REASONS WHY A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS CAN FAIL

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YOU’RE JUST NOT CREATING GOOD CONTENT

Everyone is craving good content. For years Google has been looking for a way that businesses are not able to fool the SEO system and positioning in Google rankings, and they’ve finally found it with content marketing. Today in 2019, Google considers good content to be way more valuable than any SEO technique we could master. If your content is mediocre or not hitting your intended market then you will struggle to win and retain clients. I would also in my experience say that you must also know a lot about SEO and how to position yourself which I do and will be letting go all of my information in some YouTube videos soon.

Put yourself in your client’s shoes and address common pain points that have occurred with past clients. You like the work but the work is not on point. My clients have always been attracted to the high-end avant-garde images that I produce. The main problem is they don’t always want the style they need it toned down. Portfolio images attract the clients but 8 times out of 10 it’s not what they really want.

What you have to learn and what mistake I made early on in my career was even though I am a creative, when it comes to clients work their actual requirements are completely different and if you don’t take this in and understand the wishes then you will soon run out of good respectful clients. Make an effort to understand and to interpret their brief without adding too much where it is not required. Do this and you will be on a downhill slope.

EARLY ON IN MY FASHION CAREER I WAS SHOOTING WHATEVER CAME ALONG. THIS WORK DRIVES YOUR PORTFOLIO AND HOW YOU LOOK ONLINE AND WHILST THE IMAGES ARE ACCOMPLISHED AND EARNED GREAT MONEY IN ADVERTISING – THE PROBLEM IS POSTING OR ADDING THIS TYPE OF CONTENT TO YOUR PORTFOLIO CAN MISLEAD CLIENTS AND GIVE A MIXED MESSAGE. A MESSAGE WHICH IF CONFUSED DOESNT ALLOW ANY CLIENT O FOCUS DOWN ON A STYLE FOR WHICH THEY CAN BOOK.

TURN YOURSELF INTO A BRAND

Today a good photographer has to think of themselves more as a brand. That means a consistent brand. I really have sometimes fallen off the radar due to not keeping a focus on my branding. Giving out a mixed message and this has been a little problem for me on Instagram where I seem to have a few accounts giving a different message and a watering down my overall brand @jamesnader

I have positioned James Nader www.jamesnader.com more so as a brand, the reason for this is because now more than ever it’s so important to add more abilities to what you do as a brand and as a photographer. I do production under the brand of www.nadermedia.com and have a fine art side to what I do. I have created a production business for various genres of photography and video production and would say really think of you the photographer as a brand and reflect this in how you walk, talk and think about what you do.

BRAND YOURSELF UP ACROSS THE BOARD – BE OPEN TO BUSINESS AND NOT JUST PHOTOGRAPHY – KEEP A FOCUS ON YOUR STYLE OF COURSE BUT MAKE SURE YOU ARE COMMERCIALLY MINDED

TREAT YOURSELF AS A BUSINESS – BUSINESS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

How many times have you seen a photographer whose work isn’t technically good, but they’re absolutely nailing it with their photography business? Client experience is a key factor in this.

As soon as you can you must really focus on the client experience here. When clients purchase my fashion photography or celebrity portrait services, whether they know it or not, they’re not just purchasing nice photos, they’re purchasing experience of my experience and how I work with them and make them feel. I make my clients feel special and don’t have an attitude and this is a reflection of me treating myself as a business.

Client experience defines my brand Nader or James Nader from the moment a client discovers my fashion and advertising work and our business, to the last email my business sends to our client once our services have been rendered. It’s not just about being booked and getting the job, you have to represent yourself as a fashion photographer that is serious not just about their own brand but also about the brands that you are wanting to or already working with

YOU HAVE A LACK OF DIRECTION

Loving what you do is a great start to going into business. Most photographers start their business because they have a love of material, technique or has a special skill or talent. The problem is that it doesn’t always work and when your creativity takes a blow this really can have a knock-on effect within your photography business. Most creatives can only take positive feedback and when things are not so positive this becomes a negative emotion. This can undermine your goals.

