The more I talk to photographers about retooling their businesses to be more purposeful and client-focused the more a recurring theme keeps popping up. Photographers are terrified to be specific. In a time when what they are doing is rarely bringing in enough business they are often afraid to do anything that might turn someone off and therefore do very little to turn people on.
Let’s look at some other businesses. The Mexican restaurant around the corner doesn’t apologize for not serving pizza, or cheeseburgers, or falafel. I mean, they know that often times I’m going to be in the mood for a bunch of things that aren’t on their menu. They stick to their thing. Nike isn’t worried about not offering me a full line of dress shoes. Sometimes you have to be willing to be specific enough to be hired, and be courageous and confident to let the stuff that doesn’t fit slide.
Believe it or not, specificity breeds universality. The more specific you are the more people will be able to find something of themselves in your work. So think for a minute today about how you are presenting your business. Are you doing it because it specifically represents you or are you doing it to pander or appear to appeal widely? If you aren’t booking exactly the jobs you want with exactly the clients you want, for the exact amount you want to make then I’d suggest you pitch what you’re doing for a while and try to be as specific as possible. Put it out there long enough for it to resonate.