Is your site invisible to cutting-edge web surfers?

Are you invisible at the cutting edge?

Can the Mac-based “early adopters” (i.e., those communication industry trend setters who others soon follow) review your web site??

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If you’ve an all-Flash web site… you’re invisible on the iPhone.
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It’s been almost a month since the incredible frenzy surrounding the release of Apple’s iPhone monopolized the media reports.

You may now have one, covet one, or care less about the whole subject.

But no matter which camp you’re in, there’s one thing about the iPhone you have to be aware of: the current version of the iPhone does NOT support Flash. Yep. According to Steve’s Jobs vague answer regarding the subject of Flash support, he said that Apple “may do so in the future”. With the next upgrade of the iPhone software, I suspect that they will. But right now all-Flash sites don’t display in the phone’s web browser.

What this means is that if you have an all-Flash site (something I’ve been campaigning against for years), all those award-winning, cutting edge designers and art directors–you know, the ones who tend to be early adopters of all things Apple, and who have hordes of people following their every creative move–will not be able to see your site while they’re web surfing and showing off their iPhone to anyone who sees it in their hands.

Can you imagine what your web traffic logs would have reported this month if your site was one of the visible sites that the iPhone-owning designer had bookmarked?

If you’ve seen anyone with an iPhone in the last few weeks, then you know what kind of attention it gets from curious onlookers. How many of those iPhone owners creative community business contacts and friends could have seen your site in that impressive show-and-tell session? What pass along “wow factor” could have been yours that day?

And further consider if your page had been optimized for mobile devices… how better would that have been?!? Some people in the photo business spend time considering these marketing technology issues. Because they know that no matter how great someone’s images are, if they’re not viewable to a potential client anywhere, anytime, on any device, a potential sale can be lost to someone who is. Our clients and their clients are thinking about this marketing message delivery stuff. Are you?

Next week I’m off to another one of those geeky technology conferences I love to attend; I’ll be bringing back more news from the bleeding edge of internet marketing.

Another blow to commercial photo biz came today

The NY Times reported today been a release of yet another microstock site. No doubt this will further drive down what clients expect to pay for an image. Today, Corbis announced the release of SnapVillage a new site which allows amateurs and semi-pros to sell their images for $1-$50.

The rate SnapVillage pays the photographer? 30% of each image sold. So when buyer pays a maximun of $50 for an image, the photographer would receive a whopping $15. Once you reach $10 in royalties owed, you would be paid on the last day of the following month.

Read more

Teeny Tiny Steps: Part 2 of 2-part series

Here’s Part 2 that I promised.

“Teeny, Tiny Steps the Create a Mountain of
Success”

Here’s one of those small actions that’s paid off for
clients who need help in the creative-unblocking
realm: spend less than $1 and buy one of
those spiral-bound notepads that fit in your
pocket. (Or if you’re more tech-inclined, create
a new Memo record in your PDA).

Deliberately name the notebook (or file) so as to
engage your sub-conscious about your intention.
Call it “Inspirations,” “Messages from the
Interior” , “Finding my Focus, ” etc. Whatever
works for you.

In that notebook or file, start noting and recording
when you are struck by a scene in your day-to-day life.
You may or may not have your camera with you at the time.
But what you always have with you is your attention.
By noting what attracts your attention when you’re
not deliberately looking, you’re going to start
becoming more conscious of a normally unconscious action-
i.e., where your attention is drawn to without you deciding what
to focus on.

That, in turn, will lead to becoming more aware
of what you’re seeing unconsciously-which is an
aspect of your unique vision. Oftentimes, that’s
not what’s reflected in your portfolio–but it
should be. Because it reflects the YOU that no
one else IS.

It’s different for everyone. It could be you’re
always drawn to faces. Particular kinds of faces.
Or shadows of a certain density. Or colors of a
certain hue. Or relationships between people. Or
between people and their environment. Or certain
objects. the way light wraps around metal, or
fabric or liquids.

Over time, you will start to see patterns. You
will see where your attention is consistently
drawn. You will start to have more confidence
that you do indeed have a unique vision.

What this will also do is help you become more
intimately acquainted with the You that is
noticing these scenarios. The reason you need to
know that You better is that that You is the same You
that has shot those gorgeous images in your book
that seem to have ‘just happened.’ Your own
“decisive moments.” The ones that in a flash, you
created brilliantly without thinking.

They’re the images that everyone seems to love
but the ones that you feel a bit sheepish about
including in your book. You tend to devalue them
because you didn’t have to “crawl over glass on your belly”
to capture them. “Hard-to-do=Good” is a deeply
embedded myth in our Western culture.

