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25 Marketing Hacks is a weekly blog series the explores unconventional ways of getting the word out about your work. Traditionally photographers and cinematographers use their portfolios or show reels either in a face-to-face meeting or online to attract new clients. Today I’ll show you how to be featured as an expert in a book that you don’t even have to write.
So yeah, there’s no way around this. You got to become an expert. Clients love to work with an expert in the field, Google loves to find the expert to serve to their users, experts are wanted by everyone. This is the part where you need to put your nose to the grind stone and work hard.
The good news is that you don’t have to become the best expert in the world – after all there’s only one of those – but you need to become an expert in the eye of the author who is looking for an expert to help teach his readership.
Two and a half years ago, I got contacted by Rosh Sillars (@RoshSillars) who was writing a Digital Field guide on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. He was looking for an expert to give some tips on how to shoot video with the new Rebel. Rosh had asked me to give some practical tips on capturing motion, rather than the technical settings.
I gladly agreed, for one I enjoy helping my friends do well. I also can’t see the downside of being featured in a book as the expert on video. I was in the middle of pulling off my world wide première of my first documentary film (Check out Marketing Hack #11 for why we showed the film at an airport), when I did a quick phone interview with Rosh about video.
Rosh finishes the interview, the book gets published and I’m supposed to get a copy from the publisher, but honestly I totally forgot about it, although I did see the page on books.google.com and included a link to that page on my about page. Fast forward to yesterday (2 years after the book got published).
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.