I don’t do yard maintenance, or lawn mowing, weed pulling, painting, snow removal, home repairs, house cleaning…I also don’t do much photoshop workflow ( I outsource the grunt work photoshop out), bookkeeping, phone answering, order taking,…plus a whole lot more stuff…..
There are two main reasons why I don’t do yard maintenance, or, for that matter, any of the other items listed above.
Reason one: I HATE yard maintenance. I don’t care how much money I would save by doing it myself, why would I want to put myself through something I detest, in order to save a few bucks.
The pain and frustration would not make me a better person and is not worth it.
Reason two: I know that mowing the lawn isn’t conducive to growing my photography business.
And the truth is, I ain’t saving a dime.
It’s actually costing me money, since my time is far better spent doing things that bring in more money. Like marketing and shooting.
When you do the things that bring in the dough and build the business, then you are spending your time wisely.
Delegation is the key.
Delegation, in a sense, will allow you freedom for your photography business to grow and prosper. Delegation, in a sense, will help you become the person you were meant to be.
AAAaaaa, but you hate marketing, you say. But you love shooting.
You can do the things you love, and not make a whole lotta dough, and be fine with that. Or, you can learn to love it, because, there is no choice.
Business is business, and in order to grow it, you need to put on, like they say at the horse barn where my daughter used to ride, ‘your big girl panties’, and do the marketing thing.
When you’re in business, that’s simply the way it’s played. There is no other way.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
In essence, what I am going on about is to do with the highest form of time management.
If you are starting out, you may have to do a lot of the things that later you will get to delegate.
Just don’t get caught in a rut that you never climb out of.
I have no idea why anyone would want to to bookkeeping. Pushing a pencil and doing any form of accounting is the last thing on my list.
Lower than lawn maintenance. I used to spend a few hours, and a bottle of brandy, once a month and get my own books done on my own, way back in time. And I mowed the lawn back then too, plus shoveled the dam driveway. But no more.
Nay, nay, nay….
Sure, I know how the basics of accounting, as we all should learn. I like and understand money math, balance sheets, income statements and projections,
I just don’t wanna do ’em. Rather poke needles in my eye.
When you’re stuck doing these things because you are in early growth stages of your photography business, that’s fine, but you need to keep the end in mind.
Know where you are going, stay focused on the big picture until you get to delegate.
If you don’t you risk burnout and wasting time doing stuff that will cost you more in the long run.
Delegating isn’t about giving you more leisure time. It’s about allowing you to do the things that you not only prefer doing, but also the things that bring in business.
This is a hard pill for many to swallow. They lack vision and planning.
They think they have to do all those grunt jobs or else the place will fall apart without them.
Sometimes it makes them feel important. If your into it for your ego, then you will not grow. It’s that simple.
Delegation is often a scary new direction for many. But who said that staying in your comfort zone was synonymous with creative output. And I’m talking about profits when I say output.
Use your time wisely and strategically, always with the end in mind.
Your success depends on it.
I read a flakebook post the other day from a disillusioned wedding photographer who was quitting.
Packing it up and quitting. Done. Finito. No more weddings.
(it completely baffles me why so many people post EVERYTHING about their lives on FB…puzzling….)
He ranted on and on about how the industry has changed. As if there were evil forces at work against him.
I heartlessly commented that he was being a cry baby.
Seriously. The market is supposed to come to him? Nothing is to change? Give it up already.
No amount of justifying the crap storm will justify a twisted sense of entitlement.
Things change, you change. Innovate. Sell. Market. Get with the program or get a job.
What if clients are ONLY asking for digital files? What if you’re getting crappy results from your marketing? What if your selling tactics are getting crap results? What if in the marketplace no one respects you?
These are legit questions.
Here’s what I think are possible areas to look deeper into:
*You work is crappy.
*Your marketing is crappy.
*You sales process is crappy.
*Your market position is crappy.
*Your attitude is crappy and you don’t give a crap
Sorry princess. Want some cry-fries with that waamburger?
