You dont need a larger audience, you need a more qualified audience.

1 – Introduction
In recently received this question about my Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success SeminarI don’t see a lot of materials about how to reach a broad audience  in the seminar contents.”

Fact is, there is a lot of information on reaching your audience in the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar.  The teaching materials are designed to help you reach as broad of an audience as possible.  For example, I have a lot of new information on how to use social media, how to build  an email list, how to stay in touch with new and previous customers and more.  Also keep in mind that if there is an aspect of marketing that is not addressed in the seminar, or not addressed in enough detail, you can ask questions during the seminar and I’ll give you detailed answers.

You can see the contents for the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar at this link.

2 – Size does not always matter
However, and this is really the most important part of my answer, keep in mind that it is not the size of your audience that matters most but instead the quality of your audience that is most important.  Social media is interesting in that respect because it provides fantastic examples to prove this point. Recently a photographer (I won’t give names for privacy reasons except that it is not me) had over 1 million views on one of his photographs posted on Google+ : a stunning panoramic photograph of Iceland.  The same photographer had to cancel his Summer 2013 Iceland workshop because he did not get enough participants to reach the break even point financially.  In other words not enough participants registered to make the workshop profitable . This says a lot about audience size and profitability.  1 million views on Google + but that person couldn’t fill 6 workshop seats …

The lesson here is that audience size is not the most important thing.  This is why in the new Advanced Marketing DVD I focus on ways of creating a qualified audience, an audience that is fascinated by you and who is going to buy from you over and over again.  This is the correct way to do it.  None of my photos have 1 million views, but I have no problem filling out my workshops, regardless of where I go.  As with many aspects of fine art, what matters most is quality, not quantity !

3 – The Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD
To go back to the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar, a lot of new and important information will be shared during the Seminar that I did not make available previously.  In fact, that information did not exist until now because Natalie and I developed it after spending the past two years doing research for this Seminar.  We visited many galleries and shows, talked to artists, gallery owners, show organizers and studied the fine art market as a whole.  The result is the creation of a vast amount of new material which is now featured in the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar. During our research we learned of several significant changes to the fine art market over the past 2 years. One of the most important is that selling fine art is even more challenging today than it was before we started our research.

I will talk about this issue in the Seminar and I will give you solutions.  For example, for the first time I cover limited edition prints, explain why they have become important.  I also show three different ways of editioning your photographs.  Offering limited editions has become very important and the main issue is what is the best way to do it? Just putting a number on a print is not enough. This is not an effective way to convince customers to buy your work.  So I go over efficient and lucrative ways of editioning prints, ways that will generate sales if done the way I recommend. This is a very important aspect of fine art marketing today, one that can make a huge difference between selling and not selling prints, as well as between selling  prints for low prices and selling prints for high prices.

4 – Knowing how to handle objections is the key to closing more sales
Also, for the first time there will be a section on how to respond to objections. Customers have more objections today than they ever did because money is tighter than it’s ever been.  That doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy.  What it means is you must know how to answer their objections quickly and effectively.  Most of my sales are made to people whose first answer is ‘No’.  Yet, they do buy, just not immediately, only after I answer their objections.

I show you exactly how to do that by providing you first with an exhaustive list of every possible objection and second with the exact answers you need to give to close the sale.  And if I forgot or overlooked some objections, just email me and I’ll post the objection and the correct answer in the updates area.

Knowing how to answer objections effectively has magical consequences.  You will make sales you never thought possible and you will make these sales with answers so simple you’ll literally laugh all the way to the bank!  I had a customer just the other day who told me ‘I simply don’t need this.’   I asked him a single question, listened to his answer, then gave him the answer required for his specific objection.  When he hear my answer he turned around, looked at me and said: ‘In that case I’ll get it.  Here’s my credit card.’  I’m still laughing at how effective this technique is and at how much money those who don’t know it are losing!

5 – Conclusion
You don’t needs a large audience when you know how to maximize sales to the audience you currently have.  It’s a whole lot easier — and fun– that way.  In fact one of the biggest mistakes most businesses make is trying to find new customers instead of selling more to their existing customers. Looking for new customers is expensive and difficult while selling to existing customers is cheap and easy. The only challenge is knowing how to do it. I teach you how to do this in the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar

So, in closing, I  recommend attending the 2017 Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar.  I am very proud of it and I know it will help you make more sales and take you to the next step.  The goal is to make you a winner and a profitable business owner.

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on Amazon.com and as eBooks on my website.

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
928-252-2466

The power of marketing

The reason why most photographers can’t make a living from their work is because huge efforts are necesary to convince them to spend money on marketing but no efforts are required to get them to spend their money on cameras and gear.  The problem is that just about any camera can take a sellable photograph, but no photograph will be sold unless they are marketed in a convincing manner.

