Every year, we spend the month of November and December, reviewing the year to determine what worked and what didn’t. We examine our financial goals in the hopes of liking what we see and we outline the plans for 2014. Our aim is to review all of this and more with each photographer so that we can set accurate expectations for 2014.
Part of that process means taking a close look at what we noticed while we were out there showing the books, presenting estimates and doing our agent thing. When we present our plans to our photographers, we include this information to them in three parts:
2) What made a difference in our group this year?
3) What trends are we seeing?
Last week, we shared our insights to question #1. Today, we are sharing how we answered question #2. Stay tuned, in a later post, for the answer to #3.
WHAT MADE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR GROUP THIS YEAR?
RELEVANT NEW WORK
The idea that a photographer needs to shoot inspiring, new, relevant work often has not gone away. It is still just as important for a photographer to be creating and inspiring. The photographers in our group are fortunate to be well known but in order to stay top of mind they need to create new imagery to share with their prospective clients. As with every year, the photographers in our group that produced the most amount of new imagery, were rewarded with the most amount of new projects and new clients.
I re-read what we wrote for this section last year and it is crystal clear. No need to reinvent the wheel, right?
We must sound like a broken record but it is more important than ever and very much expected for a photographer to have an active voice in their own marketing in addition to what their agent is doing. Mailers, emailers, websites and ads are no longer enough. Clients are wanting to hear from photographers themselves. This can be done via social media, blogs, attending events, showing off their own books and personal connections. The photographers that are embracing this as a part of their marketing are getting noticed. To be clear, for the photographers who are not doing this, we are not hearing “Where is X? Why doesn’t he have a blog or why isn’t she here at this event?” Instead we just not hearing about them as much as those that are embracing this idea.
BEING RESPONSIVE AND ENGAGED
This one too….
The world is moving fast. Clients expect to hear back from us and our photographers quickly. They are also expecting the photographer to be engaged and interested. Seems like a given right? Well, seeing how busy everyone is and distracted by projects, shoots, etc, clients are noticing when an photographer is not as engaged. Taking a second to really connect with a project and making time for a focused conversation is more important than ever.
Our blog has become a very popular and well respected blog about our industry. We have gained more followers in the last 3 months than we had all together over the last year.
Our strategy of Keeping the Conversation Going about hot topics in the industry is a powerful one that is embraced by not only photographers but art producers as well. Between our Community Table posts and the Art Buyer series posts, we are able to cover important topics such as marketing, estimating, production, advances to name a few. We plan to keep those conversations going for sure!
Thank you to each and every reader, contributor and sharer of our posts. We appreciate all that you do to make this blog compelling and relevant. THANK YOU!