No one ever said being in business was easy.
If you don’t matter in your market, they perceive you as someone they don’t respect and/or someone who they don’t want more than files from (which really means they want a super good deal and don’t respect you)…. that is something the business owner has to take responsibility for.
Both in recognizing it, and innovating solutions….
Marketing is the big picture. What are you selling? (offer), to whom (your market)? and how are you delivering that offer to them (message).
The sales process, which is a story, really….reflects something very deep within the core of the business. If that ain’t there, and isn’t properly communicated(sold), then you have a problem. A vacuum; that begs to get filled.
In todays environment, that vacuum is filled by the deal a day cheapo shooters.
Some say the industry is doomed. I say, no.
It’s changed. And we need to change. I, and others I know, are doing very well.
We rarely get asked if we sell files. Why? We’re known as, and we market to something bigger.
There is good news. I think there will be a backlash on the amateurs. Since so many are hiring them, its getting obvious that they delivery crap, for the most part.
But that doesn’t mean you get to be lazy with your marketing.
This is only good news if you deliver, and sell, and market, decent work….
Key words:…that people want.
And master the art of selling and marketing.
Or get a real job.
Yours in photography and success,
If you want to run a successful photography business there are many opportunities available.
My eyes don’t deceive me. I see it all the time in my own studio.
AND,I know many, many others who are totally crushing it in theirphotography business. I see it in their businesses too.
Yes, you need to think BIG….not small.
But BIG, I’m afraid, gets confused with MAGICAL.
There is no magic. No ego. No room for small thinking.
Only courage, sweat, focus, determination, guts and showing up dayafter day, month after month, year after year….
…with eagerness, passion, plans and a willingness to remainadaptable.
A willingness to shoot as many sessions as possible.
Master your craft. Become prolific. Grow your business.
There are so many opportunities out there it baffles me!
Sure, nay-sayers and cry-babies are saying the industry is dead.
It’s easy to be a critic when you can’t succeed in your own
Problem is, I think, many, many got into this field thinking it was…wait for it….
…..the essence of magical thinking…..EASY…
Yes, they thought all they needed was to buy a camera….take
Make money…somehow…..somewhere….everyone would line up once they realized how amazing they were….
Here’s the thing…EVEN if you were really, really good a taking images….EVEN IF you were winning awards and recognition by your
…..It amounts to a hill of beans…unless and until you can beat your ego into submission and become a marketer.
Yes, my humble followers….a marketer. A marketer of photographic services….
There are opportunities everywhere….EVERYWHERE! Dance schools, sports, commercial, editorials, families, weddings, babies, children, pets, clubs and organizations, on and on and on…many, many opportunities and low hanging fruit for the “marketer of photographic services…”
NOT for the prima donna……who thinks all they need is to “be good”….or own a camera….
Gimmee a break…seriously…..
I’m trying to help here, honestly. Shed some light….cool?
Yours in photography and success,
Every month I share what’s working in my studio or I bring in a special guest and
we jam on all things marketing and money making strategies. I call it a marketing
Have you ever used one of the many online travel booking services?
You know, Expedia or Orbitz and such.
Here’s an interesting little bit of information that you may find useful and applicable in your photography business.
When you submit a search, the results are much faster than what these sites show you. In other words, they intentionally slow down sending you the results.
Why? It’s all psychology…
They know that if they send you the results within a second, the perception is they didn’t really work that hard to go find you the best travel deal.
Who knew? I didn’t, until now.
It’s interesting how our perception alone affects our buying decisions. In our studios this works in similar ways. Think about the shoot and burn photographers. They sadly will never be truly trusted as a photographer that delivers and cares.
Why? They shoot, and burn. The perception is, they didn’t really work that hard to bring the very best in photography to the client.
