When we first started ShootDotEdit, our goal was to provide color correction to every photographer across the globe. It wouldn’t matter whether you were a wedding photographer in the United States, a landscape photographer in Switzerland, or a dog photographer in Peru – we wanted to do your color correction. That would require a lot of growth, but we were up to the task!
The good news is that we accomplished much of that rather quickly! Before we knew it, photographers from all over the world were sending us their images, and we saw pretty much everything! The problem had become how to edit each of these differing shoots…. Every shoot required a different type of editing, different customer service requirements, different turnaround times and price points. Quickly we became overwhelmed with the task of making every different shoot and every different photographer happy…. while staying profitable.
Ahhh, profitability. We were seemingly stuck in a price race to the bottom. Postproduction companies were cropping up left and right, and competing with us on price. Not only was it getting harder and harder to keep our wide array of clients happy, but it was getting harder and harder to stay profitable.
The idea of Specialism was introduced to us in July 2010. Frankly, I couldn’t believe this was THE idea to solve our problems. How could turning away a majority of work make us a better company that makes our clients happier and us more profits? The logic just didn’t seem to be there…. But slowly it started to make sense. We came from the wedding photography industry – why not just do what we knew best? And, the wedding niche is the biggest in the photography industry. Seems like a pretty good place to specialize.
The true benefits of Specialism, though, were much more far reaching. Yes, we were able to service only wedding photographers, thus making us much more optimized and streamlined. But, by declaring what we were all about (and likewise, what we weren’t about), we attracted the best in our market. Because we specialized in the Wedding Pro, we were able to charge at the top of the market. And, because we specialized, we were instantly seen as the best.
In the end, Specialism is a shift in your model that affects every leg of your business. Our brand benefited from the clientele we attracted. Our operations benefited from the singular type of client. Our customer experience always knew exactly whom they were talking to. But, best of all, we had a focus. We always knew whom we were working for, what they wanted, and how to meet their needs. Specialism’s hidden benefits – clarity and focus – allowed us to grow. And that takes us right back to our original goal.