Today’s guest post is by Nate Grahek, a professional photographer and founder of StickyAlbums.com, where you can create branded photo-album apps for your clients’ mobile devices. Follow Nate on Twitter.
We all know that to compete with other photographers, we have to differentiate ourselves. We have to have a competitive advantage: something we do that sets us apart.
Buisness textbooks talk about three main competitive advantages: Product, Price and Service. The most successful companies are really good at choosing one – and executing really well on that area. Apple is a great example of this. Their number one competitive advantage is Product innovation. They consistently introduce new products that are markedly better than their competition’s.
It’s nearly impossible to compete in all three of these areas. Of course there’s no way Apple could release amazing new iPads AND also compete on price. Why would they even try?
Contrast Apple with a company like Walmart, who focuses exclusively on Price. For better or worse, Wal-Mart’s obsession with bringing customers the absolute lowest price is core to the success of the company.
For either company, trying to do both Product and Price really well would mean giving up the thing that sets them apart.
To clarify: just because you’re focused on one area doesn’t mean the others can be garbage. Apple has their Genius Bars, Walmart sells organic veggies … but that’s not what those companies are known for. Apple makes the coolest devices. Wal-Mart has the lowest prices.
As pro-photography becomes a more and more saturated market, picking your competitive advantage becomes more and more crucial to your success. Like Apple and Wal-Mart, your competitive strategy needs to be baked into your brand.
Next week I’m going to explain WHY customer service should be your competitive advantage. Then I’ll give you some concrete action items–things you can do today or this week–to make your customer service so good your clients can’t help but tell their friends about it.
Meanwhile, I am giving away 3 – $100 credits towards StickyAlbums PRO. Enter using the widget below!
(Don’t wait to see if you win) Winners who are already StickyAlbums-Pro members win the $100 in cash.
The albums are a great marketing tool: they’re like rep cards or brag books, but they’re always at hand and your clients won’t run out of them.
Mobile devices are changing how we live and how we do business. However, word-of-mouth referrals are still our most valuable currency. StickyAlbums gives you a way to leverage this mobile revolution into wow-factor referrals. StickyAlbums also helps you target clients who can afford premium photography – people who use iPhones and iPads have already demonstrated their affinity for premium/boutique products.
If you choose to check out StickyAlbums and end up upgrading to the PRO subscription level, contact me. If you provide them with my email address as someone who has referred you to them, both you and I receive TWO additional months added to our account. Pretty sweet, eh? Here is the email address to enter: orders AT seshu DOT net. Cool?