If you are a photographer, you’re familiar with competition. It’s your cousin who just bought a DSLR from Ebay, Your neighbor who decided she needs a new side hustle and everyone with a smart phone. Should you be concerned about these people? Who is your competition? Is understanding your competition important and what can you learn from them?
There are a few heavy questions in the above introduction. The first one, should you be concerned about people jumping in to the business? My answer is no. The reason is most new photographers are out of business rather quickly. The known cycle of people picking up a DSLR, hanging out their shingle, and then falling off the radar, is well established. It’s continuous competition photographers can currently count on and plan for in the future.
The photographers you should watch are not the people who take the occasional job, but the successful photographers. Those who seem to thrive despite all the same obstacles you face as a professional. What are they doing right?
What Is Your Competition Doing Right?
Below is a video I created about your competition. Check it out, and of course, consider subscribing to my channel here –> https://goo.gl/Cjt75r
Video Link for my email subscribers: What is your competition doing right — https://youtu.be/mtStc3v-P2A
Your competition is a valuable resource for business strategy, inspiration and new ideas. The first thing you can do is Google what you think people will ask the search engine to find your service. Who are the top five photographers in your specialty and location?
The fact is good SEO (search engine optimization), resulting in high rankings, doesn’t mean they are the best photographer in town. However, you can review their site and figure out why Google likes it. I recommend you use a tool such as moz.com Open Site Explorer to gain insight.
Who are the photographers you hear about in your niche? Check out their website to discover what makes them special. Look at their photos, pricing (if available), on site resources and calls to action. What makes them different?
What is your competition doing in social media? Are they just posting stuff or do they use social media to its full value, engage and tag their clients. What type of photographs do they post? Who are their inspirations and what tools do they use? You can gain a lot of information about your competition in their social media
Now, before I go further. I know what you’re thinking. This means they can do the same to me. Maybe you should stop sharing so much on social media. Wrong. We share in social media because it makes our business more human. We attract people who like our personal side. Photographers earn new business because of social media.
Only a small percentage of your competition investigates you enough to make a dent. Relationships keep business running. When you actively gain knowledge, it does not ruin the photography career from a YouTube educator or seminar leader. Knowing more about your local competition will not put them out of business either. Education and understanding makes you better and that is why you do it.
Your competition is a resource. If you want more information about your competition, take a look a websites such as sypfu.com or SEMrush. Search Twitter for your competition. Investigate what content, praise or complaints people share about your competitors and industry. Use a site such as socialmention.com to search across multiple social media platforms.
Clues to success are available to you. Don’t worry about the people making business mistakes, unless you intend to help them. If you spend time to focus and combine what works in the photography business, you can find success too.