In our group, the survivors were the ones who had the least amount of overhead, the largest amount saved for a rainy day and hands down, the ones who created the most amount of new work. They kept advertising because we reminded them over and over that if they advertised during a time when their competitors weren’t advertising then their voices would be louder. A lot louder. It worked and they are all still in business.

Now, times are such that photographers can no longer depend on their agents to do all the marketing and sales. It is required that photographers have their own voice and sell themselves and their work. The days of choosing a source book or two and sending out an occasional mailer are over. Frequency, consistency and variety are crucial in any marketing plan. We tell our photographers all of the time that they need to mirror what we are doing for them and have a marketing presence all of their own if they want to survive. When they participate, the power of their marketing is exponential.

via Heather Elder Represents Blog.

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  1. I agree. I’m the biggest seller of my own work. I think At-Edge is the best of the source books out there because it’s SMALL and people keep them. I see that book on AD and AB desk all the time. Promotion mailers do work. I sent a poster promo out in Oct. Right away I got a campaign. Bad mailers don’t get jobs, they get tossed. Frequently is definitely the key to good mailings. As well as eblast. I love my agent but I feel I’m in charge and they are an extra voice. I have no problem talking and that helps in this biz when you need a voice… AAAHHHHHHHHH.
    ALSO it helps to take care of yourself. Exercise everyday, eat well, meditate, make love, mt. bike, go skiing.. it’s good for your brain and keeps the creative energy flowing..

    • @bob scott, Right on Bob!

  2. I have a marketing/PR degree fer cryin’ out loud, but there’s simply not enough time to effectively market myself. Between being my own IT Guy, the Billings/Receivables/Taxes Guy, the Branding/Promo/Marketing Guy and the Studio Manager it’s hard to find time to actually explore and create new, quality images.

    The only thing I can’t outsource is the creative juice between my ears. This year I hope to get closer to that magic balance between the business of business and the business of creating.

    • @Andy Hagedon, My thoughts exactly.

  3. I agree with Heather’s statements that all of that would be great, but at what cost?????

    Shoot a lot of new work $$$$

    Advertise $$$$

    Travel to agencies and get meetings $$$$

    OK, so if you have good work, or great work, you will keep working, but Andy is right too… somethings gotta give.

    I think, even if you reduce overhead, and run a lean ship, if you do all of those things that Heather suggests, you might do a little better than break even, because even when you get hired companies are nickel and diming photogs to death.

    Where are the reps that are willing to say: Do all of these things that cost you a lot of money and I will pay 50% of your marketing costs because I believe in you?

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