Why am I not busy???
I have pondered this question for a very long time, but have since found the answer to my question, however there are still plenty of photographers or just business owners in general wondering the very same thing.
In this case the question usually is, I am a good photographer, but why the sound of crickets when I open my email?
You have done all the work learning and mastering your craft so that you have a sellable product, so why is it that nobody wants to come to me, but this other photographer that is mediocre at best so busy? Well for starters you are too busy tracking what other photographers in your area are doing that your own business is failing to thrive because your focus is elsewhere. Sitting on the internet, especially facebook posting your favorite images of your kids is not bringing the clients.
So why do you do it?
There is always that one person who contacts you for photos the gives you that slight glimmer of hope, but guess what, that one client who books you is not bringing in all the clients you need to run a successful business. For starters you need to figure out what type of business you want to have and who your ideal client is so you can market to this type of person.
There are a few types of clients, but you need to decide who is your ideal client.
1. The price shopper (the second you up your prices they are quickly onto someone who can do it cheaper)
2. The pinner ( they value photography, but only in the realm of things they have seen else where and they want you to recreate another persons session)
3. The Art Appreciator (this person is on the search for not just any photographer, they are looking for something that really matches who they are as a person and family and they are interested what their photographer can create unique to their family).
Now all of these clients can help to create a successful studio, but next up you need to decide what kind of studio you are interested in running.
1. Boutique style (you put all your hours into just a few clients a month at a higher price)
2. High Volume (You bring in a larger number of clients in a month in order to bring your price down to a more affordable rate)
Neither way is wrong, you just need to figure out what is best for you.
Still the question, why am I not busy even after I have figured all of this out?
The answer is simple, the other photographers that are mediocre at best are just better business people, they understand how to run a business and successfully at that. So while you have been mastering your craft (not a bad thing) they have been shooting and marketing circles around you, so just imagine the type of business you can have once you become a better business person.
What do I need to do?
You need to hit the streets, you need to connect with local business's and see what you can do for them in exchange for advertising space. You need to donate your services to local charity events. You need to mingle with local photographers in your area. You can help each other out more that you know and if you really think about it YOU are your only competition, YOU get in your own way, YOU decide how you run your business and if you are too busy worrying about what everyone else is doing then you will fail to succeed. Get some marketing materials and start talking yourself up, yes it's okay to brag about yourself you are a walking ad for your business (don't get carried away though, it can leave a bad taste), find something that sets you apart from everyone else, something your clients can't get anywhere else, but most importantly BE CONFIDENT in yourself, your work, and your business.
If you don't believe in your work and your business then who will?
Yep, totally posting one of my favorite images of my kid lol, I dub myself a hypocrite.