Marketing Your Photography (Part 3)

In line with the marketing discussion I wrote about yesterday, I thought it is imperative that I explain how I was chosen for the job in the first place. Before I proceed, I feel its important I address some of the responses I’ve gotten in my previous write-ups. Some people have insinuated that I’m using this avenue to brag unnecessarily about my achievements & challenges so far in photography. If you’re reading this & think along the same line, you’re badly mistaken. My major reason & goal in doing all these write-ups is to educate & enlighten the loads of photography professionals that are either just starting out or have been around for a while; thereby ultimately raising the standards & raising world-class photographers. I will continue to write about my experiences every single day as long as I’m sure it is blessing the life of at least one photographer. So please, indulge me as I continue to proclaim the gospel of photography according to apostle Seun Akisanmi :>). Back to our gist on marketing your photography. Apparently there was a meeting that was held 2 weeks before I got the call. Present at the meeting among others were 3 key executives: the general manager of transcorp hilton hotel (we’ll call him GM), the public relations officer of the hotel (we’ll call him PR1) & the public relation officer of transcorp international (let’s call him PR2). When the subject of photography came up, someone suggested they use a veteran photographer (someone that had been in the photography industry before I was born). PR2 objected vehemently against the notion. He outlined the importance of giving the “younger generation” a shot at the job. He mentioned that there’s this guy that he has worked with, Seun Akisanmi, and he’s able to deliver photographically whatever was needed. You might be wondering how I met PR2. Well, he was (& still is) a friend of my father. You see, in 2007 I approached my father and told him about the type of clientele I wanted to cater for. I asked him to give me the contact details of 15 people that he knows that fit my clientele category. PR2 happened to be one of the contact details he gave me. I decided to do ONE complimentary photography job for each of the contacts. If they loved my work, I figure I’ll bill them my standard fees for subsequent jobs. Be careful though when implementing this strategy as some people tend to take advantage of you just because you did the first job complimentary. They usually figure that you ought to be giving them complimentary photography services for life. Choose wisely the type of clients you want and let the terms be to your own advantage. I’ve turned down many clients that are trying to get a 2nd complimentary job. Most times it is not that its completely “complimentary”. In the case of PR2, we covered his father’s burial in late 2007 and gave him a whopping 80% off the bill: he ended up paying N50k, enough to still cover my cost of production. So he loved the album so much that he recommended me at the meeting in question. By now some of you are thinking “it’s because of your dad that you’re getting all those jobs & not because of your technical skills” (you’ve forgotten I can read your mind). Well, maybe you’re right; its because I have a father that has “connections”. I also think everyone (YES, including YOU) has someone like my father who knows someone who knows someone that is your potential client. It could be that security man in your neighborhood. You never know. Start by sending a text message to every single contact on your mobile phone. You never know who will call you to hire you; you never know until you let everyone know what you do. So PR2 loved my work, I got the call & the rest is history. Marketing moral of the story: do whatever you can do as soon as possible to amass your first 100 clients-database. If you please these 100 clients (in technical skills, creativity & customer service), there’s a 90% chance they’ll recommend in a meeting that you have no idea has already begun. Trust me, have faith & let the marketing begin.

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