For Photographers: Week 2 How to Win Friends and Influence People

Another great chapter to discuss for this week! I have decided to add something to these posts. It will help me process, as well as help all of you to see how I am processing to help you reflect on your photography businesses. With each of the questions I put forth, I am going to share some of my ramblings about how I am looking to be intentional with my relationships revolving around photography. When I am reading these chapters I am thinking not just about my clients, but other fellow photographers as well. So here we go, week 2!

Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation

  1. Everyone desires to feel loved and appreciated. How can I make others (clients and others in my photography circle of influence) feel important/loved/appreciated? As I began to chew on this question, I started realizing throughout the chapter the value of listening. He does not directly address it, but I cannot help but think that in order to give sincere appreciation, we must listen and ask questions. Practically what this looks like for me is when I am emailing with clients, I will ask friendly, light-hearted questions to get to know them. I try my hardest to schedule a face to face consultation with each client before a shoot to not just brainstorm ideas, but get to know them as a person and develop trust and a comfortable atmosphere. Also I think giving sincere compliments and not just flattering them stems out of listening and asking questions. Something I want to do now is make a list of about 3-5 questions- some of them deep, some light-hearted to get to know the person I am with on a deeper level and serve them better. 
  2. How can I show others that I appreciate them? I've got two thoughts for this one. First, this is something I have realized I have to be very intentional about. I am an introverted, task-oriented person, so I sometimes get so focused on an assignment I forget about the people I am doing it for. Also, as I am typing this I realize I can use my introverted nature as a strength. I love one-on-one over group situations.  This is great because I can use this in my consultations with clients. Second, I have seen several photography friends do this and I am taking this chapter as a challenge to start it myself.  I like the idea of giving little gifts and a handwritten note when I deliver my products. Handwritten notes mean so much to me, so I feel like it would mean much to others. 
  3. Here is a reflective question: What is it that makes me feel important/loved/appreciated? When I think about this, it helps me learn how to appreciate others. Here is a bit of honesty for ya, a pet peeve of mine is when people compliment me by just saying I am "sweet". I hear that word so often, I now wonder what people mean by it. Sometimes, not always, it cam come off as an empty comment, a space-filler. All of this to say, I appreciate compliments that have thought put into them, that shows they have seen a part of the depths of who I am. I also feel loved when people ask me questions. Im not talking about the "how are you?" that you blurt out real quick while passing in the hallway, I am talking about the lets-talk-for-a-few-minutes-how-are-you-really-doing, full eye contact and everything. 

So there are my thoughts! Can't wait to hear what all of you think. Again, I encourage you if you would like to dive further into these principles from the book, go buy it! It is a great read and I have had several photography friends and mentors recommend this to me. You don't need the book to partake in this discussion, but it would certainly enhance it.

Please comment below and let me know what you think about these questions and this principle. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Stay tuned for next Friday's discussion!