Where can I find a business mentor? | Ask Anything
I'm sending you a message because I'm a little desperate. I've been doing this wedding photography thing for awhile, but it hasn't really taken off for me like it has for those around me. I figured maybe it was time to find a mentor--somebody who can show me the ropes and maybe even point out what I could be doing wrong. Any thoughts on this?
To tell you the truth, I remember feeling that exact same way. (Spoiler alert: we all do! Even the ones that look like their business has taken off!) I remember wondering if I was ever going to be successful, if I was ever going to book a wedding. And if I did book a wedding, how I would ever book an entire year's worth! I still often feel this way.
During my pity party, I did just what you are asking about. I began to reach out to local photographers that I respected, to see if I could perhaps meet with them or work with them. I got turned down a few times before I realized that my approach was all wrong. I wanted to "meet for coffee and pick their brain" as the saying goes in this industry. What I didn't realize is that busy wedding photographers aren't going to have time to meet up with me just to answer any question I may have.
So I changed my approach. I began asking if there was a way I could serve them! I offered to help them with tasks, to carry bags on wedding days, to bring coffee. Much to my surprise, it worked. As I assisted those around me, I learned what customer service looks like in this field, what the wedding day timeline looks like and so much more. As those relationships grew, I began to second shoot for these friends and build my skill level. During conversations that evolved from those relationships, I began to learn what I wanted my business to look like.
My best advice to you is to find your people. Find the ones who inspire you, the ones who you would want to spend a long, hot, sweaty wedding day with, the ones that you would refer clients to should you be booked. Be humble and build those relationships.
And of course, if you want to cut right to the chase, you can always pay for personal mentoring. Many photographers do offer this and they cater it exactly to what you're hoping to learn.
Don't get discouraged. It takes time. Before you know it, you'll be the one being asked to answer questions.