How to Evaluate the Condition of your Photography Business
Alright, so let's start off with you. Let's go back to you guys. Before we can go anywhere, we gotta figure out where you're starting, right? Just like the GPS, if you tell a GPS, I need directions to the market, the first thing it's gonna ask you is where are you starting from? You guys here can do this right now. This is a little test, we're gonna find out where you're at to determine what you need to work on, okay? So here's what it's gonna look like. You're gonna have this, you can just write on your notepad, write the letter A and put two little lines, and you're gonna fill in a number, which I'll give you in a minute. So A, B, C, D, E, F, G, two little lines. And you're gonna fill in your answers to the following questions. Now, this is of course, this whole workshop, or this whole worksheet you can download if you guys are purchasing the class at home. All right, ready, for the first question, answer this one being the least, five being bam, I got this, all right? I feel confide...
nt there are no loose ends with my business. I am covered for whatever might happen. Where do you feel you fit in? One being the worst, five being awesome sauce. And put that on the first line for letter A. All right, second line letter A, At any given time, I can tell you what I am actually making in profit from every aspect of my business.
Can you do a zero?
Can't do a zero, oh, yes, one would be equivalent to a, yeah, I'm not there. All right, now we're gonna go to line B. I generally feel like I get a lot of solid work done at the end of the day. Do you go home going, yeah, I killed it today. I did a lot, got a lot done, or do you go home feeling, where did the day go? What happened? I don't even know what I did. I didn't do anything. Connected with all my friends on Facebook. All right, second one on B, I spend 80% of my time doing what I do best, and have help for the tasks I am not an expert in. Okay, none of us can be 100%, that's unrealistic to think that we're spending 100% of our time absolutely optimized, but a good goal would be 80% of your time doing what you're really creative best at. And maybe you are the best at managing your business, you are the best at crunching numbers, that could be, there's nothing wrong with that, but are you spending your time wisely for you? Now we're gonna go to letter C, I get calls for very specific type of photography most of the time and my clients are generally very satisfied with the results. So in other words, the clients that call you are like, yeah, we're a good fit.
Do you mean the results of the phone call?
Of the session, when you shoot the session and you don't have people saying, oh, this is not what I was expecting or, oh, I was kinda hoping for something different or, oh, why is my eyeball cut in half? You know, that kind of stuff. (laughter) Okay, the next one on C, I get frequent compliments on my logo, my business card and my website. Unsolicited compliments, in other words not from your mom. (laughter) Your aunt, people just randomly say, gosh, I just love your logo or I love your website, it's beautiful or (mumbles). Alright, let's go to D, when I get calls the client is already nearly ready to book from visiting my website. You don't have to do a whole lot of convincing or explaining to them, they've pretty much, it's like, answer a few questions, yeah, it sounds good, let's book a session. Alright, got that. Next one on D, most people in my local area know what I do and I'm in the top for local business searches. Now not top 10 in the world search, but if somebody's trying to search locally for you, could you get up into the top 10, could be a Google business searches or local directory you might have. That one's kind of hard to tell, but just use your gut on that. Do you think people in your area know who you are in your local area? Okay, line E, I enjoy the sales process and I get excited when I know a customer is coming in to purchase. Woohoo, dancing around in your underwear, come on in. (beatbox) Alright, next one on E, I am satisfied with my sales sessions and feel they are worth the time I spend on them. Okay, F, line F, I receive regular thank you cards and kudos from customers after I deliver their images. So not you sending cards, you receive cards from your customers. Alright, next one on F, I have many return customers and referrals are at least 50% of my business or thereabouts.
Define many. (laughter)
Many return customers, how we define many. I would say... (inaudible) What's that?
Yeah, if you had a percentage maybe you'd say 25% of your customers are repeat customers. Depends on what you do, it's hard to say. Like weddings, hopefully you don't have a lot of repeat wedding clients. I've had a few of those. (laughter) But your wedding clients could repeat coming back for baby and family and all that over the years of course, that the ideal client situation. Okay, G, I feel fulfilled and excited by my work and my future. In general are you feeling pretty excited about what you're doing and not feeling like, I gotta get out of this business real soon. And the last one, G, I make time every month to do something fun or educational with my photography. Every month something. Okay, alright, so now here's where you're gonna add those up. You add those two numbers and each one of those corresponds to a category that we're gonna talk about today, so add your two scores for A together and that's your total for business essentials. B, same thing, so I want the total for each line and then the grand total on the bottom for all those numbers. I know photographers are not good at math, but this is as simple as I could keep it for you guys. (laughter) You need a calculator, that's fine. (laughter) Alright, so, let's look at some numbers. Anybody wanna share a number, just yell a number, I'm not gonna make you.
38, alright, so 38 you're getting to the mid range right, you're close to middle, so there's some things definitely we gotta work on. Who else has got a number high or low, yell it out.
15, okay, you need some help, man you're in the right place. Who else, anybody got an above average number?
I got 42.
42, good, okay, so you're right there, you're average, that's good. Anybody else? Okay, good, so you're all in the right place, right time, today is your day. We're gonna talk about these things. So let's start off with this. Because it's intimidating, this journey we have ahead of us sometimes, it's really helpful, this is one of my favorite quotes, I come back to this often when I feel like life is just overwhelming and it really reminds me that all we need is little baby steps, we don't have to solve everything at once. And sometimes if you're a 14 or or whatever your number is it's like, oh, my gosh, I got so much to work on. It's alright, we're gonna take one step at a time, make it happen. "We can do no great things, but we can do "small things with great love." Meaning little, tiny things, all that done with intention makes it happen and that's what we're gonna do. And that's what success is. I've been in interviews before people say, what's your secret to success? Like they want the one big thing, okay, everybody knows this now, you're gonna be successful and it just doesn't work that way. The secret to success is I just try to put love and intention into every little thing I do and just keep pounding those things over and over again and it adds up and it works. It's not one thing, it's a lot of little things done right.
So you say, how many of you are photographers? And then you said, are you doing your real job? So if photography is your real job how do you define? Like my mom always says when you gonna get a real job?
I was saying it like your mom. A real job is something else that you do that is not photography. Because people always look at me as a photographer and they go, wow, what a fun job. And I say, yeah, it doesn't even feel like a job to me, it's not, if you do it right it shouldn't feel like a job, it should feel like something just really cook that you get paid a lot of money for. You know, that's a perfect world, that's what I feel as a photographer that I am. So yeah, so when I said real job I was referring to anything outside of being a photographer.