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.
It’s not good enough to be good (everybody else is too)
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.
Your images must speak for themselves, and …
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.]
… you must speak for your images
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: