However you earn money to keep your business going, never lose sight of your goals
Over the past few years I’ve learned a great deal about running a business and adapting my photography skills to different genres and clients. I’ve never classed myself as a wedding photographer, for example, but I found work as one quite easily. Through networking I also managed to land a gig as a product photographer (sort of) for Nike, and of course a sports photographer for lots of different companies.
But my training and passion stills lies in editorial photography and photojournalism. So it’s no surprise that I still chase these kind of assignments, even though the budgets for magazines and newspapers these days is dwindling.
I try to say no to Pro Bono work wherever possibe, but I admit there can still be advantages. Last year, for example, I spent a couple of days filming at Roskilde Festival and didn’t earn a penny for it. But on the flip side I got a free ticket for the entire week, including the backstage press area, and got to photograph Mr. Noel Gallagher up close during a performance. It was a highlight of my career.
So I recognise benefits to voluntary work here and there, especially if you’re learning a skill at the same time. But sadly there’s been way too many so-called job offers, where the fee doesn’t match the time spent working on the project, and so I’ve done less and less photojournalism and more corporate gigs that pay off.
But I’m hoping things are starting to change on that front. On Monday evening I received an email from a PR company based in London, offering to fly me to Crete for a five day Agro-Blogging Adventure. Remarkably my calendar was totally empty (rare) so naturally I said yes. I filled in a form confirming my details, and interestingly, the amount of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers I had, and how many monthly impressions I make with my social media content. Trust me, I know the answers to all of these nerdy questions!
Once the flights were booked I started considering who to pitch the idea to. Starting small, I pitched it to a well-known travel magazine and their blogging editor. An hour later I’d received a reply from the features editor, and it was looking good. The magazine in question (I might confirm it later) were looking for a Greece article for next April’s edition, so my timing couldn’t have been better.
I’m very very pleased, of course. Pleased because this is exactly the kind of job I would like more of, and proof that things are going in the right direction for the business. It does take time to get where you want to be, however. Unless you’ve got a good savings account and all the spare time in the world to network your ass off.
So if I’m to conclude today’s Journal entry then it’s quite simple: don’t lose sight of your goals. Play the game and do the jobs you have to so you can remain focused on the jobs that you love. It’s easy to get disheartened by lack of interest from your Ideal Clients, but it just means you have to try harder and keep expanding.
As always, good luck improving your Creative Business venture, and keep coming back for more insights and updates as I learn with you.
Thanks for reading… I’ll be sharing pictures and stories all next week as I tackle sheep and olives in Crete, so stay tuned.
This blog post originally appeared over at matthewjames.dk