47 Lindsay Adler Quotes on how to Turn Your Artistic Vision into a Successful Business

Lindsay Adler is one of the world’s best portrait & fashion photographers with clients ranging from Häagen Dazs to the New York socialite. And not everyone can say they have defined an artistic identity and turned it into a go-to brand and a veritable dream life, but Adler has done just that.

Which means the New York-based visionary is not only a talented artist fluent in her craft, but a proficient business woman as well.

The advice is from a self-employed photographer’s perspective but the wisdom of Adler’s 17 years of building a business can be applied to any creative field where identity, style, and craftsmanship are what set you apart.

These Lindsay Adler quotes are on turning your artistic vision into a successful business – where your dream clients pick you.

“Luck is not a career strategy”

– Lindsay Adler

“If you don’t have goals, how do you reach them?”

– Lindsay Adler

“Any business needs to know who your customer is and how to market to them, how to reach them”

– Lindsay Adler

“You’ve got to figure out your budget, and creative decisions like who your dream client is, and how to attract them […] Who are the people that you want to be paying you?”

– Lindsay Adler

“You’re supposed to spend 20% of your business budget on marketing”

– Lindsay Adler

“Envision your customer not as a group, but as a person. Who are they? What books do they read? Where do they shop? Who do they follow on Instagram? Who are their influencers? How do they make purchasing decisions? What emotions affect them when they would choose a photographer? Where do they live and how much do they make? When you fill this out it helps you figure out how to reach those people.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Shoot what you like to be hired for”

– Lindsay Adler

“What the client think you do is exactly what they see on the website”

– Lindsay Adler

“If they don’t see it, they don’t know how to ask for it. My play days pay off all the time, it helps people see what they should hire me for, but it also helps me to learn, make mistakes, and trying new things.”

– Lindsay Adler

“When I started to create a name for myself and a style, I started to shoot where there was mood, emotion, hair & make up, and wardrobe. And people started to ask me for that type of look.”

– Lindsay Adler

“When should you shoot for free? When your portfolio is benefiting from it substantially and moves you toward your dream client.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Eventually style is not an option, if you want to be better than ’good’”

– Lindsay Adler

“If you want someone to hire you because they love your work and you have a vision, you have to have a style. And if they want that, they can’t go elsewhere. It’s a way to making yourself wanted, and needed as a photographer.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Style starts from the very beginning of your brand, who you are as a photographer, all the way up to the images you create.”

– Lindsay Adler

“To get good you have to have technique, to get great you have to have a style. It is not an option.”

– Lindsay Adler

“With no particular personal twist on it, you are less likely to be remembered”

– Lindsay Adler

“It should be as soon as someone looks at your website, not only do they know what you do instantly, but they know what makes you different. What way you see the world. And if the way you see the world fits them.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Style is usually 3 to 5 words that describe the common threads that weave throughout the photographer’s work”

– Lindsay Adler

“It takes time to figure out, but it makes all the difference from good to great”

– Lindsay Adler

“Your style does not have to stay the same; it can evolve”

– Lindsay Adler

“If you have been shooting for a short time, shoot more. Shoot a lot! Because you have to give yourself some experience to figure out what attracts you as a photographer.”

– Lindsay Adler

“And if you take a look at your work and you are not fulfilled, shoot more […] until you find something that really defines you as a photographer, and develop that.”

– Lindsay Adler

“A style doesn’t have to mean you shoot one thing and it looks the same, it’s a sensibility. There is no right or wrong, but you have to craft yours.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Having no style makes me forgettable and much harder to market”

– Lindsay Adler

“I need to shoot something memorable so that they remember me when they want to hire someone with that vision. And this is true no matter what you shoot.”

– Lindsay Adler

“You’ve got to have a voice so somebody thinks of you and remembers you”

– Lindsay Adler

“Value yourself and your time”

– Lindsay Adler

“The next big mistake you can make is not valuing yourself. Because if you don’t value your time, and you don’t value your services, people will pick up on it instantly and they will feast on you.”

– Lindsay Adler

“All of a sudden you are working but it is like you are paying them because it costs you money”

– Lindsay Adler

“If you don't value your work – if you don’t think you’re worth it – you know they won’t”

– Lindsay Adler

“I have found that any time I have given someone the serious discount they asked for, these are the most difficult ones! The people who pay full price are always easier than the people I gave discounts. So why the heck would I do that to myself?”

– Lindsay Adler

“You will probably be surprised by the number you have to charge just to break even”

– Lindsay Adler

“If you don’t know what you need to break even, how can you know what the minimum is?”

– Lindsay Adler

“If you increase the prices all of a sudden people perceive the value as higher. They perceive you as a better photographer.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Be clear about your value, and about your price.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Figure out your value proposition: What makes you different? Why should they hire you? Every business should know what their core is.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Before I give them my value proposition I say ’here is why I’m expensive’ first, because I don’t want them to start of with the price page and close it. I let them see how much they are getting, what my value is, and the price is at the end. Also I don’t call it a ’price sheet’ I call it an ’Investment guide.’”

– Lindsay Adler

“You don’t hire me to snap a photo. We build art together.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Develop strategy, schedule analysis”

– Lindsay Adler

“This is about where are you now and where do you want to be? 1: You need to strategize your portfolio, the things you want to be hired for and dream clients. 2: Brand partnerships can be incredible for helping you skip a lot of the [marketing] steps. 3: Social media, which is the place where I get most new business. But it is not just about posting photos, it is so much more than that.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Social media strategy – you can’t just post on Facebook and hope it works. When you do the customer profile you figure out where they are on social media; Snapchat? Instagram? Who are they following? Are they on LinkedIn? Got to where they are, don’t waste your time on anything else. Be strategic about it.”

– Lindsay Adler

“For me, on Instagram, I figured out the hashtags my customers are probably looking at, and I create content that will capture their attention.”

– Lindsay Adler

“There is this whole other thing you should look into if you like business: Content marketing. You create information that will be valuable to your target audience. For example if you shoot weddings you write a blog post on the top 5 locations for engagement sessions in your city, and show examples That will not only help you with search engine optimization but will also make someone go ’Oh, this photographer knows the top 5 locations, and oh, they’ve already shot there, and oh, they’re nice images – I should just hire this photographer’.”

– Lindsay Adler

“Figure out who already has my audience, and how can I show up in their feed?”

– Lindsay Adler

“For me in my recent business I developed a strategy, I said ’I want to have more skincare brands hire me.’ The beauty community is active on Instagram, I looked it up. I made an analysis of what visuals attract my target audience, I shot new content … and then I used that in marketing materials and online, and direct emails. After the shoot tonight I have a beauty shoot for one of the clients I attracted using these images, and on Thursday I an entirely new beauty shoot. It really does work, because that’s the whole point of strategy. You figure out where your goals are and how to get you there. ”

– Lindsay Adler

“You know how it feels like there is never enough hours in the day? There is probably certain places where you are wasting your time, that is not giving back to you.”

– Lindsay Adler

“You have to be deliberate and figure out where your goals are. Shoot what you want to be hired for and find a style so you are memorable so you attract the people that want what you have to offer. Then figure out what to charge, and what’s your value. What makes you unique. And then see what’s working. Get a strategy, and analyze it.”

– Lindsay Adler

“I hope you’ll be making
a ton of money!”

– Lindsay Adler

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