What made me successful selling my work is I decided to reverse this process: I stopped spending my money on cameras and started spending it on marketing instruction instead. ”
Alain Briot

A best seller
The quote above sums up what I often say when I talk about the importance of learning marketing when you want to make a living selling your work.

In 2007 I published my 3rd book on photography.  Titled Marketing Fine Art Photography, it focused on teaching readers how to market their fine art photographs. The book was, and continues to be, a huge success with photographers and entrepreneurs.  It sold tens of thousands of copies, received rave reviews, has a 5 star out of 5 stars ranking on Amazon, and is regularly featured as best-selling photography business and marketing book.

What is most interesting is I could not predict how successful this book was going to be.  The two photography books I published previously focused on the art of photography: composition, light, cameras, etc.  When I told  my publisher that I wanted to write a book on marketing, their response was negative. They believed that no one would be interested in learning how to market fine art photographs.

Today everyone is a photographer and everyone want to sell their work
2007 is a long time ago.  However the publishers were obviously wrong.  Today ‘everyone’ is a photographer and many want to know how to make money from their photography.  For most the goal is to recoup the cost of their equipment, software and consumable.  However this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Many have a more powerful and personal reason: to learn how to make a living from their art.  For these photographers, making a living from their artwork is a dream they want to make come true.  This is why they buy my book.

This is great but there is a caveat to that situation.  The fine art market is a small market and when tens of thousands of photographers try to make a living in that market they create a bottleneck situation.  Quite simply there are too many photographers trying to make a living from too small of an audience.   In other words, while the number of photographers trying to sell their fine art photography has exploded, the audience interested in buying fine art photography has not grown any larger.  In fact, the audience has actually shrunk.  It has been significantly reduced by the economic recession we just went through and out of which we have not totally emerged yet. Quite simply: people don’t have as much disposable income as they used to.  Because it is disposable income that is used to buy fine art for the most part, the sale of fine art has decreased significantly.

The consequences brought by this economic situation are simple: only a very small number of photographers actually succeed in making a living selling their work.  For all the other photographers, sales are just too few and far in between to justify their efforts and their financial investment.  As a result, many photographers quit after a couple of months or a couple of years at the most.  In the process of trying to sell their work unsuccessfully, they usually waste a huge amount of time and money.

Back to my book
Going back to my book, this means that if you want to learn how to sell your fine art photography in today’s economy, you need to be realistic regarding how much my book can do for you.  You must know exactly what it can and cannot do for you.  What it can do is give you a  foundation on which to build your business.  This is because my  book contains solid marketing advice and can be used as a manual.

What it won’t do is teach you how to be successful selling your work in today’s economy.  This is because my book was written in 2006, before the recession started.  As I mentioned, many things have changed since 2006.  Today everyone is a photographer and many want to sell their work.  Today money is tigher because customers think more about what they buy. Before the recession people bought freely.  Today people are more careful about what they buy.  They also have less disposable income as I mentioned. Because artwork is usually purchased with disposable income, artwork purchases have declined.

These are very important changes that directly affect how successful you can be  selling your fine art photography today.  However, it is still possible to make a living, even a very good living, selling fine art photography today.  But, to do so one needs to use a new approach to marketing, one different from before, one that I call a post-recession approach.

Introducting The Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar
I describe this approach in my new Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar.  The goal of the Seminar is to go beyond my  marketing books.  None of the materials featured in the Seminar are featured in my books.

When considering the cost of the seminar what I often learn from photographers who contact me looking for help with their marketing is that ‘this is a lot of money for a starving artist.’  Fact is, you are only starving if you cannot eat.  This is the true meaning of the term.  If you can buy food, or can afford to purchase camera gear and travel to exotic locations for photography, what we are talking about in regards to ‘starving’ is a matter of resource allocation.

In other words you prefer to spend your money on cameras and on photographing exotic locations than on learning how to market your work with a professional who made millions selling fine art photographs for over 15 years.   As I always say, this is a free country do I don’t see a problem with this choice.  However, I do see a problem with expecting to be successful selling your work on the basis that you use  fancy cameras and photograph exotic locations. You need to do a lot more than that to sell your work!  Beautiful photographs simply don’t sell themselves.  You need to be actively involved and you need to use the latest marketing techniques to be successful.

You may say ‘that’s easy for you to say because you’re the one selling it but I’m the one buying your materials. At the end of the day you’re the one making money here.’  That’s true and I won’t argue with that.  However, what I will argue with is that what made me a successful photographer selling my work and living my dream of making a living from my photography, is that I did invest a huge amount of money in learning how to market my work.  In fact I  invested more money than you ever will! To this day I invested over 25 thousand dollars in consulting fees (I did the math),  paid to professional marketing experts who helped me get to where I am now.  What would have happened if I did not do that?  Simple: I wouldn’t be where I am.  When asked ‘what is the one thing that made you successful’, a question I get very frequently, my answer is always the same: what made me successful was learning how to market my work.

