We have all heard the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none.” This refers to a person or organization that dabbles in many things but isn’t a “master” at anything. Calling someone a jack of all trades is acknowledging a diverse skill set. However, if you add on “master of none”, that’s throwing a little shade at them. Specializing matters because it allows your business to focus on what it does best while sending a clear message to potential customers. In this blog – Specializing Matters – Part Two – we will discuss how to make your business laser-focused on what you excel at!
Despite our best efforts, it is impossible to be great at everything. If your website and social media pages look like you photograph everything under the sun, you might want to consider scaling back on what you put out there. A long list of subject matter is overwhelming, and sometimes…it can look desperate. If your goal is to book more weddings with collections that include a professional wedding album, show ONLY your best wedding images and beautiful pictures of custom wedding albums.
In order to specialize, you’ll need to do some culling. As discussed in Specializing Matters – Part One, discerning clients are looking for experts, not generalists, so be sure your brand’s message is clear. Here are a few suggestions to help you narrow your focus.
- Remove any images from your website of things you do not like to do. If you think professional headshots are boring and family portraits are too much stress, take them off your plate and your website. You’ll be happier and that’s a win!
- Keep the random categories on hidden pages. If you do some real estate photography from time to time, but empty houses are not your passion, don’t put those images out into the world. It may be hard for couples to imagine that the person who took a cute picture of a powder room can handle a party bus full of bridesmaids. It’s fine to have a portfolio hidden so that you can share it with specific inquiries when needed.
- Combine galleries and subject matter for a more simplistic explanation of your services. Use Weddings & Portraits rather than Weddings, Engagements, Maternity, Newborns, Cake Smashes, Boudoir, Pet Portraits, and Family Portraits. Weddings are much different than any portrait session, so start the client out with a clear path to the information that they are looking for.
- Bundle your weddings with relationship-building genres; Engagements, Boudoir, and Wedding or Weddings, Maternity and Newborns. Only show these types of imagery. This illustrates that the opportunity to work with your company for wedding photography means clients will have a professional photographer for all of life’s special moments.
Try Breaking it Up
All of the ideas above are a great way to start specializing. If you really want to direct focus to one type of photography service, but feel too attached to multiple subject matter, break them up. Create separate brands for different types of photography. Yes, this might take a bit of a time commitment to develop, but the payoff will be worth it.
Let’s say you love weddings on the weekends and you also shoot professional headshots and branding sessions on weekdays. These two types of services have almost nothing in common! The way you market to, consult with, and the products you offer these two types of clients are vastly different. You’re not going to make a professional wedding album from someone’s headshots and you’re not going to put your couples in power poses for their wedding formals.
Can’t Let it Go?
Having trouble imagining a world where you don’t do it ALL? You don’t have to. Go ahead and get hired for any type of photography job that you’d like to. BUT, focus your marketing – your website and social media – on what you really want to get hired for; where the best income is, where the best referrals come from.
You may be surprised to find that you are getting referrals from clients who hired you for something very specific. They trust that you can accommodate other requests for your talents. A couple from a 2016 wedding asks you to do a maternity session. Of course, you can. The flower girl from a wedding in 2018 is looking to get senior portraits done. If that’s in your wheelhouse, go for it. The father of the groom needs headshots for his real estate team. You’ve got a great referral, you.
Specializing matters because it sets you apart as an expert and an artist, but also a trusted profession. Your specialty can be your funnel for all kinds of other work. Staying connected to clients that can lead to more opportunities down the road.