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My wife and I have started a wedding photography business together and I have been struggling on how to handle it in regards to my faith. I spend a lot of time and energy in trying to build our reputation and trying to market and gain clients. I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong by trying to get clients or if I should just let go and not do anything. What is the proper thing to do when you're a believer in business?

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Nothing in Scripture forbids trying to market and do what you can in an honest and godly manner to gain clients; were that the case, no Christian business would be able to operate. All Scripture asks is that whatever we do, we do as unto the Lord and that we do not go against what is already asked of us in the Bible. Romans is a good place to start, and I would visit Paul's other books as well.

Edited by Sojourner414

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17 hours ago, Jburley said:

My wife and I have started a wedding photography business together and I have been struggling on how to handle it in regards to my faith. I spend a lot of time and energy in trying to build our reputation and trying to market and gain clients. I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong by trying to get clients or if I should just let go and not do anything. What is the proper thing to do when you're a believer in business?

My wife ran a part-time painting business for about 20 years.  Over the years, word of mouth from happy customers, her yellow pages ad, and her relationships with a few realtors ended up generating most of her jobs.  It took a few years to build a reputation, but she ended up with a regular stream of business (usually a big job every month or so and about one small one every week) that was about the level of work she wanted.  Some of those people she painted for became good family friends of ours.  

I think that advertising is simply a part of running a business in the same way that accounting or other such things are.  It is something that needs to be done in an effective and appropriate manner.  One way to view advertising and marketing is that it is actively seeking to build new relationships where you can do something good for them.   It's not like you are trying to sucker someone into buying a used car that you know has problems.  You are looking to be a blessing to a family on a very special day for them.

 As a practical matter, you can have both B2C (business to customer) and B2B (business to business) marketing.  Part of your advertising and marketing can be to the general public to directly contact those having weddings.  Another part of your advertising could be toward building relationships with businesses such as wedding planners or places that sell services or products related to weddings.   By getting to know the local wedding planners and having a good working relationship with them, to some extent you'd be getting free references from them that is highly targeted.  My wife picked up a few nice jobs from realtors who would recommend that their clients paint some of the uglier rooms in their house before putting them on the market.

Also, while weddings are your main focus, don't underestimate other possible photography opportunities that might occur during the week.  It's possible that you might find some niche B2B speciality that generates some income.  For example, many years ago (not the case anymore since the industry changed), I knew of one person who made a nice income taking photos of dairy cows.  Some of the bigger farms made a business out of selling breeding stock and liked to have good photos of their prize animals.  This person had some thick mats (for the cows front feet to stand on so they looked a bit "taller" in front) and a few other things like that  including background hangings, in the back of their car, would go to a farm for a day and make some nice money.  They had learned a lot of tricks for making fur look shinier, placing the cow to look better, using the right backgrounds to create illusions of better shaped cows, etc.  Some businesses like to hire professional photographers to take pictures of their products as well.  While digital cameras and phones are ubiquitous, some businesses see the value of having someone who understands lighting, focus, and backgrounds taking pictures for them. 

 

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36 minutes ago, GandalfTheWise said:

My wife ran a part-time painting business for about 20 years.  Over the years, word of mouth from happy customers, her yellow pages ad, and her relationships with a few realtors ended up generating most of her jobs.  It took a few years to build a reputation, but she ended up with a regular stream of business (usually a big job every month or so and about one small one every week) that was about the level of work she wanted.  Some of those people she painted for became good family friends of ours.  

I think that advertising is simply a part of running a business in the same way that accounting or other such things are.  It is something that needs to be done in an effective and appropriate manner.  One way to view advertising and marketing is that it is actively seeking to build new relationships where you can do something good for them.   It's not like you are trying to sucker someone into buying a used car that you know has problems.  You are looking to be a blessing to a family on a very special day for them.

 As a practical matter, you can have both B2C (business to customer) and B2B (business to business) marketing.  Part of your advertising and marketing can be to the general public to directly contact those having weddings.  Another part of your advertising could be toward building relationships with businesses such as wedding planners or places that sell services or products related to weddings.   By getting to know the local wedding planners and having a good working relationship with them, to some extent you'd be getting free references from them that is highly targeted.  My wife picked up a few nice jobs from realtors who would recommend that their clients paint some of the uglier rooms in their house before putting them on the market.

Also, while weddings are your main focus, don't underestimate other possible photography opportunities that might occur during the week.  It's possible that you might find some niche B2B speciality that generates some income.  For example, many years ago (not the case anymore since the industry changed), I knew of one person who made a nice income taking photos of dairy cows.  Some of the bigger farms made a business out of selling breeding stock and liked to have good photos of their prize animals.  This person had some thick mats (for the cows front feet to stand on so they looked a bit "taller" in front) and a few other things like that  including background hangings, in the back of their car, would go to a farm for a day and make some nice money.  They had learned a lot of tricks for making fur look shinier, placing the cow to look better, using the right backgrounds to create illusions of better shaped cows, etc.  Some businesses like to hire professional photographers to take pictures of their products as well.  While digital cameras and phones are ubiquitous, some businesses see the value of having someone who understands lighting, focus, and backgrounds taking pictures for them. 

 

Wow thank you for sharing your wifes story. I appreciate the practical honest answer & I don't feel guilty anymore knowing that what I'm doing is what I should be. I love what you suggested in regards to building relationships too. Thank you so much! God bless you

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Just now, Jburley said:

Wow thank you for sharing your wifes story. I appreciate the practical honest answer & I don't feel guilty anymore knowing that what I'm doing is what I should be. I love what you suggested in regards to building relationships too. Thank you so much! God bless you

:) Happy to help.    I'm in the process of trying to start an analytics consulting business for small businesses.   I'm in a similar situation of trying to figure out how to get the word out so I've given this a lot of thought.   The biggest thing was getting over the idea that I was imposing on people and that I'm doing them a big favor to get a clearer picture of what they are doing to improve their chances of success.     Now, I just have to figure out how to put it into practice and actually drum up some business. ;) 

 

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