I just completed a fantastic workshop titled “Marketing with Purpose” with Jai Long. I took this course in order to progress with my business here in sunny Portugal. Marketing might sound like a not-so-sexy photography skill, and I’ve spent most of my career avoiding it, however, let’s go back and have a look at why I’ve taken this course.
Starting off with the bad news
The pandemic really has sent my business as a professional photographer through the cleaners. I arrived in Portugal in early 2020, I had several jobs booked internationally by my agent, I also had various independent leads here and a few filming jobs scheduled in mid-2020; I had a head full of optimism! However, everything was to change: the 2 weeks of lockdown became pretty clear it was going to endure much longer…. and then some!
The postponed jobs I had at the start soon got cancelled, my agent vanished as did my leads, and the prospect of networking with new clients or going to events, expos and engagements became a distant dream.
So let’s be frank, my world crumbled, shattered and became dust. Not only were my finances gone, but so was my self-esteem. And on various occasions, I thought quite seriously about selling all my photography gear just to survive. If it were not for the support of my wonderful girlfriend, I’d be homeless and without a prospect.
1st October 2021 – The mask mandate in open-spaces lifts in Portugal!! #fml
Can you believe that in almost a year and a half here in Portugal there was a mandate on wearing masks on the street? Well, not everyone followed that ruling but it was there. So, you can imagine what it must have been like to think about photographing in public areas.
Stepping Back to Step Forward
Often, over the past 2 years of desperately trying to procure stable income, I’ve tried to diversify and offer services I don’t usually do, or don’t want to do, or just don’t feel secure in doing. Namely returning to Dev and UX/UI work which I used to do many years ago, and still serve some of my legacy clients. However, I’m not at my best offering these services to new clients, my learning in this field could be better, and personally: concentrating on code debugging and testing designs on multiple devices and environments and iterations is really not a good fit for me nowadays.
Roll on to the Good News Already!
I have been listing to the Podcast: Make Your Break by Jai Long (linked below) for a couple of months. The podcast episodes have helped me focus in more detail and I started re-thinking about my business and how I can improve my service and progress with my new life here in beautiful Portugal. I would love to have booked myself on the 6 Figure Business Map (which is personal coaching into a 6-figure business), I’m not in any position to make that financial pledge. However, the Marketing with Purpose workshop at $9 was a steal, and I gladly signed up.
So who is this Jai Long fellow? Well, he’s a wedding photographer, entrepreneur and business coach who runs a podcast about making your break in the photography industry. His stories inspire many people as he comes across as an authentic guy who acknowledges his failures in order to build to greatness and has come from a disadvantaged background where opportunities were not abundant.
The workshop was great and I gained a lot of things from it. However, we have to face the elephant in the room, I cannot keep trying to make this be a full-time job while I have no clients. I am going to apply for vacancies where I can, get working and help where I can.
My plan for 2022, is to maintain this blog (once a week) and show up consistently over the year to share how I am are progressing with my business. I acknowledge that I do have to make a concerted effort to get a secondary income elsewhere and thus I may pay mention that in the meantime.
I’ve read up and heard enough about marketing over the years to understand some of the cliche terms like: “Stand out from the competition” and having your Mo-(mentum) going, but this workshop really helped me to align myself to the goals I need to set and stay focused on where I’m aiming to be in the future.