I wasn’t always able to pinpoint why I was a photographer. I just thought I did it because I loved everything that came with it; the glamour, the fabulous photos, the interaction with people, etc. But the truth is, all that was surface level reasoning. The real reason I became a photographer was much deeper, it just took a little digging before I found my business purpose.
If we’re going to market our photography businesses right, we need to dig deep into this “why” thing. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, and you may be trying to skip over this because you don’t want to put in the work to find it. I get it.
But friend, you can’t outsource your push ups – and this part of your businesses’ messaging can be what makes or breaks it. It’s DEFINITELY what will make you stand out from everyone else, so if you’re trying to do that (ahem – which you should be) – don’t skip it.
I like to think of the process of finding your why to be a lot like digging a well. (I live in the south and was raised on well water – so maybe my redneck’s starting to show – but listen up.)
The process of digging isn’t fun. It’s time-consuming, and you’re bound to break a sweat. But once you reach the water, everything just begins to flow – with much less effort. You can send buckets down into the well, and keep pulling up water.
This water resembles your creativity; your images, your captions, your website copy, your blog posts – all of it. It’s whatever comes out of you that will go into your business.
But you won’t ever reach it if you don’t get your hands dirty and start to dig.
Without finding your why, you’ll just be taking a shovel to multiple areas on the surface of the soil, never making any true progress with building your brand. In other words, you’ll just be building a piecemeal-ed brand that doesn’t have any true depth to it.
Something tells me you want depth, and probably also wanna work a lot less hard at coming up with things to say and ways to market your business. Right!?
There are so many reasons why you should know the reason you chose to become a photographer in the first place, in fact; it’s detrimental to the success of your business and marketing efforts. But don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through how to find your photography business’ purpose. So take a deep breath, and get ready to reminisce.
How To Find Your Photography Business Purpose
1. First and foremost, know that your why is not money.
If it was, you would’ve chosen to be something else. (Like a teacher, painter, copywriter, or a graphic designer.) What made you choose photography specifically? This should begin to trigger some thoughts, so jot them down. It’s okay if it’s messy, just get it on paper.
If you’re like most of my mentoring clients – it’s confidence. Either you didn’t have a lot of it growing up (raises hand,) or you just genuinely love building it in others – or maybe both! I’m not saying that confidence has to be your reason, it’s just super common among the photographers that I work with one-on-one!
2. Understand that your why is usually a combination of your calling, your core values, and the impact you want to have on the world.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to get you thinking:
- Would you do it if you couldn’t be paid for it? Why so?
- What’s the legacy you want to leave behind?
- What’s your favorite part of working with your clients?
- What are you naturally good at?
- What do others say you’re good at?
- What comes easy to you?
- What are the issues you fight for? What are you an advocate of?
3. Read the answers to the questions above, and see if you can circle any overlaps or recurring themes.
For me, the common themes are faith, calling, purpose, connecting with people and building their confidence, making others feel comfortable while also calling them up to greater purpose, empowering them, adventuring with them and soaking in God’s creation, etc. They’re all centered around the legacy I want to leave behind, and that’s what fuels the “why” behind my business.
4. See if you can turn the common themes into a rough-draft mission statement.
Here’s mine for example: “JVP is on a mission to spread the Gospel through capturing the beauty of creation, and helping her clients unleash the confidence they need to pursue their calling.”
Inside this statement, you’ll see my love for faith, photography, creation, building confidence, and spurring my clients on towards their calling. It’s all up in there!
5. Use this mission statement on your website, social media, bio, etc.
The beautiful thing about knowing your why is being able to use it. Once you know what you stand for, and why you do what you do – you’re able to communicate that effectively throughout all of your copy, (i.e your social media channels, website, etc.)
Once you do so, (here’s the super cool part) – you’ll naturally start to attract your ideal clients, because they’ll share the same values as you! Cha-ching! It becomes such a natural and easy process, and by doing the hard work just ONE time, you’ll have a plethora of “why” reasoning to pull from when it comes time to get your hearts’ mission out into the world, and start to reel in clients that align with it!
Have any questions about finding your why? Drop ‘em below in the comments, I’d be stoked to lend a hand!
Struggling with feeling confident while running your photography business? Download my free guide “TPP Roadmap” right here! (It’s gold friends!)
Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼
If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.
Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