More than 600 PPA photographers quietly kicked off this year's first PPA Business Challenge in February. The next chance to join is August and you can sign up now at PPA.com/Challenge.
The Business Challenge helps photographers improve their business by building a stronger foundation with a focus on sustainability and profitability over the course of one year. It takes place on theLoop, PPA's exclusive social media network. The April group has already experienced two weeks of business-challenge assignments and with Q&A webinars, inspiration, check-ins, recaps, and mark-your-calendar alerts, it's a great way to confidently build your business and not go it alone!
#1 No-nonsense business advice
Led by PPA Director of Education Angela Kurkian, the Business Challenge is THE place to come for small-business help specifically developed for photographers. It is a sound framework to help PPA photographers steer their studios in the right direction. Don't be afraid to take the Challenge! Kurkian explains, "A lot of the things (the participants) are nervous about are things that being a member of PPA will help with (i.e. pricing, marketing, value through certification, and becoming better at the craft of photography through photographic competition)."
#2 Peer-to-peer support & accountability
The Business Challenge was developed to help hold photographers accountable in their attempts to improve their studios. One of the most popular and rewarding components of the Business Challenge in that regard are the questions and answers on theLoop, where Kurkian poses questions to the group for an honest, frank discussion among peers. The questions can be complex, or as simple as "What are you afraid of?"
Here are some examples of the candid answers pulled from the group:
Q: What are you afraid of? What stops you from taking action?
"Will people value me?"
"My biggest fear is that I'm going to fail and look like a complete fool for even trying. I worry that my work isn't worth anything, that my peers view me as just another mom with a camera, and that I won't earn their respect; and I worry that I'll never find a client that values my work."
"I worry that maybe I AM talented but I'll let my fears squander it away or that my lack of business acumen will outweigh that talent."
"People will not pay our prices and will go with cheaper alternatives. People do not value our art or our time. My phone will stop ringing. We won't be able to afford/maintain our lifestyle."
But don't get too bogged down in the muck of negativity! Sharing with your peers is a wonderful way to see how alike we all are. Once these obstacles have been identified, it's only a matter of banding together and learning how to stomp it out with knowledge, hard work, and support from PPA and your peers. We're all in this together!
#3 Safe practice for your own business
PPA is constantly developing new curriculum, offering webinars and advice to inspire and ignite the Business Challenge participants, and pushing them to greater success as artists and business people.
Check back in a couple weeks, where we see what's going on with April's group one full month in... maybe some of their fears will be alleviated? (Spoiler alert: They will be!) Sign up now for the August class! It's your turn to take control of your business and Be More! Sign up for free at PPA.com/Challenge.