“If you’re persistent, you will get it. If you’re consistent, you will keep it.”
In a creative industry, you’ll often find yourself reading business blog posts on arty subjects: how to establish your personal aesthetic, the value of getting involved in styled shoots, standing out in a crowd of talented competitors. In fact, I‘ve written a fair few myself!
What about ‘being consistent’, though? Not so much. Creativity is used to stealing the show. She’s flashy and seductive and she’s probably the reason you went into photography in the first place, whereas Consistency? Consistency is Creativity’s geeky little brother. Consistency is just…well, consistent. Excuse me while I stifle a yawn.
But what if I told you that being consistent was right up there on my list of business priorities – alongside being creative, in fact? Well, perhaps shockingly, it is. In my sixth year of business, I’m striving more than ever to achieve and deliver consistency in my workflow, my relationships with clients, my approach to a wedding or shoot day and in meeting expectations.
In the early months and years of Eden Photography, everything felt so vital. I was intensely grateful for every casual enquiry and every single booking. In all honesty, I expected that intensity to diminish and, in one way, it has; I’m still hugely appreciative of the bookings and kind words that come my way, but I’m also more confident in my working processes, my style and results. Without wishing to sound overly confident, I know that I can deliver the photographs of their dreams and I also know that, as long as I keep doing what I’m doing, the bookings will keep coming.
With experience, though, comes a new kind of pressure: the pressure to keep it consistent. Now that I’m established in the field, a significant percentage of my clients come via personal recommendations, and when someone enthusiastically talks up your work to their nearest and dearest that’s a big set of expectations to live up to.
For some photographers, complacency kicks in. It can be difficult to keep up that level of thoroughness and attention to detail week after week, month after month, year after year. But – and you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? – it’s vital. It’s vital to maintain the quality of your work, and also to keep the referrals and recommendations coming in. Consistency might not be cool, but it’s integral to the continued success of your business.
So what does consistency look like in reality? Well, you need to set achievable ‘experience targets’ for your client interactions and then aim to surpass them. Some practical examples might be responding to all enquiries within 48 hours, for example, and maintaining the same warm, friendly tone in all business correspondence. It’s arriving five minutes before you said you would and not dashing off as soon as the first dance is over. The impact of this focus on consistency? Not only will your couples feel good but you will, too; you’ll know that you’ve done everything to serve them and make them happy.
Best of all, keeping an eye on consistency and avoiding complacency ensures that we remember what weddings are really about – stopping time, celebrating love and making memories.