Staying Focused on Building Your Brand and Business

Staying Focused on Building Your Brand and Business

I recently shared parts of this post on my own blog. There are too many of you who instead of working to build your business, give up early, worrying about the outside world.  Well, it’s time to bring back the hot dog vendor.

There was an anecdotal story in circulation by the advertising community in the early ’90s.
It’s the perfect reminder to help everyone stay focused on the big picture, pun intended! So here’s the short version:

A very successful hot dog vendor is hitting record sales. He’s advertising, cross-promoting, staying open longer each day, and business is fantastic. His son comes home from college for the summer and says, “Dad, don’t you know we’re in a recession? You need to watch your spending and be ready for business to slow down.”

The father, concerned, stays awake all that night worrying about what his son has said. The following day he pulls down a lot of his signs and puts the money he would have spent on advertising and promoting in the bank. He ceased all the creativity he was putting into marketing. By the end of the month, business is terrible, and all he can say to himself is, “Wow, it’s a good thing I listened to my son. There really is a recession.”

I’ve talked with so many photographers who are caught in “analysis paralysis,” and instead of doing more, they’re doing nothing. They’ve been beaten down by Covid and the pandemic. Everything they used to do in marketing no longer works. Yet, “It always worked in the past!” Sound a little familiar?

Here’s my point – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. That just doesn’t work anymore – all the paradigms have shifted, and most things we thought were normal are gone. How you market yourself, reach your target audience, and what you need to offer have all changed.

There’s a renewed sense of family in this country, and they’re looking to capture memory-making moments. So, relationship building with your clients has never been more critical. Being active in your community should be at the very top of your list too. And the products you offer need to be new, exciting and memorable.

We’re into the fourth quarter, and opportunities are everywhere for increasing revenue this holiday season. But, most important of all, keep the renewed sense of family in your mind. Think about what we all missed the most while hunkering down – family and friends!

When things are slow, it’s a scary time to think about spending more money on marketing. But, you have to spend money to make money. Covid has hurt everyone in so many ways, but it didn’t take away your skills, creativity, or passion for the craft! ​

“A person who stops marketing to save money is a person who stops his clock to save time!”


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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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