I found a quote recently from Marilyn Suttle that couldn't be more direct, "Truth builds trust". The more I've thought about it, the more it's become the perfect topic for a Saturday morning.
While her quote applies to everything in life, I'm just looking at in perspective to the growth of your business. I've talked about "UnMarketing", a book by Scott Stratten in several posts. He writes about your greatest marketing tool today, relationship building. Relationships are built on trust.
Success in business today is all about truth and the trust you build with your clients. It's about being yourself and always delivering what you promise. It's about creating experiences with each client that exceed their expectation and demonstrate your passion for the craft and your ability to make each subject feel they're unique.
Here's a great example. An engagement session isn't about an additional service a wedding photographer offers a bride and groom. It's not about additional images or photographers being able to demonstrate their skill set. An engagement session is about building trust. It's about the clients getting to know their photographer and the photographer learning more about his/her client.
On the wedding day when the photographer arrives, there's already a special bond that comes into play, all built on trust. In the middle of the chaos and stress of the wedding day, the photographer becomes a very special friend, a trusted member of the couple's "new" family. As a result, the couple is more relaxed and knows what to expect. The images are typically better, because they're more relaxed with more natural expressions as well.
It's just one small example. No matter what your specialty in photography or business, truth and trust are the most important ingredients for your growth and survival. But remember, it's not just with your clients, but yourself. You can't create images that tug at people's heart strings if your own heart isn't in it.
"To thine own self be true!"
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.