Have you noticed it in your neighborhood too?

I was driving around this past week, doing my normal weekly errands when I suddenly started to notice how things have changed. Buildings are empty. Little paper signs are stuck in the ground everywhere announcing sales, closings and opportunities. And as I went into some of the places I’ve been shopping for years, I also started noticing how empty things were. The “stuff” is still there, its just the aisles are void of people.

Yet even as stores are closing down, still others are being built and hordes of people are lining up to get in. Ikea opened up down the street from us at the end of July, and the traffic lines look like we’re in Disney World. They’ve needed police to direct traffic for over three weeks.

How can you apply that to your photography business? Read on.

In Every Economic Time, There Are Winners and Losers

Yep, I’ve mentioned that before. Some of the biggest businesses in the world today were started out of a garage during hard economic times. And in many cases, I do think we’re going to see a ton of innovation over the next 15 years. Why? Because if you can’t get a job, you have to make one for yourself.

There will be many big businesses that come from this time period. But there will also be a ton of small, health businesses that start from a dream and a little work.

If you are just starting out in photography, look to people that have already made it big in the photography industry. Then take what they’ve done, and add your own twist. Give people what they want today, and you’ll quickly develop a strong following.

The Ones That Succeed Are The Ones That Focus On What People Want

Have you ever been to Ikea? They are all across the globe, in four continents, and in 21 states here in the US. Up until three weeks ago, the closest Ikea to us was in Arizona, which we frequented every time we headed to Phoenix to visit Andrew’s parents.

Ikea has somewhat of a “cult” following. And because of that, the excitement has been brewing for months. A week before it opened, the city brought in signage warning people of new traffic flows, and started sectioning off roads to create “lines” for the Ikea traffic. Police are in every weekend directing traffic, and they’ve used neighboring office buildings to handle parking. Yep, it’s a madhouse.

Yet how can that be? When other companies are shutting down left and right, how can Ikea come into a new city, and take it by storm? It’s because they listen, and give people what they want.

Ikea doesn’t offer top quality merchandise that you’ll pass down from generation to generation. Instead, they offer inexpensive options that offer you great style at low prices. It’s not for everybody. Yet because they have just about everything for your home, I’m sure everybody can find something there they can’t live without. Trust me – it’s hard to go in there and not spend a dime. You can always find a great deal, even if it’s something small.

The reason they succeed is because they listen and give people what they want. They build a following, and move to the next location. You can learn a lot by following their example.

Use Different Methods And Messages To Gain New Clients

Does advertising in magazines work? Does radio advertising work? Do postcards work? Does Facebook work? Does attending bridal fairs work?

Yes. And No.

Everything I mentioned above has opportunity, and has the ability to reach out and connect with potential customers. The problem is most businesses miss two things.

They don’t continue to market in the same way for enough time.

They don’t create the right marketing message for the people they are reaching.

Every marketing tool has potential. The challenge is finding the right way to do it.

Yes, some tools are dying while some are growing. I sure wouldn’t want to be the person spending hundreds every month on a phone book ad right now. But for some businesses, it still works.

The key comes from knowing who your customer is, and giving them the perfect message within that platform. If someone is using the phone book, they may be older and not accustomed to searching the web for businesses. Use that in your message and you may have a winner.

You can’t succeed without marketing. And it’s difficult to survive without multiple marketing methods, all reaching out to prospects in different ways. Put your focus on finding several marketing methods you are comfortable with, and do them again and again. Tweak along the way, and make sure you are reaching the right market for you. Then sit back and enjoy the ride.

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