December 12, 2022
If you’re a photographer who is struggling to make the kind of money you want to make in your business and you’re feeling like you’re just stuck in a rut, this article is for you. I’m sharing 5 common lies photographers tell themselves that keep them from making $10k (or more) per month AND how to stop telling yourself these lies.
In this article, you will learn:
I’ve seen many photographers post on Facebook things that if I’m sitting down with them, one-on-one, and they are telling me these things, I would say, “This is the number one thing that’s holding you back from making progress that you want to make in your photography business.”
And if I have the opportunity to sit down and tell them that and really work through that with them, I truly believe that their business would soar to the next level. 02:04 Our minds can be both beneficial and crippling if we let them.
And so I want to help you see which of these 5 lies you might be telling yourself, so that you can then do the work to correct how your mind is speaking to you, and how that is actually affecting your actions in your business.
These lies can be just as harmful as deliberate deception but the problem is most of the time we don’t even know they’re lies. We just think they’re truth – which gives the lie even more harmful power over our lives!
I want to share with you the top 5 lies I hear photographers telling themselves that are (unknowingly) keeping the photographer stuck in their current phase of business.
Why knowing your ideal client is so valuable because every piece of marketing that you’re going to do when it comes to social media posts, creating your website, establishing your pricing and the products that you offer – all of these are always going to come back to who your ideal client is.
If you don’t know how to connect to your ideal client because she is so different than who you currently are, it might become challenging to think how you’ll market to this person.
When we’re learning more about our ideal client, sometimes it’s easier when it’s us or a former version of us, right? But what if it’s not? What if you’ve never had a baby or you’re single or maybe you’re a grandmother?
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I started serving in small groups in our church for youth groups. My group is composed of twelve 13-year old girls. And I have no idea how out of touch I was with things that are currently popular. It really felt like they are speaking in a different language and it made me feel so old and ancient being around them!
But I started to realize that the more time I spent with them, the more I started to understand them and see common problems that they have within their friend circles, in their lives, or at school, I went from having no clue what’s it like being a 12-year-old girl in 2022 to feeling like I actually understand them, the language their speaking, and the things that they’re interested in.
If you’re not currently your ideal client and you feel that you don’t know how to connect with her, can you connect with them in person or online? What Facebook groups are they hanging out in? What Youtube channels do they follow? What influencers in TikTok or Instagram do they follow.
What to do next?
Figure our where they’re hanging out – follow the channels that they follow, watch the videos that they watch, hang out in the FB Groups they hang out in, so you can begin to understand a little bit more about their current pain points, struggles, what they want in their lives, what their big dreams and goals are. Yes it might take a little more time, but it will be time well-spent!
This lie feels true, right? Because maybe that’s what you’re experiencing right now. But there is actually now way to know this unless you know every single person in your market and their specific willingness to pay you or not, right?
So, why are you choosing to believe this? This thought is definitely not serving you. Why would we choose the negative?
Let’s dig into some reasons why you might be believing this lie that there aren’t enough people willing to pay your prices:
You can’t afford to pay your prices
This has also been me in a lot of situations especially in my photography business, when I’ve had people who spent $2000 to $6000 with me, I know that I personally couldn’t spend $6000 on portrait photography.
And so when I think I can’t afford myself, it makes me start to think that nobody can afford me, and that’s not true.
You don’t think you’re worth your own prices
Do you believe you’re worth your prices? This is a big question to ask yourself because it’s going to be really hard to sell your services if you don’t believe that you’re worth it.
Maybe you know somebody who is a really good copywriter and they sell their copywriting services. And you’re thinking to definitely pay a lot of money for that because you don’t have that skill, but that person could be thinking, “This is SO easy, why am I even charging for this? People can figure out doing this for themselves.”
But the truth is, just because it’s easy for that copywriter, just because photography is easy to you, doesn’t mean it’s easy to other people. So digging in to “Do I believe that I’m worth my prices?” And if not, “How can I get to where I do believe that I’m worth my prices?”
