by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and the perfect time to redefine being a pro in photography. The pandemic and physical distancing with various levels of self-quarantine have reduced some of the more prominent tools of a pro. But the Internet has expanded the playing field for so-called professional artists to jump into the market. You've got to make yourself stand out from the rest of the "herd."
Years ago, my buddy Dean Collins used to say, "All you need to be a pro these days is a roll of duct tape and a Yellow Pages ad!" His sarcasm still rings true today with too many photographers calling themselves pros, simply because of the gear they own.
I've written a lot about this topic, and it's time to update some of the qualities that make an artist a professional. And it's sure not your gear! Every time you're in public, especially in cyberspace, there's a chance to show your skillset, not just as an artist but as a business owner.
Here's the bottom line: Professionalism is obviously defined by your ability to exceed the expectations of your clients. But your technical skills in producing beautiful images mean absolutely nothing if you don't have a sense of service, listen more than you talk, and build a brand based on being helpful. Make working with you an experience beyond the click of the shutter.
"Customers don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
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.