I was recently lucky enough to have the opportunity to take part in the ‘Group2Grow’ peer group business development programme – supported by Essex County Council.
The programme brought together small business owners, coming together every fortnight to discuss the issues we all face when running a business, and how to approach them.
When I say discussing ‘issues’ – this really means getting focus on the things that put us out of our comfort zone – and how to tackle them effectively. For me, being an introvert, putting myself out there, and marketing my business doesn’t come easy to me. As a photographer I want to be behind the camera – and not be a sales person.
I don’t like it when people are pushy and ‘salesy’ towards me – so I don’t want to be like that when working with my clients. The programme made me realise I don’t have to be. Us business owners need to be visible - and ensure we are keeping our online profiles up to date (I really need to do better at that) – but we can align how we ‘sell’ what we do in a way that fits our personality.
In line with that, when communicating and working with clients I am open in approach, and after the shoot my clients will generally be provided with an online proofing gallery, with time allowed to select the images they want to purchase. I am of course happy to provide my recommendations on the most engaging images, and work through the ‘choosing’ process with you – and we can do that straight after the shoot if time is of the essence – but I won’t pressure on this.
I recognise most people coming to me for professional headshots are REALLY not comfortable being in front of the camera – I know – same here. A recent client on arrival mentioned he aligned it to a visit to the dentist. Funny as that was – it made me realise that I need to ensure my clients and potential clients know that my shoots are relaxed and unrushed; and I have tricks in my arsenal to ensure that you relax and we get the images you are looking for. The business development programme helped me understand how important it is that potential clients see who I am and how I work.
Joining Group2Grow helped me to realise I just need to be me and keep doing what I do best - which is looking after my clients. My story on the programme and how it worked for me is on the link below.
There are many types and style of photographer - if the way I work appeals to you – get in touch – I’d love to discuss your photography requirements.