Coordinating a Team of Filmmakers

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” – John Ruskin

Whenever I hear of a filmmaker or wedding videographer documenting a wedding or special event alone, I scratch my head. Maybe I am worse at my job than most, but I can’t fathom being responsible for all the big, tiny, and fleeting moments that happen thousands of times at a wedding…by myself. Weddings are filled with “one-chance” events. Miss the first kiss and you are screwed. What if you miss the mother of the bride’s tearful reaction to the vows while you are busy filming the vows themselves? Won’t be the end of the world, but WHAT A GIFT to have that moment to give to the family! People’s memories are worth so much more than the effort I think some of us in the industry are giving. I’ve got a long way to go as a filmmaker, and …

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Why Successful Entrepreneurs Have a Cloud Ecosystem

Working from anywhere Working from any device Piece of mind + data safety Ease of use Cheaper IT Appear more like a “big” business, even when you’re small!

Successful entrepreneurs are always on the move. They’re constantly moving their business forward, no matter where they are (case in point, I’m at a concert waiting for the opening act as I write this). I had a few minutes of down time, so I took advantage of it. Running my own business requires that I work a lot and I don’t like being tied down to one location. After all, I didn’t choose to run my own business so I’d be locked to a desk! Creating my own “Cloud Ecosystem” enables me to be anywhere and still get what’s in my head out – online, into the hands of investors, business partners, and most important – my clients!

I always have my iPhone with me and usually my iPad …

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3 Best Practices For High Impact Holiday Email Marketing

The holidays are here! It’s time to dust off your email marketing list and bring in customers for the holiday season. If you want true impact from your email campaigns, it’s important to stick to these 3 best practices. With the power behind best practices in mind, here are three list management rules everyone should follow:

1. Clear and Direct

Keep the opt in obvious! Wherever you collect your contacts, make sure you mention how you’ll use the email address. If you’re adding customers to your newsletter list for example, a separate unchecked box asking permission at the point of purchase is the way to go.

2. Recent and Engaged

Quality lists take time to build. It’s tempting to hang on to older subscribers even when it’s clear they’re no longer reading promotions, but older unresponsive contacts only hurt your email marketing impact. So it’s better to remove the older unresponsive contacts entirely.

Think of your email list as a fluid resource. When …

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Pinterest for Brands: Questions to Ask and Inspiration to Consider

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Pinterest isn’t just another social network. It’s much more than that. For brands and individuals looking to provide value to their specific audience, Pinterest is an opportunity to provide particularly relevant content through curation.

No one’s audience is at a loss for information. In fact, most people are inundated with useful information. The key ways that you provide value to your audience in an information-rich atmosphere are:

Providing context Curating the content that’s most useful for them

A museum without a skilled curator is just a warehouse. The value differential between a warehouse and a museum is obvious.

To start evaluating whether Pinterest is a potential channel for your business, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does your ideal audience hang out on Pinterest?

If your audience consists of women or creatives, you’ll probably find them hanging out on Pinterest. Before assuming that your audience isn’t on Pinterest, take a look around. You might be surprised!

2. What original content can …

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How Photographers Can Take Their Sites from Functional to Unforgettable

The problem with most websites isn’t that they don’t look good. It’s that they don’t work well. Sure, you can see the portfolio, you can find the information – that’s all there. But being professional and fulfilling the basic functions of a site are the worst standards imaginable. These things should be the bare minimum a site needs to work, not the measure of success. The real question is how photographers can take their sites from functional to unforgettable. The most important question is, “How well you are connecting with your potential clients.

When it comes down to it, if you’re going to run a business, you’ve gotta do the legwork. Period. It’s all about going beyond where others have gone. In a competitive marketplace, where everyone is gunning for the same, good enough isn’t going to be good enough. Mind you, that’s not to say you have to blow through …

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How ShootQ’s Latest Updates Streamline Your Photography Business

What’s new with ShootQ? That’s right – there’s a new a batch of updates to ShootQ that will help you streamline your photography business.

There are a few features we think everyone will appreciate, but Portrait Photographers will find these updates especially useful. This release is the first of two phases, so be on the lookout for more improvements in the near future!

Here are a few highlights:

• More Customization: We created a slew of new variables for Contracts, Emails, and Invoice Templates to give you more flexibility & customization. Check ’em out today and let us know what you think!

• Creating a Shoot Just Got Faster: We added a button to every Relationship so you can load a Quick Lead and create a Shoot in just a few clicks. It’s super simple!

• Add Some Urgency: A new setting allows you to set a custom time-frame for every Proposal. Setting time limits on Booking Proposals can help …

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The Pro Photographer’s Retreat and Planning Guide

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!**

Happy Holidays TPL friends!

Can you believe 2012 is quickly coming to a close? How’d your business fare? Whether it’s been a fantastic year of growth or a frustrating year of decline, now is the time to reflect on 2012 and look ahead to identify ways that you can make 2013 your best year yet.

Consider running away from it all? Actually, that’s one of the smartest things you can do to improve your business: schedule a retreat.

Make plans to get away (even if you don’t go far) and take time for focused and productive business planning.

Use this Field guide as your resource for evaluating and planning in four major areas of your business:

What one thing are you doing differently …

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Four Magic Words

If  you ever encounter a client with misguided expectations, or a client wondering why you offer what you do, here are four magic words.

These four words make all the difference in helping create and manage expectations for your clients.

“Most of my clients…” and then whatever it is that you want them to do.

Here are some examples you can use:

Most of my clients choose either a 10×10 or 12×12 leather-bound book in brown or black.

Most of my clients find that an hour and a half is a perfect amount of time for a first look and your wedding party photos.

Most of my clients find that it’s a much more enjoyable process to come back to the studio and place their print order.

Most of my clients find that taking a small amount of time for a “first look,” ends up being the most relaxed, enjoyable experience of their entire wedding day.

Most of my …

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Meeting Client Expectations You Didn’t Know Existed: Part 1

Most small businesses realize the importance of meeting and exceeding client expectations. But when we strive to do this, it’s based on the expectation that we, as a business, have established. 

How do you react to clients who have expectations that you weren’t aware of, or expectations that seem unreasonable? Where do clients get these expectations?

In my experience, these types of client expectations come from four sources:

The market norm The client’s first exposure to the type of product or service you offer Confusion caused by your business’ complicated structures Poor communication between you and the client During my next series of blog posts, I will share these sources with you, show you how to contend with unknown expectations, and outline how you can stop perceiving your clients as difficult, irrational, or crazy. Win-win! Today, we start with the first source of potential client confusion – the market norm.

Part 1: Contending with the Market Norm:

When enough …

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Components of a Successful Instagram Strategy

Eighty million users can’t be wrong. And smart marketers can’t ignore a platform that brings millions of eyes to brands, products and services.

Instagram is a mobile marketplace that uses images to build relationships and catalyze conversations that can impact consumer loyalty. Since launching in October 2010, over 4 billion photos have been shared, making Instagram the most popular photo sharing app ever created. Some imaging experts compare Instagram’s impact to Kodak’s iconic Brownie.

Although most users are consumers snapping and sharing images of their families, pets, food and travels, some smart marketers are helping brands build a presence on the best visual social network on the planet.

Before jumping on the Instagramming bandwagon, consider these three components of a successful strategy:

1. Consistency and Continuity

Your audience craves content with a distinctive voice, whether it’s verbal or visual. An effective content marketing strategy successfully creates consistency across all channels. Consumer’s expectations for relevant messages across channels are higher than …

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