The American Society of Media Photographers provides this forum to encourage the development of critical skills and to foster new ideas. Our goal is an informed and savvy professional photography community.
[by Rosh Sillars]
One of the most underused tools in social media is the LinkedIn search box. If you want to know who the decision maker is at a company, type the company name in the search box. LinkedIn lists employees and titles that have a LinkedIn account. This information alone has opened many doors for me through the years.
One of the best ways to open doors is with the support of your friends. The people who know and trust you can offer a warm introduction. This beats a cold call any day. If you know the name of the person to whom you want to present your work, type his or her name in the LinkedIn search box. The results will not only share the accounts of the people you wish to reach, but also the names of the people you know who are connected to them. In my experience, it is much easier to call or email a friend rather than a stranger for a little support.
As with any powerful tool, this can be abused. Remember to avoid wearing out your welcome with friends and associates. If you use the LinkedIn search box effectively, you will open doors.
Rosh Sillars is a photographer, author and marketing consultant. Listen to his weekly podcast at http:www.roshsillars.com
[by Carolyn Potts]
The first hurdle to get an appointment with a prospective client is probably their voicemail.
If you craft your voicemail message as you would the Subject line of a good email blast, you increase the chance of getting a return call. Time-stressed people hit their voicemail’s delete button as readily as they do for their email inbox. The content of your message must relate to their needs–not yours. Your message has to be one that piques their interest.
The call that’s most likely returned is one that states both a targeted and researched benefit combined with a shared personal connection.
“I’d like to show you my portfolio” is not a clear statement-of-benefit.
A better message might be:
“My new lifestyle portfolio represents the latest research on demographic trends. As you know, recent legislation will create demand for images that represent the changing face of the American family. My new work is of both individuals and family groupings in studio and on location.”
If you combine a benefit oriented message with a reference to a common connection, that’s golden. Get permission from a common connection that you know well to use their name as your voicemail entrée (LinkedIn is your friend).
State the mutual contact’s name at the beginning of your voicemail pitch. Don’t start with “Hi. I’m photographer, Pat Smith. You don’t know me, but we both know Chris Jones.”
A better tactic is “Chris Jones suggested I call as we recently worked together on a photography project that turned out far better than anyone expected. We both know what a perfectionist Chris can be, and because this project relates to your work on X [ the account that you've researched] I’m hoping I can show you the evidence. This is Pat Smith and my contact info is…..”
Keep calling back. Do not get an attitude nor give up after the first few unreturned calls. Assume the person does intend to call back but that they’re absolutely buried on current projects.
As a photo rep, I called art buyers dozens of times–almost to the point of giving up. Oftentimes, it was the “I’ll-give-it-one-final-call” that was the call they actually answered and then apologized to me for not calling back sooner.
It really just a matter of persistence and timing. You don’t get one without the other. Persistence is in your court.
Carolyn Potts, photography marketing consultant and former rep, shows seasoned & proactive photographers how to get in the door and land more work. Find her at her www.cpotts.com, www.facebook.com/CarolynPottsCreativeConsultant and http://carolynpotts.net
By Carolyn Potts |
Posted: May 20th, 2013 |
[by Gail Mooney]
We all get stuck every now and then. When I’m stuck, and it seems like all of a sudden my mind is void of any ideas that excite me, I remind myself that it’s probably time to change something. Usually, what I need to do is to change my perspective or the way I look at things. That could mean that I change what I choose to photograph or how I choose to shoot it. Or it could mean that I make a change in another area of my life like a change of my environment.
I have also learned what doesn’t work when I get stuck and that is to do nothing. When I find myself in a routine that doesn’t bring value to my life anymore, I know it’s time that I need to do something about it.
Here are some things I do that help me find inspiration when I get stuck:
- I take a walk in nature – This helps me if I’ve been immersed in technology, like video editing, for long periods of time. Staring at a computer screen isn’t going to give me the creative answers I need, because I get too narrowly focused on the minutia. A walk in the woods does wonders.
- I don’t try to force creativity – I know that I have creative and non-creative cycles. I also know that some times when I’m in a slump, I shouldn’t try to fight it. I take a break and do something mindless and that seems to free up ideas.
- I place myself in a new situation or environment – That could mean taking a trip into NYC or further afield. Or it could mean attending an event that will stimulate my mind.
- I get together with a friend or colleague – This always gives me a big boost. Brainstorming with others energizes me and gets my creative juices flowing.
- I see a movie, a play, a dance performance or go to an art museum – anything that will stimulate my senses.
- I talk with high school or college kids – I am on the advisory board of YPA (Young Photographers Alliance) and it’s always a treat to speak with these young emerging photographers who are just beginning their careers.
- I get away from the whiners and the people who have lost their passion for life.
Gail Mooney has been a photographer and filmmaker for over 30 years. Her latest book The Craft and Commerce of Video and Motion helps still photographers who are thinking about getting into motion.
[by Bruce Katz]
My inspirational revelation came long ago when I began guitar lessons. I had just seen an amazing guitar player (Danny Gatton) in concert the night before my weekly lesson and casually remarked to my teacher that I like to burn my guitar, as I’d never get to be that good. Without missing a beat, my teacher starting playing some signature Gatton licks and said that instead of burning his guitar after seeing Danny play he called him up and arranged for a few lessons. He went on to show me how he applied those lessons to his own playing style, and then took the basic musical concepts and distilled them for my lesson that day.
That concept of taking positive inspiration out of seeming distant, unachievable goal has stuck with me for a long time.
Keeping those positive goals in the forefront is actually very hard to achieve. The opposite instinct, “headtrash” as my Sandler business instructor, Bob Heiss, likes to call it is much more common. Simply put “headtrash” is negative thinking and being closed off to new ideas. Unless you can overcome this negative energy you will never be able to put inspiring ideas into action.
We’ve all seen this play out in our daily lives, especially in our online communities. The biggest threads are usually the most negative and contentious, where no positive action can be taken. While they can be “fun” to read, they are the digital equivalent of rubbernecking at an accident scene on the highway – ultimately it just makes you late to your destination.
The great news is that if you can open yourself to new ideas and positive energy, professional photographic communities like ASMP (and APA, WPPI, NPPA, etc.) are the perfect place to get inspired, and a great place to be inspiring to others.
Do you need help pricing? Bill Cramer can inspire you and give you the tools to be a better negotiator. Video? Gail Mooney has got your back. Starting out? Tony Gale will get you going as an assistant (yes that’s an inspiring APA program). Need to rework your portfolio? We’ve got a webinar for you. Stuck in a creative rut? Check out the NY Chapter’s Brain Trust groups, a place to run with ideas in a small, safe environment.
Of course I didn’t burn the guitar, but it’s still a struggle to keep the “headtrash” at bay. Just know the simple act of being open to new ideas will allow the inspiration to flow.
Bruce Katz is a NYC based architectural and portrait photographer. When he’s not working with new clients on set, he can be found teaching at ICP.