Intro by Skip Cohen
Suzette hits a topic this week that might seem off the path from slide shows and presenting your work, but it's one of my most favorite subjects. She's sharing ideas about "IPL" - In-Person Learning. I consider it one of the most valuable tools to thrive and not just survive! It's part of building an effective network, expanding your expertise as an artist and building a stronger business.
I've often said you can no more establish an outstanding skill set exclusively online than you could become the world's greatest race car driver without ever getting behind the wheel. Online education is outstanding and helps you build a stronger foundation of skills and technique, but it's missing the in-person contact.
I've sat in on some of Suzette's classes over the years and even though there's so much available on the Internet to help you build strong slide presentations, working with Suzette in person changes the dynamics of the process.
Photodex has done an outstanding job building an online resource through their website and blog as well. They're helping you better understand and utilize all the features to create a high impact videos, especially when you're combining still images with short video clips and great music. Now, combine the expertise they're helping you build with in-person classes to boost the quality of your images and everything moves up a notch!
If you're attending a conference where Suzette is teaching, run don't walk to get a seat. In the mean time if you haven't played with ProShow9 take it out for a test drive. You'll find so many terrific ways to enhance your slideshows and better demonstrate your skill set. Don't forget to use SAVE20WITHSKIP in the code box when you purchase any Photodex product for a 20% discount. For a limited time, this special discount code is still active.
Have you noticed how everyone is doing a class on In-Person Sales (IPS)?
If you haven’t heard, or don’t yet do it, it is a game-changer and can mean the difference between a potentially fabulous sale and no sale. Or, to be more blunt and direct, the difference between success and failure in your photography business!
While the millennials want everything online, the truth is: the sales process of figuring out what you truly want for a portrait order rarely happens as a self-guided tour! Having a knowledgeable guide is vital for a client to know what to purchase and what will fit their personal needs. The ability to see and feel products in person and talk through a myriad of topics to reveal what is truly valued most, is vital! And with the added benefit of touching heart-strings, invaluable!
But let me also bring up the topic of In-Person Learning! (IPL, for the sake of this article). We are in the middle of an online era where we think we can get everything we need online in the solitude of our own homes! Online education is great, but it's missing a huge element! The personal and vital interaction that communicates more than words.
Over the past few years, we have seen the attendance decline at many photography events, which makes us sad, but we also see a few still going strong and thriving. Yes, the marketing factor has had to take priority, but it’s so good to see a few organizations going strong and offer the value of IPL.
Last month, we attended Imaging USA in Nashville and at the end of this month will be WPPI; the two biggest imaging conventions in the US. PhotoPro Expo just recently took place in Cincinatti, and this week, a new booming success is SYNC (Senior and Youth National Conference) in Florida. SYNC is relatively young, (celebrating its 10th year this year), and is bigger than ever, truly focusing on the community aspect.
Remember, it’s not just the in-person class time; it’s lunchtimes, walking thru the hallways, the hotel lobby, tradeshows and the social evenings—all those times of interacting with fellow photographers that enrich our ability to see and help us grow in our businesses in many ways that are hard to articulate.
We know it is a bit more expensive, (just like that wall portrait) but will be something you will cherish for years to come—something that will touch your heart and potentially change your life in the long run. Why do we encourage families to buy that wall portrait or for brides to purchase that album? We know the value and it goes so much deeper than words. Remember that when you consider online vs in-person learning too. Yes, it is an investment, but the value far exceeds the cost!
I will be attending (and sometimes teaching too) quite a few events this year, and I encourage you to plan on attending at least one this year as well! In-Person Learning is so valuable- just ask any photographer who has survived over 20 years—you will hear this perspective over and over!
Please Join me and many other photographers who are part of the community of success! You can meet with us in person and enjoy the fellowship at at SYNC, Garden FotoFest, Shutterfest, Texas School, Palm Springs Photo Festival, GLIP, East Coast School, and for our own creativity, the ASP New Mexico Tour! I hope you will come up and say “hi” wherever you see Jonny and me this year and make plans to do more IPL: In-Person Learning!
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.