While there are many benefits to being good at all aspects of your business, it’s almost impossible to control everything and be successful.
Sometimes, we feel like we need to do it all, all the time; especially when we are in the beginning stages of our business. However, what if we took some time to really focus on one just one- yes, one- aspect of our business and try to capitalize on that?
Although many of you did not major in business when you were in school, or for those of you that still are in school, this will seem like a foreign term. There is an idea that is taught to business students that nearly all career paths can benefit from knowing and that is core competency.
Though this is a business term, it is an invaluable way to grow your business. Now, it might seem strange to have someone tell you to narrow your business. It seems counteractive, right? When, in reality, photographers are being stretched so thin because we fear what will happen if we say no to someone.
We are so focused on income and building a brand and getting our name out there that we say yes to everything. Although we really love engagement sessions and weddings, we say yes to family photo session, and newborn sessions and a senior portrait session here and there and the list never ends.
Soon enough we are not doing our best at the one facet of photography we love most because we are bogged down by other sessions that drain our energy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could only do family sessions, or only do senior portraits? Guess what? You can.
It’s a backward idea, when you hear it initially, to narrow down your business to just a specific group of clients. Only marketing to one demographic? How can that work?
Here’s how; by using core competency.
Core competency, in less business-like terms, is the idea that you focus only on the things you love most so that you allow yourself to do your best at this thing. For example, if you love doing senior portraits, then only market to seniors. Stop saying yes to newborn sessions, to weddings, to family sessions. Just say no.
Using this idea of core competency will help you, the artist, focus on the thing you enjoy most so that you can give 100% into that one field of photography with no distractions. When you try to be the best at all niches, you often lose out in the quality of the niche you love most.
Implement Core Competency
Now, understanding the idea is one thing, but implementing it is another. The best way to start implementing this idea slowly is to first, find the one (or maybe two) area that gets you most jazzed up. What area of photography do you absolutely love and would be happy to do forever?
Once you have narrowed down your chosen field, or fields, then you have to simply start weeding out the extra sessions that are taking away from you being the best in that one area. Don’t say no to everyone all at once that might look bad. Instead, go through your current bookings and get them done and done to the best of your ability.
Soon, when more people come asking for newborns or family pictures, you simply tell them no, that you are focusing on a particular area of photography and maybe drop a line for a photographer in your area who does newborns or family sessions.
Using the method will open up your creativity and passion and take the focus away from the money and put it back into the art of your business.
Instead of trying to get everyone to come to you for any of their photography needs, start making your craft more precise and unbeatable. People will know you as the best portrait photographer or best wedding photographer, not as the photographer who is okay at many areas. Being the best in your craft starts by learning to say no to the things outside your core competency.