Friday, December 26, 2008

The End is Near

It's the day after Christmas. We made it! Whew!

What a year. In spite of the gloom and doom of "the economic downturn," it was a great year. I learned a lot. Set some goals and plotted a course of action. Along the way I was able to create images for people that, according to them, exceeded their expectations.

In January of 2008 I started looking for a consultant. This has been one of the best business decisions I've made. Seriously. By working as a staff photographer in the news industry, I never had to deal with marketing. I realized that I didn't know: A) How to market. B) Who to market to. C) What a portfolio should look like.

Leslie Burns-Dell'Aqua was my first stop. By the time I was ready to work with her, she was off to Law School and unavailable. She was really nice and gave me a list of other consultants to check out. I ended up hiring Suzanne Sease in Richmond, Virginia. She was great! She edited my images, gave me some GREAT advice (and a marketing plan) and then handed me off to Nadine Stellavato Brown at Brand Envy in Seattle.

I can't say enough about Nadine and Suzanne. They were able to identify what needed to be shown and then polished it to a high gloss.

So what's left for 2008? Nothing. It's all been done. I've learned that to be a successful photographer, I need to be an even more successful marketer. In order to be more competitive, you need to understand who your competition is and then, not just compete, but win.

Author Seth Godin says that if you don't want to be the best, then you shouldn't even try. If you only want to be mediocre, what's the point?

Adversity builds character and crisis brings change. In that regard, this has been a great year and I hope that 2009 is a year where we all prosper because of what we did over the past twelve months.

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