There are a lot of really good photographers out there. There are also a lot of really bad photographers out there. And a many more who fall in between. What could possibly make a mediocre photographer more successful than a technically strong photographer?
Think of your photography business as a tree, and you get to how big your tree grows. Your roots are your website and marketing: they spread the word of your talent and offerings. The trunk is the core of your business, from the booking process to the photography session to your editing. Each customer becomes their own branch – you need to direct and prune and care for each branch so it eventually leads to the fruit of your tree – sales.
How you care for each branch directly relates to the size of your fruit. With luck and skill, you’ll have lots of different fruit, most of which will be as individual as each customer! Some branches will grow more branches, many will sprout multiple fruit and if everything comes together right, your branches will strengthen and grow. Dead branches and rotten fruit, if they happen, must be managed, and we’ll look at how to avoid these.
You can Google tons of great info on how to build your website and market your business. A couple of my favourite blogs are PhotoMint – The Business of Photography and Boudie Shorts. For your trunk, don’t worry about the circumference yet. Like a tree, your trunk will grow as your skills grow. In addition to the previous two blogs, check out Digital Photography School and Catherine Hall for great hands-on and how-to articles that will help grow your tree.
That leaves your branches, and the place where a successful photographer makes a difference. Each customer starts as their own branch. Some customers will end with one fruit, say one portrait package. Other customers will grow bushels of fruit and many offshoot branches as they share praise of your work and recommend you to their friends and families.
Part 2 of this series will look at what you can do to foster fabulous growth from your branches, grow plentiful and more luscious fruit and increase the coverage of your canopy.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the leaves yet, think piles. Of green. And since I’m Canadian, those will be multi-coloured piles.
© Will Prentice, 2013. All rights reserved.