Everyone wants to have fun. Everyone wants people to think they are fun. Like “passion” and “quality” I think “fun” is the next commonplace, inane thing that we all claim to sell that I think we ought to give up. But hang on, hear me out.
David Mamet is one of my favorite writers. State and Main is one of my favorite movies. It revolves around a big-city film crew coming to a small town to make a movie. As the big-city folks mix with the locals one of the film crew observes that in a small town you have to make your own fun. That’s when the local replies -”
“Everybody makes their own fun. If you don’t make it yourself, it isn’t fun. It’s entertainment.”
The wedding websites will tell you that brides want to have fun. Who doesn’t? Is it our job to make things fun? Or is fun what they are having when they aren’t busy dealing with wedding vendors? The client is making their own fun – that’s the whole point of the party and celebration aspect of the wedding. So you have to make a decision on whether you are getting out of the way of the fun, or whether you are the entertainment.
Yes, I think you should be a good person to be around. You ought to be pleasant – a sense of humor is a benefit. But selling “fun” is sort of a difficult thing. If you are creating the fun, then you are entertaining people, and if that is what you want to sell you are going to need to show the market exactly what your brand of entertainment entails. Video works well, but if the benefit of working with you is the entertainment that you bring you have to make sure that they want to watch the same show that you’re putting on.
I’m going to buck a trend and tell you not to try and create “fun” in your business. I think you should enable them having their own fun by managing expectations and getting out of the way. But if you are going to sell the entertainment aspect of your service you basically have to demonstrate it.
Portrait photography is somewhat different, in that nothing else is going on other than the picture taking so “fun” or “entertainment” may be more relevant. Again, I think the points above about entertainment and showing what entertainment means to you are relevant if that is what you are selling. If you want things to be fun my advice would be to have the client focus on doing something – they can enjoy the act and endeavor of trying to accomplish something, and doing something keeps their mind off of performing for the camera. So if you do want them to have fun, and you do want to enable that, help the client focus on what they are doing, not what you are doing.
By the way – I’m pretty jacked about our new Youtube channel and our Livestreams. As of the publishing of this article (Tuesday Sept 4th 2012) we’re planning for our second live interview tonight, this time with Stacy Reeves. You might remember Stacy from Episode 10 and 11 of our podcast. We’ll be taking your questions live in the stream so please send them in prior to the show or join the stream and post your them in the Live Comments section. We’d love to hear from you. Please Tweet and share the Live Stream with your friends and colleagues – www.youtube.com/amantofish. The stream drops at approximately 9 PM EST.