WINNER: Choose any 5 files offered for download in the store: www.BeckermanPhoto.com for downloading. That’s enough to redecorate your living room if you have one.
Add yourself to my email list (if you’re not on it already) by this Friday.
I will use a random number generator to pick the winner.
The winner will be notified by email on Saturday.
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Obviously I’ve been working like a nut on the mailing list. Basically pulling names and emails from customers that paid with Paypal and adding them to the MadMimi lists. I didn’t always use Paypal so I can’t go back too far. I began using it 2005. So, the list which is 99% customers will be about 1000 emails once I put in the 2005 customers.
So that it sort of interesting. Since 2005 I have roughly 1000 customers. Don’t know if that’s good or bad. I know some transactions were by check or cash and those aren’t included so it could be 10% more than that. And so I have put up the contest to get a few more… hmmm… and that’s right, I forgot. I also had another 30 entries yesterday from the Uncle Dave Wants You Post which Lester says that nobody even remembers anymore… or at least no one in the demographic that I want.
I told him that it’s lucky I didn’t go with my original slogan: Remember the Maine.
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It’s true though. I remember reading a short book about artists and business in ’99 before I began this venture. And the upshot of the book was that you should expect to spend at least 75% of your time with business and marketing and if you were lucky 25% creating things.
That has proved to be very true. Over the last three months, and this I remember because it was part of my new years resolution, that I’ve spent 95% of my time marketing and 5% if that taking pictures. Basically what changed over the years was that a) there was a huge recession which effected the housing industry as well as new buildings going up. A good part of my income had come from selling to new hotels, corporate buildings, condos etc. So I don’t know when that dip began, I felt that for sure.
And I think that the other shoe to drop was that people actually didn’t / don’t think about purchasing physical prints as much as they used to. What? Yeah. Like with books and music, the idea of “owning” a physical print is simply not the first thing that comes to people’s minds. The first thing they think of is: that would look good on my iPhone, or my i-whatever.
I’ve written about this phenomena before – how I had lunch with some 20-somethings and had spent the time talking about my business with both of them looking at me sort of wide-eyed and then after talking about putting prints into packages and shipping them etc. I was asked, Do you mean that you actually print them out and ship them to people.
So, there was culture shock for all of us. It’s part of what started me along the lines of improving and working on the digital delivery side of the business.
And of course it is like a guy in a rowboat with a bunch of holes in it – sort of a cartoon where you put your finger in one hole and your big toe in another and soon you are stretched pretty thin. You work on the digital download side, and fall behind getting prints out (those orders continue to come in). And you get into marketing and you don’t finish up the digital download stuff.
And then there are so many other ideas in the hopper that you may never get to:
- Sending a small amount of sample work and resume to art buyers
- Doing that eBook you’ve wanted to get to for the last few years
- Doing the day trip thing again. A lot of milage from that the last go-round.
And I could go on and on…
Well can’t you get an intern? I could but where would I start? Today, I’m spending my time adding new digital downloads. How complex is that? Well, you’ve got to know a little bit of WordPress, PHP, Lightroom, Photoshop, Dreamweaver… I probably left out something. In other words you need to have programming and photography experience.
Well what about packaging?
Besides the fact that there’s barely room, and that an intern isn’t going to stay around very long just packaging, there’s the issue with updating stuff on the computer, and giving them access to my Paypal account, and to just about every other secure thing on the computer and… Nah… I can’t see that working.
And that’s what happens for just about each chore that comes to mind. And don’t think that I’m afraid to delegate. When I was in business – that was my specialty. Really. Nothing I’d love more than to be able to delegate this work. But it isn’t going to work out.
Then there was the Fotomoto experience where I did spend five months outsourcing printing. That turned out badly because a) I didn’t have control over the final product before it went to the customer and b) I was paying someone who had to make their own profit and my customer wasn’t going to pay that added cost, esp. since I wasn’t even printing the stuff anymore.
The only solution that I haven’t tried is the idea of “going big.” What I mean by that is that several photographers / programmers pool their strengths. You begin a cooperative where the three amigos can show their work. And all three use a similar setup for their sites so that any one of them can maintain the others site.
Photographers / programmers working together for a common goal. I wonder when that was last tried.