It’s 11pm, and you’re sitting at your computer editing some sessions so you can get them out the door by the end of the week. You decide to take a break and pore over your site statistics. Great! I’ve had 843 unique visitors since Monday! But wait a minute, you don’t recall getting any email inquiries about your services. That’s odd. So many visitors and not one of them contacted me? Now you start questioning yourself because surely the problem is with you. Your prices are too high! Your packages don’t offer enough value. You’re not good enough! Your mind goes through the mental rolodex of previous customers…did any of them seem unhappy? No, they were definitely happy. So what’s going on? Where did I go wrong?
Before I found happiness, I used to do this exact thing whenever someone I considered a friend just inexplicably left the friendship, or when a person I made a real connection with just started to fade away. I thought “Certainly the problem is with me. I must’ve done something, but what? Did I say or do something wrong?” I called this behavior self-attribution of people’s motives. I blamed myself for the weird shit other people do. Now how messed up is that?
But then I was given the gift of sight and realized most of the time, it’s not me, it’s them. There is a whole world of other reasons people choose not to do what you’d like them to do. Maybe they don’t like you. Then again, maybe they just got into a fight with their spouse. Maybe the kids are really sick and they have no medical insurance. Maybe they just found out little Jimmy’s teeth are in need of some serious metal rails and rubber bands to hold them in line. Whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with you…..at all.
Stats can be useful and they can be misleading. Without context, we’re left wondering why people decide to contact or not contact us and we find fault within our marketing strategy. We assume the worst, and we assume it’s our fault. The reality is…
Somewhere along the line, we convinced ourselves that if something’s wrong in our lives, it’s because of us. We retreat into a world of self-blame because, well, that gives us control over our lives. We think if we have control over what happens, then we can change it. Of course we have some control over our destiny with the choices we make, but really, there are just too many variables out there for us to be responsible for them all. Instead, what we should focus on is our perception of what’s happening–looking at this lack of client contact and reasoning that “it’s entirely possible they have things going on in their lives just like I do.”
After all, you’re pretty amazing and the photography economy ebbs and flows, right? So tell me, are you one of those who fears email or phone silence?