Many creative people–myself included–sometimes use their great powers of imagination and pre-visualization to sabotage themselves. They can imagine a great goal but get frustrated and discouraged when they imagine a huge distance between where they are now and where they want to be.
In photography marketing and promotion, this is a pretty common scenario. You can imagine sending out a great promo on a regular basis that leads to dream assignment. You can imagine making social or in-person connections with prospective clients that becoming repeat customers because you have such natural rapport with them.
But the real key to success– in any endeavor that takes a while to achieve– is to begin. Sometimes that’s the hardest step because you know that it’s only a teensy tiny bit beyond where you are right now. But that one step IS movement.
One step is greater than zero steps.
And then the key is to keep going. And going and going. And most importantly: to get back on track when you inevitably fall off the track. We all do. Everyone who is honest with themselves and others, will admit that.
Don’t waste time berating yourself for not doing it perfectly all the time. What good will come of that? Beating up on yourself and then feeling crappy about your lack of perfection dampens your spirit and is a creativity killer–and as an artist, that’s the last thing you want to do to yourself.
To achieve those imagined results, everyone MUST attend to the small sometimes boring steps that take you from here to there. Often those steps get abandoned for their seeming lack of grandeur. Doing data entry into a CRM system is one of those tasks. If done correctly, it is one of those business development chores that can really pay off–especially when it’s time to promote your news to just the right audience. E.g. you’ve just shot a project that you’re really excited about. Who should see it? What if it’s a great food shot? Do you really think those in your e-list who work on fashion or automotive need to get that email from you?
If you’ve already done your due diligence when you’re building your list and you have the right kind of CRM, you can easily pull up everyone who works on food accounts and promote specifically to them.
Yes, there are list brokers –some far better than others– who maintain big databases photo buyer information. You can buy a monthly or yearly subscription to their data. They can help you figure out, for example, which ad agencies have food accounts. That can save the perpetual procrastinating photographer from never getting any promotional pieces sent out.
But taking the time to actually build your own “house list” is always a great idea. Those big lists rarely are able to drill down to the level of decision makers who actually control the work on those accounts. But your personal network will likely be able to get you that info if you’re diligent. And then you can combine that data into something that can really work for you.
“Progress not perfection” is a very helpful mantra to remember if doing reasearch and data entry bores you to tears. And speaking of mantras, now might be a good time to learn to meditate– if you don’t already do so. Many successful artists and business people practice regular meditation.
Those of you who’ve followed me for a while, know I’m a big fan of the importance of supporting your Muse by making sure your mind is not filled with fear, doubt, and anxiety. Mediation relieves those negative emotions.
The easy on-ramp to starting a regular mediation practice can begin by jumping onto the free 21-day mediation series that Deepak Chopra and Oprah offer quarterly. A new mediation streams online each day. The latest series just started yesterday but you can still join as each mediation is available for 5 days after it’s first posted.
Registration is at https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience
I currently practice Transcendental Meditation which I learned it in the ’80 but.. fell off the track. I got back to meditating a few years ago via the 21-day free program offered online by Deepak Chopra and Oprah after a friend invited me to try it. Then I returned to doing TM.
Meditating has helps me neutralize any negative emotions. Like those that arose when I realized that I’ve not been doing blogs post as often as I would have like to.
In my next post, I’ll tell you what I’ve been working on that has kept me away from blogging. Soon…..