Staying Competitive in a Saturated Market with Rob Adams
In more than 24 years of providing wedding videography services to the greater New York City Saturated Market and being married to successful wedding photographer, Vanessa Joy, for nearly 12 of them, I’ve had to adapt my business model more than I’d like to admit. Pricing models that once netted big profits no longer work. Where I once offered large budget wedding cinematography packages out-of-the-gate, these offerings are now replaced with lower initial price tags and then are followed up with backend-heavy up-sells meant to entice couples to choose my company over other bloated but lesser-priced options. Admittedly, I fully understand that this is the nature of business everyplace and things rarely stay the same.
In the case of the wedding industry, especially in the imaging department there has been a radical evolution over the last five to eight years that has forced much of the old guard, the established businesses, to rethink their strategies. As the wedding photography and videography market becomes ever more saturated, resting on your proverbial haunches can quickly lead to being eclipsed by young up-and-coming artists who may not yet understand profit models but can produce stellar work that is attractive and inexpensive to today’s brides.
Staying relevant with a sound and established business structure is getting harder and harder. Newcomers who see dollar signs at being able to charge more than their part-time college job, coupled with the enticement of being their own boss, is enabling massive under-cutting for a service that established business owners have come to learn is not so easy to do. What am I trying to say here is this: More and more young photographers and videographers are bursting onto the scene and not charging what their work is actually worth, and it hurts everyone who has been around the game for some time.
The barrier to entry for new wedding photographers and videographers has never been so thin. Equipment is cheaper. Editing services and labor are more available and also more affordable. More and more engaged couples are able to leverage this by getting good work for a very cheap price. The downside of this—moreso for the newcomer and not the established business owner—is that sooner or later, the newcomer realizes that their cheap business model isn’t sustainable. It may be because they realize how small their profit margins actually are and that they aren’t earning much more than your average fast-food worker’s hourly wage. Or, they simply burn out by taking on too much work too fast for too little money. But after some time they all come to realize (hopefully) that they want a life and not a business that rules it.