Benefits / Resources / Articles
April 08, 2021

Focus on the Story Not the Price

Shereese Floyd-Thompson joined us live on Facebook for PPAedu to talk about how to shift your focus away from price and begin focusing on your story! Your story is the most important marketing tool that you have. No one else on the planet has your exact story–which means there’s no other person on the planet who can do what you do the way you do it! By developing and sharing your story in an effective way, you can finally begin to move the focus off of price and instead focus on the unique value that you offer your clients.


So, How Do You Develop Your Story Effectively?

The work you do is important to you for a particular reason, and when it comes down to it, you aren’t just selling photographs. Exploring this deep foundational reasoning for why you became a photographer in the first place is the first step to developing your story. So, take some time to explore and answer the following questions:

  • What is your mission? What drives you?
  • What is your ultimate vision for your work? What do you get up and do every single day to help you achieve this vision?
  • Why do you take photos? What are you trying to achieve?
  • What is it that moved you into this industry? 

These are the things that help you stand out as a photographer AND help you pinpoint your ideal client. Without a clear mission and direction, you end up going straight back to price, and if all you do is focus on price, it becomes a race to the bottom.


Finding Your Why and Your Defining Moment

The next step is to look back through your experiences to discover that moment when you decided that you wanted to do what you do. This might be a very specific defining moment, but for some, it may be a longer journey, made up of a collection of important and defining experiences. For you it might even be a family business or legacy.

  • Why did you pick up the camera for the first time?
  • What have you gone through? What lessons have you learned that drove you to pursue this career?
  • What do your experiences allow you to give your clients that others can’t give them?

The answers to these questions will help you to define your story. The experiences you have had, the lessons you have learned, and the “why” behind your work may seem like simple or small things, but they are the things that make you—and what you offer your client—stand out.


Elements of a Story:

  • Who are you? 
  • Who do you represent? (your industry)
  • Who are the people you do the best work for?
  • What do you believe in? (your values and belief system)
  • How does your work make people better?


The Importance of Values and Beliefs: Your values and beliefs can attract or repel business and clients. Now more than ever, people are tending to support and spend money with brands and people whose perceived values and beliefs align with their own.


What are you REALLY providing to people? You don’t just sell pictures; pictures are just a commodity. You want to be able to tap into a feeling and a connection. Take the following brands for example. Each has a product or commodity that they sell, but each also works hard in their marketing to sell something deeper than just the product.

  • Coca Cola sells happiness
  • Starbucks sells community
  • Disney sells imagination


Don’t be a commodity. You don't want people to be buying photos; you want them to be buying the inspiration, the aspiration, the dream, the legacy, the beautiful story beneath the picture. Once you can tap into that, your price becomes irrelevant!  


Business is all about solving problems, and even with photos you are solving problems. Once you understand that your photos can tap into an emotional need or address a pain point/problem for your clients, it is a game changer. Now it’s time to work on putting it all together and crafting your story. The seven step framework below can help you put your story together in a way that is effective and useful for presenting in multiple ways to your clients, whether it be on your website, social media, or other marketing platforms!


7 Step Framework to Create Your Story

  1. Hook: Draws people in to keep them reading.
  2. Backstory: Context to help the hook make sense.
  3. Action: What have you gone through and experienced that led to you becoming a photographer? Why are you now the best photographer in your industry?
  4. Moral: Gives your story a point so that it’s not just a collection of events. 
  5. Hero Move: Gives the audience the win—it is not about you, it’s about your audience. “Do you understand what it feels like to…” This puts the focus on your audience and can pull them back in with emotion.
  6. Making an offer: This can be something as simple as connecting with you, joining an email list, buying something, or connecting elsewhere.
  7. Close: The opportunity to answer anything you have left unanswered or unresolved in your story.


Are you a PPA member? Check out the full video of this edition of PPAedu Live with Shereese Floyd-Thompson HERE! Not a PPA member? Be sure to check out all of the benefits of becoming a member, from equipment insurance and education to business resources and more!

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