When Sarah and I first started our business our photography skills were, well, lets just say “lacking.” In spite of that- somehow we managed to book and shoot 27 weddings in our first year!
“How did this happen? Why did this happen? Did we just get lucky?” These were all questions that ran through our head. We knew that we had been incredibly blessed with our business but knew that there had to be some reasons why. Through self reflection and collecting reviews from brides, we came up with the 3 basic ideas that led to our success.
1. ASK QUESTIONS
This concept is so simple, yet effective because it is such a rare quality. Brides are eager for someone to ask them about their love story and the details of their wedding. By showing interest in your clients and asking them questions, you are doing something different, something uncommon. You are showing them that you care more about who they are than not how much money is in their pockets. You are developing a relationship with them that will create trust and ultimately a successful business.
Who would you rather hire?
Photog 1: “Hi, my name is Photog 1. Here is why you should hire me as your photographer. I have shot X weddings and I have Canon L lenses…”
Photog 2: “Hi! CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement!! How did you two meet? What's your story? How is wedding planning going?”
The number of amazing photographers continues to grow daily. It is likely that many photographers in your town have more “credentials” than you, are more experienced, or have better gear. Showing interest and investing in your clients lives will set you apart from other photographers.
We owe everything to our clients, without them our jobs would be non-existent. We are not entitled to this job because we own DSLR's. Choosing to live with gratitude means rejecting entitlement and showing thankfulness to others. Giving your clients gifts or kind words is a great way to let them know that you are thankful for them. These gestures will continue to spread a positive vibe about your business that will become contagious.
3. SERVE OTHERS
Service is an act of gratitude without expecting anything in return. It can be done on a large or small scale but it means putting the needs of your clients ahead of your own agenda. Whether this means allowing a bride a moment to collect herself (caring about her well-being) even if the timeline is running 20 minutes behind or moving up a wedding date (at no charge) for a bride who found out her Dad has cancer. Serving others is not only personally rewarding, but an attractive quality that will draw people and clients to you.
These ideas will lead to a successful photography business and a full and enriched life. How have you seen these qualities lead to success in your own life or in others lives?
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