In the first of a series of marketing blogs, which are designed to help your business flourish, we firstly look at ‘Defining your business’
• Identify your market
• Differentiate from the competition
• Target that market
This may sound very simple but: can you actually define your business concisely and do you know your who your customer is? You would be amazed at the number of businesses who are not really sure of who they are or where to find them.
In the business of photography, as with most creative fields, it is crucial to define your business and then set yourself up appropriately. Wedding photography means different things to people from differing backgrounds, whilst product photography requires a professional studio. We haven’t even touched on equipment and technology. Ultimately, people will be attracted to your style but you need to consider who this style might attract.
If you know exactly who to target and you’re happy for this to be the bread and butter of your business, you can then expand your portfolio once you have successfully navigated your core business. More of this later. Targeting that market successfully is vital and referral business is the key to continued success. Even the way you target that market will send signals via warm leads to other potential customers. You need to think like your potential customer:
• Where would your customer look for your business services – online, in local press or stores, in magazines
• Most people ask their family and friends – make sure you use your most common network to let people know what you’re doing
• Make sure venues and like-minded businesses are aware of your services
• Try and see everyone face to face – people remember the little things.
When launching your business, the easiest thing that can happen is to get lost amongst the sheer amount of jobs that need attention. Setting clear and simple goals should nullify this potentially overwhelming situation. Whilst not definitive, looking at the big things simply might go some way to defining your starting approach. For example, break down ‘Targeting Your Market’ into manageable chunks as above will give you mini goals to strike off your list.
The other potentially overwhelming aspect is time management. As you will most likely be on your own and thus attempting to do everything yourself, ensuring you have enough time to deliver the most important thing, i.e. your photography, is the ultimate goal. It’s as simple as marking off two hours to contact all the local press, for example, and not spending any longer whilst getting what you need succinctly and professionally.
If there are people who you trust who offer complementary services such as accounting or PR skills, it makes sense to trade your services for theirs. Why spend time on things you are not interested in when you can spend more time on the thing you love?
P.S. For more information about defining your business, check out our How To Successfully Launch Your Business post.