Intro by Skip Cohen
Here's what happens when you cross Throwback Thursday with a great friendship, and then, like a chef, add a little good advice for seasoning! My good buddy, Scott Bourne, shared the post below eight years ago, and I shared it again in 2017.
But here's where there's a twist - the pandemic has changed everything in business today. Right now, your most effective marketing tool is relationship building. Advertising, publicity, promotions, community involvement, a great skill set, etc., all play essential roles. However, everyone has been hunkered down for the past year, and as we slowly get back to a level of normalcy, your customer needs to hear from you - NOW!
The fun of sharing a Marketing Monday kind of post on a Throwback Thursday is pulling old photographs from your stash. From the first Skip's Summer School in 2009 to the SCU blog and dozens of projects in between, Scott Bourne has been an incredible influence, sounding board, and truly good friend.
In 2013 at Skip's Summer School in Chicago, one of the classes focused on video skills, created a short film featuring Scott and me as battling competitors. It was a lot of fun to do, except for one component where the class missed a beat - using copyrighted music. So, while the video never saw the light of day to the public, this is one of my favorite still images from the project.
Scott and I met years ago in my Hasselblad days, but not until 2009 did the friendship take off. We started working together on so many different projects, including writing "Going Pro," which is still one of the best books ever written about getting started in the photography business.
To Scott's point about caring about your customers in his guest post below - you can't truly care about them if you don't know them! All the answers on how to build a successful business are out there - you just need to listen to your target audience and understand what's most important to them!
Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
by Scott Bourne
If you want to sell photography (or anything else) you should spend more time caring about what your customers care about and less about everything else.
Your customers don't care what your Klout score is, which of your lenses is the sharpest or which brand you shoot with. Your customers care about having photographs that make them (and their families) look good. That's it. That's all.
The online camera forums are full of discussions about photography but, not the people who buy photography. Want to stand out? Want to get ahead of your peers, including those with nicer gear and more experience than you? Simply start caring about your customers. Put all your focus (pun intended) on them and their needs. This is NOT about you. This IS about them. The sooner you realize that - the sooner you'll start to thrive as a professional photographer.
Let the nerds in the photo forums duke it out about which lens is sharper. You go out and make your customers happy by paying attention to their needs and making them look their best. You'll win every time.
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.