When you intentionally take your time, have a step by step process in your shooting and selling process, and you deliver really nice photography that clients love, it works, and you have a sustainable model for long term profits and success in your photography studio
Here’s another example. The Hare Krishna….at one time they were all over airports. I’m not sure where they do their street level fundraising anymore, but they knew one of the most powerful selling tactics available. As soon as they approached you they handed you a flower. This simple act alone triggers in us a powerful reaction.
When someone gives you something, you feel the need to return the favor. Maybe it’s a guilt thing. The experts call it the principle of reciprocity. And it’s a powerful innate reaction most of us have.
It’s all psychology…
A few weeks ago my wife and I were at a large mall.
There was a nicely dressed young lady standing at the entrance to a store. She handed my wife a free product.
We stopped. My wife said thank you.
I knew what was going on. And the next question came….she asked my wife something about skin or cosmetics. She was fishing and the free handout was her lure. Powerful stuff. It’s all psychology…
And it works….on most folks. That time it didn’t, because my wife wasn’t interested and she can be ninja level cool when she wants to be.
We can use this strategy for good in our studios.
In small ways. Offering our clients a tea, coffee, juice or soda when they come in to view their images. Maybe a glass of wine.
Definitely a grand experience, some killer images, a great smelling, and looking
studio/reception area. It all matters and is all part of the psychology of selling.
Reciprocity. It works. And our intentions are noble and good, so nothing wrong with that.
It’s all psychology…Maybe you find it manipulative? Not so if what you’re selling is something they truly desire, appreciate and something that enriches their lives.
No excuses. We all need to learn to sell.
I always loved this quote: “Selling is serving”.
When put that way, it feels right. No shame.
I posted a thread a while back, with some links to some great interviews on selling, in the forum.
Yours in photography and success,
Let’s go back in time. Way back.
I was a mere 19 years old and I recently discovered photography and the darkroom, that mysterious magical place where images came to life.
I was at the time in college, taking a bird course of sorts, trying to figure out life.
(Photography was one of the courses we needed in order to pass said bird course.)
Photography changed my life, my destiny. But more than that, the two people I met while in this course mattered even more.
The first one was Karl, the photography prof.
Now Karl was not loved by everyone. He was scary, brash and loud. I, however, put him on a pedestal. He was outspoken, brash and he knew photography.
He also had no tolerance for sloppiness or lazy work. I admired that and respected him for it.
I naively asked him if I also bought a Leica (his brand) camera if I too would become a good photographer.
He laughed. It’s not about the camera. Okay, got it.
He set the pace for my career. I knew back then there was no room for being less then your best or being sloppy.
And while some students cowered and crawled in the corner when he came storming in the darkroom, I stopped and listened.
I was not a good student overall. But I was a good student where it mattered. And it mattered as far as Karl was concerned.
He knew his stuff. And I was eager to learn.
To this day, and I think we can all learn from Karl, being a good student matters.
No ego. No sensitive snowflakes too afraid to “get their feelings hurt”, always opting for political correctness over quality teaching.
Sad. But true for many. Their loss.
I decided to quit that program and pursue photography full time. Enter Fritz Grottoli.
Mr.Grottoli, the head of the program, sat me down in his office and gave me a one-on-one talk that to this day still resonates.
He warned me it was not going to be easy street being a photographer, in case I had any illusions.
He told me I was going to starve, and live every day in doubt and uncertainty.
Good thing. If he told me it was going to be easy, I might have believed him.
He set the pace.
They both did. And to this day I am grateful. It was the BEST education I could have ever asked for.
Every single successful photographer I know, and there are many of them, in spite of what the doomsayers and pessimists say, all have this one thing in common.
They were good students. And still are, no matter their success.
They pushed forward. Eager. Wide-eyed and ambitious. Burning with passion and they showed up. Day after day, month after month, year after year.
Success is like that. You don`t accidentally find it one day. You pursue it with dogged determination.
Truth is, nothing much has changed, has it? The business of making it in photography is still very challenging. As it was then, so it is today.
And you learn the one thing that neither Fritz nor Karl knew, or failed to mention at the time, but I discovered because I never gave up….. that marketing, and becoming a marketer of photographic services was the missing link.
