In Business – Photography, Writing, Journalism? You: The Writer…

YOU:
The Writer

Let’s say your high-ticket top-of-the-line TV is broken. . .

. . . and you call a repairman you chose from researching the Web reviews.

He arrives in a rusted-out van and wearing an unwashed T-shirt and knocks on your door. Would you let him in? (Remember it’s YOUR TV.)

On the other hand, if he arrives in a freshly painted van and wearing a neatly pressed uniform you’d probably have more confidence in him. (Of course the irony is that the initial repairman might have graduated first in his class at TV-repair school.)

Keep your own reaction to the above scenario in mind when you design your website and stationery. If your budget will allow it, invest not in the good, better, or best –but go for the deluxe. (You never get a second chance at a first impression.)

Unfortunately, this is the way the visual world works. Most buyers react to the externals first. But then again, if you expect first class treatment from a buyer, shouldn’t you give the buyer first class treatment?

Photobuyers tell me that when they receive emails from photographers, they pay special attention to succinctness, professionalism, and plain spelling and grammar. Experience has taught them that any lack of attention given to communication basics is usually a characteristic also of the quality of the photos from that person — that the photos are likely to be poorly edited, out-of-focus, with scratches, washed-out color, etc.

For example, personally, although this is a short article, I’ve given it my full care and attention. What I say and write continually reflects on me as a businessperson. I guard my reputation in the photography world – so I went over this piece several times before I hit the SUBMIT button.

Now and then, here at PhotoSource International, I receive letters written to me with ballpoint pen on lined paper or flowered stationery, or emails with misspellings, explaining that the writer has wonderful photos, but complaining that editors and art directors don’t respond to their queries. Now you know a major reason why not.

In my books, “Sell & ReSell Your Photos” and “sellphotos.com,” I drive home this important point. The basic marketing recommendations in the early editions apply just as strongly today in our digital world.

Most photobuyers won’t take the time to make corrections and give advice -no matter how outstanding your pictures are. Photobuyers are usually harried and hurried people, looking for photographers who will cause them no grief and make life easier for them. Photobuyers don’t want to hold anyone’s hand through the learning process. They’d rather find someone who has already gone through the process and is “hassle-free.” If you’re not a veteran stock photographer, give the impression that you are, and then give the photobuyer excellent service.
Marketing your stock photos can be described as a train track. One rail is talented photography; the other rail is business etiquette and knowledge. If you have both – the locomotive will move along swiftly.
It may be a struggle for you to write a letter with a dictionary beside you. But the work will pay off –whatever career you choose. The two rails go together – 100%.
Here’s a technique pros will use when writing …  More

Thanks to Rohn Engh, PhotoSource International for this piece.

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