Online ADD. That’s what I call it. And you’re probably a victim of it. It goes something like this …
You decide to build up your photography business, so you head online to start checking things out. You visit site after site, taking in whatever they are talking about. If it’s a great site, you sign up for all you can and start following the advice. UNTIL …
You find the next site. They look great too. So you sign up for their stuff and start following it. Put away the stuff you got last week … that’s soooo last week. And so you start following the steps it tells you to do. UNTIL …
Yep, you get the idea. Everything you read looks like a better shiny object. It seems more relevant to what you want to do today. They sway your decisions and make you want to start down the other path. You may even find yourself saying things like, “Well if he can make $1 million and have hundreds of clients just from a simple Facebook page, I can too.”
Can you see yourself here, or is it just me? Yes, I’ve done this way too many times before. I knew if I just kept reading, I would find the magic key somewhere. What I was going through was an information overload – the more I found, the more I tried to read, the more I wanted to try.
Too Much Of Anything Is Never Good
Do a quick search for things that apply to your photography business. I Googled a variety of key terms, and this is what I found:
- Photography business – 68,100,000 results
- Photography marketing – 451,000,000 results
- Photography planning – 232,000,000 results
- Starting a photography business – 5,590,000 results
Now think about that for a minute. If you wanted to start a photography business, you potentially have over 5 ½ million items you could look through to help you with the process. Once you start your business, you could look through over 451 million things to find the right advice to market it. Or 192 million results to determine what to plan for.
No one could ever get through that kind of content. Its information overload.
But its so easy to do, we Google things all day long.
If you went back 20 years or more, things were different. If you wanted information on building your business, you bought a book. Or you attended a seminar. You learned one thing and began applying it. The only way to increase your knowledge would be to go out and buy another book or attend another seminar. So chances are you invested in just a few things over the course of a year, and found a way to make sure they all applied to each other and helped you build a solid foundation for your business.
In other words, things were easier because you simply didn’t have access to enough information to cause you to go into overload mode.
The Key Is Focus
It was easier to build a business pre-Internet. Without excess information, you could really focus in on the next step, do it, and have results. Once you saw what your results were, you adjusted and tried it again from a slightly different way.
Likewise, prospects attention spans were also easier to capture. When we had a handful of television channels and everyone read the same daily newspaper, you pretty much knew where they were getting their information from. Now we have hundreds of television stations, thousands of options when you add in Internet and satellite channels, movies, DVDs etc. Newspapers are a thing of the past – your prospect could be relying on anything from radio to television, to Facebook or an online news source. People are actually more informed today then they ever have been in history. Which means to capture their attention, your work has increased tenfold.
Yet the solution isn’t trying a hundred or a thousand things. The solution is to focus even more, really narrow down to whom you are trying to reach, and do everything you can to attract attention to your business. Instead of jumping at the “latest and greatest” thing, you know instantly if your audience will be there, and use the best advice possible to make that work for you.
When you discover the next step, its important to spend all the time necessary to put it into place before you move onto the next step. If you are setting up a website, you need to focus on choosing the right platform (WordPress) and developing the best website possible to showcase your business. Or if marketing is your weak point and you are trying to build up a referral plan, you need to focus in on creating the best program from beginning to end.
The only way to build a successful business is to follow in someone else’s footprints. They’ve done it before you and they will leave bread crumbs to help you along.
Only you can choose how you will do it. Will you constantly search and look through millions of results that pop up when you perform free searches? Or will you take the next step and work with someone who can help you get there twice as fast, and help develop your business as quickly as possible?
It Could Start With An Email
10 people. Yep, currently I’m opening up my email coaching program to 10 people. I haven’t publicly offered my email coaching program in over a year, and I don’t anticipate offering it again any time soon. With some major projects coming up in the summer/fall, it will be at least 2013 before I have any more opportunities for individual coaching.
So if you’ve always wanted a “marketing director” on your team, someone you could run ideas by, get advice from, and learn from, this is your chance. I’ve run 3 successful business over the last 20 years. I took our photography business from start up to over $250,000 in under two years.
If you are ready, now is the time. But with only 10 openings, you have to make the choice now … You can read all about it here.