Never seen it so bad

Started Apr 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Beating the strawman is so easy
In reply to Michael Thomas Mitchell, Apr 25, 2012

You make a lot of valid points, but unfortunately they're beating the proverbial strawman, namely that I claimed brand is everything. I didn't. If you read my responses, you will see that brand is one part of what we must do today to be successful. To recap, it's product + service + customer relations + brand. And all 4 have to work together in concert. The issue at play in this thread is that those who have been in the biz for a while and are now struggling have been relying primarily on product (excellent photos) plus maybe some service and customer relations. That used to work fairly well, though I would argue those who understood the non-product side did better back in the day, too. Now we all need to up the game in the latter two, and yes, they need to get a brand that is backed up by the first 3 facets I mention.

This is not easy. I'm not claiming it's working spankingly well for me yet. Who knows. I may need to re-brand or retool the other 3 facets, then re-brand, etc. But I do see highly successful photographers out there, and when I look at how they're succeeding, guess what I see? A photographer who by en-large produces good (though not necessarily top-notch) quality photography, who offers excellent service to his clients, who takes steps to maintain and grow his "fan base" through personal relationships (and that doesn't mean in-depth, just, I reach out and touch you online, etc.), and who uses all this to promote and enhance his/her brand.

At a minimum, let's acknowlege that many successful photographers rely heavily on referrals. "He did great for me. Here's his card and contact info." When you dig into the "He did great for me," I bet you 7 out of 10 aren't talking about the quality of photos, but rather, about the personal connection they made with the photographer and how at ease they felt while working with him/her. We need to work on that and build on it.

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