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The Edgy Part of
the Competitive Edge


What is a Comptetive Edge, anyway?

In the previous issue, I discussed some of the ways you can create a Competitive Edge. Interestingly, some feed back caused me to think that I had not defined the term. Everyone seems to understand competition, usually in a negative sense – it’s the other photographer that gets your business. In truth, competition is one of the best possible elements of a free economy. We would not have cell phones that all but make morning coffee (maybe an iPod app?) if it were not for competition. The first cell phones were as basic as toast. Competition is what challenges us to innovate and create. As photographers we are blessed with imaginations. If we have mastery of the technical skills, we can create images and concepts unlike no others. Competition is what keeps us from growing stale.

The “Edge” part of Competitive Edge is metaphoric. I think of it as the almost invisible, ultra-thin width of a new razor blade looked at edge on. Pressed against paper, it creates a very, very fine line. In business, any business, it is most often the fine line of differences that distinguish the good from the great – giving one person the edge over another. Seldom is a photographer and his or her services the clearly obvious choice. Often, very subtle differences perceived by the prospective client turn opportunities to the winning bidder. Sometimes, even the client can not identify the edge, but feels it in their gut. That is why it is imperative that with each opportunity you employ all your assets to land and then keep a client.

In the previous article I discussed three essentials assets: dressing professionally for client meetings, dealing only with the decision makers and making your proposals sell. To the list now add research your clients.