Intro by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday, and wandering through the SCU archives, I found one of my favorite guest posts by my good buddy, Scott Bourne.
As 2023 seasonality starts to ramp up, have you built a reputation for being unique? If not, then what you're offering is a commodity - the same thing everybody else promotes! And to Scott's point: You've got to be unique - not just in terms of technique and quality, but your ability to build relationships with your clients.
Walt Disney may have said it best:
To be successful you must be unique,
you must be so different that if people want what you have,
they must come to you to get it.
by Scott Bourne
I've written lots and lots and lots about selling photography. The other day someone asked me, to forget the books and long blog posts and seminars I've taught and sum up the key to successful photography marketing in three words or less. I am proud to say I was able to do it in two.
Uniqueness and Value
Those are the two words I want you to concentrate on when you're trying to build your photography business. These are the ONLY things that matter when it comes to marketing. Not your logo, or which award you've won, or which association you join, but whether or not your photography company is unique and offers real value. Ask yourself... Is what you do unique? Is it something that people want and need? Is your photography truly valuable?
If you answer "No" to either question then you are going to have an extremely difficult time surviving, let alone thriving in the photography business.
Because at the end of the day, if you aren't unique you are a commodity. And if you're a commodity, then you will get your butt beaten working long hours for VERY little money. If your products aren't valuable, then no matter what price you charge, you'll always struggle. A car with no engine is not a good deal for the average person. The average person can't build an engine, install it and drive away. So no matter how low the price, the car with no engine has no value. You have to find ways to bring value to your clients. If you do that, then price isn't an issue.
And price is what this post is really about. You see, if you are unique, you can charge a higher price - but only if somebody wants the unique thing you have. If you are NOT unique, then you will always be competing on price. If you are on the other hand, valuable, but not unique, nobody will see the value.
This is an ethereal concept but try to dig into it. Make a list of how you are truly different from your competitors. Then make a list of how you bring value to your customers. What's your USP (unique selling point?) What's your value proposition? (How does your product match up with the needs, beliefs, feelings and desires of your prospects.)
When you can answer these questions, you can move forward and thrive.
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.