I recently wrote a post 13 Ways To Make Sure 2013 Doesn’t Suck For Your Photography Business. I’ve been doing a lot internal planning with my own business for 2013, and I used that post as a trigger for all of you to start thinking about what you want the New Year to bring into your own lives. In order to stick with that theme, I’ve decided to run a “13 Days Of Photography” feature throughout December to help provide you with a ton of ideas and tips on things you can do for your own business starting on January 1st. Here is 5…
Doesn’t the marketplace seem a little overwhelming right now? Everywhere you look, there is an ad for something. You get hundreds of emails a day. Your newsfeeds rotate constantly with new content. Retailers are doing anything they can to bring in a buck or two – several stores in our area are open 24 hours a day right through Christmas Eve.
At some point it all becomes a bit too much … and you simply shut down.
But that doesn’t mean customers still aren’t out there. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people that want and need what you do.
They may have shut down as well. They may be so overwhelmed by all that is happening around them, they simply need another way to notice you.
And that’s where we have to be innovators. It’s not business as usual. To market the way you always have will get you nowhere in the coming years. The only way to survive – to thrive – will be to take a new approach.
Key #1: It’s Time To Be The Un-Photographer
At one point in time, cola was all the rage. People loved the bubbly drink, dark in color, sweet in taste. Then something new came along – the un-cola. It brought you a bubbly drink with a twist. The color changed. The taste changed. And it was refreshing in its own right. It took something old and put a new twist to it. You can’t photograph like photographers did twenty years ago. The marketplace wants something new – something different. And yet very few are offering the twist. The one’s that create the twist – the un-photographers – will move ahead in this new industry.
Key #2: Think Of The Internet As A Horizontal Marketplace
How many marketing tools do you need to survive? One? Five? Fifty? There is no right answer. Yet for most of us, it is well beyond one – very few could operate with just a business card. Different people “see” things in different ways. Which is why you need to be in different places, off line and on. A simple website won’t reach out to the new customers of tomorrow. Likewise, just a Facebook page will do little to reach customers that are rarely on Facebook. It requires a variety of tools – a horizontal reach through many different tools. Your blog, a Facebook account, reviews on Yelp, a YouTube channel – all reach out in different ways. And provide you with a wide plane of potential.
Key #3: Text, Audio, Visual
Think writing and article or a blog post is enough anymore? Think again. How many people do you see in a day plugged in to their mobile devices? People listen to all kinds of things, from music to podcasts and beyond. While podcasts have been up and down in potential over the last few years, in 2013 I predict they will be bigger than ever. Why sit down at a computer and read when I can listen to the same tip in a fraction of the time? Better yet, why not add video and let me watch and listen while on my way to work? It’s a very graphic society – we use images for everything. Content will continue to switch to a visual nature – perfect for photographers who want to showcase what they do in new ways.
Key #4: Mobile and Accessible
What will be the number one gift this holiday season? Tablets. They’re small, convenient, portable, large enough to read anywhere, and can literally allow you to take your entire world with you anywhere you go. Forget hauling around large wedding albums – you can now have an app that showcases it on your tablet – and allows you to bring hundreds of books, all of your recipes, access to your entire business files, and more. How can you make your photography – your packages – mobile friendly?
Key #5: Idea Building Instead Of Throat Cutting
The marketplace right now is a brutal place to be. One photographer charges $100, so the next undercuts him and charges $90. On and on it goes until the entire industry is shattered. Business doesn’t have to be cut throat. Everyone can find their place and their territory. You can share ideas, help each other understand things a bit better, and all make a healthy living. There are ways to band together instead of going off to war. Approach your education from a way of finding like-minded people to help you move ahead. Anything else holds you back.