My interview with Kevin Flora. For some of you consumed by Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube videos, content is king and you can either be a consumer or a creator. The concept of getting in front of the camera may be daunting for many, but the truth is it is essential in getting your business branded. Companies like The Holler Creative, they have managed to take the burden of creating content to twenty of their expert team members. This has led to pivoting and changing throughout the trajectory of The Holler Creative. So, what is digital marketing? It is the selling or promotion of products or services by leveraging online marketing techniques that are awe-inspiring. This content is often used in social media, blogs, and email marketing. Why would anyone want to create content for their business? Kevin explains that it is important to create content to set yourself apart from everyone else. As your business evolves so does your technique, but one thing remains consistent. You want to grow, scale and expand your team. Growing Your Business Scaling Your Business Expanding Your Team Although there are many ways to grow your business, building a funnel, customer management, and team building remains the more important concepts for growth. As we reach areas in business that challenge us, we must learn to adapt and pivot accordingly. Scaling your business should be a part of every entrepreneur’s end game. Visualize the start of a business and what it should be is consistent with some of the top business builders in the world. Many people see the idea and work their way backward. When you know your destination, you can plan a scaleable strategy. Building a remote team through freelancers takes the burden off you doing everything yourself and allows you more time to directing the company. Make sure that you know what the freelancer will be doing. You can utilize sites like upwork.com or indeed.com. These are essential resources for finding quality people who want to help. As an entrepreneur building a team of freelancers, it is important to maintain communication, keep the jobs relevant to what they do and figure out how many freelancers you need for the job or projects
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Have you ever heard that red makes you stop, blue is soothing or black is luxurious? If you have then this is due to neuromarketing? Companies have been using neuromarketing to elicit responses and behaviors from customers for some time now. Neuromarketing can be defined as the science of understanding the decision-making mechanisms of a customer and their behaviors. The way certain customers respond to marketing stimuli differs according to your approach, but one of the more difficult tasks is presenting colors, literature or shapes that evoke the kind of behavior necessary to improve business. Listen: http://thecreativeentrepreneur.net/index.php/2020/01/09/using-neuromarketing-to-catapult-your-business/ Eye Movement Most recently, the ability to know where eyes are focusing first when looking at an ad can be attributed to eye-tracking technology. Eye-tracking technology can identify where the customer will hone in on key messages, product advertisements or how the customer moves chronologically to help with branding or package design. Neuroimaging The packaging is important in creating and attracting customers. Companies like Campbell’s and Frito Lay consistently apply neuroimaging to create packaging that has been recorded as positive. The results from neuroimaging are followed up with feedback on color, text, and images. Companies have been able to utilize neuromarketing for effective marketing strategies. Color Effectiveness We have often heard that certain colors evoke a wide range of customer emotions. Experienced marketers will use colors to elicit anger, hunger or calm. Color in advertising has been an effective marketing tool used by large companies like Coca Cola with their red can. Companies have also been able to split the colors to create subgroups such as cool blues for professional looks. The Decision to Decide Many customers are inundated with decisions. Companies like Clickfunnels have made it possible to limit the decision making process to specifics. Sometimes less is more and providing too much information to the customer will create an overwhelming effect. In many cases, the customer will get frustrated and not decide. This is called the decision paralysis. Mike is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, Army veteran, and author of 5 books (one bestseller). He has built and sold 4 companies. As a marketing leader, he specializes in helping small businesses scale. Throughout his career, Mike has worked with over 400 small and mid-sized businesses and has a tremendous track record of driving company growth and brand awareness through the development and implementation of marketing programs. mikevolkin.com freelancermasterclass.com/free The Creative Entrepreneur thecreativeentrepreneur.net tcepodcast.net Download Podcast Here: https://share.transistor.fm/s/7cdc530a
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Starting a business is challenging enough but starting a videography business requires some key components to building a business. First, we need to start a portfolio. Have a name, website and if you don’t have any equipment. Find a company that will rent it to you. If you have the equipment, just use what you have and work from there. Have some lighting and utilize your resources. Listen:http://thecreativeentrepreneur.net/index.php/2020/01/16/building-a-videography-business-feat-rogelio-chavez/
