March 24, 2011

Marketing & Visibility

"We become what we put our attention on.  The energy doesn't just appear, your efforts bring it out.  You create and direct energy that will bring you a successful conclusion with your effort and "attention".  You create your reality," (Depak Chopra).

This quote has been one of the guiding principles to me for sometime now.  When I feel lazy and unmotivated, I re-read these words over and over until it sinks in and I am reminded that things doesn’t happen miraculously and require efforts on my part.  Bottom line, if I don’t do it then who will?  I found it easier to keep focused by being organized and making small realistic goals that would help me achieve my long-term goals.  These are my goals this year that I intend to achieve.  

Goal as a new photographer:
*Build identity and visibility in the market place
*Build Sales & Marketing Tools such as Printbook, Website, database, directmail, &Visual emails.

Sales Channels Ops:
-Visual Email
-In Person Portfolio Showings
 In person networking opportunities
-Social Online networking
 Portal placement
 Print Sourcebook

My first task was to overhaul my website.  My site had too many galleries and images and confusing to navigate. I spent 3 weeks revamping my website after watching Photoshelter webinar Building a Better Online Portfolio with Stella Kramer, a Pulitzer Prize winning photo editor.  In the end I took out hundreds of images from my gallery maintaining 15-20 images per gallery opting for a much tighter edit.  I also limited multiple images from the same shoot and spent the majority of the time sequencing my images to create a visual story.  Because I was very concerned about the overall simplicity and navigation of my site so I asked a couple of my photographer and graphic designer friends to go through my site and asked for their inputs and suggestions to make it even better.  This is my much improved Site.  

My second task was to create Editorial Promo Cards.  My friends at Lorico Media helped tremendously with this project.  This project is also much simpler to execute since I've already sorts through my images and picked out the best ones when I revamped my website.  I found this great article on Aphotoeditor on self promotion.  There are 4 parts to this discussion and it helped me a lot in determining the layout of my promo card.  Initially, I wanted to make 5x7 promo cards, but opted for 6x9 because I wanted to include 3 images per card from a single series. Again, one of my goals was to create a visual story and I didn't think having 1 image wouldn't be enough to showcase my style or vision as a photographer.  I picked 1 image to take up one side of the card, which will be the center piece, ideally I would want the editor to put this up on their board so the image has to be significant and provoking intellectually and emotionally.  The other 2 images would be supporting casts on the other side of the card that would enhance the 1st photo and leave another positive impression. My logo and font remains the same as the ones on my website.  To start I ordered 100 copies of my series from Haiti and Las Vegas via 4over.  Rather than using regular mailing envelopes, I plan to use clear envelopes (USPS approved) and white mailing labels.  I will also include a thank you note with a handwritten note and enclosed one of my business cards as well.   

     From Haiti series "Lavi Kontinye," Life Goes On


From A Convincing Lie: Hedonistic Vegas

From 26/11 Mumbai Terrorist Attack

From Kawah Ijen Sulfur Mine

From Being Jojo

From Music

I will be making similar promo cards targeting potential similar clients in Sacramento.  Making these promo cards costs several hundred dollars but if I am able to land an assignment from it, it's definitely worth it.  As for printbook, I am still researching for the most cost effective method but still yield great quality and visual email is also something I am still testing out.

Other updates (following my motto of "gotta be in it to win it" but still waiting for results)
-applied for a paid internship at Sacramento Bee
-submitted my portfolio to Panos
-participated in San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographer Association Annual News Photography and Video Competition

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