Thursday, March 15, 2012

Your Photo Business: Awareness, Opportunity And Choice

An Hispanic businesswoman has her ear to the tracks oblivious to the steam locomotive bearing down on her in this stock photo about awareness and risk.
Maximizing opportunities requires more than just keeping an ear to the tracks!

An Ear To The Tracks
I constantly have my ear to the tracks…that is; I am trying to stay aware of what is coming. Is that rumbling I hear an opportunity approaching, or is it a locomotive about to run over me?

New Developments And A Huge Boost
I know from experience that being one of the first to take advantage of a new development can be a huge boost. I started using Photoshop for clients (and stock photography) back in 1990…and it changed everything for me.  I was using digital capture (with a Leaf Digital Back on a Hasselblad) in 1994 and it provided yet another boost. Those who jumped on Royalty Free imagery made a mint. Photographers who early on recognized the value of the Internet benefited immensely…and so it goes.

What Is Truly Important
But the danger is in not seeing the forest for the trees, of getting so caught up in the latest thing that you don’t pay attention to what is truly important. Further, what is important for one person might not be right for another. Social media, for example, can be a huge boon for one photographer and a wasteful time suck for another.

Time Well Spent
How do you make sure that the time you spend staying alert for what’s coming is time well spent?  I am not sure I have the ultimate answer, but I do think it is important to keep your goals in mind. For example, my primary goal is to get my stock images in front of as many potential buyers as possible. A secondary goal is to expand my sources of revenue.  When I look at a site like Pinterest I judge it by my own goals. Is it a good source to get my images seen by people who might buy them? Can Pinterest provide links to my site that will move it up in the search engine rankings? Can Pinterest provide enough of a boost to warrant the participation?

Weighing Potential Benefits
For me the potential reward of Pinterest, at this point, has lead me to adding “Pin It” buttons on my website picture pages. But as far as spending my time “pinning” things…I am not convinced of the value (Jim Goldstein has an interesting blog post on Pinterest). In my own situation I have to constantly weigh potential benefits of my time spent with the benefits of spending that time creating new images. Of course, it gets far more complicated when I add in factors such as enjoyment .  On the whole I would rather be making images. While at home, watching TV, I can be participating in social media. At any rate, consciously contrasting new developments with my goals helps me to at least make educated decisions on how to spend my time and other resources.

Keeping Your Goals In Mind
By keeping your goals in mind it makes it far more likely that your efforts at keeping tabs on the various advances in technology, social media and whatever else that is happening, are much more likely to benefit you and not just have you spinning your wheels. So if you haven’t done so in a while, check in on your list of goals, see if they are still in line with what you want out of your life, and use them to help clarify your choices.

1 comment:

Jaak Nilson said...

Hey Photographers!

Pinterest is Not for You. PhotoShelter Blog