Building a portfolio Video has become a central part of many areas of the digital world. Professional quality videography has become ubiquitous in social media, advertising and business. Building a portfolio is essential in standing out from the crowd. How do you build your portfolio? Practice, practice, practice! Initially keeping your videos short and to the point so that you can showcase your best work. Customize your portfolio to utilize categories and essential areas of your niche market. Get creative and put together a myriad of clips that might showcase all of a category in one clip. Create a Business Name Looking for a name can be easy for some, but one thing to consider is when you are naming your business is trying to add the business name that many people on the internet are searching for. A good keyword in your domain will get you a lot of free exposure and may save you money when you begin to optimize your website. Building your Website When building your website make sure that you utilize keywords that are relevant to your business. Creating content online is not just for video. You want to make sure that you are telling a story in the verbiage that you use on your website. Make sure that all the content on your website is relevant information and it coincides with your phraseology. Rental Equipment Many people starting out don’t have the means to purchase an expensive video camera. If you are using a DSLR or some form of camera equipment, you will have limits to what you can produce but doable. Consider renting equipment from your local camera shop to get higher-paying jobs. Utilize your Resources Essentially you can work with what you have. If you have something that will create videos, then you are ahead of the game. Use your phone, internet and camera equipment to get those essential sales. Practice your craft and use the camera equipment that you have available to create content. Type of Equipment used: Red Camera Sony FS7 Canon EOS C200 Need Videography Contact Rogy Productions http://rogyproductions.com/ https://www.facebook.com/RogyPro/ The Creative Entrepreneur thecreativeentrepreneur.net https://www.facebook.com/TCEPodcast/
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For many aspiring photographers, the idea of using used or older equipment may seem to limit their photography, however with the right technique, you can deliver photography that competes with top photographers in the industry. The idea of spending a lot of money on equipment certainly brings the perception that your photos will be better, however many photographers in the industry have not even upgraded because they are consistently getting quality photography from older cameras. You don’t need the latest and greatest photography equipment to produce stunning photos. With practice and knowledge, you can take your budget-conscious equipment to produce photos many would envy. Consider buying used equipment, become proficient in the equipment you have, and get out and practice. https://share.transistor.fm/s/6b4b8a76 Buying Used Equipment to Start Your Photography Business Photography is an expensive business. One camera and one lens can set you back thousands of dollars. If you include the top of the line or flagship camera and you could spend nearly five thousand dollars or more on just one camera and one lens. For many aspiring photographers, starting out is a challenge because you have not even built up a reputation of being a photographer or even a trusted one. People put a lot of trust in their photographer. For some customers, there is only one shot at getting it right and knowing that they can trust their photographer in an important decision-making factor. So a photographer starting out may choose to buy a Nikon D850 or you can buy a Nikon D810 which is about two thousand dollars less. Some of the DX cameras can produce some high-quality photos for the more budget-conscious photographer. The D7500 has a crop sensor and works well with many lighting systems on the market. The D7500 is a semipro crop sensor camera that can be purchased for just under eight hundred dollars. Many used or refurbished D7500s can be purchased for as little as six hundred. An ideal lens for portraits is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VRII is an excellent choice. This older lens can be purchased for as low as one thousand to thirteen hundred dollars. This lens allows photographers to widen up a frame to 70mm or zoom in to 200mm to completely blur out the background at f/2.8. Essentially you can start your business with a used D810 and Used 70-200mm. Lighting Your Subject While cameras and lenses can be expensive, so can lighting. Being able to properly use light for headshots or portraits can be instrumental in creating images that set you apart from everyone else. A Nikon SB-800 TTL AF Shoe Mount Speedlight can be used to create some amazing photos for less than one hundred dollars. How many do you need? Some photographers will say that they can use one Speedlight, but an ideal option would be using two. One as a primary and one as a rim light. You could probably use a reflector to highlight as needed. Become Proficient at Your Craft Using your equipment regularly makes you a better photographer. A better photographer will know how to use their equipment in most conditions. Practicing your photography only helps you position yourself and your photography. Knowing your capabilities allows you to know where you stand with other photographers. Want to learn more about how you can generate more leads for your business? Click HERE: GENERATE MORE LEADS HERE Type of Equipment Used by Rafal Nikon D800 https://amzn.to/2EUKReh adorama.rfvk.net/6Lx2q Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens https://amzn.to/37izGs5 adorama.rfvk.net/nxADA Softbox Elinchrom 39″ Rotalux Deep Octabox Elinchrom 27.5” Rotalux Deep Octabox Speedlight Nikon SB700 TTL AF Shoe Mount Speedlight Flash Rafal Wegiel Rafalwegiel.comhttps://www.facebook.com/rafalwegielphotography http://thecreativeentrepreneur.net/ http://tcepodcast.nethttps://www.facebook.com/TCEPodcast/?modal=admin_todo_tour https://www.instagram.com/tcepodcast/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5AVs2vvLBnhU8vnDzfSEUw?view_as=subscriber
