Working with a marketing consultant to expand your potential client reach begins with this question: are you ready to release some control and allow a third party to market for you? Many commercial photographers do not have the bandwidth to hire someone to manage all things branding and marketing for them, so the work ends up falling on them. What happens next is one of two things: you take time away from your creative responsibilities to research new clients — and your work suffers as a result — or you keep putting it off and another year goes by with you never having tackled your marketing “to-do” list. That’s where Wonderful Machine steps in to help reconcile all of your marketing goals.
I began working with Dag Larson, a commercial outdoor lifestyle and adventure photographer, back in October of 2020. He reached out to Wonderful Machine with the goal of getting name recognition in the outdoor industry space and targeting more automotive and travel-based companies. Dag already had an impressive list of existing clients such as Mammut, Honeystinger, Airstream, and Spyder, so I knew that his portfolio would appeal to larger brands that use outdoor imagery in their advertising content.
Our Marketing Partner consulting service was the perfect way to address Dag’s goals, and we began to the lay the groundwork for the next six months with a detailed calendar, initial and follow-up email drafts, and our first list of 25 new prospective clients. We first had a call to “meet” one another and discuss what the next six months would look like and what participation I expected from Dag; from there, we began our marketing campaign.
When working with a photographer on Marketing Partner, each consultant will approach the campaign differently. My personal approach varies based on the photographer that I’m working with, but the three aspects below never change:
For Dag, we had a very successful six-month marketing campaign. We had terrific open and reply rates of 62 percent and 23 percent for the first month, and Dag’s open rates were always around 40 percent throughout the half-year collaboration.
We also received notable engagement from Denver Visitors Bureau, Lems Shoes, Skratch Labs, Eddie Bauer, and Sea to Summit, to name a few. On top of that, we scheduled calls with Duluth Pack and Osprey; most importantly, Dag established a relationship with Osprey — which sells packs for numerous outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and trail running — and has already shot with them after our initial outreach (though there is an embargo on the imagery until August).
Since our first six months together was a success, Dag and I decided to keep the momentum going, so he’s signed on for another six months of Marketing Partner. I am excited to continue our campaign and establish even more client relationships for Dag! Here’s what he had to say about our time together so far:
The experience has been nothing but positive. Working one-on-one with Julia has been great and rewarding — she’s a breath of fresh air and helped me focus on what I am truly passionate and great at: creating. Without Marketing Partner, I would feel stretched thin and constantly anxious about how to do everything needed to stay afloat during these trying times.
Need help putting together a detailed list of dream clients? Give us a shout to learn more about our services!