Avoiding your clients’ spam bucket

This week, on three separate occasions, emails from photographers that I know and love, ended up in my spam bucket. Each person was already in my address book; we’d had many successful email exchanges-there had been no previous spam quarantines. Want to know what happened?

In each of those cases the photographer had failed to notice that their business email addresses had more than one email account User name or Reply-to name. If all your User names are consistent, the email you send from your desktop, laptop or iPhone will all safely go through; any inconsistency in your Sender address increases the risk of your message being quarantined. Read more

Rebooting your Business Brain event…is tomorrow night (4/28/09) in Austin, TX

There are great door prizes valued at over $1,500; only those who pre-register are eligible to win one of the prizes provided by event sponsors ADBASE, BlinkBid, and LiveBooks.

More details about the event and the registration links are here.

Is there a marketing value in “tweeting?”

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To tweet or not to tweet? Time-waster or necessary
pulse-meter?
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When you jump into the pool of 10 million Twitter visitors,
consider looking before you leap. If you’ve jumped in and
splashed around in Twitter, do you ever wonder who’s in
there with you? Wonder if it’s an environment that could
provide some real value in your marketing plan?
Or is it just the latest social networking trend that will soon
fade? Will it evolve into a niche market communication space?
(e.g. MySpace, once neck-in-neck with market leader FaceBook,
is now used primarily by the younger set
to keep up with their favorite bands).

With a growth rate of 700% since last year now tweeting is
clearly mainstream. But can you guess who’s using it the
most? It’s not the under-20 set. Surprisingly, the biggest
demographic that uses Twitter is the 45-54 year-old
demographic. People in that age range are more likely to be
economic decision-makers. You know.. the ones who have the
power to hire you.

Have  you thought what you might say in 140 characters-or
less? Have you thought about how your “tweet” might be
received by someone in your target audience? How valuable
is a tweet about a banal action? I’m somewhat amazed that
in an information-overloaded economy people are taking up
someone’s attention bandwidth with posts like : “I just
woke up. Am heading to get coffee.”

Here’s why I follow certain people: what they ‘tweet’
solves a problem/answers a question/broadens my
worldview/makes me laugh/makes me aware of important
information or upcoming events/inspire me to get involved
in making the world better. I suspect your potential
clients have the same perspective when deciding if
they want to follow you.

One other thing I love-and also hate-about Twitter is its “Jungle
drums, real time reporting” of what’s happening…NOW.
It’s a central part of the information-overloaded zeitgeist. I
think anyone who spends more than 15 min. a day on-line has
psychological chip in them that’s programmed to want
current information and fears being out-of-the-loop.
OK..so I’ve just publicly admitted my personal neurosis; no
doubt created by too many years in the photo ad biz 😉

The informality and connection-by-choice
“ambient connections”  that Twitter (and
FaceBook) create, can be low-key, low-stress ways to keep
your brand in front of people who already know and like
you.

I suspect, for example, that if you just attended a
multi-day photo tech conference, news about your new-found
expertise in HDR might be worth a tweet.

When everyone has is so little time to do it all,
there is real value in getting news and cool resources.
from a community of choice.

What makes you follow someone? I’d love to know.

Read more about the size of the Twittering audience in this articleRead more

“ReBooting Your Business Brain” April event schedule: KC & Austin

ReBooting Your Business Brain:21st-Century Marketing Tips for Photographers Who Weren’t Born Yesterday

I’ll be presenting the latest version of my photography
marketing talk to the ASMP Kansas City/Midwest chapter.This new
talk is filled with updated strategies that you must have
to survive in today’s always-on, short attention span,
radically-changed, and economically challenging business
environment.

When:Thursday, April 23rd. Door open at 6:30 p.m. for social time. Program starts at 7:00 pm

Where: Johnson County Community College-Room CC211
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park KS 66210

Directions and parking info.

You can register here

This talk is geared to professional photographers who’ve been in the industry for over 15 years. Understanding how the marketing of images has so radically–and so swiftly– changed, can benefit these photographers the most; those who are concerned that in this economy, they can’t afford to “not know what they don’t know.”  They suspect that things are different when it comes to promoting their work in the digital age. But they’re not sure which strategies they should implement– and which ones they can ignore.

Nothing changes faster than online promotion. What worked
great last year might not be the best tactic this year.

At this event I’ll provide some tips, guidelines and
resources, on how to stay current.
In a recession when work is harder to find and pricing is
dropping daily, you can’t afford to shoot yourself in the
foot with an outmoded promotional strategy.
Buyers have
exponentially greater choices; don’t let them pass you by
because your online strategy is not as good as your
imagery.

Come join in!

Register here
When: Thursday, April 23, 2009? at 7:00 PM
Social time starts at 6:30 PM

Where: Johnson County Community College-Room CC211
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210

***This event is being sponsored by Agency AccessBlinkBid and
Livebooks who are generously providing some GREAT door prizes
(almost $2000 in retail value!) as well as some special discount codes.***

Pre-registration is necessary to be eligible to win.  You can register here.

I will also be doing a limited number of private 1-hour
review sessions while I’m in the Kansas City area
.
Invest in your career and find out if your current presentation is
helping or hurting you in today’s radically-changed
assignment market.
Please call me directly to book a session.

Will Pixazza help photographers make any money?

Last week, start-up company, Pixazza announced their new internet service enabling consumers to simply mouse over web  images to learn more and see related products. Turning items in web images into clickable and purchasable content is similar to what Google already does with its AdSense ad platform — except with this tool it sources website images to deliver ads instead of text. The Wall Street Journal reports there’s some serious investment money ($5.75 million) going into this first round of funding; Google has invested and is betting on its success.

