As you plan the new year, pay attention to those friendships you've made in your network. Keep in touch with old friends and make it a point to put time aside for new ones. You're part of an amazing industry and nobody has ever written better advice on marketing than Terry when he said, "Smile big, laugh hard, make people happy!"
He walks the talk all the time and you can see it in his head shot above. Well, Terry sent me a great quote a long time ago from the CEO of Restoration Hardware, Gary Friedman,
“Great brands don’t chase customers; customers chase great brands.”
Everything I talk or write about is marketing based and branding is so much more than just the artwork behind your logo. It’s all about building awareness and if people aren’t chasing you, then let’s look at what you might be missing.
- The quality of your work has to be outstanding. I've repeatedly written about your galleries and your portfolio. Is the work you’re showing in your portfolio and website the very best it can be? Would you hire you? NEVER compromise on the quality of your images and show only your very best images.
- Do people know how to contact you? This is about being accessible. Too many photographers, for some reason, don’t want to put a phone number on their website. Give people a way to contact you and then answer your phone! Website templates that give people an email system and no other way to make contact by themselves don't give people what they need. Think about your own experiences as a consumer when trying to contact any company. Don’t you like to talk to a live body rather than correspond via email? And, when people do call you, call them back as quickly as you can - there's little that trumps a fast response.
- Does your community know you? You’ve got to be involved. People need to know you’re giving back to the community, not just taking from it. It doesn't matter how big or small the project is - be involved.
- How’s your reputation? This is all about consistent performance. You need to come through on all your promises. Everybody misses something now and then, but if your track-record is consistently good, it’ll get people talking. Actually, if it’s bad it’ll get people talking too, but that’s not the conversation you want to be a part of! Check out the recent guest post by Bruce Berg - it really hits the point about building your reputation.
- Advertising and promotion – what are you doing out there? How are you getting the word out to the public? While we’re a word-of-mouth industry that doesn’t change the necessity to look for effective ways to advertise and promote your brand. Everything has the potential to increase awareness, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, print advertising, direct mail and email.
But the real bottom line is Terry's eight word guildline