I started writing this article the other day, and saved it as a draft… sketching out the ideas I wanted to touch on etc… Then today I see THIS ARTICLE by Chase Jarvis, and I am glad I waited to publish my own, as his touches on some similar/complimentary themes that I would talk about as well!
I’ve been reading a book called Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by harry Beckwith (great book btw), and the main point it makes is how marketing/selling a *service* is very different than marketing/selling a *product*.
And that’s what we are doing. As photographers, we are selling a service, not a product. The “photograph” itself is not what we offer – anyone can make a photograph. We are selling our *creativity*, our *skill* and our *vision* in creating that photograph. I think it’s an important distinction to make, as it seems that the market becomes more and more “commoditized”
Look at it this way – when you hire an architect to design your office or house, you are not “buying a house” – you are paying for the creative vision of the architect. You are paying for the service that his experience, creativity and expertise brings to the table, and how it facilitates your own end product (the house). And that *service* is what makes all the difference in the final product (Think “generic housing subdevelopment” vs Falling Water or The NYC Apple store – they are distinct because of the vision and services of the Creatives involved.)
So what does this have to do with Chase’s article?
chase makes the point:
For the first three quarters of my somewhat short career in the business of professional pictures, I was the worst offender. Client said “that looks great!” I called it a wrap, tossed my camera to my assistant with a point of flair just like you’d find on a button on the suspenders of a waiter at TGI Fridays. Ugh. For years, I thought my job was done when the client was happy. But now…
…now it’s when the client says she’s happy that I really start to work hard. That’s the starting point.
Bingo! I agree 100%
In essence that shot (the one the client is happy with) is the “product”. Don’t be satisfied with that – you aren’t selling a product. You are selling a service, you are selling your vision, your expertise, your creativity. As Chase says, go beyond – give them what they didn’t even *know* they wanted. The more our industry becomes about selling a product (photograph), the more mundane it becomes and the less we are worth as photographers.
Don’t sell your products. Sell your services.