How many times have you heard this sentence? Thousand, minimum. When I was at economy studies, this was very often mentioned, especially on the marketing lectures. I believed in it. I worked on it for years. I was doing my best to please every client. Even when they complain, you have to find a way not to confront.
After 10 years of doing photography, 7 as freelancer I learned something valuable - client is not always right. Can you imagine pleasing every possible client? Can you imagine how hard it is? So what's your mission? To please every client, or to please your inner appetite? If you are led by clients, it is so possible that you will not reach anywhere. But you will be everywhere.
On small markets that has some sense, because you can not diversify. But, take a look at your portfolio, photos that you are proud of and compare it to the photos that you actually made during one year. Do they fit together? What is ratio? Do you have a feeling that you are working a lot, but very very often you are unable to put those images in your portfolio? I had that feeling.
So, you are not improving in inner sense. You may be working a lot, but that doesn't seems that quality or vision is there. You are someone else, you are your client.
And what happens when you don't have new clients at one point? Because it will happen for sure. You will not know what to do. You will not know where to go. You will not know who are you. Why? It's simple - clients where do ones who told you what you have to do, where you have to go, and who are you, everything according to their needs. You are them.
Be brave. Stop. Think. Analyze. Ask for help. And take another direction. It's not easy. It's required to do if you want to stand out. You are not for everybody, and everybody is not for you. Make connection, but honest ones, based on true vision and estetic.