by Xander Casey Published 01/01/2014
Xander Casey came into photography on the back of having completed a post-graduate marketing degree, and it's allowed him to become an expert in selling himself and promoting his skills to prospective clients.
As anyone who has ever tried to make a living in the world of professional photography will know only too well, it's a competitive market out there and you're up against some strong competition and a natural tendency by some to attract clients by offering rock-bottom prices. It's no longer enough to have the necessary skills to be able to deliver top-quality photography; you need to work hard to let your prospective clients know that you're out there and give them a reason to choose you above one of your many rivals.
Someone who knows all about the challenges facing those trying to survive in such a cut-throat world is Xander Casey. Having started out with a passion for photography he then found himself sidelined into a career in marketing, having convinced himself that a life behind a camera wasn't a 'proper' job. Realising down the line that this assumption had been wrong, he was given the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy from the corporate job he was in and decided at that point to pursue his first love. Now his marketing skills have allowed him to build a second career in a field that he finds personally far more satisfying, and he's dedicated to telling others the things they need to know to be similarly successful."Marketing is, unsurprisingly, absolutely crucial for the success of any business," he says, "but it's particularly critical for a photography business. We work in an industry where there is almost perfect competition. The barriers to entry are low and the perceived differences between photographers can appear, at first sight, to be small. Let's face it, cameras are broadly similar these days, so you can't really compete on this front (unless you go niche and use analogue film, an iPhone, Holga or something else suitably weird). So these days the only way customers can tell us photographers apart is via our marketing.
"The way you present yourself will also determine, to a large extent, the kind of clientele that you attract. I decided early on that I was going to target the top end of the social photography market. A clean and simple style is what I always aim for, steering clear of any fad that seems to be the latest and greatest big thing.
"For me, keeping it all relaxed and natural is the key: now I'm concentrating on scaling the business whilst keeping margins healthy."
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