Do what we love and add a marketing approach, the money will follow.
First of course is doing what we love. If not sure what that is or could be, we need to learn about our natural aptitudes. That’s the stuff that makes us happy by doing it. We have to be there, first. I learned about mine from Johnson O’Connor Research Institute.
Step two is to realize that we need to go to market. We need to make the first move.
Almost without exception, nothing happens until we get it going. Marketing will always be a part of our business, historically an expense of about 40%. We can hire someone to do the marketing for us and pay them or we can do it ourselves which means that we need to add marketing to our activity, and like it or not it will usually turn out to equal about 40% of our time.
If our product is physical, we can put it in a gallery. The key here will be selecting a gallery that will attract the kind of buyers that need or want our product and that some how attract buyers. With photography, that may be the route to income.
However, if our product is intellectual property, our approach changes. Years ago, I came to the conclusion that competition for my photography made my marketing a game of chance, even if it was leasing the use of my images.
But if I added words with my photography, editors liked that. One side benefit was that I also eliminated a good portion of my competition. That developed into the business of story idea making. Now, I simply send out a single page outlining a story idea and include a few sample images to go with the story and wait until an editor responds positively.
Today, we’re blessed with the Internet, for both research and e-mail submissions. I
receive my fee for the photo/text package, sometimes even in advance.
Extend that approach out, we begin to notice story ideas all around us. On a recent vacation I learned of plans for a round the world sailing event to benefit the Leukemia Society. From their website I sketched out a one page query and sent it to a half-dozen possible buyers, listed in Writers Market. I included a few images from their site with permission of course. Within a few days I received interest from xxxxxxx xxxxxx Magazine.
On another occasion, I was discussing a story idea with an editor via e-mail and the idea came up about an article that would support a Convention that was planned. I gathered information about the Georgia Antebellum Trail on-line and spend a day doing photography at some of the planned venues. Read the published article here.
And here is the best part, I’m having a blast. Oh yes, there are some of those pesty things that come up from time to time; but, even when the market is down, makes no difference. Opportunities tend to follow us around. Nice being on purpose.
If this approach resonates, let us know and we will make sure you’re included in upcoming discussions. Like, share and follow. Please feel free to comment with your experiences.