No two photographers are alike: that’s why there really isn’t one marketing package that’s right for everyone. However, we have various consulting services here at Wonderful Machine which are applicable to all photographers, and can be combined. Our custom marketing package, Marketing Partner, puts them together to create the most impact. Each is designed to fit the photographer’s specialties, budgets, experience levels, timelines, and personal goals. Recently, we did just that for Birmingham, Alabama-based photographer, Stephen DeVries.
We usually recommend that any marketing endeavor begins with some version of our Branding and Marketing Plan (BaM! Plan). The BaM! Plan provides what our CEO, Bill Cramer, calls the “full body scan.” This process begins with an in-depth conversation. This, along with a comprehensive questionnaire helps us get to know you. A Skype call (sometimes with more than one member of the team) is also crucial to determine their goals for the year ahead and strategize how to realistically achieve them. Some images you love shooting might not always be the ones you are most skilled at shooting, or maybe they’re not as immediately marketable. We start the whole conversation by finding the areas that overlap and agreeing on the best direction for your brand.
Stephen DeVries (as mentioned above) came to us in May 2014 for a web edit with Wonderful Machine’s Sean Stone – which then morphed into an entire marketing campaign. Stephen was shooting food, travel, portrait, product, and fashion. We recommended he consolidate his brand to food and travel while concentrating his marketing efforts on (regional and national) editorial and commercial clients. Sometimes it can actually hurt a photographer to have too many specialties, especially if some are weaker than others. In the end, it becomes much harder and more time-consuming to market to such a varied group of clients. Stephen was pleased with our suggestions and his new-found focus:
I have been happy with the choice to focus my work more…food and travel are the two things I’m most excited about and I think the two areas that I’m best at; focusing has helped me really tighten up and make good progress in those areas rather than spread myself across a lot of unrelated areas of photography. I’ve also seen more work come in that is in line with what I love to do rather than a lot of work that may or may not be as exciting and focused.
You can see what Stephen’s website looks like now with the suggested categories below:
After Stephen made a few changes to his marketing materials, he set up his system with Agency Access and Daylite. Then, we provided him with list builds to target food, beverage, and travel photography clients. This led to sending out his first emailer and starting the marketing implementation. Marketing implementation is a general way of describing client outreach. Sometimes, the call to action is simply to introduce your work to a prospective client, or to see if they have any projects in the pipeline that may be a good fit for you. Other times, you might be making travel plans to a certain area and want us to do the outreach to schedule meetings with magazines or ad agencies that already expressed some interest by clicking through to your site from the emailer. (Agency Access allows you to analyze the stats from any given emailer you send out – you can see who opened, who clicked, and who opted out – and it allows you to follow up on any bounces too.)
After analyzing the data from his emailer, and formulating a plan with Stephen, I created customized email scripts to arrange meetings for Stephen in New York City. The idea was to capitalize on his visit to Fotoworks and get him meetings with people he wouldn’t come across during the portfolio reviews there. We sent out emails, entered the data into his Daylite system so he could see what we were doing, and then made follow-up phone calls on his behalf. You can see an example of his customized script below:
Stephen’s work is so strong, you can imagine what happened next – he got meetings at Niche Media, an ensuing job through them, and a meeting at Travel + Leisure magazine, one of his dream clients! It was really satisfying to help Stephen reach these goals – he’s incredible to work with. As he’s following his passions in life, the satisfaction he derives from his work is apparent in every interaction. When we asked Stephen where he gets all this energy from, he replied “chocolate.” A fitting answer for a photographer who shoots food!
Our monthly check-in calls helped Stephen align his monthly goals. Though we may have had a set list of goals at the beginning, our tasks evolved with consideration of schedules and other factors. As always, Wonderful Machine is on deck to help. When Stephen had some problems uploading his emailer to Daylite, our designers got involved to help him code it properly. When Stephen wanted to create a new print promo, our photo editors were here to help him select the best images. Whatever the issue, our staff is here to help.
Stephen also sent us this incredible holiday promotion, which makes working with him even more rewarding! Check out images of his D-I-Y Old Fashioned drink kit below:
Print Edit: A Sophisticated Book For Stephen DeVries
Read more about marketing partners on our Intel blog.