I once read an article of a photographer that was being interviewed in a magazine, and there was a simple but profound truth that stood out to me out of many things she said. She said something like all photographers are basically the same after a certain level of photographic skills, and that only thing that makes a difference in client's mind and desire to hire a particular photographer is how well you can connect with them.
I think it really nails it. Human beings are relational creatures. Most of us crave and strive to have meaningful relationships, whether in personal life or business setting. To me, personal and relational experience plays a significant role in forming a brand loyalty, friendship, working relationship and family relationship.
Take a look at this photo:
I was very happy to receive the drive as the Facebook giveaway prize, but to be honest, I was more impressed and ecstatic about the handwritten note! Who takes the time to do this these days? Just like I love Apple for their extremely refined designs, functionality and reliability, I always loved G-Technology's external hard drives. The quality of G-Technology products had never disappointed me, but now I am completely sold out for them, simply because of this handwritten note. To me, it conveyed the message: "WE ARE NOT JUST ANOTHER DRIVE MANUFACTURER, WE ARE REAL PEOPLE AND WE CARE." But please read the note. It is highly specific and personal, it also spoke to me, "YOU ARE NOT JUST ANOTHER CUSTOMER, YOU ARE UNIQUE AND SPECIAL INDIVIDUAL TO US AND WE APPRECIATE YOU." I wouldn't be surprised if they had ran the Facebook giveaway so they could send the handwritten notes to people, and the winners who receive them will change the way this brand is perceived. Personal touch never fails because we are relational and it is literally priceless.
This really taught me a lesson. In the same manner that G-Technology became #1 in my heart among so many other similar products and manufacturers, I believe I can become so much more than just another photographer who is as good as so-and-so, in the over-saturated and extremely competitive photography market. I will continue to define and polish my own unique signature style, being reliable, live with integrity, master business management and market myself wisely - but the most important thing I can do is to work on myself as a person and improve the way I develop a genuine, personal connection with each client. After all, it is about them.