SHOW GREAT WORK - DON'T BE A "ME-TO" PHOTOGRAPHER
It goes without saying that you put your best work on the website. But more than that, you have to show uniqueness. If your work looks the same as everyone else's, how can the consumer differentiate between you? This also turns you into a commodity.
Commodities only sell at the lowest price, because the consumer can't distinguish any difference between them. Gas for your car is a good example. Most people can't tell the difference between brands, so they'll drive down the street to save 5 cents a gallon.
So defining a difference is the key. This is marketing 101, and homework that maybe you haven’t done. So many people get into business by surveying the area’s competition and checking their products, services and prices. Then they set out to do the exact same thing but at a lower price. They feel they’re at a disadvantage because they’re new, so they have to undercut the competition. This is so wrong on two levels.
First, it doesn’t accomplish uniqueness which is what we wanted in the first place, and secondly it’s a over simplified and just plain wrong pricing strategy. This thinking is one of the reasons that so many new business fail in the first three years.
Imagine the cycle of failure. If you go into business with this faulty logic, then the next new guys sees your work and prices and undercuts him and so on and so on, pretty soon nobody will be making any money in the market place and you all go out of business.
So two points here. First, consider the uniqueness of your work again. There’s another danger in the minds of the buying public. Ever since the great recession, people have less disposable income. They tend to only spend it on things they can’t do or produce themselves. They can’t build a car so they buy one. But with new technology in imaging, they can take really great shots themselves, probably on their cell phone. So they first have to perceive you’re offering something they can’t do themselves. Then, they have to realize, that your work is so compelling, they decide paying a bit more is OK to get the desired result. And that’s the second point. You don’t have to compete on price, you can set the price and it can be steep.
So survey the competition sure. Then beat their ass off and blow them away with awesome work they can’t get anywhere else. Other strategies will just fail. It’s not that your mom and friends think you’re a good photographer, the marketplace has to think it.