As 2016 comes to an end, I wanted to share with you my 7 Keys To Success In 2017. Of course their are many things that make a successful business but I feel the seven things I have listed below can greatly improve your odds of success. If you aren't doing these seven things already, I hope you take the time to implement all seven in 2017.
1. Create an experience.
If you aren’t creating an experience for your clients, you are missing a huge part of what separates the successful photographers from the ones just doing photography. In today’s market, I believe you must do more than just take pretty pictures; you must create a memorable experience that makes your studio stand out. An experience with your studio will set you apart as a professional and most likely increase your referrals and sales. Simple things like hand written thank you cards, clothing consultations, professional hair and makeup, boutique packaging and great customer service can all add to the experience.
2. In Person Sales (IPS)
If you are selling your images online, using proofs to sell or doing the “shoot and burn” method of sales you are leaving money on the table. When I switched to IPS several years ago from selling from proofs, I was terrified. All of my mentors were telling me to make the switch. Finally, I listened to them, and it was the best move I ever made in my business. I also added a new way of selling my photography by developing a Create A Collection method of sales. My averages instantly doubled! Take the leap and move over to IPS in 2017. To learn more about my Create A Collection method of sales, check out my blog post here: Add Profit To Your Studio With Create A Collection Pricing
3. Hone your craft
I invest thousands each year in improving my photography business. I know I wouldn’t be the photographer or business person I am today without the education I have learned and keep learning. What are you doing to improve your photography? I hear photographers all the time complaining about low averages or the competition undercutting them. Well if you aren’t always learning and pushing yourself, what makes people want to hire you? Take a photography class, attend a workshop or photography convention, hire a mentor to focus on what you need to improve. You can find so much education available to you it can me overwhelming if you are new. Don’t try and learn it all at once. Pick one or two things to learn and make the commitment in 2017 to hone your photography skills. If you want to attend a great conference and learn from me and other inspiring photographers, I will be presenting at SYNC on February 25th, 2017. Use the code SYNCDANF to save $150.
4. Stop comparing yourself to other photographers
Admit it; you do it. I know I do. It can be inspiring, but for the most part, when I compare myself to others it makes me want to throw my gear away and crawl in a hole. Last year I made the commitment to stop comparing my myself to others, and I was much happier. I also found that I was much more creative. I was able to focus my attention, and I was much more creative with my photography. My advice is to look at others for inspiration but don’t let it consume your life so much that it discourages you.
Take back your life in 2017 and outsource some of your day to day tasks. I outsource all of my retouching to Rebooku. I have better things to do than remove pimples, glass glare, stray hairs, and color correction. I also use Rebooku on occasion for album design and image extraction. The time I save outsourcing allows me time to focus on things that make me money in my business. Click here to try Rebooku and save 10%
6. Create for yourself
Early in my photography career I would take time and shoot fun sessions just for myself. These fun sessions were not paying clients. This allowed me to practice new lighting, experiment with new techniques in photoshop or just have fun without any rules or restrictions. Often I would end up entering these images into print competitions and win awards which was a cool bonus. However what I really loved about these fun sessions is that it made me a better photographer and these sessions pushed my creative mind. Last year I got too busy and stopped doing these fun sessions. This year I’ve already done one and have several more planned. Push yourself, fail, get back up, do it again and succeed! I guarantee it will make you more successful. Please join me in 2017 by adding a few fun, shoot for yourself only sessions.
7. Balance work and life
Wow, this is a big one for me. This year I had a very real wake up call. My problem was that I could never shut down my mind from working. I thought I had control over it, but I was obsessed with work and my business. I felt like I had to do everything for everyone. I had to always be working to make my clients happy. Working late nights, weekends I would bend over backward to get orders out or reschedule a session and put off doing things with my wife. I finally woke up and switched my mindset to set a real schedule for myself and my business. I had to learn to say no in a nice way. Just because I owned my business didn’t mean I shouldn’t have real office hours or charge extra for weekends. Guess what, I made those changes, and my business didn’t fail. In fact, I just had my best year yet! I’m happier, my wife is more pleased, and I hope you take this advice in 2017 to learn to balance your life and work. You will still be successful….and success isn’t always about money. Money can come and go, but you never get back your time.
I could go on and on into detail with each one of these topics but like always I’m getting long-winded, so I will end it here. Make sure to sign up for my free online training where I have more time to get into details on how to take the things I listed above and implement them. Click here to add your name to the free training.
I hope you implement these points into your photography business. If you already are doing these then keep up the great work.