2012 was an interesting year and while I had hoped to see nice growth in a recovering photo economy, it did not seem all that obvious.
2013 is here so it is time to get busy with this year’s strategy. Now’s the time to set solid goals for the year and ones that can be obtained. More importantly, goals that are effective to the success of your business.
Start by taking some time and write down all the goals you would like to achieve. Keep in mind that your personal goals should drive your business goals, but effective business goals will provide your personal goals.
These should include business goals and creative goals. Where would you like to travel and photograph? What gear do you want or need? What sort of income is required to meet the business and personal goals?
Here are a couple ideas for you may want to consider for 2013:
1) Evaluate your customer base. Who are they and what products and services have they purchased previously? What steps are required to earn more business from them? Did you write and sell an eBook last year that was successful? Then follow up with another and run a series of blog posts and emails announcing the upcoming release date for the new book. Build anticipation! If you do workshops plan something new and exciting for those who follow you, then write aggressively about it.
2) Evaluate who is not a customer and determine how you can earn their business. This could include guest blogging, magazine articles, and your own blog. Keep in mind that online marketing is often a one-way conversation: you are doing all the talking and the readers are listening. You must tell them what they want to here and the more places you do that the more social reach you have.
3) If you are in the commercial sector of photography and licensing images and/or performing assignments, promote as a niche photographer. While shooting a wide variety is what motivates many of us, keep in mind that buyers and art directors don’t search for ‘great photographer’ but instead search for ‘underwater photographer’ or ‘nature photographer Hawaii.’ It is not hard for you to niche yourself this way. Just determine your strengths in imagery and promote that.
4) Work backwards and determine how many image sales, workshop slots, or eBooks need to be sold to make your years goals. Then break these down into manageable tasks. How many emails would effectively remind your workshop list of the great programs you have planned? Would guest posts on a variety of blogs sell a bunch of eBooks? Budget for a marketing campaign to sell stock images and/or pitch editors on story ideas you would like to shoot.
5) Establish what investments need to be made in your infrastructure. Do you ‘need’ that new lens or camera or just ‘want’ it? This mindset is crucial in any business. If something will make you more money and grow the business then it is needed. But if your current selection of gear works fine and captures your images as needed, hold off on the ‘wants’ until better times. Use that money instead for marketing new products or to promote your services.
What’s important is to plan where you want 2013 to take you and it needs to be beyond where you are today. If you create that task list and add the steps needed to accomplish those tasks, you are on your way.
Pick the first task and start it today. Move to the next task when you can and complete it. If you manage your time and stay on task, you can soon enjoy the fruits of that labor, but remember that a task started and not completed keeps you further from your desired goals.
By starting with small bits the task becomes easier to complete and success is closer. Have a great 2013!
Have any thoughts? Please leave a comment.