1. Business

Developing the Skills for Meaningful Business Conversations

Intro by Skip Cohen

This post from Chamira Young’s archives couldn’t be more valid right now. Why? Because conversations are, for the most part, the only way, you can do business. Whether via email and in writing or with a phone call, the art of face to face live communication has been limited.

Obviously, at the time Chamira wrote this, there was no pandemic. People were meeting face to face. However, everything for the moment has changed. Take the time to ask yourself a few pointed questions. Rehearse the answer to a simple question like, “So what do you do?’ It might help you open a whole new way to pitch your business and your love for photography.

Other questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s your specialty?
  • What is it you love about ______________ photography?
  • Who are some of your favorite artists and why?

This isn’t meant to be complicated, but it can help you become more polished and take advantage of the downtime while dealing with the pandemic.

By Chamira Young

It’s true that when you envision something and you talk about that thing, the more likely it will be to come true. Tons of professionals use this method, so why aren’t you?

No, this isn’t just about a visualization technique, but it’s more about learning and utilizing the importance of having meaningful conversations about your business. There are a number of reasons why these conversations are both necessary and crucial to your business’ growth and potential.

Creative Elevator Speech

First and foremost, it helps you learn how to speak and share about your business in a concise way. It’s like the elevator pitch in the photography world. It helps you find the words that are most important in your business and those words you want to be known for.

It’s also a great way to learn to speak about your business with humble confidence. It can be uncomfortable speaking about your success, especially with other creatives who might also be successful, but it will make you learn to appreciate the hard work you put in to ensure that you are able to speak with that confidence and that you- and your business- deserve that confidence.

Learning & Teaching

Secondly, talking about your business with other professionals, they don’t have to be photographers, is a great way to teach one another. It’s education from two professionals for free, aside from the cup of coffee you both have.

Not only are you learning through listening, but you are also teaching. You are sharing the secrets, the trials and tribulations of your own business and you are learning about someone else’s too. Sharing these points of conversation are so, so important. They give you a sense of respect for others and a sense of respect for yourself. No one’s path to success is paved with gold; you all struggle in different ways and sharing those experiences grants us a different sense of pride in our own business growth.

In addition, these conversations give you a break from talking about photography. You love your photography, but when it comes to talking to other creatives, it’s more helpful and meaningful when you can talk about the business side of the realm.

You can always talk about techniques, venues, couples, poses, or presets you use, but when you talk about taxes, organization, growth, and hard lessons you have learned you are providing more value and a much more substantial conversation for the both of you.

Light That Fire

Finally, the last reason why these conversations are absolutely crucial to your business is that they light that fire you first felt in year one.

Think back to those scary moments. Those months with no income; the moment you signed a lease for your studio, the first pitch you sent out. Those are the times when you were taking a risk for a dream that seemed so far away. When you reflect and talk about the obstacles you’ve overcome you really gain an appreciation for not only your individual business but also for all entrepreneurs nationwide.

Plan your chat today. Find a friend, a trusted small business owner, or someone you finally want to meet in person from an online group. Plan somewhere to physically meet and start that meaningful conversation about your business that you’d been dying to have whether you know it or not. You will be rewarded with a great conversation, new and improved ideas from another business owner, and a fire lit in your gut that will keep you hungry for more success.