Yesterday I posted about the most common ways to get yourself de-friended or un-followed. I think I’ll probably risk that with this post today, but I’m confident that if you read what I have to say, you’ll not only agree with me – but have an in-depth understanding of your own decisions regarding involving your personal life with business. (It’s going to make you think)
I’ve had this discussion with a few friends now about the fact that “Jesus” (or faith in him) is brought up pretty consistently within the wedding photography industry. I’m not saying people do this intentionally for marketing purposes, but I do know at least one person that has claimed getting “consistent leads” from the church he goes to.
I really can’t say that people intentionally talk about God on their blog for this reason or do the “Tebow” after they book their highest package on a client consult – but you have to think…at some point, it has to cross your mind. (I was kidding about the Tebow part)
I’m going to make a couple suggestions – and please hear me out until the end of the post. Then you can berate me in the comment field if you wish. But only after reading the entire post.
I’d be willing to bet that more ‘actively-Christian’ couples get married sooner & more often than couples that aren’t as active, or that aren’t Christian. It’s not that the couple’s that aren’t Christian break-up more or anything…it may just take them longer to decide to settle down or they might like the idea of just “being together for life” without a formal commitment or ceremony.
I’m guessing you’re in agreement with me on this so far, yes?
So if it’s more common and more prevalent for Christian couples to get married – I bet you’d develop a relationship with more of those couples by being in a church community, don’t you?
“Well yes Tim, but that’s not the point.”
I know, I know – and don’t worry – I’m still with you here. I’m going to go a little further into the process, and then I’ll express MY opinion.
Like I said in my post that touched on identifying with your target demographic – you want to have similar common interests, and it would be best if your attitudes on life matched up. If a couple gets to know you through the church community, connects on facebook – then sees you quoting Matthew 22:14 (google to see some humor [bride->photographer] ) – they’ll probably identify with you more & more, especially if you’re posting some quotes she loves! 1 Corinthians 13:4 anyone?
You can see how this might be motivating for someone who’s faithful to be a little “more” faithful than they might be, but who am I to question their motivation?
I know some solid photogs who are some of the coolest people I’ve met in this industry, and I wouldn’t question their faith one bit. On the other hand, I’m willing to wager there are some photographers that are doing it for the wrong reasons, even if it is just by being a little “extra” faithful online.
The best way to put it – imagine 50 cent. You think he’d have as much street cred if he wasn’t shot 9 times? Now, imagine if he arranged it so that someone was HIRED to shoot him & make it look like it was real, just so he’d have the rep of being a badass. You’d think of him a hell of a lot differently.
You can tell someone that’s true to themselves… VS. someone that’s not.
My point is, IT HAS TO COME FROM WHO YOU ARE. Not who you want them to “think” you are.
Don’t fake the funk.
But it has to be tough headgame for some, (especially on the conscience) and especially after reading this blog. Are you going to think about your motivation towards posting that next Matthew 16:26 quote (google again to see how it ties in) as your tweet? Or are you going to start thinking about tweeting bible verses?
The best way I can think of to identify this kind of conflict between personal life and business is a scene from “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
Bobby, a funeral home director sees a friend of his in a diner & catches up on old times. As they part ways, he asks his friend, “Hey, I haven’t seen your mother around town lately – is she doing okay?” He replies, “Yes she’s fine. SHE’S FINE.”
Was he right to question his friend’s motivation for checking in on mom’s health? You be the judge.
When it comes to my own personal beliefs regarding religion – it’s exactly that. Personal. Do I believe in God? Yes. There have been too many events that have happened in my lifetime to deny it (a ton during my teenage years). Do I feel the need to broadcast my faith to everyone around me? Nope. But I have no problem with others that do, and I think that having faith in something serves a great purpose in life. That’s all I’m going to say about that!
In all – whether it be preaching your faith or putting yourself out-there to portray a certain kind of lifestyle, just do it from the heart. Be 100% YOU.
And so it’s clear – I’ve never considered going to church to get ‘leads’ or to post bible versus as a tactic for my own marketing – I think it’s morally wrong to think that way, and I’m also just not somebody who is open with the world about my relationship with God.
Now that you’ve read my piece, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Do you ever think about this kind of stuff? Are there other things people do that are similar that you sometimes question?