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You must be settled into 2020 by now, so how is it going for you? Before it gets too late in the year, we decided to share key learning’s from 2019 that will definitely be key in the days to come. We have been in business for a while now through our sister company Alama Creative but finally setting up our photography business came with its own lessons.

So here are some of the things we learned that may just be helpful to you.

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Learn to Negotiate

So here’s the deal, a lot of clients are looking for top notch work at the lowest price. Most of the time they don’t understand the kind of work that goes into creating the kind of imagery that they need/want. A lot is involved; time, skills, equipment, manpower and that’s without going into a lot of detail. The most important thing is to understand the value of your work and educate the client on the value they are receiving vis a vis the price.

Fully understand the client’s needs before sending a quote

We definitely loved that we were getting calls from prospective clients that meant that at least we could be found! We found that some clients wanted us to give them a quote when they couldn’t fully explain what they needed, sometimes they didn’t understand what they needed and some were just unwilling to share more information.

It’s easy to succumb to this pressure but it may cost you dearly if you under quote. What we found useful is having a photography brief at hand and just going through the questions with the client whether it’s a phone call or meeting. We need to investigate the reason but clients hate filling out briefs, but they are necessary! If you feel you forgot a crucial question, make sure to confirm before sending out the quote.

Don’t be afraid to loose clients if they don’t meet your price

We had quite a bit of enquiries that fully died when we shared the cost of the project. We won’t name anyone but some of us felt terrible in the beginning! Many more enquiries came and died off! Lesson learnt is not every client is for you. Say no when necessary but don’t devalue your work, this is something worth reminding yourself from time to time.
Also, give discounts only to loyal customers or when it’s really necessary.

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Proposals take a lot of your time and they should be chargeable

When you are doing a proposal, you are basically compiling ideas for a client. If the client has paid, good for you, if not you are doing work for free with the likelihood you won’t be paid. It’s important to educate clients that you are using your time and resources to compile a proposal. These resources have a monetary value that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The best way to deal with this would be to only do a proposal after the client has committed to the project. The commitment means a deposit has been paid or an LPO has been issued.

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Doubt is a resistance you have to continuously fight

Imposter syndrome and self-doubt are real monsters that most creatives have to slay. We beat ourselves up and deem ourselves not worthy even when we are doing perfectly good work. Sometimes we underestimate how far we’ve grown. One of the best solutions, is to take a trip down memory lane, reflect on your earlier work and the strides you’ve made. Quit comparing yourself to others and forge your own path, keep walking.

It is worth examining why you are having imposter syndrome, do you feel that you are lacking in certain skills? How can you quickly bridge the skills gap to feel more confident? This may eliminate the feeling that you don’t belong because you do!

Celebrate the wins

If you seal the deal. Buy that chocolate or ice cream, call that someone, skip and hop if you must. Allow yourself to enjoy the moment, you deserve it (we’ll repeat this to ourselves often).

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Encourage and interact with other creatives

As part of the creative community, we must all remember there are enough seats at the table. Success is sweeter when shared with other like minded creatives. Leave positive comments when good work is done or constructive criticism when there’s room for improvement. Cheer others on, you may just give them one more reason to keep going.

Have a fantastic 2020!

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