Meaningful differentiation

Sent by Jonathan Stark on September 10th, 2019

Can you tell the difference between a good photo and a great one?

If you said yes, you’re probably a photographer.

Normos like me don’t look at photos the same way photographers look at photos.

To me, a great photo is one that I look good in! I don’t know or care about color balance or framing or composition or depth of field or whatever. These things might contribute to a photo that I like, but I am not consciously aware of them… I am consciously aware of whether or not my double chin is showing ;-))

Please note that I’m not saying that mastering the craft of photography doesn’t matter. It totally matters. You absolutely should be able to take great photos if you’re a professional photographer who is taking money from paying clients.

However…

You can’t expect your mastery of the craft to automatically create value for your clients. You can’t expect them to recognize your genius the way that your colleagues might. And you sure as heck can’t expect them to pay you twice as much as the next guy, just because you have better technique.

Here’s the thing…

If your clients can’t tell the difference between you and a cheaper alternative, they’re going to go with the cheaper alternative. In order to command higher fees, you need to be unique in a way that is meaningful to your ideal buyers!

This is just as true for photography as it is for software development (e.g., good clients can’t tell elegant code from spaghetti), and design (e.g., good clients can’t tell effective design from pleasing decoration), and copywriting (e.g., good clients can’t tell copy that converts from clever word salad), and so on.

So…

What is unique about you that is meaningful to your ideal clients?

Yours,

—J