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The Social Landscape in 2014

Social Media provides business professionals more than just a way of interacting with friends and their personal network -- websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram allow people to showcase their work and their personalities too.

As the internet changes and evolves (rather rapidly, I might add), more and more social media websites are emerging into the cyber world, most of them having different features and functions. It seems that almost everyone these days is using social media in some form, and freelancers should pay attention to the social habits of creatives and buyers in the magazine, news, and advertising industries. You might say to yourself that you are far too busy focusing on your art to promote yourself socially, but carving out a little bit of time for social media can pay dividends.

So what social media sites are buzzing in 2014, and how can you use them as leverage for self-promotion? Keep on reading…

Tell Me a Story

Most photographers understand the need to be able to tell stories through their images. This article is about telling stories with words to make a sales point. You may already tell stories well when making pictures, now I encourage you to use stories in a different way. A story makes your sales points easier to remember. Your prospect may want to pass your story on to others who may also find it interesting.

In this world of instant communication, prospects are bombarded by photographers trying to get their attention. After a while, one telephone call or mailer seems to blend into the next. Compounding the confusion, a lot of photographers and reps fail to connect with their prospects because they're spending more time reciting data or telling the prospect how great they are rather than trying to establish a useful dialog. Worse yet, their use of vague buzzwords and industry double talk, increases the risk that misunderstandings will occur.

Get Connected, Stay in Touch

An email comes into your inbox and it's a magazine or book publisher (or any number of places that wants to ask for your availability). How you reply, move forward with the job, and follow up afterwards could make the difference between a one-time tango and a long term relationship. I've had many good experiences with Art Directors that never worked with me ever again after our first job together. I've also had experiences where I thought I did a terrible job under the gun but have since done five or six jobs for them. Each experience is a little different from the other. Below is some advice and things to think about when it comes to business practices and maintaining relationships with potential clients.




Podcast Mania - Interviews with the Agency Access Consultants: Part 1

Today’s Lab post throws some light on a couple of juicy podcasts chock full of great info for commercial freelancers. Our expert creative consultants had the opportunity to sit down with Marc Harmon of Creative Grit Media and talk about what they know best – how to get more work as a freelancer. Today we feature interviews by Andrea Maurio and Jennifer Kilberg. Have a listen, or download the podcasts from the Creative Grit website to listen in your car or at the gym.




Creating and Implementing an Audio Logo

Most major companies spend thousands of dollars to create logos which visually capture the essence of their services, corporate mission, or product offerings.  Thousands more are spent applying that logo to every advertisement, promotion, letterhead, and product they produce. When repeated consistently, a logo builds meaning and equity. It reminds people what the company stands for every time they see it.





It's All About the Brand

As a creative talent rep who is approached with hundreds of agency submissions per day, one question I am regularly asked by photographers is “how do I make my work stand out from the rest?” Great question! The answer is simple: it’s all about your branding. Having a unique, consistent and recognizable brand could determine whether an art director considers you for their next big campaign, or if an agent picks you up as a new photographer on their roster.




Going Offline: Tips For In-Person Networking

In-person networking doesn’t have to be a soul-sucking experience.  Most of us hate networking because we associate self-promotion with bragging.  But, where bragging is all about making yourself feel big and the person you’re talking to feel small, effective networking lies in figuring out how you and the person you’re talking to can help each other. That help can take a lot of forms.  Obviously, the form we want most is the perfect assignment where their creative needs mesh perfectly with our skills, expertise and vision. But, getting there usually takes a few important steps.




Stand Out From The Crowd With An Awesome Promotional Piece

An Interview With Photographer Matt Dutile

 Lifestyle and travel photographer (and Agency Access member) Matt Dutile recently tweeted a photo of his newest direct mail promo:




The Lab - Short Answer: Business Advice For Students

Question: What’s one piece of advice you would give a photography student to help them understand the business of photography? 

"The best advice I can give to a photography student is that commercial photography is mostly not photography. You'll spend the vast majority of your time not taking photographs.  There is an awful lot of work involved in promotion, management, digital image workflow, client services, and more. Make sure you're prepared to do a great job not just at taking photos but at all the other aspects of the job. However, don't let this be a license to spend all day on Twitter and photo blogs. Make sure you set limits and work efficiently so you can get back to the part of the job you look forward to the most - making photographs."




Networking at Events: Be Good, Nice and Awesome

Question: What are the best networking tactics for conferences and trade shows?

More than anything, getting results at trade shows requires a clear concept of what you want to accomplish – and when in doubt, go with my mantra: Be good and be nice.

The friendships you make at trade shows can make your career. Genuine friendships almost always result in commissions.

The key here is they have to be real, and you can’t fake that. There are some basic rules and guidelines to making this happen: ways to approach, ways to request a review or follow-up call. However, the best results come from not looking for results. It is a meditative practice of nonattachment. Being your true self – without reservation – will draw people to you and your work.

To create the mental space to “just be yourself,” you need to:

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