You Don’t Need To Be The Best | #43

Mar 27, 2023


Before we get started, this is not about me criticizing people who are incredible photographers. As an art form, you should aim for perfection. But as freelancers running a creative business, perfection will bury you.

At the end of the day, our creative business needs to have money coming in the door. Depending on whether we take on clients like a small coffee shop or a huge corporate brand like Starbucks, the budgets for the shoot will vary drastically. And so will the skill level and quality of work produced.

This is a good thing. This means that there are clients for every level of photographer. Some brands will need the best photos out there. Others just need something that’s pretty good.

Early on in your career, your work won’t be that good. And that’s OK. You’re going to get better after every single shoot. You’ll improve quickly until you’re good or even great.

But after a while, you’ll start to plateau. When you reach this point, you’ll be a good photographer. Most brands will see your portfolio and think that you produce awesome work. But you won’t be in the top 1%.

Should you aim to get into that top 1%?

If you want to work with brands like Starbucks and Red Bull, then yeah.

But if you want to run a successful creative business and make a great living, you don’t need to be in the top 1%. You don’t need even need to be in the top 10%.

In order to get into that top tier, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time perfecting your craft. Every small detail will need to be perfect. Your lighting setups will be complex. Your prop styling and direction will need to be top tier. This takes years to master.

But we’re talking about running a successful creative business here. Instead of spending that time on photography, you can spend those hours learning how to sell better, how to market better, how to write better copy, and how to negotiate better.

Learning to become good at these skills takes time. But it takes a lot less time than to become a perfect photographer.

Imagine if you can stack your photography skills with that of a creative business pro that knows how to negotiate a higher rate. One that knows how to attract high-quality clients and the basics of running a business.

By spending time on things that actually matter in the long run, your business will thrive.

You don’t need to be the best.

Become good enough in your creative field. Learn the business skills to back it up.

I know so many amazing photographers that can’t land a single client.

Don’t let that be you.

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