What is a Contributing Photographer?
With over 13,000 photographers using PhotoBiz, we realized that there is an abundance of talent and knowledge here. The goal of our blog is to share our news, share industry news, and educate. With that said, what better way to educate than to utilize some of the best photographers in the world.
About LP: For 18 years I was entrenched in corporate America. It was a great thing because I gained invaluable business knowledge. I had no idea it would lead me here. After my last days in the twisted circle of working for the man I walked away. Not because I wanted to but because I experienced a divorce after 13 years of marriage. I was awarded sole custody of my 3 kiddos so it was “what do I do now” mode for me. It has all worked out for the better as most things do. I’ve always been a very artsy person by nature. I guess. I’m half right brained & half left brained so at times I have conflicts about this and everything else. The point to all of this is that many of you are venturing into business for yourselves because of similar situations. Maybe it was a corporate downsizing, a desired career change, etc. Whatever the reason, I’m here to help you feel more comfortable about the transition.
At one point I was a corporate trainer. I helped newcomers understand the why and how. I also helped them to apply the things that were being taught so that they too can experience success. So, this is comfortable territory for me and I love sharing this wealth of knowledge and am excited to do this for you!
Welcome! I couldn’t resist taking this great opportunity to share some of the things that have been instrumental in my growth as a photographer. I just feel a strong obligation to give back and be thankful for the wonderful things that have come my direction since going into business for myself. It isn’t that you have to run right out and do exactly as I have done because we are all different and the things I practice won’t work for all of you. So, please take a few pieces that you feel may work for you and give it a go. You have nothing to lose by trying and being open minded. As a business owner if you are to remain successful you have to be willing to change with the times. Something many photographers just aren’t willing to do. I promise this…if you think outside of the box in your business ideas you will be rewarded for much of it. Man…I just watched the movie Yes Man! Great story about coming out of your comfort zone and attracting things you deserve! Of course, I love Jim Carrey! Start attracting what you want!
First things first! (Internet Presence)
In my opinion, this should have been step #1 for me after deciding to become a professionally paid photographer. Let me just say that in this day and age anyone who is anybody has a presence on the internet. Many of you have realized that in order to compete and be taken seriously you will need to have a level of “visual professionalism”. It’s true. Being in the visual business myself I know the importance of SEEING a great first impression. Anything less than professional looking and I’m GONE and onto someone else’s site to find what I’m after. YES, it’s that easy to lose a potential client. We’ve all done it. I still do it as a consumer. A site appears slow? I’m gone. A site feels hard to navigate? Yep. You guessed it! I’m outta there! Not to mention running across a site with a senseless 90 second “intro”. Yeah yeah….I can think of better things to do in those 90 seconds. Goodbye!
With all of this being said, now think about your personal business. It’s time to take it seriously and be so unbelievably particular about your presence. You may have the best product and the best price on the planet but who’s going to know it if your internet presence isn’t polished and working efficiently? What’s worse is that YOU will never know who you’ve been losing. I tell you, 3 years ago I was in search of the right solution for my business. I searched for 3 months solid until I found PhotoBiz. Now I enjoy a great relationship with the people who have made it easy for me to focus on my business and its development. Prior to finding PhotoBiz I did have an internet presence. I built it all myself and I thought it was something awesome until I realized that not only were people doing business elsewhere but I was spending very valuable time working on my website to make it better not to mention maintaining its complicated existence. Very bad! That double-edged sword could have done me in had I let it continue.
Above and beyond my photography gear my presence on the internet has been key number UNO. Seriously, if all I would have for gear is a 6mp point and shoot but my images were appealing, I believe I would have done a decent level of business. The point is not to try that but to understand how important it is for people to find you when they don’t otherwise know who you are. If THEY like your images & your message then you stand “a chance” of getting them to consider calling or emailing you if you have put the time into your presence on the internet. IT was wonderful when I figured this out because the minute I joined PhotoBiz I started realizing that more people were giving me an opportunity to do business as a professional. Why? For once, they took me seriously. My site was tidy and clean, easy to navigate, loaded fast and my message and product were as perfectly displayed as they could have been at that time. What a great feeling! I wanted more of it! All I needed to do was to continue making sure that the images I chose for my website showcased my best work at the time. It’s all been much easier since.
Lastly, lets talk about merchandising. I’m just going to give you a quick introduction on it and talk about it in more depth on the next blog! Hey! It’s vital to do this now that you have this brand new shiny website! Change your images. Change them often. Move them around. Keep your site updated with your latest and greatest. Question, do you want people to know you based on what you did 8 months ago or by what awesome stuff you are doing currently? If you are a photographer I would imagine that your work is improving by leaps and bounds correct? It better be! Back to the task….every now and then, change the look of your site. PhotoBiz makes it EASY! So easy a Caveman can do it! Hahaha! Don’t laugh, but I do it often because I have this OCD thing. Call it OCD about being successful and being recognized (btw my girlfriend would hate to hear the part about being recognized). If I didn’t have the OCD it may be a little harder for me to do so at the very least do it because there is great importance in “merchandising” your product. For now, it’s closing time so make sure to come back next week to read about why things should continue to change with merchandising.