Today I want to discuss 7 things you should never do in your business and why. Without wasting any time, I’ll just get right to it.
1. Don’t procrastinate waiting for the right time, gear, etc. to start your business. It’s really easy to think that you can’t start until you have the right camera, other gear, portfolio, etc. The fact is you’ll never find the right time to start if you’re looking for all the stars to align. Take what you have and get started. To succeed you need maximum effort which means working on your business every day.
2. Don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone is your client. When you’re starting a business you will probably find yourself trying to take any job you can get. You also have to be aware of your skill level and not over-sell yourself, which is making promises that you can’t deliver. You will also get potential clients that no matter what you do, you will be unable to please. Go with your gut instinct, if things don’t feel right politely don’t accept the job. One unhappy client will do more damage to your business than 100 happy ones can help.
3. Don’t seem desperate to get a potential client. The fact is, our nature attracts us to people we perceive as successful in business. If you’re giving a sob story to a client, wanting to offer cut-rate pricing because you really need their business, the odds or high that they’ll go somewhere else. Even if you do get the client, they’re not going to value you and your services.
4. Don’t get caught in the trap that if you have better gear your photography will be better. The fact is we have to put money back into the business just to maintain and grow. If your photography isn’t good with a $500 camera upgrading to $5000 isn’t going to improve work. Instead of investing in new gear, invest in yourself. Take that money to attend workshops, study online, and practice, practice, practice. More importantly, do not use credit cards or go into debt for new gear. Use what you have until your photography improves and you start attracting a steady client income.
5. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and let people see you. Don’t hide behind your business logo when on social media and your website. Let people see you. They want to know who you are not your logo. Put up pictures of you with your family, doing things you enjoy, or just a nice portrait of you. The human element is very important in business and photography.
6. Don’t come off as overbearing, pushy, aggressive, or rude. These behaviors will put your client on defensive behavior and they are more concerned with getting away than doing business. The fact is people will do business with people they like. Pressuring someone into a sale will most likely lead to buyer’s remorse. Learn good selling techniques and how to overcome the buyer’s reluctance with leading questions.
7. Don’t undersell yourself. It’s often hard for us to figure out how much we should charge or the worth of your work. The fact is if no one is complaining about your prices being too high or expensive; you’re not charging enough. It’s natural for a few clients to question you about your prices and you should use that as a gauge as to whether you’re charging too little or too much. If you’re undercutting the competition in your market, you’re hurting the industry as a whole. Successful professional photographers are not your enemy unless you are doing harm to their business and livelihood. You will find it beneficial to make friends with your competitors. The fact is that a good market will benefit everyone. Remember the old saying, “A rising tide raises all ships.”
I truly hope you find this blog helpful to you and your business. If by any chance you have done or been doing any of these don’ts I really hope this post helps you see why you shouldn’t.