wisdom

One Day Left Of Challenges

By tangentpath in brad gouthro photography michael carty challenge 2012 fitness 2013 personal vision wisdom interviews new years repost

Hey Peeps,

Last year around this time, I wrote a post discussing the Challenges ahead for me and you, my disdain for Resolutions and overcoming the odds.

I reflected over this post recently and thought it would be a good recap before we ring in the New Year again.  Some Challenges were met, some weren't, but that's life and the true value of character is both moving forward either towards those goals or reevaluating them for others.

I hope you enjoy this look back that's all about looking forward.

Click HERE for the post!!

 

Laters,

Michael Carty

Click here for Free Updates/Photography Tutorials

My Sage-Like Advice to Aspiring Photographers

Are You Touching All Of Your Touchpoints? Unrated Version

By tangentpath in photography business vision wisdom organization touchpoints

Hey Peeps,

I'm sure you have all heard the term touchpoints, and if you haven't - well get to it already!

The simplest definition for a touchpoint: where your clients and business connect, and having a business means you have them:  lots of them.

Here are just a few:
  

Each of them should be well thought out in design, congruent with each others design and highly effective towards inviting and welcoming potential clients into your business.
And yes, things like pricing and face-to-face are touchpoints to your business.  They are just two of the many contacts that your clients have with you and your business. 

You have to understand that every one of your touchpoints is a message to your clients about who you are, what you do and where you fit in to their needs.  Not only that, but the message also tells your clients where they fit in with your business.

If you think this list is a lot to go over, you're right.  Yet this is a relatively small list and is only a summary of what you will actually cover.  

Let me show you.
You build a website.  Check.  You have a welcome page, some of your work, contact info, maybe some fun music playing and a slideshow of your favorite work.  

Great!  You're done with that touchpoint right?  WRONG.

How did you design it to create the message you are trying to convey?  You must go over things like colors used, branding, presentation, navigation, product placement, welcome and a minutiae of other information that is crucial - but worth it.

My website has bothered me in the past.  Something was always missing until I sat down and actually started asking myself the right questions about this important touchpoint(Sidenote:  All touchpoints are important).

First I corrected the color scheme.  My branding colors are white, black and vibrant green.  I knew that I liked the green because it was vibrant but I didn't want the site to come off too "green & grey" feeling, so I decided right away that other colors would eventually be used and those other accented colors would have to be as vibrant as the green to keep the style and feel the same.

That's when I looked at my slideshow.  The website has a built-in slideshow at the top.  Normally I would put in some of my best work, but after watching the images slide by I realized that there was subject matter there that I was no longer looking to shoot - and therefore irrelevant to the slideshow.

I decided to remove all of the slideshow images and do something different.

Realizing that my slideshow was a touchpoint within a touchpoint (confused yet?), I decided that I wanted to use it to show my clients specific products in an attractive way without directing them to a sales pitch.  Luckily, I know Photoshop quite well and within a few minutes I had 3 different images for my slideshow (so far) that show work from each of my relevant genres and display them within multiple products on consistently vibrant colored backgrounds.

Check them out:

For portraits

For lifestyle/commercial

For weddings
How did I feel after these subtle - yet crucial changes?

FAN-DAN-TASTIC!

It's true!  I haven't felt this good about the stability and focus of my website in a long time.  Of course it isn't perfect, but it is getting there and I can actually feel the change of moving forward as I go through these steps.  

One great thing is that when my site needs an update, I won't be floundering on which direction to go with it because I know which questions to ask myself.

Oh, and there was another advantage to this - it made me more creatively inventive.

Right after the update, I began to think of an image that I had shot earlier in the year.  It had always reminded me of the story of Dorian Gray.  

So I took that image and created a movie poster out of it - fun and creative!  Exactly why I got into this business!!

Model: Spencer Robertson.  Also click for a larger view and see who stars in the production.


So check out your touchpoints.  Methodically.  Patiently.  Let them wax over your mind for a while until you can use them best to your advantage and then execute.