Yours in photography and success,
The substance of what makes a business run and what makes it great isn’t on the surface (design, image etc etc).
The true substance is much deeper. IN the grueling, disciplined sweat. pain, blood and turmoil……PLUS, a few secret ingredients.
I’ll get to those in a second.
First, take my story as example…
I had acquired by some weird twist of fate a beautiful large home studio.
I was terribly wet behind the ears and as green as grass when it came to running a pro photography studio.
I did however have big dreams, hopes and ambitions. And, in the grand scheme of things, knew enough about taking decent photographs to get me started in my own business…barely…and…largely because I had the balls to get out there and do it.
I had several years as a darkroom techie….almost one year managing a chain like studio and….better yet….
…several years photographing schools….which did more for my self-confidence than anything else.
And I was only 25.
I had a ways to go. I knew little about management, accounting, selling and all those essentials.
I did my best. I took a night course at our local college on running a small bid’ness…
I asked my landlord, the dude who gave my this amazing opportunity, for some tips on setting up the books and all thing accounting.
The key = I asked for help. This attitude got me far in life.
I hate bookkeeping with a passion and eventually did what I feel most photographers should do…
I farmed it out.
Paid a lady $50.00 a month to come in. On busier months, she’d want more. I paid her whatever she wanted.
It meant I was getting busier.
But I was glad not to be doing the books…yeessshhhh.
In studio management, it occurred to me years later how incompetent I was in this area once I married my wife and she and I started working together.
She as manager, me as photographer and marketing director. Two essential jobs I loved!
We were now competent. A team. And the studio skyrocketed!
This whole idea came to light a few years ago when I booked Maggie Habieda as a speaker for the Inferno workshop.
Maggie, as I was dealing with her, when it came to payments and anything non essential, had me communicate with her studio manager, Ian Cuthbert.
Everything was run very professional. She delegated.
I noticed this and thought, one of the reasons she is so successful is because she brought someone like Ian into the picture to help her studio grow.
And grown it has!
She not only was the most popular and energetic speaker, she showed us how she grew her studio in a matter of a few years.
Amazing story. Great news when so many are saying the days of the full time studio are numbered.
Phhhoeeeyy! Don’t believe it for a second.
Just because there are hot dog and lemonade stands popping up all over doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for something better.
People want gourmet and fine dining.
It’s a huge market.
And that’s the market I cater to. As well as many successful photographers I know who are crushing it. Photographers like Maggie.
Remember a while back I said:
“I asked for help. This attitude got me far in life….”
Newbie or old timer, we all need to ask questions, learn, and seek out deep, meaningful answers.
And who you ask is important. You don’t want bad advice or opinions. Everyone’s got ’em.
You want real, solid information from qualified photographers like Maggie.
Wish I had a Maggie way back when. We can all access Maggie and her super powers in the photography forum HERE.
The journey to competence starts by asking the right questions and asking the right people.
Yours in photography and success,
The list of profit killing traps is much bigger, but here’s three big ones off the top of my beanie little head:
*Free shoots for friends
*Giving clients too much time to “think about it”
It’s all about value, and how it gets perceived.
The truth is, we get SCARED and LAZY. It’s why we give shit away. This includes
giving away control.
The antidote is courage and work. We’ll be talking about these items, plus a bunch more in the next Marketing Mastermind meeting for June 2017.
Stay posted, stay frosty. Dates and details coming soon.
Meanwhile, members can go grab previous Mastermind Meetings HERE.
Yours in photography and success,
“If you want to be a profitable and successful photographer, then study profitable and successful photographers.”
P.S. I am raising the cost to join this forum. Seriously, at $20bucks (Canadian funds no less) I am INSANE… and everyone tells me so. And I know it. SO, in ONE week I am adding a $97.00 INITIAL SIGN UP FEE.
Unless you’re already a member or sign up this week. (You’ll be ‘grandfathered’ as they say…..)