BEC Community member wrote:
"Feeling really defeated.
Sometimes it is hard to figure out how to market myself in an area with so many photographers that edit the same way and offer the same "perks" that I do. I have a full time job and I'm trying to go full time with photography but I get so discouraged some days because of the photographers that are already full time and I feel as though the are "ahead" of me. I feel like that's childish to even feel or think that way.
Some days I just feel like throwing in the towel but I love doing photography so much. I always try to remind myself that there are clients for everyone. Then with me not booking very much right now, it's just difficult to see the positive side of it. I know everyone is struggling with the economy as well so that doesn't help either."
I see these comments a lot lately in the BEC Facebook group. It has been slower than normal for small business owners and photographers. The economy has been on the lower spectrum, and we are feeling its effects. The good news is, people are still making money. It may take more effort than normal, but just keep going until it's back up again. I started my photography business in 2008, one of the worst times. Times change, the economy changes, and you have to learn how to adapt and keep going.
Just because someone offers the same services as you do, doesn't mean they can be YOU. I can give you my BEST advice but if you don't take action and apply it, chances are you are going to still be asking why no one is booking. First, sit down and write down who your target audience is. Where do they shop? What do they do? How do they spend their money? What kind of products do they buy? Why would they buy from you? Where do they live? etc. If you can't describe who you are marketing to, then how can you market effectively?
Once you know who you are marketing to, make sure your brand is aligned with your target audience. Your brand is how your customers FEEL about your business. They need to relate to what you are trying to sell them. That is how you want to market your products and services. The photographer down the road is going to be a different experience, that is what sets you apart from the others. It doesn't matter if you are just starting your business or you have been in business for 10-20 years. Your brand will set you apart if you are building it geared toward your target audience.
Is the photography space over-saturated? Maybe. Does that mean you can't build a successful photography business? Not at all.
Photography is a luxury business so when times are slow, people put off things like photo sessions. You have to adapt and change with the economy. That doesn't mean lower your prices, you still need to make a profit and feed your own family. That means finding a way to offer something that is in demand. Small businesses need images to market with, maybe shift your business towards branding and marketing. You can add more value to your existing services that catch your target client's eye. Makes them feel like they NEED your services. Make them FEEL like they have to book with you because YOUR style is what they have been longing for. Create value and stop asking clients to buy something, make them feel like they are getting something of value instead.
Written by Erica Williams
Erica is a photographer of 16 years, CEO of Bold, Emotional, Colorful, and a marketing guru. After running a successful photography business since 2008, she was inspired to create BEC, an educational platform and community for BOLD Photographers. She resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, 3 children, and 2 dogs. She enjoys taking photographs on her travels and hiking the great outdoors.
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