What are some touchpoints that are bigger struggles to overcome?  Do you have some unique touchpoints?  Tell me about them and let's try to figure out how to make them work!

Later, 

Michael Carty





Michael Carty Email

You Lost Me With The Ramble

By tangentpath in photography business vision wisdom focus

Hey Peeps,

I ramble.

Yes, I do.

You know it and I know it.  I can't help it - sometimes.

Trying to get out all the information to each other, be it family, friends or clients is not always the best way to get your message across.

Something gets lost in the process, it's what's called:  their attention.

You lose their interest and eventually become a sound machine where nothing is retained in the mind of your audience.

Sure, some people need more than a simple, rounded message.  But if they need more info, they will tend to ask for it.

Otherwise, don't waste your breath and their time.

So next time you have an idea for a promotion, or a meeting or whatever, take ALL your minutiae and condense it down into the blocks of specific - yet simplified, messages that you are trying to get across.

Keep it Simple - Keep it Specific.

I think I've heard that somewhere before, and it's a good idea to remember it from time to time.

Cheers,

Michael Carty





Michael Carty Website
Michael Carty Email

NO I DON'T: Getting Things Done By Not Doing What Doesn't

By tangentpath in photography business work wisdom

Hey Peeps,

I hate wasting time.  You do too.  

I won't even ask - it's pretty much a given.

If you're going to say,"Hey Mike, I love wasting time."  Well you're an idiot and we should devour your lifeforce to distribute amongst the rest of us.

Moving away from the darkside now.

I know you find that when working on something important, work, play, crosswords, nuclear reactor in your basement, etc, other things tend to come up.

Distractions and interruptions.

Your spouse, kids, favorite TV show, best friend, mother, in-laws, siblings, boss, employees - I could do this all day.

But what about the least obvious and yet most insidious things of all?

The thing you are trying to work on.

I'm as serious as a heart attack here, but let me state that this is mostly found during work.

We all try to get as much going on as we can being business owners - and if you are an independently, starving photographer, well you are a business owner believe it or not.

This overwhelms and most times burns us out.

Which sucks.

If we are done in, we can't work.  Which is what this is all about right?

So what should you not do?

Let's answer that with a story:

I had a call from my mother yesterday to donate something in a silent auction for a community group she is a part of.

She wanted a few photos, but what does that get me?  Nothing.  No new clients, no income, nada.

Someone would bid and win the images and put them somewhere on a wall or in a basement or give them as gifts to someone else who would put them on a wall or in a basement, etc, etc, etc

So I decided to give away a portrait sitting instead.

This gives the winning bidder incentive to come into my studio, meet me, discus photo options, print sales, CD/DVD purchases, creating a walking, talking billboard telling their friends about my business while still making me money.

Good idea right?

When I started to explain some of the in's-and-out's of connecting and product ordering with her, she found some things restrictive to more elderly and/or less web educated clients,"You have to cater to everybody right?"

My flat out response,"No, I don't."

That's the thing, I don't want to cater to everyone.

I don't want to treat every person like they are my ideal client.

I want to treat my ideal client as my ideal client.

I don't - and you don't - need to make everyone on the planet a paying client.  That would be insane.  But if you focus on your ideal client, and what they are about, you can make all of your clients your ideal client.

So no, I will not have a million ways of contacting me(email, phone, carrier pigeon, locomotive, etc), instead I have the ones that serve me and my ideal clients.  

Just like I will not have a million different products to sell my clients - how could you keep them all in your head and still come across with the confidence of knowing what you are talking about?

I find my ideal client, I learn what they are about - everything.  I cater to that.  Everything else that I do is for  my own creative expression.  

And everything after that is garbage.

I won't do it.

It is a waste of time, energy and happiness that could better be used on things that matter.

What do you do "for" your business that is actually taking away from your forward motion?

Tell me and I will let my favorite story-teller guest post on this blog!

Cheers!

Michael Carty





Michael Carty Email
1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »