaller state conventions.
TAKE THE TIME NOW to think about your 2024 first quarter schedule and what conventions and workshops you're going to want to invest in. Taking it one step further, I'm really writing to encourage you to do a skill assessment.
I know how much fun it is to attend programs with your favorite speakers but balance them with programs that focus on your weaknesses. For example, I'm so tired of meeting photographers who tell me they're a "natural light specialist." That means they haven't taken the time to learn lighting. (If I just described your skillset, then look for classes in lighting.)
The same thing goes for other specialties. Don't be a one-trick pony. For example, according to the Census Bureau, most young couples wait three years before starting a family. So, if you're a wedding photographer and you did a great job at the wedding, why wouldn't you want to be there when the first child is born? That means maternity, newborn, and family photography are logical extensions. But they're only logical if you develop the skills to become habit-forming and exceed client expectations.
Here's my point: Step outside your comfort zone and look for at least one program each day at each convention to expand your skill set. Look for ways to become more diverse and support your target audience even more than in the past.
Once things get busy for the holiday rush, you won't have as much time to put together a game plan for the new year - it's not too early to start now.
*Part of the fun of a Hump Day post is finding a stock photo that makes me laugh...it's amazing how many camel shots there are!
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.