One Great Idea – Meet Brian Kliewer

If you follow me on Twitter, chances are you saw this come through as a re-tweet a couple of days ago. I was so impressed with this idea, I decided to include it in my One Great Idea area to share it with everyone, whether you are on Twitter or not.

To read the whole story, you can start here by reading Clint Watson’s blog.

Let me just sum it up for you, and then give you my take.

Brian Kliewer is not a photographer. But he used a great idea that could easily be implemented by any photographer in business today.

He’s a fine art painter. He has a small website where his clients can go and view his work, and purchase his paintings. He started this campaign with a small email list of 84 people.

Nothing big. Nothing fancy.

Yet he followed in the footsteps of a mentor, and came up with a great idea called “100 paintings in 100 days for $100 each”.

brian kliewer

Brian didn’t start out with the paintings in hand. He created the idea, then spent every day painting, photographing it, putting it up online, and hopefully selling it.

How well did he do?

At the end of 100 days, he sold 79 of them. That’s $7900 in 3 months that he wouldn’t have earned without this promotion.

And the publicity he gained through this event brought him in several other painting deals, and increased his email list by 46%.

Sounds great, doesn’t it.

Takeaway Idea:

Don’t reinvent the wheel – take an idea someone else has success with, and modify it to fit your needs.

As a photographer, why not create something similar with your photography. What could you do to create something that you can sell to your list, and have fun with the idea too?

The 100/100/100 is a great idea, but you don’t have to stick with those numbers. Maybe you’ve taken some great sunset photos over the years. Why not mount and frame them, and have a “50 sunsets in 50 days for $50 each” campaign? Send a postcard out to your clients announcing your new campaign, and let them know everything will be coming through your email list – they have to join in order to find out the new photographs.

Don’t have 50? How about 25? “25 photographs in 25 days for $25 each” would still bring in $625, help build your list, and open up your mind to new possibilities. The 25 series would help motivate you for further campaigns, and get your clients excited about your potential.

“But I’m just a portrait photographer. I don’t have sunsets or nature photos”

Even if your passion is babies, you can find a way to have fun with this. Think Anne Geddes. She started out as a baby photographer, and would ask the moms if she could take a picture or two for fun for her own use. Her collection grew, and she eventually became a fine art portrait photographer that photographed babies for her books, not as personal portraits. Run a contest. Let your moms know what you are doing, and the best become a part of your 50/50/50 deal. Yes they have to sign a model release for it. But imagine where you could be a year from now if you do this.

Good luck!

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We're the co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com and have been writing on this blog since 2004. We started Virtual as a way to help photographers stretch beyond a part time income, and develop strategies to become a Five Figure Photographer or a Six Figure Photographer. Ultimately its all about lifestyle, and if your goal is to live as a photographer 24/7, we think you should have the knowledge and the tools to do so. Welcome!

Comments

  1. Great post. I’d love to implement something like this for my Fine Art site: http://www.fineartbyariston.com. My question, though, is how he got the list of email addresses? Did he just collect them from another site or purchase a list online somewhere?

    Thanks!
    Ariston

  2. What a great idea for sales and list building and what a great blog! So glad I found you on WeMagazine for women, 100 More Women Bloggers to watch in 2009 – http://wemagazineforwomen.com/100-more-women-bloggers-to-watch-for-2009/

    I’m now looking forward to delving into your blog. Thank you so much for what you are offering here.

    Appreciatively,
    Sheila Finkelstein

  3. Virtual Photography says:

    Ariston – I’m sure his original list came from his existing client base. You should always have some way for people to sign up for something on your site, whether its an ezine or a free report. That will give you the list to do something like this with.

    Lori

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