Ally Yourself With Others – Be Nice
We will go into this in more detail later as it one of the most important aspects of running any business, after all, how far could your business go without people?
In a later chapter, we will talk about joint ventures and partnerships where relationships are vital but for now I just want to cover another aspect of teaming up with people.
When one person tries to figure out things…anything…for themselves, not only does it take time but you are also seeing things from a singular perspective. Who is to say whether you are right or wrong and even if you are right, is it the best answer or way of doing things?
It has been proven that when you get two, three or more people together in what is known as a mastermind group, things change…the whole dynamics change!
Ideas are bounced from one to another, they get expanded upon and manipulated until you thrash out the best possible scenario and actions to take.
You are working with the accumulated and combined experience of everyone involved and the more you talk, the more that experience comes through. Emailing won’t work, you need to be face to face.
Of course, if you are of a multi-personality nature, you will be able to perfect this by yourself but you still won’t have that combined experience and it is easier and sometimes more fun with other people.
But who do you ally with in a photography business? Surely if you speak to other photographers in your area, they will steal those ideas and ultimately your business?
Here are some ideas:
- Ally with family and friends that know you and your business
These people will be honest and critical with you but always take it with a pinch of salt. Family tend to want to “protect” you and will not always see great ideas in the way you do. Bounce ideas off them for things such as portrait shoot ideas, book and canvas print layouts, digital imaging styles etc, but leave the business side for others.
- Ally with suppliers
Again, we are going to go into more detail later with regards to these types of relationships and which suppliers to approach, but will cover it in general here. Once you have a relationship established with suppliers, a wedding boutique for example, it is worth the time and effort to arrange a mastermind session (meeting) with them.
Take time to discuss things such as the best way to promote your business to their clients. What do they want? What are they like? What is the average budget? Where are they from? Where are they getting married generally? What comments do they give with regards to the photography/photographers?
By talking to these suppliers, you should be able to hone and perfect your marketing techniques a little better and reach your prospects easier and ultimately bringing in more business but remember to reciprocate.
Always try to give more than you receive or at the very least, try to give the perception that you are giving more. Help the suppliers to get more business too by offering to link to them through your website and to recommend them in your promotional material. Maybe even do a free product shoot for them for whatever it is they sell (cakes, dresses, venues etc)…be humble!
- Ally with “distant” photographers
Go to trade shows and seminars where there are other photographers who have no bearing or interest in your business or area. People love to talk and boast about how they are doing and how they are doing it so don’t be afraid to ask for advice and also give it where you can.
Once again, if you talk to someone for long enough, there will be things uncovered and discovered that will help the both of you…guaranteed.
Talk to suppliers at the trade shows, many of them are photographers themselves and when they have an audience, they are more likely to answer your questions as honestly and openly as possible…they are there for trade and don’t want to be caught short or shown as being unhelpful!
Get yourself on a course or two and be the person that asks all the questions…any questions. The course instructor will not want to show ignorance or lack of knowledge by not answering you in most cases.
- Ally with photographers on Twitter and Facebook
Befriend other professional photographers on social media websites. I have done this for years long before social sites were around by creating Google Alerts and RSS feeds for websites of photographers, manufacturers, venues…anyone related to my business.
You can pick up some great tips, techniques and important info such as a new venue opening in your area (get in first), a new Photoshop or Lightroom technique, a new shooting technique or style that you would like to try yourself and so on.
Reading , talking and listening to people will get you a long way. If you simply shut yourself away thinking “you know best” you will slowly grind to a halt. Wedding photography in particular requires you to keep up with the times and be prepared to reinvent yourself along the way.
Keep all of these professional relationships current and keep in touch with the ones that “work” the best. New ideas can be found and created all the time.
Next Page – Self Control