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How change can be successfully implemented within an organization. The steps established by John Kotter to help improve change efforts and avoid pitfalls that often lead to failure. In my organization, we often talk about how change is inevitable in this evolving world of business. The vision of change and understating how to create a sense of urgency can help in establishing a powerful coalition. This coalition requires a clear and concise vision. The communication of this effort will help empower the coalition and plan for short-term wins. Using those wins we can find improvement and perpetuate this change by documenting and solidifying the change.
Many companies are facing extraordinary challenges that require flexibility and adaptability. Changing technologies, faster processes, and global business markets are helping to develop new and improved business strategies. In a dog eat dog world, it's either change or get left behind.
“Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still and the rest of the world is surging ahead” (Penny, 2008) .
Companies are responding to a barrage of threats and continue using archaic standardized processes. But what happens when the threat forces change or the standard process no longer works? A business must learn quickly and shift accordingly or face certain extinction. The question of how business is most effective in promoting change requires a simple approach to flexibility. The fundamental steps necessary for any business to make a change would be to focus on the exchanges between leaders and followers that deal with both aspects of transactional and transformational leadership styles. These exchanges must go beyond individual interests in pursuit of a shared vision. These leadership styles are not exclusive nor do leaders necessarily exhibit one more than the other. Depending on the situation, a leader may change and pivot to gain the most traction over the desired behavior (Lumen, 2017).
In business, we find that change is inevitable. Change is the evolution of which companies continue to compete, succeed and perform at peak performance. Is all change good or do we just embrace the idea that we should transform regardless of need? In theory, flexibility and good business practices lean toward a successful transition. A seasoned company may practice certain skills favorable to change. Inevitably, we see businesses using a myriad of change techniques to improve manufacturing, inventory, accounting, sales, operations, procurement, information security or customer service. Processes can be turbulent within a company and use the correct approach to change requires business legerdemain. John Kotter is a leading professor and speaker dedicated to promulgating the efficiencies of successful change transformation and transitioning within an organization. The effectiveness of change within an organization can easily fail and steps can be taken to improve its success (Matsu**bleep**a, 2018). John Kotter focuses on 8 elements of change that contribute to boosting quality and improving the chance of success when implementing change (Kotter, 1996).
Establishing a sense of change
Forming a powerful coalition within the organization
Creating and vision for change
Communicating this vision effectively
Empowering others on that vision
Planning for short-term wins
Consolidating and improving change to influence additional change
Institutionalizing new approaches
The now retired John Kotter has established himself at the forefront for change management success using these steps.
Establishing a Sense of Change
It has become common in business that people become complacent to immersing themselves in the very day, mundane routine of their job without thinking twice about how a change would affect their situation. Once companies being to look at their situation and begin to understand that change is inevitable and necessary to be competitive and improving revenue, they begin to take the necessary steps to change. The problem is that many change attempts run into barriers and are stifled by ignorance and surrendering to defeat. When looking at establishing a sense of urgency within an organization, it is imperative to draw attention to those areas where change is a necessary and foster change in perspective that will allow a majority of the organization to feel that change is necessary in order for it to be accepted. The proper steps necessary for succeeding in this first step is to look at the organization as a whole and look at the competition, and the realities endowed by the organization. This will help in identifying and discussing any possible situations that will arise and hone in on potential opportunities at present. This leads to establishing an important coalition for empowering your urgency of change (Kotter, 1996).
