Join Jay P Morgan and me as we share 5 reasons most photography businesses fail. Use this list to evaluate how you spend time building your business and see how you can improve.
– Jay P. , I really wanna build a photography business that doesn’t fail. – I’m going to give you five reasons why most photo businesses fail.
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– Hi, I’m Adelaide Lawren. – And this is Jay P. Morgan, and here’s five reasons why most photo businesses fail. First, people don’t pick up the phone. They don’t call people. They don’t work on their business. I saw a great article on Fstoppers where the guy said, “I work really hard,” and so his friend said, “you don’t work very hard.” And he said, “well, I’ll keep a log of my time. I’ll show you how hard I work.” And he said he kept a log of his time and after a week or so he’s going, “I don’t really work that hard. I check my newsfeed, I check–” – Oh. – –things on here. I did–” – When people get distracted– – Yeah. You gotta pick up the phone and start calling people. As difficult as that is, it’s the most valuable way to keep your business from failing. Pick up the phone and start calling people. We’re gonna teach you how to do that. Not just calling anyone but specific individuals in our business culture class.
Number 2… – Number 2 is they don’t work on their business, like you were just saying that guy was logging hours and not doing anything. I mean you feel like you’re so busy doing stuff but you aren’t. One thing I love to use is Toggle, and it’s free, like, on your desktop, and you can actually, like, write the project that you’re working on, and then start the timer on it. I use that all the time when I don’t wanna do something. I’ll put it on and I’ll, like, look at it and, like, “okay, I’ve been doing this for 20 minutes,” and I know my intent of what I’m doing and I get it done. I love that. But a lot of people, they don’t do that. They get distracted and– – That’s it. – It doesn’t happen. – Great bit of advice. You know what? Looking at the price of new lenses at B&H is not working on your business. Just for your bit of information there. – Okay, so– – But this is what photographers think that is. – Really? – Absolutely. “Oh, I’m checking out lenses. I really need them. I’m thinking about my grade”. No. That’s not working on your business. – That’s why in our business coaching class, we’re gonna help you make a marketing and a business plan and hold you to that so you can get these things done. If you’re looking at lenses for work, then this will be the most intense four months of your life. – But we’re gonna help you create a daily plan of action, a process each day to be able to get work.
So, number 3… – Number 3 is they keep quiet about what they do. – Oh, this one kills me. – Yeah. – Sorry, did I sound like I got shot in the head or something? Oh! – Ooh! – Ooh! – Guess you do… Oh! – ‘Cause it kills me. It does kill me. It is a very simple process. “Hi, how do you do? My name’s Jay P. Morgan. Tell me what you do for a living.” “Well, I’m a lawyer. I work downtown.” “Well, that’s really interesting.” – Well, why don’t you do it with me? – I like that. – Oh, I’ll do it with Adelaide. I’ll ask her what she does. – Okay. – Hi, Adelaide. Tell me what you do for a living. – I do marketing. – Excellent. And what kind of work do you do? What area? What, you know… – I am a marketing coach for photographers and videographers. – That’s nice. So how did you get into that? What caused that? – I just saw a lot of really awesome photographers who spend so much time working on their craft and they don’t know how to get themselves out there to make money and I wanna help them do that. What do you do? – I’m a photographer, actually. – Oh, really? – I should hire you to help me with my marketing. – I’d love to. – Okay. This is maybe not the greatest example. – No. This is really bad. – [laughs] – I thought I was supposed to ask you– – But, no, well, you see it, though. – –right away. – Yeah. No, it’s there. If you asked somebody what they do, eventually they’re gonna ask you what you do and be prepared to say, “I do videography. I am a videographer. I shoot corporate videos,” and hand them a business card and so, you know what? Sometimes you talk about it. You don’t have to go very far. You’ll be fascinated how many people are out there just wanting to find somebody and they can’t find the person. And, when when there’s a connection. “Oh, I met this guy. I met this gal. I know them”. All of a sudden, because they’ve met you, somehow you’re better than if it’s a cold call. But, it works.
– I wanna add 4.5 in this list. – 4.5. Okay. – 4.5 because as you say that I just thought a lot of photographers take any work that comes their way. So, like, they say they’re a wedding photographer and they’re like, “can you shoot my kids?” A lot of people will, you know, you’re a commercial photographer and they’re like, “can you take a picture of our family?” and do things like that. – I get that all the time. – Yeah, and I bet, I mean, you guys do, too. I know you do. And so, I think it’s also really important to say no to work so you can open yourself up to say yes for other projects. – I think that’s a great point.
– So, going back to number 4, because 4.5 was after that. – 4 it is. We’re on 4. – Number 4 is that a lot of photographers don’t understand how to use the money in their business. They don’t understand overhead, where you come up with your prices and when you can buy new equipment and when you can’t. – They don’t understand how to set up budgets or put together a business plan that’ll help them make decisions that will keep them in the black, so… – And you know what, and it makes me really sad, is when I see a talented photographer stop being a photographer because they’ve run out of money. – You know I’ve had this experience in my own life. I ventured into two businesses with partners that just went deep, deep, deep into debt, and if I had understood better with the numbers of that, I should have cut bait end a long time into ’em, but I didn’t. So, personal experience. We’re gonna show you how to not have that problem.
So number 5… – Number 5 is that a lot of photographers really truly don’t understand who their target audience is. This means who the people are that actually pay for the jobs that you do. So, I see a lot of photographers, you know, if they’re doing weddings, they try to do, anybody in San Francisco that does weddings, they don’t focus on their style and try to find the people who like vintage weddings. – They really aren’t looking for the right clientele. They’re not looking for the people that fit what they do and then how to identify that people and then go after ’em and market to them, and then get them to hire them. – How can you expect to make money if you don’t know who the people are that are gonna give you the money, who are gonna pay you?
– You know, I can add a little, at the end of this, maybe this is 5., 5 and 1/2. – Okay. – …is that they don’t make a decision about what they wanna do. They’re not, they’re not willing to get out on a limb and say, “you know what, I’m gonna go after this.” And a lot of times, so they’re going, “I’m not really sure what I’m doing. I’m not really positive where I’m going,” and it’s like wandering around with that and you really can’t expect to be successful in your business. It’s like saying “why, I’m gonna be a fast food place, I guess, but I’m not sure what kind of food we’re gonna serve, I mean…” – Yeah. – “Maybe we’ll serve chicken… ” – Italian… – “maybe we’ll do tacos, maybe Italian… I don’t know.” – Just, do something. Yeah. – It’s just, doesn’t work. – It doesn’t work and I think a lot of that comes from the fear of putting yourself out there because if you wanna be, you know, commercial photographer, you wanna have a big wedding business. It’s gonna hurt to fail at it and so you don’t want to commit but the sooner you commit, the sooner you can start building. The sooner you can reach your goals. So, that’s why commitment is so important. So, if you aren’t committing, try being decisive in other areas of your life so that you can start being more decisive in your business. – And that’s where we start in our business coaching class. What you have to offer in this industry and now you need to make a decision on how you’re gonna try to make a living in this industry. From that decision, we can build everything else. – Our business coaching class is starting September 3rd, so go to theslantedlens.com to sign up today. September 3rd. – September 3rd. – And we’ll make you pick up the phone.