As a small business we’re always striving to improve and this occurs on several fronts. We are always looking at what trends are going on in the photography world (and hopefully helping set some) as well as looking inward at how we can better improve our business . The book I read during my most recent trip to shoot on location was Tell to Win by Peter Guber.
Gruber’s focus in the book is to emphasize and illustrate how you can “Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story” – as it says on the cover of the book. As photographers, we are inherently storytellers. Especially on the wedding photography side – since we primarily shoot documentary style, it’s important for us to be able to tell the story of the wedding day through our photography. The funny thing is how important story is, not just in our photographic world, but in business too.
One of the interesting anecdotes had to do with a gallery owner who knew that when selling the photography in his gallery it was really about the story of the images. This totally applies to us as well as many other types of businesses. If you aren’t just competing as a low priced option then it’s the story you tell that really sells your service. The story has to be relevant and customized to the needs of your audience or else it won’t work. For us photographers this should be relatively simple, but so many of us fail at this. Of course through using techniques like active listening and keeping in mind that it’s better to be interested than interesting, we can all improve these skills. There’s so much more in the book, and it’s a pretty quick read so I would definitely recommend it to other small business owners.