Before we go much further, there’s a big mindset element we need to address.
You might think this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, because too many people gloss over it without realizing they’ve failed to give it the importance it deserves:
You are not a photographer.
Not any more.
You’re now a business-owner who markets and sells photography to people who need what you have to offer and are prepared to pay you for it.
This distinction is more subtle than it looks at first glance.
But understanding it at the deepest level will make all the difference in the world between success or failure at making money with photography.
If you want to plant your feet in the mud and stick with the “I’m a photographer” approach, that’s fine, but you run the risk of being trapped in what Michael E. Gerber calls the “technician” role in your business (see his indispensable book The E-Myth Revisited for a lot more about this).
Technicians have their noses so close to the grindstone they can’t strategize the future of their business because they can’t see the wood for the trees.
Often, they have neither the time nor the perspective to manage the day-to-day operations, and they might even fear the sales process.
“But there’s ONLY me!” I hear you say.
Yes, I know most professional photographers work alone, but the key lies in knowing when to wear the right hat for the job, and to then focus on that exclusively until it’s time to switch hats.
For example, need to work out a long-term strategy for business growth? Try putting on your CEO hat and focus only on that—forget about the technicalities of what you’ll need or how to achieve the goal because that comes later.
Aside from this advice, I’ve got 6 other tips for you — all in areas where I’ve seen photographers make huge mistakes that threaten to topple their businesses…
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