Your Ultimate Guide to becoming a better content creator.
Content is important but you and your attitude are more important.
Today, especially in London where I live, there are a lot of content creators. There is a tendency for businesses and those looking for videographers/photographers to stick with a few. Why is that you think? Maybe they are the best in the game you may think... We both know that's not always the case. They seem to have found a way to satisfy customer demands, whether they have been in this industry for a while or are new to it. It's not what you like or how you think it should be, it's how the client wants it. Always. Look at how Amazon is treating its customers.
Customers are the soul of your content creator business. Respect them and you will do well.
In this blog post I will outline the main points you should or shouldn't do in order to start building your visual media business. Having already made so many mistakes, I am pretty confident that after reading this article you will not make the same ones. I know some of you would still prefer to make your own mistakes, however, if you'd like a shortcut, this is for you.
Let's see what can we do to make your small photography / videography business flourish.
Have Client at the Forefront of Your Photography/ Videography Business
No matter how you do business, taking the time to listen to what your clients want is essential. It's about what they need. If you listen you may discover your client is saying the same thing as you do or they just need small changes. Let's not forget we are all different and we have different needs. Changes or setbacks could happen; you decide how things will turn out, maintain a positive attitude remember to smile.
It's Not All About Being Creative or Having Technical Photography Skills
You might be creative and all that, but if you're grumpy and not accommodating your clients, you won't get repeat business. Simple as that. No one wants to work with a difficult person no matter how creative they are. I bet you've seen some photographers that are not so creative & don't really understand compositions or colour grading, however they are always busy. Do you wonder how? There could be two possibilities:
a) - They are cheap;
b) - They mastered the art of communication.
That being said, be good at what you do but don't forget that that's just a small part of the process. They say the technical and creative part matters only about 25% of all, the rest is in your personality, communication & generally your ability to understand your client's needs and come up with an effective solution that's attractive for both parties.
What Can I Do To Succeed in Visual Media Industry?
Are you surprised that your creativeness isn't the most important thing in the photography / videography industry? Let's delve into this 🎥 📸
I will keep it as simple as possible. The following list contains the things to always keep in mind in Photography & Videography Industry:
1) Listening & making sure you understand your client's needs. To avoid any misunderstandings, I would recommend to summarise their needs & say/ type "So, you are saying that all you need from this photo/ video shoot is bla bla bla..."
2) Showing Patience throughout the entire process (from the first email/ text/ phone call until everything is delivered as agreed). Again, to avoid unpleasant situation, be clear with what you can deliver and cannot and most importantly, be clear with timings regarding editing. Unfortunately some clients have unrealistic expectations; Communicating clearly, ideally in written will save you from any surprises. If you don't have a contract in place, start with that first.
I once had a bride asking me for her wedding video the night it was filmed 😳. Not to mention that I had about 5 hours of video content to go through.
A highlights video can be made same day but only if it was agreed, hence it’s extremely important to set expectations straight from the beginning.
3) Setbacks & Changes. Not everything is perfect, life is not fair & all that jazz. We all know life can be full of surprises. The only difference is made by our attitude. We make these choices unconsciously all the time. After the previous pandemic we are more tolerant to changed plans. Sometimes, unexpected things happen, the client needs to cancel or postpone or they need a different service from the one agreed. The best thing you could do for yourself & thank me later… you guessed right - you’ll need a contract in place.
4) Work independently or within a team. Be ready to work alone and set up the place as you need it to be in order to get your pictures or videos. As a photographer or videographer you will need to learn to communicate with different people. As a videographer in London means I need to have an awareness of cultural differences. Learn a few things about the event/company/product/etc you're shooting, and you'll do well. I worked with people from all over the world, from Australia, Nigeria, India, Albania, Greece, Romania, Canada, America and Latin America, to name just a few. Regardless of the style of your photography / videography I strongly believe you need to have an open mind & accept we are all different. If you love being surrounded by people that's a plus. I personally get positively charged every time I film an event. Most events I had to film so far are happy moments that people want to keep memories from. My role is to capture the essence. =)
5) SMILE - Maintain eye contact, smile, and remain positive & confident, while listening to understand rather than give an immediate reply. Don't underestimate the power of a smile! In response to a smile, your brain releases some chemicals, which help you cope with stress. So, having a smile on your face helps you first of all and secondly your client.
I Believe You Are Now Ready
It's time for you to go out and practice. The only competition you should care about is the one with yourself. If you are better than yesterday, that is a success that needs to be acknowledged and celebrated. Getting inspired by other creators is good and healthy, but spending a lot of time trying to compete with others who probably started years before you is not going to help you. Stay blessed, Adrian