At one point, every photographer will find themselves in a troubling situation. Revenue is down. New clients are scarce. Profits are falling, and a peek at the financials is enough to bring on a full-fledged anxiety attack.
Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, chances are you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of a business that’s trending downward, too. But how you handle it can mean the difference between continued success and business-killing burnout.
Here’s where a lot of photographers get it wrong. They start to worry about money, and that worry leads to poor decisions that ultimately have a negative impact not just on finances, but—maybe more importantly—on morale, too. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.
You Take On The Wrong Client
When business is down, it can be tough to keep your ideal client avatar in mind. Instead, you jump at the chance to work with anyone who comes along. The trouble with this scenario is you can find yourself with a roster full of clients who:
- Don’t value photography
- Spend all their time telling you why your ideas and advice won’t work
- Drain your energy and make you dread your camera
And who can blame you? With profits down, you stop. You can’t afford to spend time and money marketing like before or you end up feeling completely overwhelmed and freeze.
You feel desperate so you cut your prices. Way lower than what you normally charge. And way lower than what you think you are worth.
And while this might help bring in a bit of cash short-term, it won’t do anything for your reputation or your self-esteem.
Yikes! That’s no way to operate a business, but that’s just what a fear-based mindset can do to you. Better (much better) to hold out for that perfect client. And while you’re waiting, take what you’ve learned and continue to create relationships and build influence in your community, so you are not just “a photographer” but “The Photographer”.
Another challenge is: you stop being consistent. Consistent marketing and networking is what is going to get you long term results. It can be challenging to keep moving forward when you feel like all of your efforts are taking you nowhere.
Having a system in place to help you with consistency will be a lifesaver for you, especially during these challenging times. You won’t base your decisions off of fear, rather you will end up following the system that will allow you to push through the fear.
We use 17hats as our main system for client follow-up and it helps keep us on track. Often times when we feel overwhelmed, it is not a matter of not knowing what to do, but knowing what to do NEXT. A great system can help you with this and works with you to move past fear based decisions.
Fear decisions are bad for business. As you move forward in your business, do so with courageous action, knowing your capabilities, what you are worth, and what you have to offer to your clients.