How to compete against local photographers (Video)
There are so many photographers in my area, how do I compete?! Here are some answers for you!
How am I supposed to compete when everybody around me is charging way less than I do? Or how am I supposed to compete when it seems like there’s a Hundred Million photographers in my local area? Well, guess what, y’all? The answer is you don’t compete. Hang tight. We’re going to get into some tips and tricks on how to set yourself apart from all these other people in your area when you feel like you’re completely swarmed and drowning with local photographers and feeling like they’re taking your clients.
One of the biggest things that I see when I’m working with marketing strategies for small businesses, particularly photographers, is they feel like they have to compete with everybody in your geographical area.
If you’re in my Marketing Madness web course, you heard me say this a million times, everyone in your local area is not your competitor. Just because someone does something similar to you doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re your competitor. There’s a whole bunch of things that go into it, so I want you to keep that in mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed, really upset, or just completely exasperated with the amount of competition that’s in your area.
When you’re looking at someone to consider whether or not they are your competition, you need to see do they shoot the exact same thing I do? Do they have the same level of competency and quality that I do? And also, are they going for the same clients? That right there, those three things will tell you how you need to set yourself apart.
It is extremely hard when people are undercutting, so to speak, or completely giving away the farm for absolutely nothing; but if they’re doing that and it bothers you, boom, right there it tells you that you are not one of those types of photographers. It tells you right there that those are not the clients that you want.
I know that you see this on Facebook groups all the time and in discussions at photography conferences, find the ideal client; it’s true, but it’s easy for your eyes to glaze over and go, “But you have no idea how it feels to feel like I’m competing.” Yes, even though they’re not your competitors, it’s still going to feel like it, but all I can tell you is really try not to waste your time worrying about it. There’s so many other things that you could be doing to set yourself apart. All you need to do is look, even if these people aren’t your competitors, what are they doing and see what you can do on the complete opposite. It is really that simple.
And it’s education of your clients. If people are starting to compare you based on what you do and what somebody else does, not merely the status of photographer, that is an evaluation that you need to do in your marketing strategy and your presence to see why people are confused.
Yes, the general public hears photographer and thinks, “Oh, all photographers are the same.” But those that are really going to commit to the investment and to come to you are not going to have that opinion. You can put out the education and show the difference, and I’m not saying run out and say, “Don’t invest $10 in photography, that’s bad for you,” then it looks negative on you. What we need to show them is the positives on what they receive and add the value. You’re going to start instilling buyer confidence; you’re going to put out a better presence. So again, not everyone in your local area is your competitor, make sure you keep that in the back of your mind; write it on a little sticky note, stick it on your computer.
Start unfollowing all these people that are in your local area and it’s making you upset or stressed every single time you see their posts. Set aside time to do research on competitors, local competition, and local photographers, but don’t spend your time with your entire social media feed or seeking out their websites all the time to see what they’re doing. Schedule maybe once a month or once a quarter to do this research for you.
And again, evaluate your presence, and think about in your mind, “Why are clients or potential clients and the public confusing me with somebody else? Why are they putting me on the same playing field?” It’s not what that photographer’s doing, it’s probably what I’m doing or failing to do in my business.
So don’t compete, just exceed your goals by making a plan and you guys will be rocking ‘n’ rolling and not having to worry about all the photographers in your local area. And another thing to remember is everyone is feeling this. I always get an email in my inbox, or I hear all the time, “Oh, well, my area is completely saturated.” If I had a penny for every single time that I’ve heard that, I’d be on a beach with a Mai Tai in my hand right now and not talking to y’all.
Just realize that technology has changed, there is a lower barrier to entry in the photography industry, and that means that we need to step it up. That means we need to step out, step harder, and go harder for ourselves and just hustle even more.