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Being able to create and deliver an elevator pitch is fundamental to any good marketing plan. In the final installment of a 4 part series, liveBooks Inc. CEO Andy Patrick discusses the value in being able to state your elevator when it counts.
Writing a photography proposal is a learned process. I still learn something new every time I need to write one. Everyone has a slightly different way of doing things, so you have to figure out what works best for you.
Writing an estimate is essential for large advertising jobs. Editorial jobs for magazines and newspapers often approach you with a predetermined budget. Wedding and portrait photographers often structure their form and fees differently. No matter what type of photographer you are, being able to appropriately charge for your time and expertise is essential. These tips will help you think about what, and how much, to charge a prospective client.
I try to keep everything simple by dividing my estimates into three sections: project description, usage rights, and fees. Here is my proposal writing process. First, I describe the project I have been asked to work on. I try to get as much information from the client as possible by asking the following questions:
Then I take this information and write a brief project description, so everyone involved in the project is on the same page. This also protects you from getting asked by the client to shoot more shots than you originally agreed to, etc.
The second section is about usage rights for the images. Be sure to ask the client where the photos will be used. Will they be used on the web only? Print? A national billboard ad campaign? Obviously, the usage fee should be higher if it’s a national ad campaign vs. an email blast promotion.
After you discuss where they’ll be used, ask them for how long they’d like to purchase the rights to the photos. I usually provide 1-year, 5-year and full buyout options. Most companies assume they want a full buyout, but in reality they probably won’t be using the same photos in 5 years anyway. However if they want it for say a 6th year, they can renegotiate with you at that time. fotoQuote and BlinkBid are good programs for getting some estimated numbers for usage fees. It probably errs on the high side, but it’s a good starting point if you have no idea what to charge! In the third section of my proposal I list all the fees I will be charging the client. A general fee list includes:
Be sure to list out and charge for everything! If you’re involved in model casting, charge for it! If you’ve been asked to location scout, charge for that, too! You may want to consider using higher-end estimates so that you have room to negotiate and cover additional expenses that may come up at the last minute. It’s never a bad thing to come in under budget!
When thinking about budget, I usually try to get an estimate from the client up front. That way I know what I have to work with. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to ask, so use your best judgement. Also, consider the type of client it is. Is it a start-up company or a well-established brand? Just know there is not always a correct set amount to charge, because every project is different. Ask your photo community what they think, and realize that at some level writing a photography proposal is more of an art than a science.
Lastly when presenting a finished estimate to a client, make sure it has an organized look and feel on a branded document. If they ask, explain your fees with confidence, educate them on how costs are broken down and how you are worth every penny!
Kelsey was born and raised in Dallas. She received her B.F.A. in photography at the University of North Texas, and afterwards moved to New York City. She was named one of “Adorama’s ones to watch” in 2008, and also participated in several group shows. Recently relocating back to Texas, she continues to shoot for editorial and commercial clients by splitting her time between NYC and Dallas. Her portrait work can be seen on PinholePress.com and on her website. In addition to photography, Kelsey also loves snow, traveling, and playing her banjo.
Being able to manage and grow your contact database is essential for all working photographers. In part 3 of a 4 part series, liveBooks Inc. CEO Andy Patrick discusses some effective ways to manage and grow your database.
Developing a brand is crucial to the success of any business. In part 2 of a 4 part series, liveBooks, Inc. CEO Andy Patrick discusses the value of branding and how to develop your personal brand.
The About section is an important part of your website. In part 1 of a 4 part series, liveBooks, Inc. CEO Andy Patrick discusses the value of a great About section and how to go about creating one.
Editorial and commercial photographer Kelsey Foster gives us some ideas on what you can do to revamp and tweak your photography brand, keeping it simple and consistent.
A good logo is very important and should be easily remembered by whoever sees it. Because it should be memorable put it on everything and don’t change it frequently. People often make the mistake of changing their logo because they find something that they like better or think it’s good to always be new and fresh. Don’t make this mistake! Clients might get confused and think they have the wrong photographer, especially if you have different logos on different things. Having a consistent logo is part of having a consistent brand. For example, don’t have an older logo on your website and a newer one printed on a portfolio.
