I’m an emerging photographer. Will you work with me?
- Yes. The emerging photographer clients who I work with are not only talented but more importantly they are proactive. They know that learning the business side of their career is more than half of what creates a successful photography career . They’re willing to invest in learning how to effectively market their photography; it’s as important as investing in their hardware–maybe even more so as you can rent lenses but you can’t borrow someone else’s marketing plan as each person is unique and has something unique to promote.
- It’s also very important for emerging photographers to understand baby boomers’ buying behaviors since many of the people who are in the position to hire photographers are over 40. They often have different communication preferences than younger, emerging photographers. I decode the mysteries and help translate cross generationally.
I’ve been in business for 20 years but my business has taken a downturn. Can you help me?
- Yes. Many seasoned photographers have been so busy working with existing clients that they have not ever really had the time to create a comprehensive marketing plan. They may have done some marketing –e.g. they’ve sent out emails and postcards but not with any regularity or strategic plan. When their existing clients retire or move on, seasoned photographers don’t have a system in place to replace them with new clients. They may have outdated portfolios, because they’ve been too busy to shoot new portfolio pieces, and their work begins to look dated and unappleaing to younger art suppliers. Often what’s needed is a fresh portfolio edit and coaching on how to use new marketing channels to reach clients that are finding photographers in different ways than they did even just 5 years ago. More than half my client roster is made up of seasoned pros.
What happens in a portfolio review?
- In a portfolio review, I will look at your presentation with the viewpoint of a buyer. Because I sold my photographers’ services via in-person and online portfolio presentations, and since it wasn’t my work being reviewed, buyers gave me candid feedback. I learned what they like to see and what turned them off about photographers’ presentations. Most buyers would never share that info with a photographer because they wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings. In a portfolio edit I remove the dead wood, bring your best images to the fore and sequence them in a way that shows your best self. I might also suggest areas to broaden or depeen that reflect current market needs and trends.
Does a portfolio review have to be face-to-face or do you work with clients remotely?
- I work with clients mostly over the phone and on Skype. We edit their work remotely through backend access on their website, sent galleries, or simple lists and communication.
Do you work with people outside of the U.S.?
- Yes. I have currently clients in Sweden, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and England.
I shoot weddings. Can you help me?
- While my primary work is helping business to business photographers, there are some clients who have side businesses and parent websites to work with business to consumer photographers. I help them make sure that the value of their unique wedding approach is clearly articulated in all of their marketing materials.
Does it work?
- Yes, but only if you work it. I teach photographers how to affectively do for themselves what I did during all of my years as a successful artist rep. I pull back the curtains and show them the tips, tricks and starts that allowed me to get work for my photographers for over 3 decades and safely go through the three previous “worst recessions ever.” Here’s what a few of my clients have had to say about our work together. – link to testimonials
Does consulting ever not work?
- Yes. When a photographer fails to keep the agreement to meet regulatory and lets weeks (and sometimes months) go by between our sessions, it does not work. Admittedly, at first glance, marketing seems less exciting than shooting. However, if a photographer fails to embrace it and learn how to market, sell and negotiate effectively, they will soon be out of business and not have the chance to be paid to shoot There is no magic bullet. It takes work, but the rewards are worth it. Consistency is one of the foundations of successful marketing. Consistency in working with me must occur.
I’ve worked with other consultants and they haven’t helped. Why are you different?
- My practice is based on over 30 years of landing gigs for photographers. I worked on straight commission. My advice is extremely pragmatic, not just theoretical. You get more than just a pretty portfolio edit. You get solid coaching on how to be your own best sales rep and marketing director. I do custom tailored marketing plans based on your unique skills, ability, personality and resources. There are no cookie-cutter plans available in my practice. Every photographer is unique and has something individual to offer. I take the time to discern those unique qualities and go deep to find your leveragable assets.
Is Carolyn always available to accept new clients?
- While I only work with a handful of clients at a time, I’m always available to schedule a vibe check to see we would be a good fit for one another. As my clients “graduate” and finish their 10-session program, I will regain availability.
Where do I start?
- Start by scheduling a free, 20-minute, no obligation “vibe check.” I want to make sure I’m able to offer you exactly what your photography business needs. Call (312) 560-6400 to schedule your vibe check and we’ll see if it’s a good fit!