Category Archives for "Branding"
We all are. Twitter’s stream is even called a firehose, simply because there are so many tweets streaming through that social media channel, that no one can keep up with reading what everybody has to say.
Here’s the big question for a visual content creator: “How do you get your voice heard?” or rather “how do you get your vision seen?”
In a flood of grumpy cats, internet memes and yesterday’s late show’s video clips – it seems impossible for your visual content to compete.
We talk about our gear: do you shoot Nikon or Canon; how do you backup your files; how to create a focus stack or the perfect HDR shot or the favorite piece of gear, or…
Can I tell you a secret? You’re clients don’t care. They couldn’t care less if you found the perfect RAW processing software (which is Capture One, in case you were wondering). They aren’t looking for your explanation of what company provides the best services to run your website (I’m partial to Photoshelter myself). Do you really think you got hired, because of that blog post explaining how to get Facebook to take down a copyrighted image or how to power a GoPro for a couple of days for a long time-lapse?
For almost 10 years I’ve been doing just that – and be honest, so have you. We’re targeting the wrong audience – we’re writing about what we want to learn as photographers. We’re writing for photographers.
I like you guys, but not one of you is going to hire me because of what I’m blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming about. And the people who are looking for a photographer or video creator? They’re not going to hire me because of those posts, either.
Use social media to put your potential client in a front row seat:
You don’t have to stop creating content that other photographers are interested in. It’s great to have Google see you as the expert when it comes to talking about photography, video and marketing, but please spend just as much time on creating content that your potential clients are scouring the web for when they’re looking for the next creative to shoot for them.
Social Media is a powerful platform, but it requires you to know the interests of your audience and what they are willing to spend their time on as well as where that audience is.
[This article first appeared on “Strictly Business“, the blog for the American Society for Media Photographers.]
Who doesn’t like to save money? Look people are reading your blog, following you on social media and listening to what you have to say, because you’re the expert, right?
[Full disclosure all these links are affiliate links, that give you discounts or gifts and may have some financial benefit for me to, BUT I used all these products for many years and I love to tell you about them.]
The list goes on and on, but you can do even better, than just saying – hey this is what I use to do my job: contact the companies and ask for discounts when your audience starts using their services and products, after getting introduced to them by you.
Isn’t a 10% discount or a $15.- savings worth clicking through your links? I think so. It doesn’t take that much time to set this up and sometimes you can also get something out of these deals for yourself (a discount on next months bill, a check for commissions you’ve earned).
One word of caution–actually two:
You’ll find these links in blog articles I write or on the sidebar of my blog. Sometimes I’ll use them in Social Media posts or on forums when someone asks a question, where I can help give a solution and a discount.
If you wanna get all fancy, use bit.ly links to help track how people are using your recommendations and to help remember what the links are; I can’t remember the PhotoShelter affiliate link for the life of me, but http://bit.ly/DepuhlPS is easy.
Now go to your favorite software site, you most used cloud service, … and share why you love to use them with your audience. And figure out how to get them a discount; your audience will love you for that.
Some MarketingHacks are totally unplanned – like a tweet that lets you recognize a unique opportunity (MarketingHack #8). Others require months of meticulous planning and tons of hard work – like putting together a world-class event to screen your movie (MarketingHack #11).
Then there are others that fall into your lap: Earlier this year I got an email which started off like this: “PHOTO Digital Video magazine/Portable Storage Buyer’s Guide/Editorial request for February issue (SUBMISSION DEADLINE TODAY!)”
You guys know I love ioSafe drives – I’ve got half a dozen I use (some are fireproof – other’s just waterproof) – you know I take my data integrity seriously. Well the good people at ioSafe sent out that email asking me for help. “Can you write a review about our drives?”
Mind you this is not my first interaction with them. They’ve sponsored workshops of mine, I write about how much I love their product on my blog, and they’ve seen me post a photo working in the jungles of Peru on social media featuring their drives.
Back to the email – Brett from ioSAFE asks me if I could write a product review about my experience with the rugged drives. These little guys are tanks: crush proof to 2,500 pounds, drop proof to 10 feet and waterproof at 30 feet for three days. Think of it as a permanent LifeProof case for your hard drive.
The catch is the article I need to write is due the next day. No problem. Since I’ve written about the drives before I know the specs, I know what I want to say – and they know I love the drives. 30 minutes later the post is written, include the photo and it’s send back to Brett. Hey, I’ll take press where I get to write about my work anytime. I’m happy to help. And Brett’s happy to have a review in to the magazine on time. Another part of the marketing puzzle is complete.
In fact, he’s so happy he sends me one of my favorite drives as a thank you. A welcome and unexpected gesture. Check out the article titled “Cinematographer takes ioSafe Rugged Portable to Extremes“
Somebody taught you. You read about, watched a YouTube video, sat in a class or worked with a professional, who took you under their wing and showed you how they create. Now it’s your turn – the may be the marketing hack that has the least amount of direct impact on your current marketing, but it’s pack a sneak attack you may not expect.
True the students you’re talking with won’t hire you for many years, if at all BUT share that you’re teaching. I taught at the Miami Ad School a few months ago, when the film instructor invited me to talk to her documentary class about filming my first short doc in Afghanistan a few years ago.
