7 Things You Gotta Have For A Successful New Year

1. How sincere are your messages?

When you send out an email, post on Facebook, or send out a tweet on Twitter, what is your ultimate goal? If its to sell, you have it all wrong. So many people today take the old way of thinking – “sell, sell, sell” – and try and incorporate it into new technology. It doesn’t work, nor will it ever work. When I see the message come through, “Hi you don’t know me but I have a great product…” its straight to the delete button. Messages need to be from the heart, offer value, and convince a person you are the right one for the job. People know how to find you and will make the sale when they are ready.

2. How is your customer service?

When was the last time you flew? Traveling used to be fun. Now its an incredible pain; something you only want to experience if you really have to. You can find your deal and buy your plane ticket months in advance. Yet you know your costs are anything but over. If your bag is a millimeter too big or an ounce overweight, you’ll be slapped with a fee. And don’t expect it to change any time soon – the only thing you can be guaranteed with is more fees. But is that really the way you want to be treated? Do you really want to give your money to someone you really don’t like? Or do you want to hand over your money to a friend? Someone who understands you and is willing to give you 110 percent all the time? This will continue to be the year of incredible customer service – only businesses dedicated to it will survive.

3. Does everyone want your products?

There’s a Starbucks in our area that does an unbelievable amount of business. It’s a free standing coffee shop with a drive thru. I have never driven by that place without seeing a minimum of a half dozen cars waiting in line – at all hours of the day. And if you go into it its one of the largest in the area, with tables, sofas and chairs spread out by two fireplaces. A little closer to my home was a local coffee shop that recently went out of business. The coffee was okay and they had few options for snacks and other beverages if you weren’t in the mood for coffee. To tell the truth, the only reason I frequented it is because you could always find a table. The difference is in the quality. If your products are average, there is no incentive to make the purchase. But if you make someone say “WOW” you’re on your way to success.

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How To Follow The Path To Failure

What’s the most common question people have when they decide to become professional photographers?

“How do I become a successful photographer?”

Yet that question is impossible for anyone other than the photographer to answer. And if I tried to answer it for them, I would quickly put them on the path to failure. Here’s why.

You see, everyone has their own vision of success.

One person may see a business that brings in enough income they can stay home with the kids. They photograph portraits a few times a week, and charge just enough to bring in enough income to pay the bills.

The next person may choose to become the most well known photographer in the world. They want to travel around the world, sell their images to the best publications, and give presentations in the highest places possible.

These two people would both be considered a success if they achieved the goals they have for themselves. Yet if I tried to define success for them in generic terms, I could never have  accomplished it.

So, if you want to follow the path to failure, buy a guide to success from a photographer and try to follow his advice down to the detail.

But if you want to create a path to success, use these strategies to move you forward

Read as many success guides as you can, and use them to define your own goals

The easiest way to find success is to follow in someone else’s footsteps. Let face it, its all been done before. Someone has made a lot of money as a portrait photographer, a wedding photographer, an app developer, and an album designer. If you can think it, you can find someone who has found success doing what you’re dreaming about.

Even though they have blazed the trail before you, you probably have key issues with the way they do things. You may be targeting a different set of clients, be in a different area, or have different desires. Because you are starting out now, and they may have years or even decades of experience, you’ll probably approach things a bit different. That’s okay. That’s what gives you your unique twist on things, and will help you blaze your own trail.

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Don’t Compare Yourself To The Wrong Photographer

Don’t Compare Yourself To The Wrong Photographer

The economy isn’t good. The news can make you down right depressed. And business just isn’t what it used to be.

Will there ever be a recovery? Will you ever build your photography business up to match _________ (fill in the blank with your favorite superstar photographer)?

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The one thing that’s easy to do is get overwhelmed. I love attending seminars by the best. They fill you with hope, fill you up with ideas, and send you home. You’re excited for a day or two – until you realize the bills are still there, and the business isn’t coming in like they promised it would.

So what can you do about it? What can you do to stay on track?

Realize there are two different types of photographers to follow, and know what type of photographer you are “following” and how to follow them to success.

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