© 2-Consider | Clients + Love + Marketing

How was your last week? Good? I hope so. In my case it was a very different week. I spent most of the time with my family at home, taking care of Belen and helping with what I could, especially with the kids. Speaking of my family, I want to thank you for your prayers and for caring about my wife during these days. We are preparing to go back to Chile for four months, so there is a long checklist with many “to do’s” that we have to work on!

Photographically, my last week was somewhat good. I got to work on some of the photographs that I need for my coming photo coffee table book, which helped me to redefine my vision for it. That project is growing inside of me, and I feel I have the theme that I was looking for. I think it’s going to be a very unique book, because of its photography. The other good news is, that I got to work for Preemptive Love again, even though only for a day. But it is always refreshing and hopeful to work with them. By the way, I’m preparing a blog post on that assignment and some other things about the upcoming book.

Now, let’s talk about the articles that I have chosen for this week. I must say that it was really hard to pick only three this week, because I have at least 5 or 6. Anyway, I’ll try to highlight the ones that can bring more fruit for our photography. Let’s start with the first…

1) What is the role of the Client?

Kirk Tuck did it again! I think for the third time I’m writing about one of his articles. The reason I chose that article, is because only a few times have I read or found a blog post talking about the client issue. You might ask, “What issue?” Well, it seems that it’s not that easy for “creative-artistic” photographers to deal with “business-driven” clients and sometimes the blend of worlds does not work so well. At least that’s what you can understand from comments and tweets coming from photographers in general. With all that in mind, and adding the fact of really bad experiences, I think sometimes we are too defensive while talking with clients, and I think this article can help us to grow in that relationship. So far, I’ve had good experiences, but I’m sure I will find exceptions on the way ;-)… anyway the main point for Kirk in this article is that clients “are your sole financial resource,” so you should invest time and nurture a good relationship with them. He encourages us to see them as business partners.

Kirk, has a list of 4 points on how to build your relationship with the client. (please read the article to understand fully his points)

1. Understand their industry and their position within that industry.
2. Build a relationship with the person you collaborate with.
3. Go into every negotiation looking for ways to sell your vision or style without alienating those you should be collaborating with.
4. If you become a “commodity,” you’re dead meat.

How would you define your relationship with your clients?
Is there anything good or bad with that? What can it be improved?
How can you nurture your relationship with the clients?

Great article for your business all around!

2) For the love of Photography

I think this is the first time I’m posting something from Chase Jarvis, but from now and on I will try to do it more often, Why? Because he is one of those geniuses of the industry, so creative and a great guy, who likes to give back to the community. All these ingredients have made him very successful as a photographer and artist.

During this week he posted a very brief article. Believe me, is not going to take you more than 2 minutes to read the whole thing. But it can have a great impact in your vision and photography…IF…you let his words affect you and if you let these questions sink in to the deepest place of your artistic and photographic soul.

Do you really love photography?
Do we need to love photography?
How powerful is this art within you?
Can photography live/exist in your life even with no great gear?

Take some time to consider these questions, and let us know what you find out.

3) Selling Yourself: 10 Traits of the Master Marketers

This was posted by Photoshelter but written by Grover Sanschagrin, photographer. These are observations that Grover wrote about successful “marketers” or people who really “get it” when it comes to marketing. There’s even a list of the people who inspired this article as: Art Wolfe, Steve Jobs, Joe McNally, Lady Gaga, David Alan Harvey, Guy Kawasaki, Vincent Laforet, Richard Branson, Robert Caplin, Scott Kelby, Chase Jarvis, John Lander, Casey Templeton.

Anyway, I must admit that I need to learn a lot about marketing, because I know that this is fundamental for selling my work. If I really want to go far and have my own spot in the industry, then marketing will be always part of what I do. I know it sounds materialistic, superficial, and probably far from the artistic/creatively part of photography. But again, Do you want to live as a photographer? Do you want to have a career in this? Then you must accept this fact.

Here’s the list. (Remember to read the article to understand what it means)

1. They realize, and accept, that marketing is a lot of work – but necessary.
2. They are persistent and consistent.
3. They know what works, and what doesn’t.
4. They know their audience because they ARE their audience.
5. They find a niche, then define it.
6. They have character and manage to be entertaining or “interesting”.
7. They motive people to spread their messages, using many different channels.
8. They promote others (people, brands, services) in addition to themselves or their own products.
9. They share their knowledge and educate others.
10. They try to never let the world see them “marketing”.

This is one the best lists that I have ever read about marketing and I think we need to learn from it. What I’m going to do, as my own homework, is to try to think and study one of them per day and reflect on how I can use that in my own business. We’ll see what happen from that.

Well, I hope you have a great week, and that you keep growing in your craft.

Creativity… creativity… creativity. Period.