Getting Back to Basics
I checked out the Annie Leibovitz photography exhibition at the MCA in Sydney a little while ago, and it struck me how recognisable, not to mention how beautiful her work is. She’s a woman whose life’s work has graced the pages of some of the most well-known publications and hers is a household name.
With all the royalties she must receive, not to mention the staggering rates she must charge, how the heck could she be on the brink of bankruptcy? I’m sure there are a lot of reasons why it all fell apart for her, but if there’s one lesson we can learn, it’s that being a talented photographer isn’t enough. Business needs to be nurtured as much as art.
In the spirit of balancing art with business, PhotoMerchant will be sharing this weekly email with you, providing tips and know-how to help you along in the marriage of artist and entrepreneur.
I’m going to leave you with three basic pieces of advice that will be relevant through the life of your business:
- Clients are everything, so give them the best service you can. Respond to phone calls and emails promptly, deliver what you say you will, when you say you will, and never promise more than you can handle.
- Always be organised. If you work from home, set aside a space just for work, and set it up so that it’s a pleasant, functional environment. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there, so you may as well like it. Invest in software that will keep your workflows organised, and remember that expensive doesn’t always mean good. Google Apps for Business is free and comprehensive.
- Take time off every week. Trust me, you can find a half day to relax. You’re not a machine and working like one isn’t sustainable. Eventually you’ll become inefficient and slow. So release yourself from work for a short time and try to relax. Flop into a chair with a good book and a cup of tea. Cuddle your dog. Swim with sharks. Whatever relaxes you. I promise you’ll be more efficient.
Success in business doesn’t come easily or accidentally, but if you work hard to become even half as good an entrepreneur as you are a photographer, you’ll do very well.
|When she’s not writing her blog, Cult of Clothes, Pili is a corporate advisor working with businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to stock-exchange-listed companies. She is fascinated by the evolution of small businesses and loves to combine her passion for writing with the opportunity to help entrepreneurs grow and learn.|