Yesterday Kathy and I went to get headshots done by a professional photographer. We will be speaking in Uganda again this year, and we needed to update our pics. During our photo session, I asked the photographer who he photographs.
He said, “When I got started, I wanted to photograph professional models. I saw it as the highest form of practicing my art. It was fun but time-consuming.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
No Premium Hard Work
He said, “Professional models are demanding, very demanding. All the shoots took much longer than I thought they would, and I wasn’t being paid a premium for the extra time.
“In addition, once I created their portfolio, they would rarely come back. These photo shoots were one-offs so I was always looking for business.”
“So what did you do?”
Find the Right Niche
“Well then I got married, and it changed everything. I had to make money every week to support us and our planned family,” he said.
“I switched my agency work from professional adult models to child models. As the children age, they have to update their portfolios. This means they have to come back. More business.
“I also built a business of doing professional headshots for corporations and healthcare providers. There is always turnover, and they want to be sure to keep their web pages up to date.
“It is also a good use of my time as I can camp out at their offices for a half day to get the shoot completed. As my client list grew, so did my weekly income.”
Achieve Predictable Revenue
As I was leaving, I realized how family and financial responsibilities moved this man to discover recurring revenue. He didn’t give up his art; he still sneaks in the occasional professional model.
In the 30 years he’s been in business, he’s changed his market focus to achieve more predictable revenue and, thus, sustainability for his photography business.
Answer Two Critical Questions
When entrepreneurs come to me with a revenue issue, I always ask two questions.
Who are you selling to?
Who is buying from you?
In many cases the answers to these two questions are different.
Often the entrepreneur is like a love starved teenage boy, chasing the people he wants to sell to when the affection is not mutual. Yet he just tolerates those who are actually interested in him and his business.
My photographer figured it out. He sells to the people who love his service. They also happen to have continuing needs and have the money to satisfy those needs. Smart businessman.
You should go see Andrew Edwards if you need a great photographer.