Tag Archives for " promote "
It’s not easy getting your marketing message heard today. There is so much noise out there – so many things are vying for every split second of our time, that especially if you’re just starting out you are speaking to no one. How do you build your audience?
Find someone who already has an audience and is willing to introduce you to them. Now there are a couple of people you don’t need to ask. The photographer that is in your market and your direct competition is probably not going to want to introduce you to his audience. I mean we’re all friends, but we also compete for the same work.
Let me tell you who gave me a chance to be heard: I met Rosh (@RoshSillars) a few years ago. He’s a Detroit photographer that shoots food and people. He was planning to hold a Social Media workshop in Miami many years ago and I had signed up for that. That workshop ended up falling through, but we stayed in touch. Rosh hosts a podcast and -I don’t remember all the details if he asked me or I asked him- but I ended up being a guest on his show. Rosh and I don’t compete. We’re in different markets and we focus our photography on different segments of those markets. It didn’t hurt his business to have a Miami product photographer on. Interestingly enough my first time we spoke about the importance of blogging.
To be honest, my phone did not ring off the hook, with people begging to photograph for them after the show aired, but Rosh gave me the opportunity to talk to his audience. You never know where these opportunities end up, our most recent collaboration was the Switch2Social workshop I produced in Miami, where Rosh was the main speaker. Rosh has interviewed me for books he’s written, I’ve been on his show a few times and he’s promoted some online events I’ve put on.
As long as there is mutual benefit in these relationships and it makes sense to share your audience. If you’re just starting out – ask another photographer, if they can introduce you to their audience and if you’re an established shooter, don’t be afraid to share some new voices with your audience.
Referrals are a great source of new business. If my friend tells me that you’re good, his recommendation place a bigger role in my decision to hire you, than pretty much anything else. When the person compliments your brand , by writing a recommendation or giving you a referral, that’s huge!
But there are only a few places online, that let people write these compliments online, I’m thinking primarily LinkedIn (for B2B) and Google (for clients that find you though search) and not so much Yelp – I love Yelp when I’m looking for a restaurant, but I have not seen anyone pull their website up to find a commercial or advertising photographer (that’s why I think it makes no sense for you to advertise on Yelp.)
In the B2B world it’s reviews, referrals and recommendations and the more of an expert the person that’s making the compliment about your brand is, the more worth that comment will have. How do you let people know about these positive comments though, if people don’t leave them on LinkedIn or Google?
Well, I’m glad you asked – here’s what happened to me last week and what I’m doing with that compliment: I’m working on a printed piece to mail to my clients that use me as their product photographer. I’ve shot some basic product photography for them, but we haven’t done any shots, that tell their product’s story. So a few days ago, I contacted a couple art director friends of mine and asked them which tagline went best with this image for the target audience I just described – you can help me as well, by answering the same question:
A short time later I get the responses from my friends, but one of them totally surprises me. He tells me his favorite tagline, but then he starts talking about the photograph itself:
As I’m chatting on Facebook with my Chicago art director friend Bob, he asks me if I did the final retouching/composition of the image. Nope, I say it’s only run through Capture One (the best RAW image processor I know) and I removed a stray hair in photoshop. Other than that it’s exactly the image I saw in my mind as my camera was recording it.
His response? “Well color me IMPRESSED! It’s so perfect, I thought it had to be ‘photoshopped’.” Well gosh darn it Bob, you’re making me *blush*.
Well a compliment from an expert is worth a lot to me and Bob is an expert. He’s been an art director for decades, seen hundreds of thousands of images and thought that this one was so perfect, it had to be photoshopped. That’s saying something, unfortunately…
“There is a God and He loves me.” That’s what I’m thinking when I hang up the phone. I’m so excited, I can hardly contain myself. I had just finished editing my first documentary film, that had been produced as a pro bono piece for a humanitarian organization. I made the movie to tell their story. A distant second reason was to learn how to shot a documentary film and even further down the list, I’m thinking it’s a great piece to launch the video portion of my photography business, if I could put the story about my client front and center. The organization had covered the costs of the production and I was happy to not charge my for my filming and editing, but we had never even considered to include any money to promote their story.
However, in my mind, their story deserves to be premiered in a bigger way, than just setting up a screen in my backyard with some friends – I’m thinking a lot bigger than that–in german we have a word for that Größenwahn (loosely translated it means megalomania = the delusion about one’s importance) or in my case the delusion about how important the story is that the film is telling–but it looks like in reality it is gonna be the garden party with a couple of friends, after all it’s my first documentary film and I’ve only been doing video for 6 months when I filmed it. Before that day, I had almost given up the hope for something big and almost accepted the fact of an intimate launch party with some friends. Almost. Until I get off the phone.
“I’m gonna be in Florida, can I come visit?” Daniel had asked me. We’ve know each other for decades and love hanging out together, although we usually live on opposite sides of the globe–we actually were in Cape Town at the same time once, but didn’t find out until weeks later – c’est la vie. Anyway, I was excited to get a chance to spend some time with my college buddy. At the same time I was curious, since he’s usually not in Florida when he comes to the States. When I inquired about the reason for the unexpected, but very welcome visit, his answer stopped me dead in my tracks: “I’m gonna be picking up the plane.”
Turns out the plane he’s talking about, is the very one that I had flown in and filmed, while I was in Afghanistan. It’s now sitting at an airport 20 minutes from my house, waiting for a new set of engines and an avionics upgrade. “Can we do something with the plane and the movie?” was my first question to him. I’m envisioning something grandiose, like the plane parked next to a big screen that’s playing their story, like my friend Mary always says “Go big, or go home.” I like dreaming big. Remember Größenwahn? But since there’s no budget, the chances of anything happening are remote to say the least. I mean I have to find a place that’s big enough to actually pull this off and I need to be able to get the airplane to that place, if I find one. What are the chances of that happening? Slim to none.
I call the company that’s working on the plane. They should to have the hangar, right? So I call them up and get a very nice secretary on the phone, who does a great job of not letting me even speak to her boss. Don’t get me wrong. She’s doing exactly what she is hired to do–get rid of all the crazy people. So how do you handle a polite “No“? Do (a) give up, (b) look for another location, (c) curl up in a corner and cry or (d) none of the above.
I send a nice email thanking her for her time and include a trailer for the movie. 20 minutes later my phone rings.