A lack of direction in photography and the business of fashion photography will soon set the cat amongst the pigeons. There is less and less work out there for people photographers. If you lose focus you will lose the plot. You have to be single-minded. It’s hard to get down to your bookwork when you have to make new contacts and then it’s even harder to make calls when you’re shooting and then look for new business. The truth is challenging to work as a photographer but lacking direction is your most difficult challenge to overcome. Get smart and have a plan with short term, mid term, and long term goals and stick to the plan. I have a plan and stick to this. Although realise that you have to be flexible and sometimes change the outcomes on the fly

A LACK OF DIRECTION IS NOT WAT A CLIENT NEEDS AND NEITHER DO YOU. SINGLEMEINDED CLARITY IN BOTH YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR GOALS ON ANY SHOOT. THE CLIENT IN THIS SHOT IS COMPLETELY AGREEING WITH MY DIRECTION. THE SHOT FOR ME CHALLENGING BUT ALWAYS LOOKING AT THE BUSINESS SIDE AND KEEPING A FOCUS ON WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE ACHIEVED

YOU’RE BEING TOO CREATIVE AND NOT COMMERICAL

All I can say from my own experience is, you must have some diversity in your approach. Getting creative is cool but you need to think of this ion commercial terms. Ther are not many brands out there anymore who want high-end fashion work and even the top level of fashion photographers are now feeling the pinch. Being a good fashion shooter in an avant-garde style has worked for me but to be honest there has been a drop in this style demand for commercial clients.

It’s great to say that you shoot fashion and portraits but really you have to be able to other types of work. There are many fashion photographers boasting about their work but are not making any money and flying all over the world, and it’s great to shoot for magazines this gives exposure, however, editorially speaking not much money if any crosses your palm. I make sure that I can shoot fashion but also make it work for advertising clients. I prefer to work where I can make money and sometimes this crosses into the advertising style of shooting but for me, keep the avant-garde fashion for fine art and role with those commercial jobs when you can.

GET COMMERCIAL SOMETIMES IT HELPS SMOOTHING OVER THE LEANER TIMES.

A WHILE AGO MY GOOD FRIEND OWNER OF LOOP IMAGES SET ME A CHALLENGE – TO SPEND A PERIOD OF TIME SHOOTING LIFESTYLE STOCK FOR GETTY IMAGES AND 12 OTHER STOCK AGENCIES AROUND THE WORLD AND SOME 3000 IMAGES LATER I HAVE THEM PLACED WORLDWIDE. IN YOUR DOWNTIME THINK LIKE A BUSINESSMAN AND NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER – CONTENT CREATION AND THE BOTTOM LINE ALWAYS COUNTS.

THE E-MYTH IN BUSINESS AND HOW TO AVOID OR APPLY

  1. Most small business owners work in their business rather than on their business.
  2. People who are exceptionally good in business are so because of their insatiable need to know more.
  3. Understanding the technical work of a business does not mean you understand a business that does that technical work.

SOME INTERESTING POINTS FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER GOING INTO BUSINESS SHOULD KNOW OR AVOID

  • If you are unwilling to change, your Photography business will never be capable of giving you what you want.”
  • That Fatal Assumption: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work.
  • The Entrepreneurial Seizure: the moment you decide it would be a great idea to start your own business.
  • The technician suffering from an Entrepreneurial Seizure takes the work he loves to do and turns it into a job.
  • “Everybody who goes into business is actually three-people-in-one: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician.”

Go to work on your business rather than in it, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I get my photography business to work, but without me can this happen? If not then create your brand and a business around you.
  • How can I get my people to work with me and develop a brand or band of people working under my brand
  • How can I systematize my business in such a way that it could be replicated 5,000 times, so the 5,000th unit would run as smoothly as the first? You are the photographer with the style but a style can by systemised – decide on who you are and what your photography business genre is
  • How can I own my business, and still be free of it? if not work out how your brand can work around you but also without you – Rankin does this well1
  • How can I spend my time – do I have enough free time? do I need to add a system to keep it running hen not there or ill?

THE E-MYTH BOOK – A good read for any Fashion Photographer

You can get a cheap copy here

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