I love the Green Room and your no-nonsense advice. I’ve read every post you’ve ever written and tried to implement your advice into my wedding photography business but it feels like nothing is happening. I don’t get many enquiries even though I think my work is OK. I’m struggling to see what it is that I’m doing wrong and why everyone else I look at seems to be doing so well.
I’m feeling lost and discouraged. I’m not really sure what I want you to say and I’m half expecting you to just delete this email anyway, but I guess I’m just hoping you might send me some words of encouragement…
There are two types of people who want to run their own business – doers and thinkers. The first graft, struggle, make mistakes and do everything in their power to make their business a success. The second have an idea, read lots of books or advice columns, know what they have to do but then (for whatever reason) fail to apply the lessons to their own businesses. It sounds harsh, but most of the people that fall into the latter category seem to think things are just going to fall into place because they want it badly enough. Wanting something is not enough, you have to go out and make it happen!
As you can probably tell I’m not really one to sugar coat things. If I’ve learnt one thing from doing as many workshops as I have over the past few years (both attending and teaching) it is that some people really are looking for a quick fix or worse still, for someone else to do it for them. It sounds stupid but learning the lessons isn’t enough, it’s what you do after the class that counts.
I love that you say you’ve read so much of my Green Room but (get ready because its tough love time again) have you actually been applying the things you’ve read or have you only really thought about it? You clearly have the knowledge of what it takes to succeed but what have you done with that knowledge?
You say you think your work is ‘OK’, well, what are you doing to make your work better than just OK? This is a highly competitive market and ‘just OK’ won’t really cut it I’m afraid. What steps forward are you currently taking and how are you showing potential clients, in no uncertain terms, that YOU are the photographer they need to book for their wedding?
Is your website ‘just OK’ too? Do you need to do a rebrand? Maybe an About Me film would help you connect with clients better? How about getting some work featured on a wedding blog that attracts your ideal client? Haven’t got the right kind of work to get on a blog? Well go and shoot some!
There are always things you can do to turn a business around so my question to you is, honestly, what are you actually doing?
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but in business, just like in life, there are no quick fixes, no easy routes and no one size fits all path to success. I’m yet to read a guide book that will metamorphosize the reader into an overnight sensation.
YOU have to make things happen for yourself. YOU, and only you, are in charge of your destiny. No-one is going to come along and fix your problems. Many people can and will advise you on what they think you should do, but YOU are the only one who can take that advice and turn it into an action.
It’s not an easy ride, far from it. You have to do things for yourself. Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures. Books and advice articles will only take you as far as the starting block. They are your training manuals but you have to run the race yourself.
Please don’t feel disheartened or discouraged. Take your disappointment with how your business is going and use is as the rocket fuel you need to turn it around. You can do it, I know it, just remember no-one else can do it for you.
- Photography: Alexa Loy Photography