Why share this? Remember that everything lives online forever. When you’re potential clients search for you online and stumble across the fact that you teach at this school and have taught that workshop what are they going to think? Remember that only experts teach, so talking about the places you teach makes you an expert – and it’s just the right thing to do, so go down to your local school, build a relationship with one or more of the professors and share your knowledge with some students. It’s fun.
That’s all it takes to convince a potential client, who wants to hire me to produce and film a cooking show. This potential customer has known me for a long time – I’ve created many photographs for them over the years. “But can you shoot video?” was the question.
“National Geographic has aired my footage.” I say. That was the end of that discussion. What’s the point you ask? Anytime someone else says that your work is excellent, it’s worth more than you making that statement yourself. That can be as involved as getting a client to allow you to film a customer testimonial or as simple as telling people who your clients are.
If I tell you that my footage has aired on National Geographic, that I’ve photographed for Mars (the candy company), Harper’s Bazar has published my work, and that I have won international awards for my photography and video work ect. what image comes to your mind?
Compare that with a photographer who’s shot a photo for his aunt, filmed a video for Bob’s bagel barn and the PTA flyer of his school featured his work.
Strive to get your work out there. Look for opportunities that have name recognition – like National Geographic – to bolster your brands reputation. Having a list of household names as clients that you can rattle off, is often worth more than the money you make on the specific shoot. Sometimes it’s exactly those opportunities that call for you working for free or at cost (for the record, I got paid for NatGeo – which makes it even better). Many of these chances come from having an extensive network of people that you work hard to build. This is not a difficult task, but it takes a lot of time and determination to network and keep up these relationships.
Ask for screen credit during your negotiations and don’t be afraid to take a smaller dollar amount, if you can get your name on the piece. My footage has also been used by the BBC and NPR. I’ve also filmed for the Associated Press and CNN (ok so the CNN was a few seconds of B-roll, I shot with a buddy of mine and I wouldn’t use that to apply as a camera man for a news network, but it give my corporate clients a feel for the quality of my work. After all, if I’ve shot for National Geographic, I’m definitely good enough to shoot for my commercial client.)
Next time you get asked to film, photograph, produce or create something at cost or for free, don’t dismiss it outright. Take the time to see how it benefits your network and how you can raise the name recognition of your brand.
Every body loves free stuff, right? So how do you make your swag stand out? It’s not that tough, if you keep these 3 tips in mind:
How do you think local influencers feel, when I hand them a copy of a DVD with ‘On Wings of Hope‘? Let’s see how that stacks up:
Would you throw that out? Or show it to your friends? If you need to book a photographer to produce a video for you, would the guy that produce an award wining short documentary in Afghanistan come to your mind; especially if you have a personalized DVD he gave you?
Now I realize, not all of you are going to fly to Afghanistan to produce an award wining, short documentary; if you would, I’d need to come up with something more unique again. Well follow the same criteria I did:
I’d love to see what you come up with – show off your best stuff – tweet me @photosbydepuhl and use #MarketingHackSwag.
A tiny thing made a huge difference last week. “Our favorite image had your name on it,” the Art Director tells me on the phone “so I reached out to you on LinkedIn. We’d love you to create an image library of our product again.”
(Spoiler alert, my name is the first thing you read in my file name of every image and video clip!)
What makes this conversation special. Shouldn’t that be the default attitude toward your work? Yes. And No. Today you need more than killer images, although you absolutely definitely need those too. Without those there’s nothing to talk about. Just having great images is no longer enough.
In an ASMP “Business as Unusual” webinar Heather Elder (@heathereldersf), photo rep and author of one of my favorite photo blogs, said that the most important thing a photographer must have is his/her talent to create great images.
— PhotographyByDepuhl (@PhotosByDepuhl) September 16, 2015
That’s the flip side of this coin, isn’t it? There is so much competition today, that merely being good, doesn’t cut it. Everyone you’re competing with is as good as you. Or better.
Ok, back to the phone call with the art director. I worked for the Fortune 100 company a few years ago, but creatives change–especially in big companies like this–and you often get lost in the shuffle. The favorite image she refers to on the call, is over 6 years old. Making the image that’s my clients favorite image is the talent part of the equation, which Heather mentioned; but how on earth did she find me? Well to make a long story short, she saw my name in the file name of that image, found me on LinkedIn, connected with me and gave me a call. [You can read the whole story “Your filename must include this one word – if you want to work” on a blog post I wrote last week.]
Today raw talent is no longer sufficient, you also need to get your voice out there. You’re looking for every opportunity to stand out (I guess that’s why you read a web series on marketing hack– by the way thanks for reading it, we’re thrilled and this it the 20th #MarketingHack post – sign up to get notified via email, when the next post is published. All of them are designed to burn your brand into your clients brain.) Some are real simple (like thinking through your file name) others require months of planning (like the time I premiered a documentary in a 20,000 sqft hangar, with the airplane featured in the movie parked next to the screen – oh that was Marketing Hack #11 btw. But hey, don’t listen to me, check out what Heather has to say about the most effective ways a photographer can market him/herself: