Marketing Monday: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog!"
A year ago, with a lot of help from several good friends, one them Scott Bourne, we launched this site. Scott retired at the beginning of this year, but I want to keep one of the features he started going, Marketing Monday.
Mark Twain is credited with the quote above and while it was probably said over a hundred years ago, it's so relevant to business today. I love it because it's the epitome of great marketing. With WPPI coming up, along with dozens of regional and state conventions, you've got an opportunity to enhance the "size of the fight in the dog!" However, (there it is, a qualifier!) you have to make sure your mind set has the "dial" turned all the way to optimism, no matter how tough business is or has been.
A while back I was talking to a photographer from Ohio and she made a comment, "I can't wait for this economy to turn around!" She painfully laughed about the challenges and complained about some of her fly by night competitors and questioned whether or not she was going to stay in the business. We talked for a little while and as I hung up the phone, I can't begin to describe how much her thought process bothered me.
It's credited to an unknown author, but this quote really seems to fit:
"Do not wait for your ship to come in - swim out to it!"
Every year for the last five, we've been in the perfect storm, often caught between technology, the economy and consumer trends. Every year is tough in any business today. Photographers don't have exclusivity on the challenges of earning a living.
I talk to photographers every day and most are "getting by" and a few have seen growth. Everyone recognizes all the paradigms have shifted and whatever was the norm a year or two ago is totally different today. But there are some common denominators with photographers "getting by", "having an okay year" and "having a great year!"
We're just a month and a half into the new year and you've got about the same amount of time left in the first quarter, before "slow season" is over. This is the time to be thinking about your goals for 2014, because it's going to be an amazing year. And if you don't believe me, then I need to work on helping you with a better plan.
Everybody knows where to find me and I've always done my best to give people an objective opinion on things they're working on, especially their websites.
This is a hard business because the way you learn it is all backwards. As Jerry Ghionis once said, "We should all be starting out as second shooters first. That way we could perfect our skill set and not have to worry about running a business too. Instead we launch our business at the same time we trying to develop the expertise to be a great artist!"
The process of starting a photography business is flawed - so stop worrying about "the size of the dog" and let's get you going on teaching that pup to fight better!
Photo Credit: © Bill - Fotolia.com
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.