I recently sent out an e-mail to local photographers to be promoted on my website FOR FREE, and they didn’t want it! How can this be possible? An all too common of a mistake for many people in not understanding the long-term implications of their business decisions or in our case the lifetime value of a customer. Let me back up and share with you the story…
I often get the opportunity to work with hundreds of various businesses. I get to work with people through the Internet which is a very mild connection and also one-on-one creating a deeper and more impactful connection. Every business owner is at different points in their level of understanding business. As you become more experienced in the field of business you really start to see this take shape.
The Free Promotion:
This month, I was sending out e-mails to promote photographers on one of my websites Find My Rock The website focuses on educational material for the diamond consumer looking to purchase a diamond engagement ring, I sell a book on there on buying diamonds, and we also publish some pricing stats and news. We also started publishing some great photographs of diamond engagement rings from photographers.
We do not charge a photographer of the to be listed on our website, however, they do have to answer some questions so that our visitors get a little background about them and they have to publish very good quality photos. It is a win-win for everyone.
How everyone Benefits
The photographer: since they receive free promotion, increase their search engine rankings, and gain exposure to possible future prospects.
The visitors: the visitors get a chance to look at incredible photos and get to know a photographer in more detail.
Our company: as we gain credibility for providing the content, seeking out the photographers, and build traffic to our website.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way which actually hurts them in the long run. So how do other people or business see this concept?
How some unsuccessful photographers see this:
Many times if you do not understand marketing or the lifetime value of a customer, you will always try to cling on to your property or ownership. This is what happens with many local businesses. In our example of the photographer because they were so attached to their photographs they replied to my e-mail saying that
“we would be happy to license our photographs for your website. If you would like to purchase the rights to use any images on your website, please let us know which ones and what type of use you would like.”
My response to try and help them
Now, I always try to look at things from all perspectives. I can see their point that they make money through photography, but in business, we must always focus on what does bring in the money? It is not always a sale, but often times the marketing behind it and positioning.
I aim to explain to them the benefits that they would receive from the promotion, and educate them on some marketing within a few paragraphs because, after all, you cannot teach someone quickly about the benefits or long-term implications growing their business and sadly this is the reply I received:
“I understand that you’d like to benefit from using professional photographs for your website. In exchange, you’re offering exposure to an audience that is not targeted for the San Francisco Bay Area region.
As you can imagine, people (mostly) hire local wedding photographers. Because your website doesn’t target this region, unfortunately, the exposure you’re offering does not provide us with any value.
If you’d like to purchase license rights to use our work for your website you’re welcome to do that and I’ll be glad to help.”
It does not frustrate me that they turned down the offer. What does frustrate me that they are not educated enough to understand that it is a global world now? People now hire photographers from all over the globe to fly in and take pictures of their wedding.
How do I know this? I ran a very successful photography business for quite a few years just for fun.
Let me paint you another picture…
Imagine if CNN, Foxnews, or any major TV station wanted to use the photographs crediting your photographs, would you do it? Of course, you would! Because the exposure you would receive would be incredible!!!
So how come business people do not connect with other small or medium-size businesses? Typically this is because the reward, or in our marketing terms, instant gratification is very limited.
We want instant results all the time in business. We want quick traffic, we want the quick dollar such as a sale of a photograph, and we want things to move quickly. Unfortunately, life is not set up to be that way and neither his business. Things take the time to evolve and you have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul.
Create a new picture:
Let’s create a second vision. What if your photograph was used in a commercial for Facebook when it was first developing before anyone knew about it before it was even popular, would you have done it? If you have the old-school mentality, you probably would not have.
After all, Facebook was not CNN years ago and of course, you would never know that it would get huge. However, imagine if in the future when Facebook exploded, and your photo was on the cover of a Facebook website, an Instagram, Skype, Youtube, etc.
Yes it would not have been instant results for the traffic and it may have never happened, but exposure, credibility, and business all take the time to grow and evolve.
Creating Mental Pictures
When you are creating mental pictures always be open and start with a blank canvas. What I mean by this is many people that have their life in order and want to change their job or career they already have a white canvas that is mostly painted.
For you to change your situation you feel like you need to get a job so you start adding to the picture or painting over some of the ugly parts. Unfortunately, there are some great parts that you don’t want to affect so you paint with caution and now your picture is just a big mess.
In another mindset, if you already have one canvas that has already a painting on it, rather than trying to squeeze something new when it or painting over the ugly parts, throw it into the trash, get a new canvas, and paint a new picture.
Once you are finished, then you can go back and reevaluate the old canvas, but if you don’t paint a new picture with a clear mentality, you will always go to the old-school mindset or make similar decisions in a different way.
How this relates to promotion and marketing
If anyone is looking to promote you, share your products, or contribute to you in a positive way take every opportunity possible!
Be open to new concepts and marketing techniques. You never know who will be watching that interview or website and it can bring you great returns maybe not in the next week but maybe in the next month, the year or multiple years.
If you are a person that just constantly clings on to everything you have and you never open yourself up to new opportunities, it will make it harder for others to get to know you.
It will make it more difficult for people to connect with you to see your greatness that is within you, and that will make it a much bumpier road for you to travel, not to mention a lonelier one.
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