The real question is: Should you do this?
Before you actually move outside of your comfort zone, you need to really make sure that you should. Have you done a market analysis to understand whether you can be effective in that new region? Have you assessed the competition, your style and your capabilities and taken an honest look at the impact you might have there? Have you weighed the financial outlay you’d need to make to correctly market yourself, and calculated whether this investment will be worth it in the end?
Eric Kulin, one of the photographers I work with, primarily shoots product stills. He can and does shoot more than that, but we understand where his strengths lie. He is exceptionally capable: clean files, technical proficiency, interesting perspectives, quick work, little hassle, no attitude problems and very budget-conscious. That said, we’ve made a very calculated decision to not market him largely on a national front with major dollar expenditures.
Now, that’s not to say that we don’t work to create effective marketing to make sure people all over know about him. But we have laid out an effective and thoughtful plan that appreciates what he brings to the table on projects, and we have considered why clients may or may not want to hire him. This is exactly what I’m speaking about: There needs to be true assessment before jumping off the cliff into a whole new world.
Assessment means organized thoughts and processes:
Often I get asked if photographers need representatives, especially when a photographer is trying to expand his or her reach. My answer has multiple layers, and requires other answers:
If you can answer “yes” to all of these, then you may not need a rep, because you have the capabilities to handle what a rep would deliver.
Now here’s the next set of questions you have to answer:
Photography representatives can be an asset to you and your business, but it’s a complete team effort, a partnership. The relationship is only as good as the commitment each party puts forth, the expectations both parties have and the continued communication that must exist for any partnership to succeed.
Do not go looking for a representative thinking he or she will be an automatic path to new work or expanding your business to new markets. It takes two, like a marriage. Some work and some do not. Make sure you approach this important decision with thoughtful consideration … and good luck!
Katherine Hennessy is a representative and consultant with a proven track record based upon a strong creative background, practical and street-smarts education, and high ethics, paired with agency experience, relationships throughout the photographic industry, and pure gut instinct. kate & company
Copyright Agency Access 2015. All Rights Reserved.