You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down!
Twice a day under two different handles I share quotes I find that inspire me. What started out as a way to get more Twitter followers has turned into a daily ritual, but just as much for me as my readers. Every quote seems to find its way into something I've done, might be working on or just reflects a thought about the day-in-day-out challenges of business.
The quote above really got me thinking about Marketing Monday and a theme for this morning's post. It's a simple point I want to make. So many of you keep doing the same thing over and over again. You're not going to knock one out of the park if everything you do is the same. Those "rainbows" only happen when you're looking up.
Diversify: Stop being a one trick pony and think about a little diversity in your work. Wedding photographers should consider learning how to photograph babies and kids because couples start families. Family photographers should focus some energy on pets because families with kids get a dog or cat sooner or later. The list goes on and on with logical expansions of your business. And, if you don't have in interest in expanding your skill set bring in a partner who has the skills, and start referring business to each other. Remember, brides, babies and pets are the winning trifecta of why most consumers hire a professional photographer.
Experiment: You have to learn the rules before you can break them, so start with a solid understanding of composition, lighting and exposure. Then step out of the box and experiment. Mix up your lighting. Change your exposure. Experiment with depth of field. Look at what your competitors are doing, then do something different!
Follow the leaders: I'm not suggesting you copy anybody's work, but pay attention to what the icons in the industry are doing that's different. Pick up any top consumer magazine and look at the trends you'll see in print advertising. Your client base is influenced by their environment and what they see in the magazines they read. You'll also find a lot of great information on YouTube, just by searching for any well-known photographer.
Attend conferences and conventions: It's only February and the best conferences in photography all happen in the first quarter. WPPI is coming up at the beginning of the month. Many state conventions take place in February, March and April. ShutterFest is March 29-30 and an outstanding time to catch some of the best workshops in photography along with hands-on shooting.
Click on any ShutterFest speaker on the right to find out more about the conference. Every year it gets better. Plus there's a terrific little trade show giving you the opportunity to network with key vendors.
Build your promotional and marketing calendar: Most of you are experiencing the slowness in the seasonality of portrait/social photography. That makes this the perfect time to lay out your promotional programs for the year ahead. If you do the same old programs you're going to miss those rainbows! Don't be afraid to consider something new in the year ahead.
I've been writing for Shutter Magazine since the very first issue and couldn't be more proud to be a member of the team. In this month's article I shared twelve ideas to help photographers strengthen their marketing approach. Here's the link to Shutter Magazine - get yourself a FREE online subscription then check out the hard copy. The magazine is stunning and typically runs around two hundred pages. Loaded with outstanding "how-to" content it's a necessary addition to your personal library. (My article is on pages 62 - 68.)
With every online issue, each of the authors provides a video tip to help make their point. The videos get thousands of downloads and then are also available on YouTube. Well, this month's was a classic and since I had so much fun making it, why not share it here and close this post with one more point?
Take the time to think through your marketing plans. Don't just put together a promotion without thinking through your demographics, potential partners, publicity and the potential results. And, remember, you're not alone! You've got knuckleheads like me hunting ducks in a pool just to make a point. Even better, you know where to find me if I can help you think through how to make 2016 the best year yet!
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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.