I predict that Pixazza, will have an impact on the traditional advertising revenue model–and one that might benefit photographers. Photographers know how to create attention getting images. They’re also used to key-wording their content for stock agencies. It’s a small side-step to become a publisher; they can tag their content and earn some cash. When clients’ sales can be tracked DIRECTLY to how many people clicked and purchased products via images tagged via Pixazza, I suspect that kick-ass images will draw more traffic–and sales–than dull, cheaply-produced images. (I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before the Pixazza’s current iteration–which displays tiny yellow price tags–evolves into something slightly less-intrusive but still relevant to shoppers.)

Forwarding great content is what we all do on a daily basis. Forwarding click-able and money-making image content was going to show up sooner or later. The see-it-on-a-screen-buy-it-immediately consumer product business model has been predicted for years. But now the technology is here.

In the current era where assignment photography seems to be driven more by bottom-line costs than top-line creativity, having sales tracked to a show-stopping image (think of the viral marketing value), may be just the creative game-changer some photographers have been waiting for. Read more

Whose bank account pays for productions now?

Yesterday’s article in AdAge “Agencies Duck Liability for Clients’ Production Costs” reported on a growing trend that is placing more of the financial risk of production on the side of photographers and production companies.

Many art buying departments are issuing “heads up” emails to photographers letting them know that the policy of issuing advances on big productions in many cases will cease. Simply put, if the ad agency hires you,  but the client they’re working for stiffs them, you have to go after their client to recover your money. Unfortunately, the PO you get from the agency won’t be giving you contact info of the person on the client side to call if you don’t get paid.

While I understand that the ad agency doesn’t want to get left holding the bag if their client (e.g., General Motors or AIG) doesn’t pay them for 120 days–or more– but can you imagine the photographer  having to call the GM switchboard asking to speak to the person in A/P at GM who can issue a check for an outstanding $85, 000 unpaid invoice originally submitted to the ad agency who issued them the PO for the assignment?

I think that if photographers are to accept that enormous financial risk, the quid pro quo for accepting those pay terms should be to at the very least have the contact information of the ad agency’s client clearly stated in the Purchase Order.

See “ReBooting Your Business Brain” in Detroit area on 3/19/09

The Michigan chapter of the ASMP will be hosting my photo marketing talk: “ReBooting Your Business Brain…” In this talk I focus on how the business of photography –particularly as it applies to marketing– has changed for those who grew up in an all-film photo business.

The event will be on Thursday evening 3/19/09 at Foto/Life Studios, 9709 Joseph Campau, Loft #3 (Between Edwin and Evaline, enter via alley) ?Hamtramck, MI
View Larger Map

Register here
I’ll be discussing how these changes have particularly affected photographers who’ve been shooting for over 15 years. These  photographers are the ones most deeply concerned that in this economy, they can’t afford to “not know what they don’t know.” They suspect that things are different when it comes to promoting their work in the digital age, but are not sure which things they should implement and which things they can ignore.

Nothing changes faster than online promotion. What worked great last year is not what works the best this year. At this event I’ll provide some tips, guidelines and resources, on how to stay current.

Read more

“Rebooting…” will be in Union, NJ Thurs. evening 2/12/09 on Lincoln’s & Darwin’s birthdays.

I’ll be presenting my “ReBooting Your Business Brain…”  talk which focuses on the  changes and evolution of the photography business–particularly as it applies to marketing— to ASMP NJ on Thursday evening 2/12/09 at Kean University in Union, NJ.

I’ll be discussing how those changes have particularly affected photographers who’ve been shooting for over 15 years on the birthday of two of the biggest names in history connected with change and evolution: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. What a nice bit of synchronicity…..

The event will be held at 7:30pm to 10:00 pm at the Little Theater of University Center – Kean University 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 map Registration info is here.

In uncertain times, what a comfort a good compass is. And you can build one.

When seeking help in your career direction, you must first
CLEARLY know where you want to go.

I had a great email exchange with one of the young and
talented photographers I met last Saturday when I was
participating as a reviewer at an APA LA portfolio review day.

We both shared our enthusiasm about the fact that we had
created a “Mission Statement” that guides our career
choices. It’s been such a comfort in this confusing
economy. Read more

My Bi-coastal Event schedule

My next event is this Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009 in Los Angeles.

I’ve been invited to participate in the APA LA’s portfolio development program. If you’re in the LA area, sign up for a free portfolio review. If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter it’d be great to meet you in person.

More info is available on the APA LA website.

Building a Successful Book: Portfolio & Website Consultations

Saturday January 31, 2009
Registration begins at 8:00am
Reviews begin at 9:00am
Helms DayLight Studio, 3221 Hutchison Ave., Los Angeles 90034

*Parking is Located on the North Side of Venice Ave and Helms Ave.

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On Thursday, Feb. 12th, I’ll be presenting the latest version of my talk:

“ReBooting Your Business Brain: 21st-Century Marketing Tips for Photographers Who Weren’t Born Yesterday”

to the New Jersey chapter of the ASMP.

The event will be held at 7:30pm to 10:00 pm at the Little Theater of University Center – Kean University 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083  map   Registration info is here.

The event sponsors are providing some GREAT door prizes: Agency Access is providing a Tri-State membership to their list service with a retail value of $595 and it is for a full year. LiveBooks is providing an $800 credit towards one of their web site packages. BlinkBid is providing a copy of their estimating software.

I will be doing a limited number of private 1-hour review sessions on the days surrounding the evening event. Invest in your career and find out if your current presentation is helping or hurting you in today’s radically changed assignment market.

Call me directly for details and to take advantage of

a 20% early-bird discount that is available until Feb. 10th.