There is no competition in your space
There is no competition in your space…
…provided you do the work to separate yourself from the pack!
I was in a room full of photographers the other day and the subject of competition came up.
Several colleagues chimed in about the level of competition that they are experiencing in their markets throughout the country. They talked about how their price points were being threatened by newbie photographers who undercut their rates in order to appeal to potential clients.
I decided to chime in and halted the conversation by saying two things:
One, those potential clients that are attracted to lower rates are not your clients, and two, there is no competition.
They looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.
It’s okay - it’s not the first time I’ve been accused of that, :)
I explained further:
When you present who you are, who you serve, and why you do what you do in your social media and blog content, you are putting yourself and your brand out there in a hyper-specific way.
As a result, some people will naturally gravitate towards you based on your attractive combination of personality and expertise. They love your process, and how you set them up for a successful portrait session. They appreciate how you keep their goals in mind throughout, and appreciate the experience that you provide every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the delivery of the final images.
They will want to work with you regardless of price point because you’ve gained their attention, trust, and ultimately, put them first.
In other cases, potential clients would never consider you to be a viable option.
Perhaps your humor or personality doesn’t mesh with theirs, or, they’re focusing solely on price point and you’re not in their range, or they’re looking for someone who shoots in a way that is not reflected in your portfolio.
And that’s totally okay.
The key is to not be thrown off by those who pass on you - you don’t need to work with everyone. You just need to be visible to those who do appreciate what you bring to the table.
After all, there’s enough work to go around for every photographer at every stage of their business...as long as you commit to creating an online presence that is authentic, purposeful, powerful…
You don’t build a business around those you need to convince to buy into your services - you double down on promoting the YOU in your brand, be consistent with this type of messaging online, and potential clients/advocates for your work will find you, book their sessions, and tell their friends and colleagues about the amazing experience you provided.
My suggestion to the photographers in this conversation was to put on blinders, not worry about what everyone else with a camera in their hands was doing, and focus on themselves by sharing online content that truly paints the picture of how they work and why they love it so much.
And this goes for your speaking business, as well.
If you were to look at the speaker landscape, you’d see that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of speakers working in your given space of expertise. If you focused on what everyone else was doing and adjusted your process based on how they were operating, you’d never stand out or be distinct from those who do what you do.
Rather than participate in an exercise in futility, it would be a wiser move to simply work on yourself by continuing to focus on refining your voice and point of view, and presenting that uniqueness in your social media and blog content.
That way, you’re sending your own unique bat signal out into the world to attract the right clients who, ultimately, will appreciate your level of expertise the most.
After all, if you attempt to appeal to everyone, you will attract no one.
What are your thoughts on competition? Do you agree with me or have another take on it?
PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you, because I care, :)