Establishing a Powerful Coalition
When people look at change the idea of change is often met with resistance. This resistance often paralyzes middle and senior management and hinders the transformation process. A network of people within the organization capable of perpetuating the change idea can help to systemically move through each phase of the change process with more success. A top-down approach to assembling your idea for change begins at the top. It is imperative that the senior leaders and people at the top understand that this change is for the betterment of the organization and transforming this requires the support of leaders and managers of expertise. Once a guiding coalition has been established and the leaders and managers are on board with the idea for a change it is important to communicate this vision unambiguously (Kotter, 1996).
Creating the Vision
It is difficult to see where you are going without a clear vision. The idea for business change is essentially the same if you are going to be successful in your transition. Without a clear understanding of which direction, the change is going, the picture of what the future would look like without the appropriate changes become myopic and relative to one's own perspective. Sharing this vision is essential in helping leaders and manager perpetuate a re-engineered change that will minimize the chance of failure. Clear concise and unambiguous communication with a systemic vision that can be explained in 5 minutes or less will evoke understanding and interest better than an elaborate and mind-numbing collection of information inundating any possibility of interest (Kotter, 1996).
Communicating the Vision
Communication is essential in implanting change. With so many forms of communication and the digital age allowing more people to tap into more forms of communication, we have become lost in front of our computers and tend to avoid face to face contact. Communicating your vision is important to the success of the change. It is important that senior leaders and people who are part of the guiding coalition share the vision. You want to promote the understanding that the foundation for this change requires commitment at all levels of leadership and needs to be embraced in order to focus on the new direction for the organization. Using many forms of communication, in simple and laymen terms will help establish a two-way communication effort that both leaders, managers, and employees can understand in their daily operations and existing processes. Adding additional understanding can be met with stories, metaphors, and examples of compelling changes for the future while helping leadership align with the vision. Use every process and vehicle in your arsenal to perpetuate the continued vision and teach new behaviors through the guiding coalition. This will help managers who can influence employees feel empowered (Kotter, 1996).
Empowering Others to Act on the Vision
The empowerment of employees is imperative to the success of preventing and stifling the implementation of change. Employees may understand that change is necessary to move forward with the vision of the organization, but without the proper tools or the necessary equipment to continue the vision of the organization, my unmotivated managers and employees to proceed with the change effort. Understanding that removing obstacles and utilizing all of the vehicles within your prevue will help prevent the unintentional stalling of change even before it beings. It is important to identify any possible barriers that would hinder the change process. This adjustment should include any processes, structures, procedures, and reward systems that would otherwise derail the change effort. It is important to identify behaviors, good or bad, that contribute to the change effort and act accordingly by providing positive re-enforcement and rewarding those that invest in the idea for the new vision. Empowerment will result in the implementation of change and will result in changes. Those short-term wins will help propel you to the next level (Kotter, 1996).
Planning and Creating Short-Term Wins
Establishing short-term wins is important in perpetuating the change effort. Short term wins are a continued succession of what the change effort has brought to the organization. These improvements can be seen within 6 to 18 months and it is necessary to continue its momentum by keeping the stakeholders engaged. Identifying the processes and projects that are directly related to the change result in a clear understanding that the change is being effective. These wins can be identified by visible changes that coincide with something specifically being changed in the organization. For example, money savings, the reduction in process time, the additional revenue generate, are examples of specific change efforts that are directly related to the change effort. Identifying these short-term wins may require a reallocation of resources or personnel to continue the change effort and give the guiding coalition the authority to oversee these changes. Continually identify these wins and communicate those wins to senior leadership. We find that short-term wins can give an immediate understanding of the success the change is having and collecting these wins will allow you to implement additional change to further the change effort (Kotter, 1996).
