Your results are your own damn fault!
Do you blame your clients for how they act? Do you sometimes wonder why your clients (fill-in-the-blank)? Do you ask yourself why your market seems to always (fill-in-the-blank)? Fill-in-the-blank with anything you’d like. If your honest with yourself, you'll probably realize that you ask yourself these questions often.
For example, you might ask yourself:
- Why do my clients always ask me about price?
- All of my clients seem to want digital!
- My brides don’t give me enough time on their wedding day.
- My clients tell me they don’t want an album!
What if I told you that you were looking at this all wrong? What if I told you that you could avoid all of this with one simple mindset shift?
Let me put it bluntly: your results are your own damn fault.
Ok … that’s a bit harsh, I know, but it’s true. It’s a quote I’ve borrowed from Larry Winget. In his book and his public speaking, Larry takes it to the extreme, but what I’m suggesting here is simply this: your clients are a result of how you are.
Let’s use some of the examples above to explore.
If your clients are always asking about price, it’s because you haven’t given them anything else to talk about. Or perhaps you are always talking about price-related promotions, and therefore you’re teaching them that it’s ok to talk about price.
If all your clients seem to only want digital files, it’s because you haven’t showed them the value in a printed product. Or perhaps you don’t believe in the printed product yourself and that’s coming across to your clients.
If your brides don’t give you enough time on their wedding day, it’s because you haven’t educated them on what you need in order for you to do what they’ve hired you to do.
If your clients are telling you that they’re not interested in an album, it’s likely because you haven’t showed them that they should want an album. You haven’t established the album’s value for them.
All too often, I see photographers on the forums, in-person and on social media talking about how their clients are to blame, but I’d suggest that 99% of the time, it’s not your client to blame, it’s you. Don’t blame the market. Don’t blame your prospects. Don’t blame your clients. Blame yourself.
Remember: your clients are not your enemy, so don't treat them that way!
You’re the professional. In your client relationship, you’re the experienced one. Your clients rely on you as an advisor, as a consultant, and as a trusted professional. Your clients need you to hold their hand. When you let go of their hand, though, they’re left to wander in their own direction.
What’s important to note here is that your clients only wander because you let them. You let go of their hand. See … your results are your own damn fault!
The foundation to all success
If you want to fix your results, then fix yourself.
You must be proactive. Most photographers are reactive, and that’s a huge difference.
Having a reactive mindset means that you feel that you’re a victim of your circumstances, and that other people determine your results. The examples I listed at the beginning of this article are examples of a reactive mindset; you blamed your clients for your results.
When you have a proactive mindset, it means that you're prepared, ready and in control of your own results.
One of the best-selling business and personal development books of all time is Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (if you haven't read it, you must). In it, Dr. Covey states that the foundation to all success is being proactive.
“If you’re proactive, you don’t have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own.”
– Stephen Covey
This article is short-and-sweet (for a change), and the point here is simple – stop being a victim and stop blaming your clients for your results. Understand that they are only reacting to you. Therefore, you must be proactive. You must take control of your own results. You must design your success to be what you want it to be.
Become clear on what you want, know the results you're seeking, and figure out how to communicate with clarity to your clients.