Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Groundwork For A Marketing Plan

I just got done helping a photographer friend with her marketing plan. I had put together some homework for her to do prior to our meeting. This preliminary work I feel is crucial to laying a solid foundation for any business. Here is what I asked her to do:

Define what success means to you. What does it look like? Is is about the money your earn? The relationships you create? Being challenged by work? Is it about being published by vogue? Is it about following through on your commitments everyday? What does success really look like to you?

Create a dream bio. Spend a good hour of uninterrupted time doing this in a calm and relaxing place. Sit down and imagine that you are living five years in the future. What does your professional life look like? What are you shooting? Who are your clients? Do you have a team or are you a solo operation? What does your space look like? Do you have a studio or are you working out of an office in your home? How much money are you making? How many days a week do you shoot on average? What has been your best experience?

When you create this bio, you are not in your head. you are in your heart. Don't think the answers, sense them. Write them down as soon as they appear without editing or judging.

Your values:
Your job is to build a business around the values that are truly yours, knowing that in doing so you will attract the clients you seek. The next step is to determine what type of relationships you would like to build with your clients. How will you serve those that hire you? Consider creating service goals and making sure that everyone who works with you, from daily assistants to your monthly bookkeeper, is aware of and agrees to your ideals when it comes to serving clients.

Create a positioning statement. Look at 10 images you would have loved to create from magazines you like. Write down words that describe each photo on small pieces of paper or post its (one for each photo). Don't think or edit them, just write them all down. When you have done the work with at least ten photos you would have liked to shoot, lay down all the post-its next to each other and look for similarities in your descriptions. The descriptive words you use repeatedly become the beginning of the how of what your are drawn to.

Now do the same thing with your portfolio.

Do the descriptive words from your portfolio match the ones from your favorite magazine photos? Check to make sure that the messages you are currently sending out are the ones you are looking to deliver. If you find that the messages are indeed different, don't worry, you have lots of company.

When you feel that you are ready to move on and craft your statement, begin by describing what you do and for whom. Then add the how by looking the similarities among the descriptive words on your post it notes. These words begin to define your visual approach, ie. what you want to convey in your photography.

Most of this was taken from Selina Maitreya's book 'How to succeed in commercial photography.' Highly recommended reading!

If you need me to clarify any of it, let me know. Also if you do it, I would love to read some of the interesting stuff you came up with.

9 comments:

Kathryn said...

Wow Greg, you're always inspiring me daily. Many thanks!!

Felicia said...

I really needed this!
Thank you and I'm still reading your blog, it's been two hours! I'm learning so much as well as seeing things that I've already thought but need to write down so as to make it more concrete.

Merci mon grand

Felicia
www.nearandfar.wordpress.com

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