Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Work Together or Die Alone

I couldn't help myself with the Lost reference. The last season is coming up and I have to enjoy it while I can. Wednesday managed to sneak up on me yet again so I am sitting at my computer trying to come up with something brilliant to share with all of you. How's that working for me? Guess we'll know soon enough.

Since I featured the lovely Pam on the blog on Monday I thought that maybe I would talk a little bit about working together with other creative professionals instead of working against them. Pam is a photography enthusiast and mother of two boys. She hopes to someday be able to open a photography studio of her own. She found me through a display that I had up at Sandhills School of Performing Arts and called me to see if I would like to talk with her about photography.

At this point I had two options. I could choose to feel threatened by her because she might become my competition someday in the future, or I could choose to be happy to be getting to know another photographer who I could share ideas with and learn from. I chose the later. Here's why.

Some people view the market as a pie and feel that there are only so many pieces of that pie to go around. For these people, any newcomer is taking money right out of their wallet and they tend to be hostile towards other photographers in general.

Other people look at the market as a bakery that produces new opportunities every day. This is how I like to view the world. Once you let go of the competitive instinct (not saying that isn't a hard thing to do) you are able to see other photographers as an opportunity rather than a threat. The more photographers in your area that you know the more people you can call to second shoot for you (or who can call for you to second shoot as well) and the greater the collective knowledge pool becomes.

I try to base my business on building relationships with my Clients rather than on price or gimmicky products. If this is the approach that you take you don't have to worry about someone "stealing" your secrets because they don't matter. Clients are hiring you because they like you, your style, and they think that you are good to work with. Those things can't be copied.

I would like to try to organize a Sandhills Wedding Professionals monthly luncheon, but things are so busy right now that I won't probably make much progress on it until after the new year. If any of you are wedding professionals or know anyone who is, pass the idea along and let's see if it can grow legs. Have a good Wednesday!


Anonymous said...

Great post mollie! Truely a rare breed you are! I am glad to know you!

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Idealism
have a nice day