The way I see it is this: Connection is just another form of creativity. Connections are the lifeblood of my business model and will continue to drive my reach, my awareness, and my revenue. My willingness to connect has allowed me to have true freedom—freedom to help others, freedom to inspire others, freedom from the opinions of others.
As a wedding photographer, you should be filling your calendar with free leads from fellow vendors. I mean, aren’t they grateful? Haven’t they seen all the amazing photos on your blog? Without your images, no one beyond the guest list would ever see the flowers, fashion and decor they create—at least not in the appealing and professional way you photograph them. If you want to get on a wedding planner’s good side, see your name on a venue’s referral list or even become the go-to personal photographer for wedding vendors everywhere, consider the following tips.
For a long time I despised marketing because I did not have a strategy for our B2B video and photo company. Anything that I had tried, like posting on Facebook and Instagram or email marketing, did not seem to work for me. These strategies work when done well, but I did not figure them out and was getting frustrated. A mentor told me to look at my best clients—the 80/20 rule—and figure out the commonality between all of them. Were they all the same type of business? Did they all have the same product or service? Did they all find us through Google?
I’m still amazed that so many photographers are clueless about the two most important ingredients to their success: building relationships and fine-tuning their skill set. Great photographers need both. Neither of them ever stops being important. Year after year, I hear photographers say, “If only I had the money for better gear.”
Bringing in strategic partners for any project helps expand your reach, creativity and brand awareness. It’s time to expand the concept and go beyond just sharing the cost of production and mailing for a brochure or postcard. Here are a few ideas to start thinking about.
In addition to being a professional in your field—competent, experienced, skillful—you can leverage your personality simply by being human and allowing those you work with to show their personality as well. This creates much stronger relationships, and people and companies will want to hire you again and again because of how enjoyable it was to work with you.
Photography is an incredible hobby and profession. We get to visit amazing places, document memories for people, create art and even travel all over the world. But the business side is a different story. To finance this amazing hobby and turn it into a living, we have to charge livable wages.
As any geek can tell you, the entire world can be broken down and referenced within the confines of the Star Wars saga. Therefore, young Padawan, the practice of professional mingling, aka networking, is covered. There are lots of stories about people meeting and finding significant business relationships, but this road is treacherous and filled with people who wield deadly laser swords. Here are the three personality types you will encounter while milling about looking for that ideal relationship.