You want to be SUCCESSFUL, Stop thinking like a PHOTOGRAPHER!

Photographers are some of the nicest people on the face of the earth, but they typically have two flaws in the way they run their businesses that make their businesses a terrible business model to follow.  First off, photographers tend to do what other photographers are doing, without asking WHY?  Look at photographers websites, almost every photographer who has a website has a flash slide-show that you must wait 30 to 45 seconds for, but studies show that you have between 5 to 10 seconds before the average website user starts getting frustrated, usually at 15 second they are ready to click off and go elsewhere.  Other examples of the ‘follow the follower’ approach to photography can be seen in pricing, packaging, selling, advertising and marketing and almost every area of a photographer’s business.  There are some photographers that have no idea why they charge what they do other than that is what  the competition charges (and the competition has their prices set because that is you are charging!)

The second flaw in most photographers business model is putting creativity above profit.  I can’t count the number of programs I have attended in my career that the speaker said, “You don’t sell many of these but they sure are fun to take!”  If you don’t ‘sell many’ why in the hell would you want to take them?  Photographers have the hard time drawing a line that keeps them from investing too much time to produce a product or service that doesn’t provide an adequate return on their time invested.  You see speakers (who are supposedly successful at what they do) taking images home for editing and giving up their home life to personally edit their images.  This same disregard for a photographer’s time leads  to slide-show and video productions that take hours to produce only to give away to a client for free or to show other photographers!   Every business person, in every profession would love to not worry about profiting from what they do, so they could take all the time they wanted to let their imaginations run wild, without having the meter running.  But that is fantasy and we are in business and in business profit is King, creativity is Queen and ideas that do not profit your company are like Court Jesters luring you in to doing dumb things.

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on April 10, 2010.

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