“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
By Skip Cohen
Most of the posts we share on the Excire blog tie to ways to use Search and Search Pro to enhance the challenge of looking for your favorite photographs. However, now and then it’s important to remind you about key things to build your business. Regardless of what you do for a living, there’s nothing better to build brand awareness than community involvement.
This is so easy, and it costs you nothing but time. Every non-profit association and project needs help these days, and there’s so much you can bring to the party, especially if you have a love for photography and somewhat of a skillset in imaging. Think about how you feel as a consumer yourself? You like supporting companies you perceive as giving something back to the community.
Here are some ideas to help you increase awareness for your presence and at the same time pull photography into the mix:
- Get involved with a local fund-raiser. Whether it involves your camera or not doesn’t matter. You need to be involved, and your community needs to know you’re out there, and not just another retailer or service provider.
- Look for local events all year long, not just at holiday time. For example, what’s coming up in your community that’s a fund-raising event?
- Get to know the president of the PTA for any of the schools. How about portraits instead of a bake sale to raise money this year? What events are they sponsoring that might need to be documented?
- Every high school sports team, band, yearbook, and chorus are looking for new ways to raise money, and you’ve got the gear and the know-how. How about working with them to create a new idea for fund-raising beyond hot dog sales at the games?
- Visit your local Chamber of Commerce and find out what’s going on in the community. In the fall there’s always a United Way Campaign, but what events take place during the winter months? Using your camera to create new ways to raise funds is a great way to show you’re involved.
- Sometimes it’s not about raising money directly at all, but using your skill set as a photojournalist, documenting various events in the community and then providing the management of those events and the local paper and websites with your images. Remember, nobody can do it better than you!
- Use your blog to help raise awareness for various non-profit events. Share images you capture at the event. It’s great content and helps to demonstrate your commitment to the community.
I know the Excire blog, has an international audience, and a couple of my suggestions are strictly American, but that doesn’t change the importance of giving back, no matter where you live. The big issue is involvement and helping people remember who you are and what makes you different from so many other companies. I remember Tony Corbell, one of the most recognized photographers/educators in the U.S. once talking about when he first got started:
“I wasn’t the best photographer in town, but I was determined to be the nicest! It was the best way I could separate myself from everybody else and build my business!”
You’re looking for the community to be good to you – Well, you have to be good to your community!