Sunday, June 26, 2016

The One Word That Will Save You From Failing.

The thing I hear most from my photography friends and from most of the community is that we as photographers feel undervalued and that others don’t respect the craft or our work.

They don’t want to pay for your work it and they don’t understand how much time we spend learning and how money goes intro running a business.

 I hear this from photographers almost everyday and when we complain about it the people who say these things don't understand. It irritates them because we are complaining about them.

But I get it! It's frustrating! Right?

I used to feel the same way and for good reasons. I run into people all the time who say I can’t afford my work.

 How about you just photography me for trade or for free? I never like hearing that! 

I run into people all the time who tell I am should give them a deal. I now ask them, "Why?"  I know they wouldn’t do the same for me. They never do.

I've found that when complex problems there is usually a simple answer.

This problem is caused by our own(photographers)weakness. If we want to solve the problem we have to become a little stronger.

"Self respect, Colie. If you don't have it, the world will walk all over you." 
— Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)

The big problem here is not that other people don't value us as photographer s but we don't value ourselves enough to ask for what we deserve.

You are probably wondering what the MAGIC word is huh? It's the one word that I have found that helps me keep my power. It's really simple and you have said it and you probably say it everyday and you just need to say it more.

The word is “No.”

It's one of the most powerful words in the world and in't only two letters long!

When someone says No it can be shocking.

As adults we think we are being rude when we say this.

The truth is you are not being rude when you tell someone they can’t afford you so they should go somewhere else. You are protecting yourself!

When you turn a customer down because they asked you to photograph them for half the cost a few things can happen.

Short term Scenarios:

1st: You will probably lose their business. Ask yourself... do you really want to work with someone who doesn’t appreciate you? I don’t.

2nd: They might tell their friends.. They will say something like. “ I asked that photographer to photography me for half off and he said No. What a jerk" and the friend will think.. “Wow. That photographer most really be good cause he doesn’t do things for half price. Or, I wonder why that photographer said No?

3rd: They probably won't tell anyone. It's kind of embarrassing to be told No.

4th: They will lie about it. There is nothing you can do about people like that. They will dig their own grave so let them and do you really want to work with lairs anyhow?

I am sure there are a few other scenarios I didn't cover but these are the most common.

In long term scenarios what will happen?

1stYou will start saying “No.”  and start to earn respect

2nd: It will hurt at first financially because getting half is better than getting all of it. Right?

BUT! People will start respecting you and you get a reputation for standing up for yourself. You'll lose 3 customers you shouldn't have but get 1 great one who loves your work and tells all of her friends about you.

3rd: Slowly you'll see your business grow. Eventually you will only lose one out of two of your potential customers and you are now working half as much and making the same as you would have if you were taking all of the customers. 

4th: You will build your business faster. have more respect, better clients and more success and money to pay for that trip you've wanted to take. You can send your kids to College and you can quite your day job. No more kissing your bosses ass! :)

Note: The biggest reason photographers fail is not because they are bad at photography but because they are bad at sales and marketing. Hint hint.. Learn to sell and market!

I said no 5 times this week. I wish I could have said yes but I don’t feel bad about it at all.

This world is full of people and the best people understand fairness. When I find someone who doesn't I fell sorry for that person.

Heads up! I am not saying photographers should never shoot for free. You should shoot for free when you want to grow your portfolio or need to refresh to or sometimes just for for trade.. but when you shoot for trade you need to make sure they know upfront what what you expect from them.
Be specific. Maybe you want them to invite all of their Facebook friends to like your page? That's fair!

I once listened to a great photographer named Bambi Cantrell at a convention in Las Vegas and she said something that I did get completely for years.

"It’s not your problem if someone can’t afford you. It’s theirs.” -Bambi Cantrell

What she was saying was you can’t be responsible for everyone’s income.

You’re not responsible for how hard your neighbor works. If the guy next door can't afford to send his kids to college it's not your responsibility to pay for their way. I am not responsible for fixing my neighbors car. I can't be!

Follow me on Facebook! SLC Photography School and Ikon Republik

You are responsible for your own success and if you think everyone should be able to afford you then you should also be responsible for everyone else's success!

We live in a beautiful inconsistent world full of all kinds of people.

We live in a world where most people focus on making money and not creating value. 

We live in a world that is fair because it's unfair to everyone. 

We live in a world where people learn to be hard and don't understand that the best people are both hard and soft at the same time.

I love this world.  I am so lucky to live where I do. I have opportunities that I wouldn't have if I was born in a different country and I feel it would would disrespectful if to all the people in the world who don't have the same opportunity as I do if I just decided not to take full advantage of my freedom.

I'll bet you're just like me. I still have days where I want to give up because it's not easy.

I sometime think I should just go out and get a job but then I look back and see where I have been and what I have done and I look at my charts and I see stable growth in my business. Why would I give up now? I would stupid to do so!

Some weeks are better than others but when I have a bad week I regroup and put the pedal to the metal and I make it happen. I have my goals and I look at them and I am meeting them.

That one word changed it all for me.

If it did it for me it will do the same for you!

I'm not going to wish you luck but I am going to wish you success.

One more thing!! This is important! When you have to use the word "No"... Say it nicely. There is never a reason to be cruel. Never look down at anyone you have to say it to. Say it with kindness and understanding. You will gain so much more respect when you can say it with respect!

It takes time to grow a business but if you are consistent and don't give up and give it some time and keep learning just imagine where you will be a year from now.

Lead can turn into gold but it doesn't happen overnight. Creating something of great value takes time! Take the time and make it happen!

"Just say No" should be the moto for every photographer who wants to succeed. I've said it 5 times this week!

Have a great day and if you want to talk to me find me on Facebook!

SLC Photo School or Ikon Republik

Please share this post! When other photographers gain respect so do you! It's good for the whole industry!

 photo 8520835606_0607175852_c_zps0de39499.jpg
This is me! Ikon

I love spending time outside with my kids. I love to travel and I ride a longboard! I teach classes at Salt Lake City School of Photography. Check out my website and take a class or message me today about a private lesson!

No comments:

Post a Comment