Make sure your photos are sized correctly for the web to ensure a fast load time. People have short attention spans and I promise they will click out of your site if it takes too long. You should keep the design simple so that your imagery stands out. In regards to social media just be consistent. For example use the same logo, colors and branding on all your social sites. Simplifying your website and keeping all social media branding consistent is something you can easily throughout the year.
iPads are great and can be a very useful portfolio tool, but nothing beats hard copies of images. If you want to sell products you need to have your photos printed for the client to actually touch and experience. A huge portfolio can be too heavy to carry around so the little hardback books from Pinhole Pro are great. They are impressive in appearance and print quality. Small books are so easy to always have on hand and they fit easily in my purse! Notice I picked a neutral binding because it matches my photos best.
Again when putting together a portfolio you have to be consistent. Use the same logo, typeface, and colors. Always ask yourself, “Is this part of my brand?”
So, my advice would be to make your brand simple and consistent in regards to your logo, website, portfolios and promos. Ultimately your photography should speak for itself. The more consistent you are with your brand the more professional you will appear to a client, thus resulting in more business!
Kelsey Foster was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She received her B.F.A. in photography at the University of North Texas, and afterwards moved to New York City. She was named one of “Adorama’s ones to watch” in 2008, and also participated in several group shows. Recently relocating back to Texas, she continues to shoot for editorial and commercial clients by splitting her time between NYC and Dallas.
If you are like many photographers, you understand the need to leverage social media in your marketing mix, but maybe you’re uncertain of where to begin. Are your “tweets”, “pins”, or “posts” actually driving page views and business transactions? If so liveBooks has good news for you. In addition to empowering you with the ability to present your work in a professional manner, we also know social media for photographers.
Beginning next Thursday and continuing throughout November, we will deliver a series of posts that detail how you can engage your audience through social media channels, and in the process build brand recognition, loyalty and trust in a way that drives quality, meaningful traffic back to your site.
Sound good? Okay! Here’s what we have in store:
Week 1 – “Social Media for Photographers: Where to Begin?”
This week we will focus on the two most popular Social Media platforms; Facebook and Twitter and why they are important to your web presence as a photographer. You will learn the different uses for Facebook and Twitter, as well as some improvements you can make today with what you already have. We will conclude with a discussion of how to fit social media into even the tightest of schedules. This post will serve as a launchpad for our week two discussion of defining achievable goals for your social media strategy.
Week 2 – “Defining the Photographer’s Social Media Strategy”
The first step in any effective social media strategy is understanding what your needs are and defining what goals you want to achieve for your photography business through social media. The next logical step is to define who your target audience is. We will take you through this process and get you on your way to delivering relevant content that your audience actively engages with.
Week 3 – “Executing Your Social Media Strategy”
Now that you have your social media strategy defined, it’s time to ignite your social media wildfire. We will help you understand how to pace your content, react to your community’s feedback, and understand what the appropriate level of engagement and energy is that you can consistently give to Social Media. Even if you’re a professional photographer who can only devote 15 minutes a day, we can help you understand how to best manage your time and resources. By the end of this post you should feel comfortable executing your defined social media strategy to meet your social media goals.
Week 4 – “Social Media Measurement Strategies”
There are many different ways to measure your social media impact. We will begin by showing you how to track and understand basic social media data. Based on the goals you set forth in week one we will help you make meaning out of this measured information and determine ways that you can refine your strategy. To reach your goals faster and with a larger impact, you will learn which metrics are most relevant to your photography goals.
Week 5 – “Using Instagram To Promote Your Photography Business”
In week five we will discuss the value of introducing Instagram into your social media mix. We will cover the ins and outs of how photographers can use Instagram to increase their business. You will learn about mobile technologies and how Instagram may be your link to a larger photography audience. Our conversation will conclude with a discussion of 5 simple ways you can effectively introduce Instagram into your social media mix.
liveBooks would love to hear your ideas, questions and comments so post a tweet to @livebooks. And while you’re on the social media forefront, “Like” us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter. For more information on how you can use social media channels, and in the process build brand recognition, loyalty and trust, click here or call: (888)458-3678.
