Phase One – The Dreamer
Every photographer remembers that one point in their life where they fell in love with their camera. You might have been taking pictures for a while, but there was some point in time where you just “got it” and it went beyond just snapping a few photos.
Then you started dreaming about what’s possible. What if you could do this every day? What if you could travel with it? What if you could make money with it?
Whatever questions you asked, you started dreaming about the possibilities photography could bring into your life. Unfortunately, most photographers stay at the dreamer level. They have a job that pays just enough to be comfortable. They are too settled in their lives to make a drastic change. They have a family.
Phase Two – The Doer
This is your heavy growth period. This is where you quit dreaming, and start doing. You start following role models, and doing things to build the business, not just your talent as a photographer.
The doer phase starts to take action, and turn their dreams into reality. They establish goals. They do one thing every day to bring them closer to their dreams. Maybe its designing business cards. Maybe it’s creating a package for weddings.
Business is about taking a tiny step every day to improve your position. What works today may not work tomorrow. But if you learn from what you’re doing today, it makes tomorrow that much easier to achieve.
When you dedicate yourself to becoming a full time photographer, no matter what, it almost always can be achieved.
Phase Three – The Sharer
You have a strong business. Now is the time to look for something more. Many people go into teaching. Or developing a product for the industry they know so well. Or create products/services that will help them rise up even further as the expert within their field.
The sharer has achieved success within photography, and is now looking for other ways to succeed. They know and understand the craft so well, its time to explore new waters.
The great thing about the sharer phase is there is unlimited opportunity. When you try one thing, another may quickly fall in your lap. When we created our first book, “Being A Bride”, it led to many other opportunities, including another book and a speaking career. And then a column in the Business Journal. And more speaking opportunities.
Opportunities are endless.
Phase Four – The Visionary
Because of such a strong knowledge base within the industry, at the visionary stage, a d photographer starts finding the perfect mesh of products and services to put together, and live the life others only dream of.
One photographer took his expertise of fine art and of Photoshop, sold his home/studio, purchased a bus, and travels the world further expanding his fine art business, and his teaching of Photoshop techniques.
Another began developing product lines to sell to other photographers. He had so much success with his marketing tools, they easily became another revenue source, and ultimately several more business opportunities for him and fellow photographers.
The visionary reaches way beyond sharing, and begins creating new opportunities for others as well. They start foundations and charities. Ever heard of NowILayMeDownToSleep.org? This is a perfect example by top-notch professional, Sandy Puc.
What level are you at with your business? What level do you strive to be at in 5 years? 10 years?
What’s holding you back?