Think of how a pendulum works. It slowly swings back and forth. From one side to the next. It never stops, just swings from one point to the next, and always returns.
Business works in much the same manner. At some point you’ll have the best of times, with money flowing freely. And at some point you’ll have the worst of times, with financial crisis looming in the horizon.
Now let’s talk photography. At some point the photography industry is at the top of the heap, allowing photographers to charge whatever they want, making huge sums of money. And at some point photographers flood the marketplace, only being able to barely hang on.
I’ve seen them both. We were at the top of the heap during the 90’s, easily bringing in 5 figures per wedding client. It came easily. Friends referred friends, and every wedding we could make what some photographers are currently making in one year.
So will the pendulum ever swing back to the good times? You bet. And the clear winners will be:
1. The photographer who takes photography seriously, and becomes the best photographer she can.
2. The photographer that concerns herself with the business as well as the photography. If you can survive hard times, the good times will be easy.
3. The photographer that dotes on customer service. No matter what the economy, she gives her clients 110%.
4. The photographer that continues to mentor under the best in the business. If you’re not busy, take the time to study and become better.
5. The photographer that creates a marketing plan and sticks with it. The company that keeps marketing through thick and thin truly understands the power of marketing.
6. The photographer that comes up with something new – a new twist – and finds the clients willing to buy it.
7. The photographer that isn’t out for the quick buck, and caves into “what everyone else is doing”. The biggest statement I hear from photographers on why they charge one low fee and hand over the digital files – “everyone else is doing it”. That’s not how to get to the top. The way to the top is to give what no one else is giving.
8. The photographer that stays active in the community.
I know there are a ton more ideas – what are some of yours?