July 14, 2013#

DISCOUNT is not service.

When I started my business in 2004 I was crippled by fear. When it came to marketing and selling. I slowly and surely built a team of confident people around me that I hid behind. The irony of course is I built this beautiful successful business and didn’t have to confront this terror. I thought I had solved my problem.

Until I moved to Australia to start up a studio on my own. All that fear returned like a wall of impossible odds that I simply couldn’t overcome. I came up with excuses, bitterness, blame etc but I knew deep down I wasn’t doing the one thing I had to do and that was confront it.

I hit a huge wall and then my money started draining away, so I knew I had to front up to this block. How do I pitch myself, sell myself to others when I would rather run and hide. I found this great quote by Cheri Huber my favourite author that wrote There is nothing wrong you.

“You have had an experience in the past that you remember, Much of what you call fear is actually thought. You think it’s going to be painful so you avoid any experience that brings you that pain”

Okay I get it I get it this is the part when you tell me to just do it right. Face my fear and get those Nike shoes. Heard it before. BUT Then she said this “the underlying message is that you think these people are more important than you” SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

As a little fledgling business owner and wanna be important ‘Professional’ Photographer I felt like a complete fraud. An idiot in fact that knew nothing about commerce nothing about marketing and nothing about making myself look legitimate out of the garage of my country cottage. I used to think WHEN I get a studio I will be good enough WHEN I lose weight and buy nice clothes (I know weird right) but some of you will identify with that. When I earn money I will walk up to these people full of confidence. But you can’t get any of those things without a business.

So know this. Every businessman and businesswoman I’ve met simply have one goal, to make their own business better stronger faster and richer to some degree. All of them are open to ideas, opportunity and anything that will help their business. Clients want great service special attention, a great experience and a quality product. I worked out that I was so busy worrying about trying to be good enough I had stopped seeing that I wasn’t offering anything to THEM . I was just trying to GET something.

I look at photographers marketing and I see you have a discount but I need to know as a consumer WHAT AM I GETTING. What do I get out of this. What’s the experience what need do you meet what desire do you fulfill what product do I get for my money. As a vendor or a potential business to market with I want to know WHAT AM I GETTING. What do I get out of this. We get so caught up in ourselves we forget to be service providers.

The next time you sit in front of a client or business wether you are fledgling or established know that you deserve to be there, you have a unique ability SO ASK how can it be of service to this person.

Is your marketing experience driven or cost driven? Why do people come to you? Think about how someone would introduce you at a party.

This is Sue Bryce she a photographer she does a half price shoot on CD for $900 you should see her work.

Ah no

This is Sue Bryce she is a Beauty Photographer that does these gorgeous transformation makeover portraits of Women you should see her work.

So why would your marketing just offer a discount?

Ask questions. How can I help you, what are your needs. How can I help your business. How would you like to be photographed. What products suit your home your life style. While I’m photographing you do you need any Business shots Corporate shots, everything you purchase I will give you on CD so you can use it on your social media. Is there family you would like to bring into your shoot at the end. Then give solutions.

People want to feel important. People want there needs met. Show don’t tell.


  1. You are like a therapist at the best of times! Sometimes ah ha moments just happen when reading your blog posts or listening to you on CreativeLive.com
    Thank you for your constant inspiration and words of wisdom, and for just being YOU!

  2. Why is it that every time I start to feel a bit crappy about my wee business you come along Sue with a killer blog and kick me in the butt!!!!
    Thanks for that :)

  3. your posts a like a double shot expresso, awake and ready to go now….and cant wait to be further inspired tomorrow at the seldex presentation. Look forward to meeting you.

  4. A nice reminder of why most of us start our own business. We want to help. But sometimes we forget to mention it to people.

  5. Sue,

    I love your honesty! I fear, my prices, will make someone think (or say), “Wow, she thinks very highly of herself!” And I sit here and wonder if that’s a bad thing… thinking highly of yourself?


  6. Such a helpful and inspiring blog post! Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into teaching and inspiring others. I can truly say, without doubt, that you’re one of the most helpful photographers around, and so willing to share and teach others. Thank you for that.

    And thank you for this post, it did hit home in several areas and I often question where I fit in in the grand scheme of this massive photography business stuff.

  7. Sue, thank you very much for this post. I had to read it twice just to take in all of the great advice. I’m bookmarking this because I know I’m going to want to come back to this time and time again as my business develops. You rock!

  8. I love how you write. This blog post was very helpful.

  9. Sue, your words and images give me life. Was having a rough morning and this is what I needed to keep pushing, not give into doubt and discover a way to service my clients not just take their picture. I don’t have all the answers I desire and it’s scary for me to even think about making a living off of my passion but I’ll just keep showing up.

    Thank you Sue!!

  10. Sue, you have inspired me, not only as a photographer, but as a woman. Life changing inspiration! I hope to one day meet you in person. Thank you for opening my eyes and allowing me to feel confident in my work! You and your work are AMAZING!!!

  11. Sue, you inspire at every turn….thank you. I could say thank you a million times more and it still would not be enough. For years I’ve wanted to open my studio but never did. Then about a year and a half ago I came across this Sue Bryce workshop and became inspired after watching some of her workshop and visiting her website….I could not find the words…but I did find some “…you can do it…. ” and some ” …you want it so why not… “. I had a car accident that took me off my job but gave me time to think and change my focus. Right now I am starting from scratch and building….working on my studio, building my portfolio, website, everything….simutaneously…this may not be the best way to start but I am diving in….going at with both barrels so to speak, in addition to being a full time student. Sorry for long winded response…but thank you again.

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