5 Keys To Finding Clients In The Future

I recently wrote a post 13 Ways To Make Sure 2013 Doesn’t Suck For Your Photography Business. I’ve been doing a lot internal planning with my own business for 2013, and I used that post as a trigger for all of you to start thinking about what you want the New Year to bring into your own lives. In order to stick with that theme, I’ve decided to run a “13 Days Of Photography” feature throughout December to help provide you with a ton of ideas and tips on things you can do for your own business starting on January 1st. Here is 5…

Future gold key

Doesn’t the marketplace seem a little overwhelming right now? Everywhere you look, there is an ad for something. You get hundreds of emails a day. Your newsfeeds rotate constantly with new content. Retailers are doing anything they can to bring in a buck or two – several stores in our area are open 24 hours a day right through Christmas Eve.

At some point it all becomes a bit too much … and you simply shut down.

But that doesn’t mean customers still aren’t out there. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people that want and need what you do.

They may have shut down as well. They may be so overwhelmed by all that is happening around them, they simply need another way to notice you.

And that’s where we have to be innovators. It’s not business as usual. To market the way you always have will get you nowhere in the coming years. The only way to survive – to thrive – will be to take a new approach.

Key #1: It’s Time To Be The Un-Photographer

At one point in time, cola was all the rage. People loved the bubbly drink, dark in color, sweet in taste. Then something new came along – the un-cola. It brought you a bubbly drink with a twist. The color changed. The taste changed. And it was refreshing in its own right. It took something old and put a new twist to it. You can’t photograph like photographers did twenty years ago. The marketplace wants something new – something different. And yet very few are offering the twist. The one’s that create the twist – the un-photographers – will move ahead in this new industry.

Key #2: Think Of The Internet As A Horizontal Marketplace

How many marketing tools do you need to survive? One? Five? Fifty? There is no right answer. Yet for most of us, it is well beyond one – very few could operate with just a business card. Different people “see” things in different ways. Which is why you need to be in different places, off line and on. A simple website won’t reach out to the new customers of tomorrow. Likewise, just a Facebook page will do little to reach customers that are rarely on Facebook. It requires a variety of tools – a horizontal reach through many different tools. Your blog, a Facebook account, reviews on Yelp, a YouTube channel – all reach out in different ways. And provide you with a wide plane of potential. [Read more…]

You Mean I Can’t Use An Image From Google Images?

A friend called in a panic last week.

“I just received a notice from a lawyer stating I used an image of their clients on my website. It was copyrighted, therefore I owe $750 and must take the image of my site. If I don’t pay, they will continue pressing charges. Is this for real? I found it on Google Images, can’t I use those images?”

Yep, the world of photography is in chaos at the moment.

So we explained copyright laws and how the only images you can use online are images created by you, or images falling under creative commons or royalty free images.

Still the conversation persisted.

“So there’s a difference? If I look through Google Images, how do I know if I can use it or not?”

“You can’t use Google Images. Google indexes all images placed on every site in existence. Some are copyrighted, some aren’t. But you can’t use them. You can purchase images from a royalty free site like iStockPhoto.com. Or you can create the images yourself.”

Yep, for good or bad, the Internet and Google have changed everything. With a goal of indexing virtually everything in existence – from photographs to books and public domain information – Google now has become the average person’s best friend.

If you have a question, Google it.

If you have a problem, Google it.

If you need an image, Google it. [Read more…]

Moving Forward – Where Do We Go From Here?

This post is Day 30 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

The questions raised by today’s photographers make you wonder what’s happening to the photographic industry. And rightfully so. Is there a future for photography? Can you still make a decent living as a photographer?

Huge amounts of photographers are coming on board because of digital cameras. It’s easy to buy one, easy to understand and process an image, so it’s easy to announce you are becoming a “professional”.

With so many newbies on board, they take the easiest way possible to make a few bucks. They shoot, give the images on a CD, and then wonder why sales are diminished.

Over the past few years, clients have come to expect the files because of the trend to supply a CD. “Whose photos are they anyway? Why should I pay more than the going price at the big box development center?” Clients ask; photographers give in; sales are lowered; and the possibility of surviving as a full time photographer shrink to nothing.

What’s a photographer to do? [Read more…]