"For Your Inspiration" is an ongoing series of weekly posts…
Intro by Skip Cohen
Bev Walden hit another home run recently with this Tuesday Tidbit email, and it couldn’t be more on point for what you need to do through the holiday season and into the new year. Unfortunately, too many artists are afraid to develop their own look, unique products, and memorable experiences for their clients.
I heard Tim and Bev years ago talk about what they sell – not just unique products but a memorable experience for each client. They work hard to create new memories at the same time they are capturing them.
I’ve written a lot about the renewed sense of family coming out of the pandemic. It’s creating an incredible opportunity for you to grow your business and build more relationships with each client you engage.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and again but expecting different results. So, let’s start mixing up your game a little. I’m not suggesting you completely change what you’re doing; just add a few things that highlight your unique skills and style. Start showing off what makes you different. Each of you are very much like a great chef in how you capture and create – it’s time to mix up your spices a little more!
By Beverly Walden
“Be real. Don’t be a copy. Be honest with yourself and create something true and valid and valuable-and the, I think you are unbeatable.
Marc Wittenberg, perfume bottle designer, Iconomy
What makes me different? Why should prospects check me out instead of my competitors? How can I distance my business from a price-sensitive audience, yet still have people come to me? How does a boutique business draw potential clients in?
First of all, defining your style and knowing who you are as a photographer helps you break through the clutter of the many aspiring photographers entering the market. And remember, your style must be well defined for quick recognition, unique from others, from your heart and most importantly, it must be investment-worthy.
We knew long ago that we wanted to photograph people in a way that told their stories as well as offer products that were the highest quality we could produce. And we also knew we would never be the lowest price in town!
Over the years, we have focused on three distinct areas of photography…black and white Relationship portraits, Color Studies and Beau Visage paintings, all done in the studio.
For us, our goal is to be the trend-setters, not the trend followers. We believe in ourselves, so we run FROM what the masses are doing, not TOWARDS it, especially since they don’t match what is in our hearts as artists!
As we saw more aspiring photographers shooting in parks around town, we started more heavily marketing our studio work, especially since studio shooters are in short supply these days. We worked on defining ourselves even more tightly!
Are you tightly defined? Start by asking yourself two questions:
ONE: Who are you?
TWO: What do you do?
Once these two main areas are defined in your mind and on paper, get a little more detailed. Ask yourself what you don’t do as well as what you do.
When you are a boutique business, you can create GAPS in the service, experience, products and personal touches that only you are able to offer. Big box stores can’t do what you can do! All they have to trade on is a low price, but it is very clear that the consumer pays a “price” for that. NO service…NO experience…NO unique and fresh products…NO personal touches. It is a trade-off that you can use to your advantage!
As each sale brings in more dollars, the number of sessions needed to profit can be less. We always say to each other, “Let’s work smarter, not harder!”
Many people ask us how to be successful in their business and our answer is always, “Create Gaps!” It has been true for years and still is a foundation on which we rest our business every day.
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