Why are you here—today—right now?
Not the question you normally find on most websites, I know, and it’s not meant to suggest that you shouldn’t be here (although I freely admit that what follows is definitely not for everyone).
But it is an important question to answer.
So, go ahead and make yourself at home.
Put your feet up and grab a drink because I think you’ll like the story I’m about to share with you.
In fact, you won’t hear this story anywhere else because most of the marketing educators in the photography business are terrified that telling it would make them unpopular or limit the size of their audience.
I’m not bothered by such vanity metrics, and I’ve never been the kind to enter into popularity contests.
Instead, I prefer to uncover the truth (no matter how hard it may be to accept) and I work hard to help struggling professional photographers to the best of my ability, even if it involves a little tough love here and there.
The Challenges Faced By Professional Photographers Are Real
I’m no mind reader, but if I had to guess…
I would say you’re unhappy almost to the point of depression with the performance of your photography business (and the photography business in general).
You don’t have enough clients to keep you busy, and it feels like there are too many other photographers willing to do whatever it takes to outcompete you, including undercutting your prices at every opportunity.
For example, how do you feel when you see so many photographers offering free services under the disguise of “portfolio-building”? Short of paying clients to work with you, there’s no competing with zero when it comes to price.
Maybe you searched for how to make a photography business plan, what to say on your “about” page, or whether you should display prices on your website.
Perhaps it was something else entirely.
Whatever questions or challenges brought you here today, the problem still boils down to the same thing:
You don’t have enough of the right clients to keep your business alive…
Your ship is sinking fast, and you need to know how to keep it afloat.
It’s a tough problem with some difficult challenges.
Here are the facts about what professional photographers face today:
- More people call themselves a professional photographer now than ever before… but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to stand out…
- The Internet has made it harder for photographers to market themselves, not easier… but the rewards are there, but only if you put in the work…
- Many people value quality photography, and they’re hard to find amongst all the noise… but they are there, and you can find them…
- Smartphones mean that everyone has a camera with them all the time… but that’s not the same as saying that everyone is a photographer…
- Any other photographer can undercut any price you care to mention… but trying to compete on price is tantamount to business suicide…
- Getting—and keeping—the attention of your ideal clients feels almost impossible… but you can if you become someone worth paying attention to…
Read those points again, because they’re of vital importance.
The truth is, being a professional photographer today is super-tough.
No question about it.
Passion Is Insufficient For Success As A Professional Photographer
Let’s get one thing straight:
Professional photography is no longer a game for those who see it as a means of making an easy living by doing something they love.
If you’ve been in the business for any length of time, you’ll know that the road to failure is littered with out-of-work passionate photographers, and that a passion for photography is nowhere near enough on its own for you to be successful.
Frankly, clients couldn’t give a crap about how passionate you are unless it translates into something meaningful for them—and I mean something far more than just the photographs you create for them.
Success favors the ones prepared to what others simply don’t want to (or won’t) do. For example, consciously adopting new strategies that make an impact on their ideal clients, despite being hard to master or “untraditional”.
If you’re one of those few (and, sadly, there really aren’t many of you) I believe that, regardless of the obstacles you see in your business, you can overcome them.
As long as you’re serious about building your business as a professional photographer, are willing to show up every day (even when you don’t feel like it), and you don’t mind doing the necessary work, you can do this.
If that sounds like you, let’s get into the story…