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A Guest Post by Elizabeth Archibong.
As a photographer, whether we like it or not everyday, there is someone picking up a camera hoping to become a pro-photographer and on the other end, established pros are constantly changing the script and reinventing what counts in the industry… so to get your business to stand out, you have to learn more and more on how to skillfully compete with what ever limited resources available.
The one major area we can compete is learning how to position yourself and your business to get the greatest rewards. How can you do this? Focus and specialize on one area of excellence.
If weddings are your thing – focus, specialize, let your website show that you eat, drink, breathe and sleep weddings; become ‘The’ wedding photographer. Rather than show images of babies, pets, nature and what not, your aim should always be to make your target client confident in you and what you can offer long before she has even met you and the best way to do that is your home (on the web) should tell that potential client that you are an expert in your field. It should give a feeling that there is nothing about photographing weddings that you don’t know about, because it is what you live to do. It should make her feel that she must definitely have a ‘chat’ with you – whether she picks you in the end or not is not the point here, the point is that you will be one of those that cannot be discounted and will at least warrant a meet up just to see if you are a good fit (and let’s face it, if a bride is asking for a meet up, you know you’re in there with a chance of getting the gig)
Specializing not only forces you to up your game, it allows you to increase your prices and charge accordingly for the services that you offer. You now are not competing anymore with everyone out there with a camera instead you are now competing with other specialists. This means you are more likely to get heard because the pool is lot less crowded than before. The sort of clients you start to attract, will be different and so will the expectations that come with having a higher end client. The competition is now not on price, but more on how tight your game is compared to the other specialists on her list and, if you will be a perfect match for her and hubby. If you are focusing all your available resources on specializing, you will be on top your game, so the fear that you will be seen as a fraud is not going come up.
If you feel you absolutely can’t give up photographing pets or babies just for weddings and at this stage, you want to take whatever job you can get – that’s okay, but understand that people looking for children’s portraits are a whole different market and they have different needs from the wedding client and require a completely different marketing strategy . It might be best to consider having a different home for your portrait work because little Benjamin and Clara’s mother is more likely to book your services if she believes without doubt that your are more than capable of providing the goods to make her angels look like angels even when they are not quite being angels. Same as above then goes for the sort of fees you can charge for your service of making clara, ben and chris look like little rock stars even on their worst day.
As long you are constantly (without the distraction of trying to be all things to all people) giving your potential clients reason to believe that you are more than able to match their expectations and solve issues that they may not have even considered, then you have gone a long way than others in making your business stand out from the crowd.
Updated: apologies for the kooky formatting – Darren