Consolidate Improvements and Producing Additional Change
Consolidating these wins and gains of the change effort will help in implementing additional changes geared toward the change effort. These steps will help prevent the relapse of old behaviors or methods as well as reducing the complacency many have. Highlighting the short-term wins will help re-enforce the idea that the change is working. This will gain leverage for implementing additional changes and persuading leaders, managers, and stakeholders to commit to additional changes. This can help implement processes or procedures that have not become obsolete and removed through departments that may be obstructing or creating a bottleneck in the change effort. Solicit the help of lower-level managers to perpetuate the idea of change and assign lower level managers to work with guiding coalition projects (Kotter, 1996). This will reassure the participation of lower-level managers and create buy-in for subject matter experts to participate in the change effort. Remove resistant managers who continue to obstruct (Watkins, 2016).
Institutionalizing New Approaches
It is important to document and anchor the change effort. Creating documents, operating instructions and easy to understand information to continue the change effort will solidify the new changes. Additionally, continuing the change effort through the alignment of supervisory operating instructions and using a promotion system to re-enforce the values of the change will help support the continued establishment for the change. This alignment of change and organizational processes will help in adjusting training and essential activates required to sustain the competencies associated with the change.
It is ultimately up to the individual organization to select the best approach to change. Understanding the steps necessary for a successful change effort can improve the chances for success within an organization. The implementation of change can be difficult. The need for change is evolving as business improves technology, and processes become more competitive. These steps are a giant leap forward in the preservation of changes necessary to gain that edge in an evolving business environment. Business is turbulent and requires leadership legerdemain. This co-existence of business change, technology, and competition is a continual process ultimately based on organization and vision.
Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading Change. Harvard: Harvard Business School Press.
Lumen. (2017, 09 11). Types of Leaders. Retrieved from Lumen Learning: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-management/chapter/types-of-leaders/
Matsu**bleep**a, K. (2018, 06 16). John P. Kotter. Retrieved from Harvard Business School: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=6495
Penny, L. (2008). Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel. St. Martin's Minotaur.
Watkins, M. D. (2016, 06 18). Leading the Team You Inherit. Harvard Business Review, p. 9.
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Quick Look Market Analysis
So what is a quick look marketing analysis? Although this technique is not exclusive to photographers, it is imperative in the skillfully planning of any startup strategy. When I was studying for my Master’s Degree, this part of the business process was considered the most important. This quick look approach helps in identifying the viability of your service or product. A quick look market analysis will clarify what differentiates you from your competition. Here is what you want to focus on where doing your quick look market analysis. First, you want to identify any potential customers and their buying or shopping habits. How many potential customers are there, how much are they paying for your type of product or service. Who is my competition and what are they doing that is making them successful and what are they doing that is making them unsuccessful?
This technique is important in reducing the risk of failure. The vicissitudes of market change can be daunting, but don’t let this discourage you. Understanding the climate of your market can make the difference in your business and help improve the chances of viability for your product or service and help obviate expensive resources and time prior to a solution. Remember the rule of supply and demand. With this analysis, you will find out whether or not customers even want the type of product or service you are offering. At this point, you may be asking yourself if this is even worth the effort and whether or not you even need to do a market analysis. It is important to know that not all businesses are created equal. There may be situations where you know how customers may react to your service or product, then something so extensive may not be necessary. Understanding your market, competition, and direction of your business should be considered, but a formal analysis might not be needed. Just keep in mind that the analysis is a great way to get some perspective on your market.
Contribution to the Business Plan
It is always important to have a living business plan. I say a living business plan because you can have your business plan change as your business changes. Many people look at business plans in the beginning of their business venture, however, this should always remain up to date if you intend to raise money through venture capitalists, angels, or even banks. Having an up to date business plan will give you an opportunity. The quick look market analysis is the most significant part of your business plan.
Market Analysis Overview
Knowing your industry is just not enough, you have to know the current trend of your industry. The direction of the industry can easily be disrupted or improved by new technology. Understanding the current state of your industry should include the size, trends, life cycle, and any potential growth. “ Over the past five years, the Photography in the US industry has grown by 1.6% to reach revenue of $10bn in 2018. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has grown by 3.0% and the number of employees has grown by 2.4%” (IBIS World 2018). Why is this important to know? Because it is easier to swim downstream than it is to swim upstream. Knowing the direction of your industry gives you a clear understanding of where your industry is headed.
