Listening to the Market

Listening to the Market

“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

Seth Godin

Volumes have been written about marketing, consumer trends, price-points, seasonality, targeting your audience, demographics, social media, branding, and the list goes on and on. Seriously, if you started reading every book that’s ever been written on the topics, you’d never get your business off the ground.

However, that doesn’t mean you can ignore the incredible help that’s out there to give you the right guidance in building your business.

One of my most favorite books is Unmarketing by Scott Stratten. It deserves to be in the library of every business owner. Stratten promotes your most reliable marketing tool – building relationships.

I’m not suggesting you ignore all the wisdom out there about expanding your reach, social media, etc. As photographers in a word of mouth business, so much of your success is going to be built on the relationships you build with your clients and the community.

And relationships are built on listening. It’s an investment of your time to get to know your clients, see the world through their eyes, and develop a sense of what they need most when it comes to capturing memories.

The Seth Godin quote I started with, blends right in – listen to your customers and then build the products/services they want most. If you know and understand your audience, then you can provide them with a consistent series of support products/services to magically turn their memories into tangible photographs.

Just remember, you’ve got two ears and one mouth – so listen twice as much as you talk! The answers to building a strong photography business are all out there – you just need to listen.

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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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