Photography is a highly marketable skill, particularly in this day and age with the insane prevalence of digital marketing. While my bread and butter is photographing families and providing them with awesomely real photos + films, I also offer commercial photography/videography for brands craving the same authentic type of digital media to market their products/experience. Would you like to learn to leverage your photography skills while collaborating with brands? If so, keep on reading.
A little over two years ago I met Jess and Rod when I photographed them in their home for a Day in the Life. 18 months later they sold everything and hit the road with their two small children, trading in the traditional 9-5 work week for a life of adventure. It sounds cheesy I know, or maybe you are like “didn’t the Bucketlist Family do the exact same thing”? YES, and it’s the real deal. I am making jokes so my utter jealousy doesn’t overwhelm this post. When they decided to launch a web course on how they marketed themselves to brands to sell/trade their skills as content creators in exchange for free stays + compensation I jumped on the beta test. It is now available for purchase so I wanted to write up a summary as to what I learned as a photographer and why this might be a course for you. I paid for the course so don’t get any ideas about this being a paid promotional post, ok? And BONUS you know how I feel about people being qualified to teach, so just know they both have an MBA 😉 . Check out their website HERE.
Module 1: Before You Pitch It
This module goes through determining what skills you have to offer in collaborations and how to build a strong brand. Have you set up your website and social media? Do you have a strong brand? Do you have a logo you love? For the majority of photographers, the answer to the above questions is YES. I have to say this was the least helpful content to me, but depending on where you are in your photography career, you might get more value.
Module 2: Pitch It
This is the meat and potatoes of the entire course, yes even for us photographers. Unless you are a commercial photographer who does cold pitches on the regular, this will likely be foreign territory for most. Think about it, we design our website to highlight what we offer and make standard prices sheets for our services, but rarely do we customize the proposal for every single job/pitch. People come to us to inquire, usually not the other way around.
This module covers three main topics: the creation of your press kit, identifying the brand to pitch, crafting and sending the pitch. Creation of a press kit IS different than a typical photographer website so the tips are legit. It has the most important thing EXAMPLES. You can see their standard email, what it looks like when they customize it for each brand, AND a case study on their pitch to Great Wolf Lodge.
Module 3: Land It
What in the hell do you do if/when they respond??? Want help on negotiating your offer? Need someone else to give you a high-five for an accepted proposal or a virtual hug for a declined one? This is where the Facebook Community with other people who have taken The Art of the Pitch will come in handy. Right now there a bunch of families who are currently traveling full-time, part-time or preparing for their first trip. I am sure someone will have some words of encouragement for you.
Module 4: Crush It
This module comes back to what we do as photographers every day. You likely have a solid contract with terms and conditions and delivery method for your product, but how to navigate with staff might be new territory.
Module 5: Improve It
Take the steps to make sure you improve with each collaboration. If you don’t ask for testimonials from your clients this might be useful for both client sessions and collaborations.
So, why am I sharing this with my photographer audience? I think if you are giving any thoughts to do commercial work with small brands (and or some big ones) this is a good opportunity to get a peek into how one travel family has taken their show on the road. As a photographer, you have likely already elevated your technical skills to the level that would enable you to provide valuable content to brands you are already using or want to work with. If you are stuck on how to research brands, craft the offer, create a media kit/work with us page, or negotiate with brands then this is for you. The best part about the course is all the examples they provide. BONUS: they are also an open book and answer questions in their Facebook Community related to content and your own travels.
Want to learn more?