Your target market should be a straight arrow. I’m going to use photography as an example. Many times, business owners and in this case, photographers, make the mistake of including every genre of photography. I do weddings, engagements, headshots, maternity, modeling, family, seniors, graduations, events, etc. Sure this can be a good way for you to get more customers, but think about what that learning curve will look like. Hone in on your target market and this will help improve your marketing effort through your platform of choice and improve your chances of success. Become an expert in that market then expand. Doing this first will help you bring in customers that are most willing to buy your product or service.
Current Prices on Products or Services You Offer
Potential Size of Market for Your Business
Why is important to understand your competition? This helps you understand where you stand. Every business is vulnerable and knowing those vulnerabilities can give you a leg up on them. Knowing your competition’s weaknesses. This could be bad reviews, poor customer service, old equipment, dated technologies. What can you offer to your customers that your competition is not doing? So what specifically are you looking for when analyzing your competition? Look for the competition that has products and services that are similar to yours. Why are customers buying from them? Loyalty, branding, price, etc. it could be anything. Identify competitors that are not so obvious. Many businesses say that they have an idea that no one can compete with. We have no competition! They would be wrong. Indirect competition for photographers can be anyone with an iPhone. Identify any strengths or weaknesses that your competition has. People with iPhones don’t have the capabilities that a photographer with a DSLR and Flash. Identify those weaknesses. Identify the strengths, like the convenience of photographing, cheaper, availability, or portability. One of the most significant components is the barriers to entry. Identify any potential pitfalls of entering into the market. How much is it going to cost, is the competition going to squeeze me out, are they going to try and undercut me until I go under, is there a possibility of retaliation from larger firms. Are there any legal obstacles, regulations, government, or city ordinances that need attention? Lastly, identify any windows of opportunity. Are you getting in early to take advantage of something that is emerging in the market?
You should be able to predict the direction of your business at this point. This is the best guess scenario. With most business plans, this is a guess anyway. You are analyzing the market and projections for your industry and customer base are based on the research you have obtained. You should be able to know how much money your customers will be spending, how much you will be spending on marketing, what share of the market you are going to be grabbing, and how much you will be making in potential sales. You will also project how much you will be pricing your product or service at this point. You can also determine if you can afford to generate revenue through sales price or retail price.
Are there any government agencies that will hinder, help or create bottlenecks in your release.
Some resources for your research:
US Census Bureau
Small Business Administration
Hopefully, this quick look analysis will help you identify potential pitfalls and help you uncover opportunities to exploit in the marketplace.
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More often we find that we just jump into a business without knowing what to do. We think of it as a good idea and say to ourselves that this is going to be a good business without doing some basic research. Positioning your product or business is essential in getting yourself known, either through brand or product. For many people, the perception of quality can be enough to buy a product. The idea that BMW is better than Hyundai is all based on branding and positioning. Determine company uniqueness by comparing to competitors When setting yourself apart from your competitors, it is essential to identify opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses within your company, business and or product. Understanding your strengths can be anything from your employee's enthusiasm for excellent customer service to an innovative product. Ideally, you should look at your product or service and measure your strength and weakness against competitors. You may say, "well I don't have any competitors." If you just said that you would be wrong. There is competition for everything. A person with an iPhone in photography could be considered a competitor. Leave no stone unturned when looking at competitors. Identify every element you can think of and include it in your analysis. When looking at your weaknesses, make sure you are honest with yourself. Look at those flaws like poor budgeting, sales techniques, product, technology, processes. Look at every aspect of your business that could create bottlenecks in your launch. The bottom line is you want to look at your competitors and identify where you stand against them and exploit your strengths based on your analysis. Identify your current market position Where do you stand in the market? The market is a big scary place where the abyss of niche, positioning, products, and services get lost. It shouldn't be scary when you know where you stand, and how you can make yourself known. How do you identify your current position? You must first find out what sets you apart from your competitors. This doesn't always need to be price. If you saying to yourself right now that price can differentiate yourself you are selling yourself short and could possibly be working harder to generate a profit. Setting yourself apart from your competitors must be researched. You will have to look at your competitors from a customer's perspective and ask yourself where you fall among them. In the previous paragraph, we discuss looking at competitors and identifying everyone that falls in the category of your business. Looking at all aspects of the competition will help you understand even the most overlooked competitor can have an impact on your market position. Competitor positioning analysis What is the temperature of the market? Is your current business model or product hot or will you find yourself swimming upstream to get yourself known? Doing a thorough market analysis can help you identify the amount of influence each competitor has on the marketplace and how much your product or service will create. This analysis is essential when starting a business. Let's say you want to start a carpet cleaning business and you are going to invest 50K on a new system and van. While you are doing your market research you find that all of the houses in your area only have hardwood floors. Calling home builders in the area would help give you some percentages on how many houses have hardwood floors vs. carpet. This knowledge can be essential prior to invest 50K on a system. So in this instance, you may change your position from carpet cleaning to floor cleaning.
