Why Photog Competition is Irrelevant + My Horrible Haircut

Every few months or so I revisit my personal and business expenses to see if everything is in order.  New expenses can creep up and budgeting is super important to me so I can save for retirement, etc.

(…but don’t worry, this isn’t a boring post about saving money for retirement)

This post is about why your photography competition is irrelevant.

You see, when I was going through my expenses I noticed that switching to a new hair dresser was putting me WAY over budget.

I love my hairdresser, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to brainstorm some ways to cut costs a bit. After thinking on it, getting others opinions, etc. I found out that if I got the same things done to my hair at a local beauty school this would cut my hair bill down to 1/6th the cost.

That’s a huge savings!

I was a bit skeptical but if I would be able to put that much more towards retirement I figured it would be worth a try.

The day of my appointment approached and I was a bit nervous. The waiting room certainly wasn’t as swanky as the salon I was going to but I thought, “eh, I can live without the swanky factor.”

The stylist called my name and as I walked towards her she looked down at the floor and just started walking to her chair. She didn’t say hi or anything… it was weird…

We get to her chair and she asks what I’m wanting. I explain to her I’d like a root touch up and a trim. She tells me she doesn’t think I need a root touch up and that a trim is fine, weird, but we proceed with the trim.

When she’s done it seems fine and then her supervisor comes over to inspect her work (this is normal since it’s an active beauty school).

The instructor started fixing every inch of the cut, brushing super hard through my hair, and then cutting more and more.

When they were finished it looked like somebody put my hair into a pony tail and then just cut it with a kitchen scissors.

I’m sure by now you’re giggling and thinking “well duh Molly!”

…but here’s where things get interesting.Molly's Horrible Haircut

As soon as I left the beauty school I was convinced that I needed to make room in my budget for the better hair stylist.

Even though the swanky factor didn’t matter to me, the quality of a hair cut, color, and good customer service does.

You see, this is precisely why your competition is irrelevant.

If somebody new opens up a photo studio at much lower prices, don’t worry! You know your work is quality, you have great customer service, and your clients leave happy.

And in my experiences… the clients who spend the least, who do everything they can to get the price of their shoot down as low as possible, are the clients who are, on average, toughest to deal with. The clients who spend $5000+ on their shoots are usually great! Of course, there are always exceptions to that rule, but in general, clients who spend more understand the true value of your photography.

I know that the type of client who goes to a budget photographer is not my ideal client. It will be an uphill battle to make this kind of client happy.

So… it’s okay if some potential clients choose that other photographer over me. Instead, I can fill my schedule with the right clients for me!

I’ve had many clients “stray,” as I strayed from my normal salon to try the new hair stylist, but guess what? They always come back 🙂 Just as I went back to the stylist who could give me a better quality experience and result, even though it was a higher expense.

You will continue attracting your ideal clients – those seeking a quality experience.

So again darling…your photo competition is irrelevant. Keep on rocking your business, and showing people how beautiful they are!

If you’re finding it hard to attract your ideal client, the answer is usually not to lower your prices to “compete.” I do not live in a big city, but I still find more than enough clients to fill my schedule and pay my prices with no push back, because I know exactly how to market to my ideal customer.

And I want to teach you how to do that too! Click here to learn more about exactly how I can help you market to your ideal client.

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Molly Keyser

Boudoir photographer and business coach, I am dedicated to changing the world with the power of a camera. Originally from Wisconsin, I'm now in Texas, but I help photographers around the world learn how to go full-time with boudoir photography.