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Thursday, 19 February 2009


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I can't recommend Seth Godin's work enough. He's one of the few that recognizes that the fundamentals are most important but the EXECUTION of such is very different now.

I read Ries and Trout's book 30 years ago when it was first published. Its message is still as fresh as ever.

as a photographer just starting out, these are all great leads. we are indeed starting a partnership of 3 people, and considering maybe one more partner to join us. so it's heartening to hear that partnerships work out better.

I would like to add myth #3: Most amateurs want to become professionals.

In fact most amateurs just want to become what they believe is a professional photographer. That's quite a difference.

A lot of this business advice is very good, but it's also important to remember that the business of photography is very different. There are so many ways to make money in it. There are small studios that do senior portraits, and there are commercial photographers, editorial, journalists, artists, etc... We're all doing what we love to do and trying to make it.

I'm an 'emerging' (yeah, okay, I'll use that word) photographer and the rule in business for me is consistent marketing, relationship building, and the constant growth of new work.

The best advice anybody ever gave me was 'in this business, you have to give a lot to get anything back.' Basically, you have to love it. So I'm in a position to pour every drop of cash I make back into the growth of my 'business.' And sheet film ain't cheap...

This is why I find a densitometer more attractive than a woman...sigh. :-)

If you want to make money in this, you have to make it your whole life.

Great list; thanks guys!

As my dayjob's industry goes into deep hibernation mode, these books just might come in handy.

Thanks, Todd & Mike!

RE: Nine out of 10 businesses fail in the first five years.

I've always wondered if many "myth" statements like this were actually true in their original context or form.

What if the above statement was originally in a book chapter named "Failed businesses"; or the original statement was "Of businesses that fail, nine out of 10 fail in the first five years." or "Nine out of 10 businesses that fail, fail in the first five years."?

Over time, the context gets lost, or the statement shortened, and the meaning actually changes.

Just wondering.

Mark Sperry wrote:

"This is why I find a densitometer more attractive than a woman...sigh. :-)"

And a LOT cheaper, as well as being easier on the nerves!

I thought this was normal!

Selling the Invisible seems like a great book to read. I wanted to be in the Marketing Industry before I became a photographer. I didnt get a complete education in Marketing. I took one class in it. Learned alot that I can apply to myself and my work. But this other book sounds like it is worth reading. Thanks for this post.

Todd's comments/tips alone are appreciated. Thanks for sharing the ideas, Todd.

Larry - You are close on this. The only data available for business closings was their continued existence. That was the original definition that created the data for 9 out of 10 businesses failing in the first five years. The SBA has done some great work on this over the last five years. They started to look at things like were companies purchased, did the company continue under of different name, or did the company close due to retirement or desire of the founder. This lead to all sorts of new views on the creation and destruction of small business in America. Again, I point out the myth because I think it scares people from starting their own business.

Hi Mike,
I followed the link to your essay on being a professional photographer. I'm sometimes guilty of being a jack of all trades photographer, and I appreciate the clarity you offered. Time to get out and market myself (again). Thanks very much for the good words.

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