My tagline has changed from “snapshots of a photographers mind”, to “saving lives through fine art photography”. This may sound unusual but it really isn’t. Have you ever had to describe your business or profession in 30 seconds or less? It’s sometimes called the “elevator introduction” in the sales and marketing world. I even redid my cards.Suppose you are attending a large conference such as NAB or WPPI in Las Vegas and are taking elevators everyday to and from presentations. You’re crammed in with other captives on the lift and a person asks, “So what do you do?”
You know you’ve got just a few seconds to describe what you do for a living. You could come off kind of flip and say, “What…you mean right now?”, with a little smirk, knowing that with 80,000 other attendees you’re probably talking to another photographer or engineer.
I’m a tongue-in-cheek kind of guy so I might actually reply that way. I’ll probably never see that person again so can I afford to be a wise guy? I don’t think so.
Lots of times when I attend conferences I try to blend into the woodwork and actually learn something that I might use in my business later on. Instead of “partying on” I sometimes try out, if possible, a new photo technique I learned earlier that day or download and test a new App that is the do-all end-all of all Apps. In reality I should use every opportunity to meet and discover other attendees…networking if you will.
I should know this by now since I spent 16 years of my corporate life in the sales and marketing world. But now that photography is my vocation not my avocation I seem to enjoy the solitude of photography, sharing with only those who can appreciate how I do photography. I’m a member participant, mentor, and event coordinator of several photography groups. I enjoy them all but those wonderful folks aren’t my customers. Who are my customers you might ask and how do I attract them?
How can I get them to realize they need what I have to sell? Sure I’m a photographer but there are dozens of them in any phone book and online everywhere. I need to inform those potential customers that I do fine art photography not just events, animals and pets, and family portraits.
Now comes the reason for my tagline change. If I just responded to the casual “what do you do?” query with, “I’m a fine arts photographer”, I get an all-knowing nod and that’s it. No questions for me to answer. No email to follow up on with an explanation. But…if I reply, “I save peoples lives.” I get all sorts of questions some rhetorical some not but at least I’ve peaked their interest. If then asked I can at least explain either after the elevator door opens, or by the exchange of business cards, or by the email address they give me. They have in effect given me permission to contact them with the answer.
If given the time, I might go on to say, “Have you ever been on vacation or visited a very beautiful location and you wished you could just bring it back with you?”
Or wish you had a good photograph of a loved at one special time but the photo you took was “after the fact” and just didn’t have that surprise you remember on their face?”What do you think your blood pressure does when you look at that beautiful image of the Grand Canyon. Doesn’t it calm you down after a stressful day at the office? Don’t you want to experience that again and again?
Well you can, day after day when you own one of my limited edition images. They beautify and add value your home, help calm you down and maybe even save your life.
Think about it.