I love networking. I love making new friends and finding out what they do for fun, and yes, sometimes for money.
But I really don’t like networking groups. Well, some networking groups. There are a few in my area that I’m part of and are full of awesome, but there are others that don’t work for me. You see, they want me to be their exclusive photographer/graphic designer/video productioness.
I have trouble with exclusive.
First, I’m not a one man team. And second, I do not do all things perfectly. I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t try, and I shouldn’t pretend that I can. Instead, I know folks who do certain things perfectly, and I hire them for that job.
For example, say you want a Traditional Family Portrait. Sure, I can do that, but I know someone in this town who can do it way better than I. She’s been doing it for more than 20 years. (Hi Helen, I love you!)
But, if you need a brochure made, or video for your website, Helen is not your lady. Could she do it? Sure, but it’s not what she does really well.
The face of the photography business is changing. These days photographers help each other out. We lend each other gear, assist with projects, sell each other’s talents to clients. The days of “This is my turf, and you’re stealing business from me” are over. That’s so old guard.
I am not old guard.
I believe that the more we work, the more the community will see our talents as invaluable and hire us for new projects. Sally down the street got her photo professionally taken for her website, now Steve wants one, too. Does it matter who they hired? No. What matters is now there’s MORE BUSINESS. More business for ALL OF US.
So, let’s avoid exclusive. Let’s make friends instead.