When we put together our post on earning $1,000 an hour, we thought we might have been pushing it a bit. As we pointed out, not even lawyers earn that much. Well, not many of them anyway.
What do we know?
Forbes recently published its annual list of the 400 richest Americans and it turns out that $1,000 is what Oprah Winfrey makes in 31.5 seconds. Poor her; her fellow entertainment mogul, David Geffen, has her beat at 22.5 seconds. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet do it in under six. And none of them has to spend a day photographing children.
In fact, it might not come as a surprise to anyone reading this blog that no one on the Forbes 400 list made his (and it’s a man’s world on that list) billions as a photographer. Bill Gates comes closest by owning Corbis but even that hasn’t held him back too much.
Want to be a Billionaire? Here’s How…
Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from the Forbes 400 then is that if you want to be a billionaire, the first thing you should do is sell your camera. Ideally, you should then buy an oil field but the value of oil seems to be going up just as the prices of camera equipment are coming down. It seems this really is a bad time to be a photographer.
Or is it?
There are a few things we can learn from the Forbes 400 that, even if they won’t have you wolfing caviar with Warren Buffett, might make just make you a little bit richer.
Technology Makes Money — and Images
The first is that half of the ten richest people in America made their fortunes in technology, four of them with three software companies: Microsoft, Google and Oracle. With so much money swimming around in technology, it’s inevitable that the gadgets photographers already rely on to take and edit digital images are going to continue changing.
From photo storage to operating skills, photographers need to be ready for continual adaptation and they need to keep one eye on what those wealthy tech companies are bringing out next.
Outsource to Earn More
The second is the importance — and the difficulty — of delegation. More than one of the billionaires given a quick Q&A by Forbes said that the hardest lesson they had to learn was that they couldn’t do everything. That’s a tough lesson for every entrepreneur, including people who want to make money shooting images.
If you’re better at shooting than editing, if your web design skills are poor or your copywriting cack-handed, it pays to outsource to an expert rather than wait until you’re an expert at everything.
Looks Are Everything
And third, we learned that people with money are prepared to pay vast sums for only a small amount of added value. (According to Forbes, a dozen cotton shirts from Turnbull & Asser in London cost $3,900. They’re certainly likely to be better than a dozen cotton shirts from a local clothing store but are they thousands of dollars better?)
That tells us that if you can add just a little extra value to an image — an exclusive frame, a champagne reception at a gallery, personalized sizing, for example –you can charge much, much more, especially if the buyer has very big pockets.
Sometimes the perception of value is a value itself… and that little extra could net you a lot more than $1,000 an hour.
Find out how to earn $8,000 as a photographer: http://blogs.photopreneur.com/how-to-earn-1000-an-hour-as-a-photographer/
Photo by avlxyz
[tags] forbes 400 [/tags]