February in the Midwest is a cruel month. The days are short, the weather is horrible, we’re SO over any semblance of “holiday cheer” and spring is months…and months….and months away. We try to convince ourselves that it comes in March, but that’s rarely the case. Most often it’s not really spring until Mid May, but like the pain of childbirth, we suppress that thought so that will bear another child or see another spring.
One particularly bad year we had so much snow that my kids were off school for several days when they were in grade school. It takes A LOT of snow to cancel school for days in a metropolitan city like ours, we ain’t no Atlanta, folks. Home with two small boys I desperately wanted to find something to amuse them. It was late January and Groundhogs Day was a few days away and I suggested that we get ready for “The Big Holiday”. Their eyes lit up and we began planning what would become our Family Holiday; Groundhogs Day. We made shirts. We made cupcakes. We researched Punxsautawney Phil. We decided to eat only brown foods for the entire week (that was gross and never repeated) we found Groundhogs Pencils and Tattoos online an ordered them and when they went back to school a few days later on Groundhogs Day, they brought in the cupcakes, gave away the pencils and and tattoos it brightened the day of all their classmates.
This went on for years. To this day I can run into a classmate of my kids (many of them now in college) and they tell me that every Groundhogs Day they think of me and my kids bringing in cupcakes and making that obscure holiday a lot of fun. My boys, now 17 and 20 years old, continue the love. They wear shirts, hats and no matter where they are on the day…they call their mother. They have no freaking clue when my birthday is, but on February 2, they call.
But here’s the truth about the Groundhog….he’s not a real popular dude. In fact, he’s not even a very nice animal. He’s mean, rarely right in his prognostications and he doesn’t even have the viral clout of the Honey Badger. This year the poor dude has to share his holiday with some sportsball game that is a big deal to some people.
He’s a “B” headline at best and almost always maligned. He’s not a lovable quadruped, Bill Murray be damned.
How many of us are feeling that way right now, not so popular? I know lots of you are because I’m reading your status on the message boards. Another client who said you were awesome but they “had to go with someone more affordable”. Inquiries that you respond to that are never answered. Great prospects that you felt a connection with that literally WILL NOT TAKE YOUR CALL now.
Anyone who tells you that when a prospective client rejects them that it’s” no big deal because there’s another client out there” for them is
A. Lying. B. And also, right.
It sucks. It’s horrible, it’s demeaning and it’s depressing.
But there is another client out there.
So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to lie down and huddle up in your wah-wah Facebook Groups and talk about how no one cares about THE IMAGE anymore or are you going to be like the Groundhog and say FUCK ALL Y’ALL I AM GOING TO BE HERE NEXT FEBRUARY 2 JUST LIKE I HAVE BEEN SINCE 1886, BITCHES!!
I’m not the Groundhog but if I were I’d tell you to start here:
1. Stop looking at other photographers work and comparing yourself.
2. Stop stalking old/potential clients on Facebook to see who they are using for photography.
3. Start reading books about the psychology of sales and marketing.
4. Stop buying gear until you have the clients to support your habit.
5. Start a To-Do list AND TO DO it. Every day. Update it every. single. day.
Peace, Love and and early Spring,
Monday is the big day for us, folks. Hold us? Or at the very least, tune in, call in and ask stupid questions to make us look smart.