“The difference between running a business and becoming ‘Business Brilliant’ is the difference between driving a Toyota versus a BMW.”
The average wedding photographer salary can be as low as 15k per year according to the New York Film Academy.
The reason that so many portrait and wedding photographers earn a relatively low income, is that they turn a hobby or a passion into a business, but never seem to focus on what really makes a serious income, which is becoming brilliant at business.
In this 4 part series starting today, we are going to look at ONE of the 4 key areas that Lewis Schiff says each Brilliant Business owner (who he defines as self-made millionaires) must focus on in order to take their earnings from average to amazing.
Key 1 – Learn what you do Best
“Give me 6 hours to cut down a tree and I will spend 4 of them sharpening my axe.”
Lewis Schiff (from his book Business Brilliant) says that millionaires spend lots of their time discovering what they do best, and then pursuing opportunities related to what they do well in order to succeed. They don’t spend their time focused on their weaknesses.
If you want to do the same, here is what you need to do starting TODAY:
1. Write down your goals
If you don’t write it down, it won’t happen. Having written financial goals will help you gauge how to manage them. You can’t leave finances to chance, but have to work toward a goal in order to achieve it.
•Set your net worth for 10 years from now
•Break those down into incremental goals
•Come up with a monthly income goal based on that 10 year plan
•Post the number where you will see it each day
Adjust that number every time your earnings go up or down
2. Commit to what you do best
Take the first 10-15 minutes of each work day and delegate tasks that you are not good at. Stop doing things you stink at because it wastes your time developing your strengths!! You have to eliminate distractions in your business so that you can focus on becoming great at what you do best.
3. Follow the money
Most of us follow our passion and HOPE that money will follow it. Guess what? It WON’T! You have to do what you love, but figure out how to make money doing that. MOST photographers are NOT earning a lot of money, so the last place you should look to advice is from other photographers. Instead, spend your time looking at highly successful brands like Disney, Apple and Starbucks and emulate the way they create value and sell and price their products. Stop and THINK about how you can earn more doing what you love.
4. Climb the line-of-money ladder
•Charging by the HOUR is the hardest way to build wealth. If you do jobs and get paid for each hour of work, then you cap out because you only have so many hours in the day.
•Charging by the PROJECT is better because when you make xxxx on a project, and then learn how to get that project done faster (by outsourcing tedious tasks like editing), then you can take on more projects and earn more.
•Getting a percentage of profits for a job is even better because as that work continues to create value, you keep getting paid. Commercial shooters can do this by working out licensing deals on their work, and wedding photographers can do this by not offering packages. When a wedding photographer is A la Carte, they can create value over time and the client will spend more based on that value.
•Proprietary Pricing is the BEST way to build wealth. This type of pricing is all about equity. Owning a part of, or all of a brand or business. As a wedding photographer you may thing that this is not possible, but what if you build up enough capital to start another brand that you own or own a percentage of? Then you have other people working for you and you make the money while they work.
Or, maybe you have a unique offering, talent, or ability to teach something unique. You can then use that talent to offer products and services to your industry and make a percentage of all the sales it generates.
Remember that no one builds wealth by going into debt, no one builds wealth by spending time figuring out how to pay less taxes, and no one builds wealth with credit card points and cash back. They build wealth by doing what wealthy people do.
PS. If you want to build a strong brand that earns you the money you deserve, check out the Harvest DVD that has helped hundreds of photographers double their income and earn more!