What I’m asking you to do is to deliberately
engage your subconscious creativity on a daily
basis. You’ve probably have heard this in other places.
To be in ‘the flow’ is how it’s described
in the sports world. To have access to a more
powerful way to confidently and consistently
create new content in your portfolio; content
that reflects your unique vision.

Why? Because that-more than anything-is what will
set your book apart and make you more marketable.
And that will lead to better sales-and at a
higher price.

This same simple recording technique can also be
powerfully applied when you want to grow your
business. In the marketing arena, obviously a
different set of observations gets recorded.
Many of my clients have been amazed at how easy
and yet how powerful that simple habit becomes
when leveraged against a marketing strategy.
I’ll share one of those tips in a future article.

Until then…Take some teeny, tiny steps. Every
day. With Attention. And Appreciation for the
process.

Or as a mentor once said to me: “What’s hard by
the yard is a cinch by the inch.”

Start focusing your vision. Today.

All the Best,
Carolyn
(c) Carolyn Potts 2006

Teeny Tiny Steps: Part 1 of 2-part series

In today’s world of seemingly endless time-crunches
and overwhelm, I thought I’d share some of my
“Teeny Tiny Actions that Build a Mountain of
Success–or What I learned from my battle with
middle-age bulge.”

While brushing my teeth today, I had a marketing
epiphany. It occurred while I was doing my usual
ritual of brushing my teeth and pacing the floor.
I know it sounds weird, but it’s one of the
habits I’ve picked up in the last year. An hour
earlier, I had been on my cordless phone pacing
around my office during a 90-minute conference
call. I was struck by how an action I started a
year ago (i.e., religiously wearing a pedometer
or step-meter) completely changed my behavior in
a totally painless and effortless way. That
behavior change led to the easy achievement of my
health/fitness goal: lose the pounds I’d gained from
my way-too-sedentary, mouse-potato, lifestyle.

To achieve my 10k steps/day goal I started playing
games with myself to rack up the needed steps.
During a phone call, I no longer sat. I moved
around. If I forgot something in my basement
laundry room, I didn’t begrudge the extra steps
needed to retrieve it. Two parking spaces in the lot
to pick from? I took the furthest, etc.,etc.

After a year of subtle behavior changes, I not
only achieved my goal, I exceeded it.

What does this have to do with your sales and
marketing goals?

My epiphany was that the path to achieving big
professional goals doesn’t have to be difficult.
Small actions, consistently applied, work in any
area of business-whether it’s content development
or sales and marketing.
Habits can be cultivated
and nurtured to achieve creative and business
goals just as my pedometer-wearing lifestyle
change led to achieving my fitness goal. It may
seem like a big “Well…Duh!” but I found it to
be a more integrated way of looking at the core
issues.

If you’re like me and have any perfectionist
tendencies-and being an independent creative
professional, you likely are-you’re always
slightly dissatisfied with the status quo and
slightly impatient. You probably ‘want it all
right now’: the new portfolio, the big surge in
new business, the dream assignment.

As an agent, my photographers never knew that I
would sometimes work for well over a
year-sometimes several years-to get an account.
Because I never turned in phone call or portfolio
presentation reports, the photographers only saw
the last 10 yards of the sales process. The bulk
of my pre-sale efforts were largely invisible.
From the photographer’s perspective, a call came
in, a layout arrived, we bid the job, and won a
new account.

What they never saw was the long, slow, process
of building ‘brand awareness’ in the mind of the
targeted art buyer and art director. They didn’t
see that a long series of small, and focused,
efforts repeated again and again, eventually
produced a big-dollar payoff.

Photographers who’ve tried repping themselves-usually
with inconsistent results-saw their business
increase substantially once they got professional
representation. They sometimes thought what I did
was magic-just as the uninitiated might view what
they, as professional photographers, were able to
produce. What I did-and what any other
sales and marketing professional would
do-was leverage years of relationship-building
efforts. Those new photographers I brought into
my product mix got the benefit of consistent
efforts over a long period of time.

It is one of the paradoxes of any business (and
weight loss!): it’s the teeny tiny steps made
consistently over time, that provide the biggest
and most stable pay-off. The key is knowing which
things you need to do each and every day to get
the most bang for your time-and-effort-buck.

So what are those key items you need to re-ignite
your photo career?

In the next issue, I’ll share one easy with you and
it won’t require more than a $1 cash outlay.

Until then…
All the Best,
Carolyn

(c) Carolyn Potts 2006