Giveaway: How to Succeed in Commercial Photography
Written by: Tiffany Joyce
How to Succeed in Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant by Selina Maitreya is an excellent guide for any photographer looking to break into the professional world. Maitreya offers sensible, concise advice on being competitive, building a team, developing a powerful online portfolio, setting and meeting goals, overcoming fear, and accepting success. She encourages photographers to build their business based upon their values, balancing their priorities in their personal life with those in their professional life. Throughout the book she provides excerpts of interviews with commercial photographers who offer advice on how to avoid the pitfalls they themselves have experienced.
In honor of Selina Maitreya’s August 10th-12th blog tour (kind of like a virtual book tour) we are giving away one FREE COPY of “How To Succeed In Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant”. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post expressing your interest in receiving this book. On Wednesday August 17th the winner will be randomly selected and announced on our Facebook page!
Following is an article, reprinted with permission, that provides an example of the excellent advice and perspective that Maitreya offers.
© 2009 Selina Maitreya
Photographers have asked me for years for the magic formula for success in business. I’ve said there was none. I was wrong. When I look closely at the steps taken by photographers who have achieved successes, I see a different variation of the same process; I call the formula, THE MIX.
First of all, let me be clear, the successful photographers I am talking about are not the Annie Leibovitz’s, of the world. I am talking about photographers you may never hear of, or read about in PDN. They may sit next to you at an APA and ASMP meetings. You might have seen their post on a photoeditor.com but most likely you’ll never even know they exist. However, they are successful, as each one at different times in their career has reached their creative and financial goals. They have achieved their success, by employing not one or two steps of the MIX but by putting all of the essential steps needed into place. They went for the full Monty they worked the complete mix. That’s the key.
You don’t need every sales option, but some components can’t be left out and you will need to choose one option from each section of the process.
Here’s the formula: (*= Must be included)
* A talent based body of work ready to sell, (this means a defined visual approach around a specific subject with enough samples to build trust in potential clients.)
* A deep database of appropriate contacts (and a smaller more researched group of contacts for in person visits)
* 4-5 different marketing/sales channels (including direct sales see below for options)
* Marketing materials that are visually branded to move the visual message forward
*Patience (allowing for a 2-4 year timeline before seeing consistent results)
Notice that I wrote that those who were successful worked ALL of the steps above not just one or two of them. While there are 8-10 options for sales and marketing tools, you will need to employ at least 4-5 of them.
Effective marketing for any business, starts with branding and style combined with an up-to-date database. Marketing is a simple equation and is effective when diversified and done consistently.
Notice the words “diversified” and “consistent”?
For years I have met photographers who get a piece of the MIX but don’t jump in completely. Maybe they get the vision piece and then decided to send direct mail out to promote themselves. That’s it, direct mail. Maybe 4 to 6 times a year, period.
Then there are Creatives who believe in sending out visual email once a month. End of story. Of course if they just came back from PHOTO in NYC and heard a panel of art buyers talk about how much email they get, they decide to no longer send email, now they are onto social networking.
Get the drift? Photographers may now understand that they need to market but most have not yet embraced the concept of incorporating the MIX.
Selina Maitreya has been a highly regarded consultant to commercial photographers for the last 30 years. She is the author of “How to Succeed In Commercial Photography: Insights From a Leading Consultant”, available now at selinamaitreya.com.
“How to Succeed In Commercial Photography”, speaks through Selina’s voice and the voices of photographers, clients and other consultants all who share information and inspiration with photographers on how to have a life in photography. It is sold worldwide.
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