As a photographer, you want to create the best photographs possible, have your clients love them, pay you well, and refer you to enough people that you never have to “market” again.
That’s the epitome of a perfect business model. But as you are growing and building, something starts happening. You start questioning just about everything.
- Am I good enough?
- Do I have something people are willing to pay for?
- Should I really do this full time?
- Can I become one of the best in my niche?
- Will I succeed?
These are all great questions, and ones that are difficult to find the answers to.
But there is one way to gain immediate feedback.
Put yourself on display.
The Street Performer Mentality
Have you ever watched a street performer do what he does best? He knows how to work the crowd. He perfects his skills by practicing and doing it again and again. He tries it out in front of a crowd, and gains instant feedback. If a group doesn’t surround him and have interest in what he’s doing, he knows he needs to move into a new direction.
Street performers come in all styles, varieties, niches and specialties. Dancers, painters, mimes, jugglers and artisans. If you have any type of artistic talent, you can find a group of people that you can sell your ideas to. It’s a great way of taking what you love and seeing how far you can take it. And if you watched America’s Got Talent this past season, you saw street performer Snap Boogie take it just about as far as a street performer can.
There is a lot to learn from street performers. To be a great street performer, you have to be good a what you do. You put your talents out to the world, and only if you are good enough do you get paid in the end. If not, you tweak and try it again. You refine. You try something a bit different. And only when you find the right combination does it work to perfection, and you move up to a new level of expertise.
They don’t get paid unless they perform. And they earn a lot more if they can make the crowd grow, gasp in amazement, clap and shout with enthusiasm. The goal is to make more people want in on the action. They understand the very root of sales; if you’re good, you get paid. If you are great, you get paid even more. And if you WOW them, you have the chance of building something big.
How To Photograph Like A Street Performer
Right now, there’s no better time to be a photographer. You can shoot just about anything, anywhere, any time, and have someone around you ready to critique what you do. Put your images out on your blog, Flickr, Facebook, or tweet them to the world, and you can have instant feedback on what you do.
Remember, there is a difference from being critiqued by your peers – other photographers – and being critiqued by your potential customers. Photographers look at things one way; potential customers look at it an entirely different way. Understand your audience before you showcase your work, and know what feedback you’re likely to receive.
And if you have a unique way of doing what you do, maybe a video would work better. Record yourself in the heart of action. Get people excited about what you do by showing them just how creative you are. We live in a visual world, and the more you can share with your prospects, the better.
However you do it, ask for feedback. Find out what people like and what they don’t Never be afraid to ask for comments and honest opinions. Yes, the truth can sting at times. But how else will you know what to change, what to add, and how to make it better?
And if you change what you do before you bring on your high level paying customers, you will be that much better at giving them more than they hoped for. You’ll be amazing in no time.