Friday, July 23, 2010

Ya gotta be more than just a good shooter!

Been busy. Real busy. I'm not complaining. I took a few minutes and thought about why we are so busy. I have good equipment, a nice studio, great employees, lots of experience, but that's just not good enough in this business environment.

If you don't have any clients, it doesn't matter how good you are or what you have: no clients equal no business.

I read other blogs regularly, such as Seth Godin's blog: There is a lot of good stuff out there to read and a lot of people read them. But I think there is one basic, simple business principle
that a bunch of people just don't get: Be good to your clients.

Here is an example from my business. A couple weeks ago, we were buried with work. An ad agency that we have shot for for many years called. They had a chance to pick up a new good client, but they only had a few days to present them some comps and ideas. They
wanted us to drop what we were doing and shoot some products for them. Guess what we did to celebrate
the 4th of July?

Yeah, that's right, it's a piston.

Our client loved our shots. But then two days later we had to re-shoot one of them (not our fault). We worked an extra long day to get that shot squeezed between our scheduled work.

The agency completed their comps. The new client told them they had never seen such great photos of their pistons. Now the agency has been asked to work up a year contract for all the work.

Guess who will be shooting a boat load of pistons?We could have told them we were too busy. We could of charged them a huge fee for working on a holiday. They are not our biggest client. But as they have for years, when they need photography, they will call us. We understand the importance of treating clients as we would expect to be treated.

This is not heavy stuff. But why do so many photographers (and other small businesses) just not get it? Well, I appreciate the clients they throw away.