Topic Tuesday – {Focusing on What You Love}

July 19, 2016

20100711_9317We all have to pay the bills, right?  And that means sometimes we take whatever we get in terms of clients.  Families, babies, weddings, pets…you name it and I have taken photos of it.  But photographing everything, especially those things I don’t love to photograph, put me in a place where I didn’t even want to pick up my camera.  And not picking up my camera was certainly not going to pay the bills!

Seniors were the one thing that I got excited about.  They inspired me and brought out my creative juices in a way no other niche really did.  I kept thinking to myself how can I make the one thing I really love photographing the entire focus of my business and make money doing it?  What I realized is that by focusing on what I loved, I could grow my business in a way I never could before.

How to Focus on What You Love to Grow Your Business

So how can you finally stop photographing everything and grow your business with just seniors?  I’ll be honest it takes some work and patience but if you are willing to do it, it will be the best thing you ever did for your senior business.

  1.  Decide – Decide what you want your business to be and work toward that decision.  If you want your business to be Seniors only then make that decision and everything you do is to support that decision.  That doesn’t mean you go cold turkey on other niches because you may have to pay some bills but it does mean that you work toward your goal of becoming an all senior photography business.
  2. Focus – Once you have made the decision on seniors being your primary niche then focus your energy to that niche.  The nice thing about finally making a decision and focusing is that you now have a purpose, you don’t feel all over the place and you can work toward that goal.  You have a clear path of where you want to go and your energy is not being spent anywhere else.  Instead of doing many things ok, you can focus on one and do that one thing really well.
  3. Become an Expert – By focusing on one genre of photography, you can become an expert in that genre.  Why hire a photographer who does a little of everything when you can hire a photographer who specializes in the area you are looking for?  As a client, I would want the best for my son or daughter and that would be the photographer who genuinely gets teenagers, the photographer who knows how to connect with that age group and the photographer who knows what they are doing when it comes to senior photography.
  4. Build a Reputation – When people think of me, they think of senior photography (at least that is the hope!) because I have worked hard to build a reputation as a senior photographer.  So my name gets thrown around in the senior circles when teens talk to each other about who to hire for senior portraits.  My goal is to make sure that my name is the one that is always brought up.  Becoming well known as a senior photographer, means you will be the first person people think of when they need a senior photographer.  Your Name = The Senior Photographer in your area.
  5. Charge Accordingly – Once you have some experience under your belt, you have become an expert in this niche and you start to offer something unique for seniors, then you can charge accordingly.  Being an expert in a certain niche allows you to charge more for your unique set of services.  When you think of the best brand of clothing, do you pay more for that?  Yes!  Best car?  Yep, that cost more too!  Even the best coffee costs more!  So the best senior photography should be a premium price.

What can you do specifically to focus on seniors?  Here are few steps you can do NOW to focus on Seniors:

  1. Shoot – Photograph the right age group.  If you’ve been photographing seniors but not solely seniors then you have some senior work under your belt.  If you are new to this genre then you must go out and photograph this genre.  Ask around, find some girls or boys or both between the ages of 16-19 and photograph them.  You don’t have to photograph a current senior but rather photograph that age group so they can see what you can do.
  2. Show Off – That’s right show off and let everyone see your work!  You have to show what you want to shoot.  So if seniors is what you want to attract you have to show seniors your senior work!  It is simple but effective.  Seniors want to see what you can do for them not what you do for babies or families or weddings.
  3. Speak Their Language – In all your blogging, website wording, social media wording, speak to teens.  Use wording that will attract teens but don’t try to be a teen.

If you’ve been thinking or wanting to make the leap and specialize in seniors, now is the time to do it.  I want to challenge you to ask yourself WHY SENIORS?  Write down your answer and write down what you love most about photographing this age group.  Once you know your WHY you will be able to define your business, know who your ideal client is and focus your business on that type of client.

Shoot what you love and your business will flourish.  By concentrating on what you love to shoot, you will ignite the passion within you for your business and you will want to get up everyday and do what you love.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!  If you’ve already specialized in seniors, share with us how that has helped your business.  If you have been thinking about it but just haven’t made the leap yet, let us know what is holding you back!  I would love to help you!  Comment below!

For Photographers – 5 Day Business Challenge and Workshop

If you’re a photographer focused on, or want to focus on, Senior photography, I’m teaming up with Brittany Griggs of Simply for Creatives this week for a 5 day business challenge (starting Thursday, July 21) and live FREE workshop (July 26) called “5 Steps to Start and Grow your Senior Photography Business!” We’d love for you to join us. You can sign up here!