The Conscious Photographer Episode 03 - Richard Davies
This week on The Conscious Photographer, I have the owner of Abandon Ship Apparel and my good friend Richard Davies. Richard is a brand specialist and entrepreneur from Scotland who has a pretty amazing story; his brand Abandon Ship Apparel was started with just £300 and within three years was turning over 1.2 million pounds. He is also the co-owner of a chain of highly successful Barber Shops/Clothing stores called Hard Grind. Richard attributes a significant amount of his success to leveraging the power of social media, and we get into the how’s and why’s of that in this episode.
We also discuss a whole host of other interesting topics such as the importance of scaling your business in a controlled and sustainable manner & the necessity of diversifying your revenue streams as you scale. We discuss Richards creative process when designing and how he get’s his designs to his customers quickly to maximize engagement with the brand. We talk about the importance of taking clear and focused action towards achieving your goals and the dangers of inaction. We also talk about the pitfalls of social media and why it’s important to keep some things close to your chest to avoid premature gratification. Richard tells you how he always engages with his customers and uses their feedback to gauge whether designs will sell, enabling him to keep them happy while making sure the business is consistently profitable. Conversely, we discuss cons of this approach and how Richard deals with the pressure of maintaining this constant dialogue. We also talk about the dangers of comparing yourself to others on and off of social media when gauging your worth in the artistic (photography) world. These are just a few of things we discuss in the podcast; we also get into; Richards unique approach to Facebook advertising. How he would have me or anyone starts a brand in just four weeks and The importance of being true to your brand.
My Favourite quotes from this podcast
"I don’t think that you can create a brand that you're not honest with yourself about.”
"As an entrepreneur, I think it’s important to have different revenue streams.”
“Through experience and learning, I’ve realised that it is about sustainability and scaling in a controlled manner.”
“I think there's a problem with people who talk a lot about doing stuff but never quite actually get around to doing it.”
“If you do something and it doesn’t quite work then apologise for it after.”
“If you’re not putting yourself out there and putting your product out there then how are you going to sell it?”
“People are almost getting the gratification and praise before they’ve done something.”
“All I can do is be honest with who I am and what I want to create.”
“Is it about compromise and it is about not alienating customers and trying to change what you are overnight.”
“That’s probably one of the hardest things, dealing with public scrutiny.”
“I try and compare myself to myself.”
“You’re looking at this person that you idolise, and they might have the same problems as you.”
“For me, it’s all about moving forward and having another challenge.”
“You need to make sure that the product is on point with the brand and continues that story."
“You create that customer interaction and lifestyle through not the hard sell, but through the actual ethos of the business.”
“It's almost a trade in at some point for businesses if you get to a certain level you have to accept that you’re going to take a step back and you're maybe not going to have as much control or as much personality in it.”
In this episode, you will learn.
- The importance of having and operating different revenue streams.
- How to scale your photograph business.
- How to rebrand effectively while still keeping your existing customer base happy.
- How to work with your clients and understand their image of who you are as a photographer and brand.
- Dealing with critics online.
- How to only compare yourself to yourself and how this can spur you on to achieve amazing things.
- Richard also tells you the best way to start a brand in 4 weeks.
Listen To The Conscious Photographer
The Hundreds, the Brand Richard cited as having an interesting owner.