If you were looking to learn how to enhance your brand and attended this year’s ASMP Photo Review last Saturday in Golden, CO, you didn’t leave disappointed. For those of you who didn’t make it, keynote speakers included liveBooks CEO, Andy Patrick, and Wonderful Machine CEO, Bill Cramer. Photographers from across the country were engaged in presentations about branding, SEO, marketing and social media to name a few of the topics. If you missed it, liveBooks has captured a few key insights from our CEO’s presentation at this year’s event.
Hopefully these tips have captured your interest and helped you think more about your brand. You can begin building your web presence today with liveBooks! Sign up for our FREE 14-day trial here. Hear it first; join our Facebook and Twitter communities to receive real-time liveBooks news and updates.
Jeff Tse is a renowned beauty and fashion photographer in New York City whose client list includes many top brands and publications from the beauty industry. Jeff has also been a liveBooks client since January of 2007, and has recently launched a newly redesigned website which combines elegant minimalist design with custom interactive elements and the latest Scaler version of the liveBooks offering. Please take a look at his when you have the chance: http://www.jefftse.com. Jeff tells us about the benefits of attending NYCFotoWorks Portfolio Review, which takes place June 19th-21st at Canoe Studios in NYC.
liveBooks: As a working photographer, how does an event like NYCFotoWorks Portfolio Review fit into your promotional strategy?
Jeff Tse: NYCFotoWorks is one of the biggest pieces of my promotional strategy. In this era where everyone is overworked at their positions, art directors and photo editors have no time to take meetings. It is virtually impossible to get your book seen much less have a face-to-face meeting. The event fills that gap by creating the opportunity for a photographer to not only ensure that his/her work is seen with undivided attention but also allows the photographer to talk about his/her work. With all the different ways of reaching out to clients (promo blast, mailers, website, etc), nothing is more intimate than a face to face meeting with someone. We do email blasts and social marketing as other means and I think the final meeting face to face rounds out the interaction process.
liveBooks: What advice would you offer photographers, both professional and emerging, thinking of attending the event?
Jeff Tse: I believe both emerging and established photographers can benefit equally from the event. With emerging photographers, the event allows one to make a strong introduction with your work and yourself to people in the industry. For established artists, I have been told from potential clients that it was really nice to finally meet the photographer after seeing the work for months or years. At the last FotoWorks event, I met the creative director from one of the biggest ad agencies in the US. I can tell you that there would be no other way a photographer can get his/her work in front of someone of that stature in the current market, have a conversation and get feedback. Even if one has an agent, it does not guarantee an opportunity like this. While some of the more seasoned photographers may feel this is beyond them, the thing to consider is the caliber of the reviewers. Whether you have been doing it for 10 years, you are still given the opportunity to meet the art buyers, art producers, and photo editors that you want to work for.
liveBooks: How does FotoWorks differ from other portfolio reviews you may have attended?
Jeff Tse: The quality of the reviewers is the biggest differentiating factor. I haven’t seen the art buyers and photo editors that I want to meet with at some of the other events. So it has been an easy decision as to whether it’s worthwhile or not. One thing to consider is how challenging it has been to meet with decision makers on your own. I know for me, it has made it much easier and much more efficient.
liveBooks: How would you compare a more targeted approach of the FotoWorks model to the broader approach of mailer campaign?
Jeff Tse: Gone are the days when a photographer will be hired to shoot between different genres and subject matter. Everyone is required to be a specialist to stand out today. If a photographer knows his/her market well, there will only be several dozen art buyers and photo editors that are appropriate for the kind of work that he/she does. A fashion photographer that shoots outdoors will never be hired for a food shoot. With that in mind, there is no need to send out a 5000 piece promo. I also think the impression that comes from meeting with someone face to face and showing an entire body of work has more value than a promo card that may or may not make it onto that person’s desk.
NYCFotoWorks is bringing together an amazing crew of reviewers for the Fusion Portfolio Review taking place November 1st-3rd in NYC. It is a great chance to show your work, both motion and still, to some of the industry’s leading creative professionals like art buyers, editors, creative directors, agents, designers and galleries. It is by far the most efficient way to network and get work. See the full list of reviewers here.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet 1-on-1 with professionals looking for great work. All artists are pre-screened. You can apply here.