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Finding the Gaps in Your Market

We’re through the first quarter and well into 2017. For most photographers business is picking up and the “season” has started, but that doesn’t mean you can just kick back and wait for the crowds to come through your door!

You’ve got to look for a gap, where competitors in a market have grown lazy and lost contact with the readers or the viewers.” Rupert Murdoch

As I read the quote above I started thinking about photographers who talk as if they’ve given up. I’ll hear them say, “I’ve tried everything to create more business, but just don’t know what to do next!” Nothing is easy, especially when it comes to growing or sustaining a business.

Everything we do is based on a particular mindset. What if instead of trying to re-invent the wheel every time, you started looking in your community and figured out what’s missing. What are your competitors NOT doing? Where are the opportunities nobody is addressing?

My good buddy Terry Clark put it this way in a post many years ago,

“The best thing to do to survive and thrive is to find what everyone else isn’t doing and do that thing.”

Here are ten examples to get you started, but there are dozens more!

  • What’s missing in your market?
  • Where are the promotional holes?
  • When was the last time somebody did a postcard mailing to every mom in the community for a summer, day-in-the-life or on location portrait session?
  • When was the last time somebody teamed up with a maternity shop to put together a maternity portrait series?
  • Is anybody doing a networking luncheon? For example, if you’re a wedding photographer set up a luncheon with the bridal salon in town, the local florist, baker, wedding planner, music promoter, limo company and travel agent. Everybody pays for their own meal. The idea is to network and make the time to simply talk about what’s going on in the community.
  • Anybody doing before and after shots at the local salon before prom, weddings and local events?
  • How about a mailing for a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or graduation promotion?
  • Any stories in the local paper about any of the photographers in the area doing anything in the community? You’ve got to be your own publicity machine.
  • Anybody advertising in the local paper, magazines or on local radio?
  • Are you posting on your blog at least three times a week with helpful content for your readers? So many of your competitors are inconsistent in how often they post. Be the leader and start building a stronger readership base.

Rupert Murdoch hit the nail on the head. You’ve got to out-think your competitors and find the hot spots for your market. They’re out there and it’s up to you to be the one to find them first.