Let me start off by saying THANK YOU to all those who attended the Back to Business Basics (B3) workshop this past weekend. I was honored by your presence. To those who were unable to attend, I look forward to you attending future business workshops.
I have always believed in “Community over Competition” when it comes to the photography industry, because on the business side, I feel our responsibility is to serve the market and the market is HUGE! By aligning our individual reasons of why we do this, it helps us persevere in serving clients who share our love in what we photograph!
Lesson #1: Don’t try and do it all by yourself!
Back in December, during a networking event, several photographers reached out to me about doing a workshop. Fellow Photographer, Geno Porter (AirReal Photography) had been encouraging me to do just that for the longest. If it wasn’t for his encouragement and shared financial backing, this workshop might never have happened.
This was one of the lessons that I shared when starting out and you have limited resources. Find someone or a group of individuals who are willing to share the responsibilities and work together for a common good. You’d be surprised how much lighter the burdens are.
Lesson #2: Provide value by solving problems
Many photographers face the challenges of doing things the “right” way. By that, I mean, legal hurdles such as going through the business license process. Having the right permits at the right locations. Whether or not to have a studio or not, even down to insurance requirements, and lets not get started on what gear we need and how to get it!
Similar in my quest to help photographers solve these problems, we learned that we have to do more than just take “pretty pictures” for clients but solve their core problems, wants, desires, and needs while always striving to provide additional value.
Sometimes that value is additional time. Other times that value is access to a location that a client ordinarily wouldn’t be able to go to. We learned how our pricing is not about just what we charge, but is based on our economic philosophy as well. Making a choice to provide premium products to offer premium quality, or the choice to offer different levels of quality in products and services in order to serve a wider client base. Finding the solutions to problem and knowing WHY you want to solve that problem is critical to finding the people who want YOU to solve that problem.
Lesson #3: Continuously Improve
As expressed in the portion of learning about finding out the unknown unknowns, we learned that no one person has all the answers. Not even myself, but we should continuously strive to find the answers. Challenges arise and change everyday, as well as the solutions to them. The importance is understanding and being prepared for those changes. Our presentation, service/product offerings, workflows can all be continuously improved, but need to have a solid foundation.
A distinctive “Why.”