What to Do if Your Photo Business Isn't Working
Now we talked about kind of the scary stuff the transition from the hobby to an actual business what do you do if you start thinking that it's not working out you start maybe get a year in or you get two years in and you're not really making money or you're not booking lori just doesn't feel right to you what do you do if it's not working well first problem what do you do if you're not booking what do you do if despite everything that you're doing you're not finding clients or you are finding clients but they're not hiring you what do you do then well we have a couple of different what if no one will hire you what if no one will hire you to assist or second chute that's the first problem before you're even looking for clients as you're trying to build your experience what if no one's going to hire you to a system what if no one's going to hire you to second shoot for them now I get several emails per week of people saying if you're ever hiring a second shooter I would love to be consid...
ered well I'm not going to be able to help them because I almost never hire second shooters so sending your resume to me to be my second shooter is not going to get you anywhere it's also not going to get you anywhere if you apply to be my assistant because I have an assistant, I've had her for six years, so if you're so what if what you're doing is sort of sending out cold call e mails to people? Hey, if you need an assistant here, if you need a second shooter, if that's not getting you anywhere, it might have nothing to do with you at all. It might be that there simply just not hiring at that point in time. So look at job postings. Look at craig's list get on facebook! There are actual second shooter and assistant groups on facebook that you khun b on where people will go to them when they're looking to hire someone, start getting to know other photographers in your area, and then you can say, hey, listen, if anybody needs anybody, I'm here because if they know you personally and they're starting to get to know you a little bit better, they're going to trust you more than some nameless, faceless person who just emails them out of the blue. Also, if you're doing all of these things and nobody's hiring you, look at how you're responding to these job posting. Is it that thing that I talked about before, where you're saying, I I me, me, me? I want this. I hope for this the worst thing that you can tell somebody when you're applying for an assistant job or a second shooter job is I want to be a wedding photographer and I'm really hoping that this job will help me learn the skills that I need to be a wedding photographer. Well, what as an employer does that tell me about you that tells me that you have absolutely no interest in actually working for me? You were just there to learn and it also tells me that pretty soon you're gonna leave me and start your own business at a very, very bad experience, and I was living in florida with someone who came to work for me said that she wanted to be a wedding planner, works for me for about six months and then abruptly just quit and dropped off the map two months later opens her wedding photography business price like I wass using the same vendors I wass told everyone she'd apprenticed under me and she was just like me but cheaper and if she had been honest from the very beginning and told me that that's what she wanted, I wouldn't have hired her because I want someone who's actually there to do the job for me, so consider how you're applying to these jobs and make sure that the photographers that you're applying for know that you are their toe work and I promise you, if you get this job and you go there and you work, the experience that you will gain will inevitably should you decide to do this on your own help you what if no one wants to network with you? Why won't they go to coffee with me? Listen, I I get a lot of e mails from photographers who are like, hey, I'm gonna be in new york on vacation and I want to take you to coffee and pick your brain about wedding photography I'm telling you if you e mail me that we're never gonna have coffee ever because what you're basically telling me is you don't want to be my friend you just want to take me out for a cup of coffee and pumped me for a bunch of questions that will help you I will help you all day long for friends. My best friends are wedding photographers my husband's a wedding photographer we share information with each other back and forth freely I have a lot of acquaintances who are wedding photographers we share information back and forth freely. If you want a photographer to network with you if you want a photographer to go get a cup of coffee with you work on building an actual relationship with them first an actual personal relationship and those things like dating or like making friends those things take time so that's, where these networking things were going to become very important, joining local groups, getting to know people on facebook, going to conventions, going to workshops in person, you'll start to get to know people, you'll start to build a personal relationship with them, and then you'll start to actually organically network with and help each other. So nurture the relationships that you are building in the photo, in the photography community and also in your local business community as well, because that's, where networking will organically start to happen. But you have no money, huge common problem, very common problem or what if you have money but you don't have enough money to allocate towards your new business don't feel that you have to spend a lot don't get caught up in the trap of I have to spend mme or I have to throw a lot of money into this business, or it will never succeed. If I have learned anything from watching shark tank it's that you don't need a lot of money to start something successful, and sometimes if you throw a lot of money into it that's not going to really help you all that much you don't need the newest gear, you don't need a lot of ads or advertising, you just need time, dedication and hustle. And we've talked about this I said you don't need to spend a lot of money on advertising I said you don't need the latest and greatest in cameras you don't need the latest and greatest in computers you need time an actual you know get up and do it ness you need to go out and get to meet people you need teo practice your skills you need to practice your skills mohr you need to be willing to get out there and hustle and do everything that you can to meet people and put your name and put your name in front of people and get people to know you that's what will get you way further than tons of money thrown into a marketing account? What do you have no time that's kind of a big one what if you already have a full time job and you've got a couple of kids or what if you're in school full time or what if you work a full time job in a part time job or what if you're just super busy with life because life is incredibly overwhelmingly busy at times time is more important than money hands down you have to put in the time and you have to find the time and you have to maximize your time and efficiency if you have a ton of money to put in your business but no time you're not going to get anywhere if you have a ton of time to put into your money into your business but not a lot of money, you can take that time and hustle like crazy, so if you don't have the time, you've got to find somewhere to find it, there is nothing that you're going to want to be good at that you are going to get good at without time. I didn't analogy a couple hours ago about skiing. He only had fifteen minutes a month to ski can imagine how long it's gonna take you to actually learn how to ski. It's gonna take you forever, it's the same thing with photography you have to have the time to put in it to better your skills to better yourself is a business person and to get out there and meet people that can help you in your business. And not only do you have to find the time you have to work to maximize the efficiency of your time, you know you could put five hours into something, but if you're spinning your wheels those five hours, maybe if you had been more efficient, you could have done it in forty five minutes with no problems whatsoever, so you've got to find the time you have to set the time aside and you have to work to make that time efficient. And what if what if you just don't know what if what if you're not sure what if you're thinking I don't know I mean wedding photography is kind of fun but I don't know if it's really a career I don't know if it's really where I want to be headed with my life I don't know that's so okay but that's so okay, I can't even tell you how okay that is you don't have to know right now where you want this passion for wedding photography to take you you might love wedding photography, you might want to get into it so bad that it hurts but you might not know what you want to do with it maybe it's going to be a hobby maybe it's going to be a part time job? Maybe it's going to be ah full time job you just don't know and you don't have to know right now you don't have to know tomorrow or this year or next year you know I talk about the beginning of me being in business and how it was a hobby at first and then for a period of months into years it was a part time endeavour and when it was a hobby I thought it would only ever be a hobby and when I was a part time job I thought it was only ever going to be a part time job but eventually I made the decision to take that hobby to a part time job. And I made the decision to take that part time job, tow a full time job. And then I made the decision to take that full time job into something huge, this kind of photographic thing that I've created, that sort of taken over everything in my life. But you don't have to know. You don't have to have a ten year business plan. At the very beginning. You don't have to know where you're going to be five years from now. You don't have to even know where you want to be five years from now, it's. Ok, let one decision lead to the next decision, which will lead to the next decision, and you will know in your heart of hearts when you're ready to go from whatever level you're at tau, whatever level is next.