I've written about affiliates before and how crucial I believe they are to today's business - whatever that may be. But I want to go more in depth to specific groups that photographers can work with, how to work with them and what benefits arise for both parties because of such a relationship.
There are a few schools in my area and the other week I decided to select the one I graduated from(am I biased? meh, it was closest) and I had about an hour or so to speak with students working in a multimedia class of sorts, and we discussed the industry as a whole, from music to video and still imagery.
It was interesting to see how involved certain students were to their own personal crafts, the passion was almost tangible and it gave me a little jolt of excitement towards my love of photography. We discussed the lack of a photography or multimedia club in the school, of which the idea got a resounding,"That would be awesome..."
I stated that there is nothing to stop any of those students from starting a multimedia club if they wanted to, which received a long moment of silence - I assume they had either never thought of that or they were a little apprehensive about starting a club on their own.
So now I am in talks to help with the starting of a multimedia club - now this may sound like an unattractive action to a lot of you,"Aren't you busy Mike? Don't you have a business to run? A wife and son at home? When can you find the time? Don't you have to make money?"
Answer to all: YES.
I AM busy.
I DO have a business to run.
I DO have a wife and son at home.
I DON'T know when I will find the time(I will cover this in a second).
I DO have to make money.
Let's remember, this is an affiliate relationship right? So both sides get something out of it.
Let me elaborate on my answers from above.
I AM busy, with paperwork, edits, shoots, family, accounting, blogs, "me" time, etc - but I CAN schedule certain times of certain days to touch base with the club - remember, I am NOT the leader, founder or president.
Those positions are for the students.
My position is more that of a mentor, associate or councillor. I have no set hours of work set in stone with this group, but I AM available as a resource.
I think that covered all the questions except for the money one and the resource part answers that.
I can offer advice, experience and knowledge. All of which is practically free for these students. I also offer rental of my studio for academic and personal projects for a fee.
This creates an income stream that didn't exist before and increases visibility to my studio/business,
I'm going to be looking for some interns for some projects this year and this gives me a chance to get to know prospective students that could fit the bill, giving them hands on experience and co-op hours, decreasing my own workload and helping to increase my revenues.
Can you say WIN-WIN-WIN?
An affiliate relationship, no matter with students, businesses, other "competitors" or whatever, need to be treated as a symbiotic relationship. Give and take.
Most of the time it costs you little or no time or money to make and keep them, but it grows your potential, your resources, your abilities, your support and your revenues by leaps and bounds.
So while things are building up at this first school, I'm starting to look at the next one. Why not right?
Let me know what you think of education affiliations, does my approach make sense? Are there other opportunities to utilize these relationships that you can think of?
I want to hear YOUR THOUGHTS!! So send them!
And let me know which affiliate you want to learn about next!!
Michael Carty Photography
Michael Carty Email
2 comments, add yours
Hey Mike, I think this is a fabulous idea. I agree its a win-win-win situation. With all the school board and dept of education cuts, things like clubs and such are going to fade into the background unless people in the community start stepping up to help out. As that person, you are right, in that you don't have to be constantly involved with an actual position in the club or group. How you have approached it is perfect. You are a support system for this group. Students of today need to realize that it is they who need to take the lead and organize and manage what they want whether it be a club or what have you. Our young people are losing all to quickly that sense and ability to take control and stand on their own two feet. I see it time and again at JCP with the counselors each year. Would you believe that we have basically gone from counselors planning their own discovery group lessons to directors having to come up with material AND plan the lessons for the counselors!!!The committment isn't there - of course there are always exceptions, but generally speaking. Many youth today lack the leadership abilities and the mentors they had 10-15 years ago. To wrap this up, I say, "Way to Go Mike!" You are helping out our young people, our schools, and looking after your own as well! Cheers.
Awww, thx Jodi! My advice? Tell those counselors to think back to the types of lessons that they had as campers, group them together while brainstorming too to bounce ideas off each other. Once they have a basic template down, they should be able to use any topic to fill it... SHOULD, lol, good luck!!