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Recap of: An Idea-Packed Workshop for Creative Professionals

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This Saturday I hoped over to 3619 Eastham Studio for a very well attended ASPP West chapter seminar in Los Angeles. From right to left, moderator Jeff Burke who will be my guest on the next free call this coming Tuesday, Sharon Rich, Kate Brennan, Cyndi Yee and Peleg Top and Chapter President Michael Masterson. All names are linked to their respective websites and the 3619 Eastham Studio offers specials for ASPP members.

The session started with a panel discussion and the panelists answered general questions. The marketing rule of seven was discussed (it takes a minimum of seven contacts for a potential customer to notice your work).

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One of the most frequently asked questions that I hear in my coaching kept coming up during this session as well. How do you get someone on the phone? How do you keep them on the phone? How do you get past the receptionist and how do you make a memorable impression? Pegel, the marketing genius of the session had some very clever ideas about how to do that as did Cyndi. In this recap I will not get into the specifics as it would not be fair to the audience who paid a small nominal fee to the ASPP for facilitating this event. I will only cover the content in broad strokes so you know what you missed. In addition I want to drive one of my points home again. In these times it cannot be emphasized enough that you have to hone your skills and learn new ones. The ASPP is one of many organizations dedicated to teach you skill sets that you need today. It is as simple as that but you got to show up. You must invest in yourself to remove the obstacles that standing in the way of your success. Often times you are not even aware of what stands in your way. But, take a look at what is happening around you as the outer reflects the inner.

Peleg who specializes in coaching creative people on how to market and grow their business while leading a well-balanced life with profit in their pocket, posed a 10 call challenge to the audience. Make two phone calls a day = 10 calls a week. Sharon who helps people and organizations to recover powerfully after the worst happens: her layoffbounceback brand helps people get organized, find their direction, and becoming proactive in looking for work in the new economy said, that when you ask someone to be on your LinkedIn network take the extra few minutes and write a personal introduction. If you want to be on someones network than perhaps it would be in order to tell them why. LinkedIn is a relationship building tool. On the same token you want to find groups on the networks that or interest to you such as Flickr, LinkedIn and Facebook. You may set up your own or join an existing one. If you are interested in more indepth information how to handle all the social marketing and networking components you can get your audio CD of Rosh Sillars “New Media for Photographers.” This call was on June 24th and is available for purchase. Click here to reserve your copy.

The panelist had plenty more to say and great suggestions such as to Google yourself and make sure that what is out there in cyberspace about you is cookie cutter clean. Kate, a VP at Janou Pakter Inc. a leading global search firm with expertise in areas of design, retail, fashion, beauty, consumer products, entertainment and media, said that before any hire it is standard practice to see what is out there about you. Just in case you had your photos taken during your Miami vacation for “Girls Gone Wild” or still cherish those long ago Fraternity moments on your Facebook – get rid of them. Online networking is here to stay and you need to be in as much control over it as you can.

Peleg suggested that if you haven’t done so to get your name in URL. If your name is taken add a “The” before or a “Photo” after your name. Put a basic site up with your contact information. Make sure something is on that page that can be read by the search engines. Images alone cannot be read and your site won’t come up

Cyndi, an executive coach works with business and personal clients to clarify their goals, identify what’s in the way and then find a way through, spoke about the importance of your right mental attitude. She calls it holding space for “that possibility” in your head. Keep reminding yourself what value you add to your client or a potential employer. Jeff Burke jumped in and said you need to maintain control over your destiny and Pegel added that what you say you need to say like you mean it.

Sharon added something important about the word no. You have to own your “no”. It is not about the other person, you don’t need to explain why you don’t want to do that job but you need to have that clarity.

Next the audience was divided into small breakout sessions and got some time with each of the panelists to ask hard questions and get real answers.

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What happened in all of the groups was quite interesting. There is confusion and frustration about what is going on in the market. People want to take this time to leap and follow their passion but are not sure how to do that.

From Cyndi comes the most powerful quote I heard that day. She reminded everyone that pain is an inevitable part of change but suffering shouldn’t be. Accept what is and move into that space. Don’t wish it wasn’t just accept it and leave the victim consciousness behind. That sounds a lot like my concept of KARL which I’ll introduce in an upcoming book. Participants in her group said that the downsizing and lack of job creates the loss of creative pooling with others.

Peleg talked about getting clarity what the market is demanding as everything is driven by the market. Come up with more flexible and different packages in various price ranges for your potential customers.

All in all the consensus was that our industry has changed and continues to do so. One of the participants summed it up so perfectly, she said, the problem is, what’s next? Next I chatted with Ellen Herbert who was one of the many employees who just recently has been laid of as a result of Jupitermedia’s acquision by Getty Images. She holds a board position at ASPP West as the events coordinator. We came up with the plan to facilitate a business session after the summer that will address exactly the “what’s next” part.

That means over the summer I will be working on facilitating a hands-on intensive workshop with the ASPP that I tentatively titled “The Problem Is – What’s Next?” What you can do to get into the drivers seat again. From what I heard yesterday I think it would be very benefical to give photography business professionals real tools on how to create the next step in your career.

If you have suggestions or topics that you think would be benefical to cover – I’d love to hear about. Shoot me an email at info@PhotographyBusinessSecrets.com or post a comment here.

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