Consider the Train

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by Steve Kozak

When you travel by train, there are no announcements telling you to, “Fasten your seatbelts for takeoff.” You do not have to put your tray tables up nor do you have to put your seat in the “full, upright position.” A train does not “launch” from the station. A train also consumes the most fuel while it is trying to get up to speed. It takes a lot of fuel and energy to get a train moving but, once it gets up to speed, it then has momentum to help carry it to the appointed destination.

It is kind of like this in marketing your photography business as well. If your business is at a standstill, it takes a lot of effort, tons of marketing, and effective resources to get your business up to speed – and it does not happen overnight! To get your photography business moving forward, it needs marketing more than it needs a new camera. If you quit fueling a train, it does not come to a sudden stop. It will coast along for awhile until it gradually slows down to a crawl and eventually quits moving forward. Hopefully, it is not making a steep uphill climb at the time.

If you have been in business for some time, you might be tempted to think you can cut or even cease marketing altogether. Your business will not come to a sudden halt. Instead, it will likely experience a slow, painful decline. The problem is that, once it has come to a grinding halt, your business will need to be completely refueled to get it moving forward again.

A train follows a planned course. It can only travel where someone had the foresight to lay tracks to lead it to its destination. Running your business without a business plan and a marketing strategy is like trying to guide a train without tracks. You are headed for disappointment.

I believe the number one reason photographers don’t market their business is they don’t know how. Marketing a photography business is a lot harder than taking pictures because there is no “P”, “T” or “A” on the marketing dial. One must learn how to reach a target market, turn them into clients and close sales.

One of the best opportunities to learn marketing strategies is at the Texas School of Professional Photography where successful photographers share much more than just photographic techniques. Regardless of your skill level, it is important to understand trends and concepts that will help you create your own marketing plan.

Steve Kozak is the Executive Director of Texas PPA and will be teaching a course at the 2019 Texas School of Professional Photography. Learn more about his class and others, go to: www.TexasSchool.org.

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