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Seize The Moment By Taking Advantage Of Opportunities As They Arise

Seize the moment!

Commercial advertising is one of the most fast-paced, busy sectors, creating this norm of not getting responses to all we put out there. Each dialogue situation requires thinking fast on my feet and strategizing for the highest gain in return. My “sales” mind looks for those few golden accessible opportunities to have our valuable resource’s attention to ‘use it before we lose it.’

As a Rep, I want to discuss the importance of seizing opportunities in the moment, and not letting them slip away. This business is fast-paced and full of multitasking, so it’s important to have a handy tool for getting things done quickly and efficiently. We have examples of missed opportunities, such as not following up with a producer for contact names, and not taking advantage of a job opportunity by not structuring an email in a way that could benefit the company. 

Tagging Clients on IG

Q:

I tagged a client on my IG image, and it worked; they want to use it for their socials. I don’t want to just hand over the image. How can I approach asking for compensation of some sort, and better yet, how can I translate this into an actual booking in the future?

A:

Tagging clients on IG is one strategic door-opening marketing tool,  but it is more of a way in vs. a way to sell that image. How?

  • Usually, the social media manager will not have a budget to purchase image usage for IG.
  • You’ve created the rare opportunity of having their attention for one response.
  • Use this door-opener to get the “photography hiring” contact information. 
  • If your image is shared, get your name tagged to use this for your benefit.
  • Take this experience as a conversation starter on LinkedIn, where you will talk to the correct potential clients. 

Recognized Company With Low Rate

Q:

I’ve spent time sending samples of my work for a company I thought I’d be perfect to work with. They finally responded with some interest in me by holding some dates, but they released me. What shocked me was the rate of $1500 for the shoot. Is this normal? I understand I am just getting started, but it felt low for the company’s size and brand recognition.

A:

Kudos to you for getting your work out there to the companies you want to work with. That is step one. I see the increase of $1500 rates due to a heavily saturated industry with more in-house marketing clients, more photographers, and more marketing opportunities for all of us to be in direct contact with our dream clients. Take the feedback as a stepping stone to growing your dream client list, increasing your marketing options, and fine-tuning your testing/branding focus.

Digital Usage Rights and Billboards

Q:

I saw how one of my clients used my images on an electronic billboard after I gave them “digital usage rights.” I had no idea a billboard could be considered DIGITAL. How are we supposed to monitor usage like this?

A:

Usage definitions are constantly changing as new developments creep up quickly. The best way to stay ahead of the curve is by carefully defining specifics to limit each purchased usage category.

Examples:

1. Excluding billboards

2. Limited to 48 X 70-inch bus shelter-sized poster displays

3. Not including paid ad placements

4. Client name website only

5. Not including electronic media or video

(For more info see AMA Usage Glossary: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f3449e3b908c4454253346b/t/62cd98713535691a6dadd3a8/1657641073387/AMA+Usage+Glossary.pdf)

Printed Portfolios

Q:

I was curious about your thoughts on printed portfolios. I saw two different posts about this on your IG and website and am very curious about the new trends you’ve seen. What are some new options and ways to meet with potential clients?

A:

I have always seen marketing as “trends.” I remember ‘back in the day’ after the iPad surge when printed portfolios became hot again. It inspired me to bring back old marketing ways because if they worked in the past, they should work again. Today we have a wide variety, making choosing which options to focus on more challenging. Will clients go back to the office? We don’t know, so we can’t wait for that. My trend now is to take the one-by-one personal engagement approach. Clients suffer from Inbox overload, sick of being mass emailed. Let’s call this new marketing stage – be a human.

Saving a Client Relationship

Q:

How do you try to save a client relationship after messing up repeatedly?

A:

Client relationships are usually not personal. They see the work you do and want that look on their brand. Treat this as a professional by showing them how they will achieve their goals using you. You can always offer a free test, but most importantly, tell them what matter-of-fact calculated new system will improve the situation. Get yourself to that level, and then with humble confidence, express how you will do it right. In the comments, please share examples of this dynamic and what you did.

Beauty Photography Business

Q:

I’m trying to get into the beauty photography business by going for smaller brands in my local area, but I’m finding it very hard to create leverage in this industry. I’ve tried email marketing, and sometimes their PR domains are blocked. Instagram messages think I want to “collab” with them. I’m unsure how to start networking with consumer package companies. What do you recommend I can do to be seen by commercial clients?

A:

We all face similar challenges to get in front of potential clients, as described here, no matter which area of photography we focus on. Of course, it begins with a strongly branded portfolio showing you off quickly and succinctly. After that, it’s a potluck of strategic moves knowing which you are getting done and which need more attention.

Check out my Marketing Strategy Planner on “Downloads” –https://asksternrep.com/downloads/ where I map out all the potential ways I use to rep photographers to the appropriate clients. Pick a few favorites on my pyramid chart and see what works for you. 

Setting Goals to Stay Motivated

Q:

How do I set my goals when it feels like nothing is working out? I’m feeling discouraged as many of my email promos are bouncing, and things like portfolio reviews aren’t leading to anything. Do I quit? So much of this business is self-motivated that I feel lost and unsure how to have a clear sense of what to do. 

A:

WE CAN’T BE GUIDED BY WHAT IS SET UP NOT TO GO OUR WAY. The odds are not on our side in this business. Standard triple bids set us up for failure, email promo open rates are under 20%, and clients barely respond. Career decisions come to play with strategic and well-mapped-out logical analysis. Break down the areas of this career that work for you, what brought you into this and gets you going, and then propel your future directional decisions off of that.

When Work is Slow

Q:

How do you stay positive and motivated when work is slow?

A:

When incoming requests slow down, I keep my attitude in check by shaking up my routine norm. One way I give myself a recharge buzz is by connecting to genuinely close clients I haven’t talked to in a while with a good old-fashioned personal phone call. I ask them questions about our changing industry to help educate myself from their perspective. Knowledge and ideas keep me motivated, providing me with more action plans. 

Finding an Up-and-Coming Rep to Grow With

Q:

I have myself listed with a couple of agent services, but I’d like to be repped full-time for more outreach efforts. Is there a way to find an up-and-coming rep to grow together with? How does one approach a rep?

A:

Reps are working hard to get their name out there, so ask clients or organizations like APA, Workbook, etc. Approaching the rep with a referral is the best way to get a response. Finding a new rep just getting into the business can be a clever way to get in before we have full rosters. Like any relationship, it can grow with time, so as long as you are clear on your business direction, that should help you focus on the style of rep that is right for you.