Sometimes it helps me to look at people spending money on things that I personally might not spend money on to help me understand that there are people out there in these luxury markets that maybe I can’t quite understand yet that are willing to pay this kind of money for photography.
I want you to think about examples of people spending hundreds or thousands on things they don’t need in order to save time or feel better about themselves:
There are people who value services like these, including photography. There are people out there who are willing to pay your prices.
What to do next?
– I would ask you, “Do you believe that you are worth or even more of what you’re charging?”
– Remember a time when someone paid your full price or remember a time when you paid full price for a high-end service to help you overcome this lie that no one would pay for your service.
The feeling of not knowing where to start comes from overwhelm. Usually it’s for photographers who are in the early stages of their business who might be overwhelmed by choosing a niche, setting their prices, the technical side of photography, legally setting up the business, etc.
This lie is keeping you stuck because you’re allowing yourself to be overwhelmed instead of choosing something to start with.
What to do next?
If this is you, I would like to encourage you to create a brain dump list of everything in your head that you want to do to get started and start to prioritize those things, so that instead of saying you don’t know where to start, you have a prioritized list of things that you need to do.
You don’t know what to prioritize? Come hang out with us the The Beauty in Birth Facebook Group, post there and let’s work together! If you’re a student in one of my courses, let’s talk about this in our coaching calls. I don’t want overwhelm to be the reason why you’re not pursuing going full time with photography.
The reason this comes up for photographers often is because they’re comparing themselves to other photographers in their market or other photographers they see online.
There’s always room to improve. We are always our worst critics, there’s always things that we want to make better.
What to do next?
If this is you, I would like to ask you, how will you know when you’re “good enough” to make a lot of money? If you can answer this question, work towards that thing. But for most of us, it’s a constantly-moving target.
And who decides what’s good enough and what’s not? Truly, the answer is your clients or potential clients do! In fact, we just release an episode with my friend Nicole, and I love what she shared on this topic. She said, “If you’re sharing your own images and people are booking you, they know the type of work that they’re getting and you are good enough to make money.
My very first in-person sale was in January 2015 and it was $2400. At the time, I was charging $250 shoot and burn, I switched over to IPS and made $2400 in my first sale. If I were to show you those photos, you would probably be shocked because they are not the best photos.
I significantly improved as a photographer over the next 2-3 years after I started charging “a lot of money” for photography. But my clients who hired me loved the photos and they knew what they were getting when they hired me.
As long as your photos are technically correct (relatively well-focused and well-color balanced), you are good enough to make a lot of money. You clients can tell you that and you’ll always improve for the better.
Chances are, you’re believing this lie because you’re overwhelmed right? But what if you made a simple shift and reminded yourself, “I make time for what’s important to me”?
You make the time to eat every day. Why? Because you know it’s necessary for survival. You make the time to change the baby’s diaper. Why? You already know what would happen if you don’t, so you make time to do that.
I’m not even gonna get into screen time and the amount of time that we spend scrolling and spending on social media (I’m totally guilty of this as well) that could be time we can use to grow your business. We’re not gonna dig too deep here, but I just want to remind you make time for what is important to you.
What to do next?
Don’t allow yourself to say, “I don’t have the time.” Instead, say, “This isn’t a priority right now” or “This isn’t important enough to make time for right now.”
Doing this small shift can bring can bring to your attention what you’re actually focused in your life and you start to see, “Do I actually not have time to grow my business?” Or instead, “Am I just not making it a priority right now?”
And that becomes a powerful question because then you can ask yourself, “Why am I not making this a priority right now?” And “How can I make it a priority right now?”
Whew, okay, that got a little bit heavy. But I hope that it’s helpful for you to hear these lies and identify them as lies!
I hope that you can identify one of these that you could work on in 2023. Make this the lie that you will no longer allow yourself to believe, so that you can reach the next level of success in your business.