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I want to get into photography but have no money, no equipment, and no experience. How do I start?
Aspiring photographers will often say that want to take up photography but don’t have the experience or money for equipment. If you want to break into photography, there are many things that you can do now that requires little to no money and no experience. How is this possible, you may be asking yourself?
If you have a cell phone you have the resources available to start your career in photography. I don’t have any experience you may be thinking. One of the best ways to learn photography is by seeing it firsthand. When you see another photographer in action, you can learn much faster than just reading about it. Pick up your cell phone, turn off Netflix, Candy Crush and start calling some photographers and negotiate a discount for contract work. Have at least five photographers to start. One photographer for every day of the week. This will keep your options open and create the most leverage when scheduling your shoots. Like with most contract work and scheduling, you will have to be in continual communication with the client and the photographer who is doing the job. Have a backup to the backup. Remember the photographer works for you. The photographer is representing your company, so it is essential that the photographer has a good portfolio, great work ethic and represents your company in a professional manner.
You may take it upon yourself to attend those shoots to make sure that everything goes smooth and of course to learn from the other photographer. If the photographer is experienced, they may offer some advice or even let you ask questions. For many photographers, this is not typically the norm as sometimes you have to be in the zone and outside questions may not be conducive to the shoot or may be uncomfortable to the client. But, if you communicate your shoot with the client, and the photographer explains that this could be something of a learning experience for everyone, then the client and photographer may be more inclined to doing something like this.
Money for Equipment
Now that you are establishing contract work with your clients, you are generating income and creating some revenue to purchase equipment. Your revenue is determined on what you can negotiate with the photographer and how often you schedule. The percentage may vary based on whether the photographer is doing the editing or if you are contracting the editing. You can get good editors by outsourcing, while relieving the photographer from additional time on the project which may be cheaper, or you may ask the photographer to edit the photos for an additional cost. You will have to look for quality editors. You can schedule as many or as few as you want during the week. The more you schedule, to more time it will take to communicate and organize, but the more money you will make.
Every photography session is different and with that offers a cornucopia of opportunities to learn. Contract work is a great way to start for a number of reasons, but the best reasons are that it allows you to start with just a cell phone, you keep your customers, find trends in the market and most importantly get referrals. When you start talking to people on the phone you start to get a pretty good feel of where the market is. This is a unique opportunity to know what many people are unwilling to learn about their industry. You may learn that after 100 phone calls no one in your town even wants photography and learn this isn’t even a viable career in your area. You may find a niche and corner that market.
You may decide at one point that you are confident enough to start doing your own shoots and by then you will have the clientele, equipment, and experience to pursue your own jobs. So tell me again how you start with no money and no experience? Hard work! Now get up, get out and start.
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It was a pleasure meeting the team that helps so many Pros get their business off the ground. I attribute much of my success to Thumbtack. I am truly grateful and honored to be a part of a winning team and close Thumbtack family.
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