You may also ask: where did you find the money?” That’s an excellent question because as I was learning marketing I was actually a ‘starving’ artist.  But starving is an expression, not a fact.  As I pointed out earlier on, unless you have nothing to eat, you are not starving.  I had something to eat, and I had credit cards, so what we were talking about was resource allocation, not unavailability of funds.  What I did was quite simple:  I decided to spend my money, whatever amount I had, on paying people to teach me marketing rather than on buying new cameras, lenses, software, etc.  I also decided not to spend my money on  photography trips to exotic locations.

Instead of going to Namibia to photograph, for example, I stayed home and photographed locations that were nearby.  Instead of buying new cameras, I continued using the ones I had.  My cameras worked just fine and they made photographs that were just as pleasing to my customers.  The locations I photographed locally were just as beautiful as far away ones and sold just as well once I learned how to market them.  In other words, not having new  cameras, and not having access to exotic locations , was not the problem.  The problem was not having marketing knowledge.  Without that knowledge I couldn’t sell my work because photographs can’t sell themselves, no matter how good the cameras you used might be, and not matter how great the locations you photographed actually are.

Holding on to financial resources is not always wise
Another response I get is ” I am trying to hold on to all of my financial  resources at the moment  in order to pay for printing, new business cards, art cards etc. ”  To which I usually answer: ‘which may all be for nothing if you don’t know what you are doing!’

Fact is, it is common for beginners to waste their money on things they believe they need to sell their work such as business cards, art cards, etc.  Furthermore, they often order high quality prints, four-color offset or better, to make their materials more impressive.
But impressive materials don’t sell artwork.  They get you compliments but they don’t get you sales.
Fact is, the best marketing is inexpensive or simply free. If this sounds counter-intuitive that’s because it is.  In fact,  most aspects of successful marketing are counter intuitive.  This is why this marketing is so difficult to figure out.  As an example my most profitable marketing material, the one that brought me millions in sales, is a black and white xerox copy.  Even today, now that I can afford the finest marketing materials, I continue to use it because it works so well.  It’s not how it is printed that matters.  It’s what is printed on the page.  Knowing what to write is the million dollar secret!

Boosting your self confidence is not marketing your work
Most photographers’ idea of marketing comes from having low self-confidence when it comes to selling their work.  They do all sorts of costly things to boost their level of confidence in their work.   For the most part, these things are aimed at making their work appear legitimate.  As I just mentioned, they include costly-looking business cards, four color brochures and art-cards, expensive displays, sophisticated framing and print presentation.  By making their work look like a million bucks they expect people to fork over their hard earned money.  Unfortunately, this is not how marketing works.  In fact, this is not how any of this works.

The other problem is that these  marketing materials cost a lost of money, money that is no longer available for real marketing.  If done well these materials can certainly look impressive. However,  by themselves these things  do nothing to make fine art photographs  sellable.  Just because something is impressive does not make it sell. There are many impressive products out there, but it is not the fact they are impressive that makes them sell. It is the marketing used by the companies who own these products that makes them sell.  Ferraris are impressive and so are Rolex watches, Versace clothing, Dior beauty products, Vuitton bags and many more luxury products.  However, the reasons why these products sell goes way beyond their impressive presentation.The impressive presentation and marketing materials are only the tip of the iceberg.
What makes these products sell is the complex marketing strategies used by these companies.  These strategies are not visible to us.  They are hidden by the impressive presentation.  The presentation is where most people stop looking.   What lies behind the impressive presentation is where I start to look.  The presentation doesn’t really matter.  Anyone can do that if they have enough money.  The marketing machine that lies behind this presentation is all I care about because this is hard to do.  It is this machine what I teach.  It  how to construct it and make it run that I teach.  I do this because that is what will make you successful.

Learn what Real marketing is
There is a lot to marketing and as I said much of it is counter-intuitive.  The best approach is to start by learning the correct approach right away.  This is because it is much more difficult to correct mistakes than to do the right thing immediately.  In fact, in some instances it is impossible to correct mistakes.  The goal of the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar is to prevent you from making mistakes.  Never forget that there are thousands of new photographers trying to sell their work every month.  There are your competitors. They come in  huge numbers and they are hungry.  Most of them read my books, but because I sell so many books, the books are no longer enough to make you or them successful.

This is why I created the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar.  Because of its cost, this seminar is attended only by a small number of photographers.  Attending it therefore gives you a huge advantage.  Think of the Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar as being the access point to privileged knowledge that gives you the edge you need to compete successfully in the fine art market and outdo other photographers.

Don’t get it wrong: your competition is using my services and I make sure they are successful!  That’s bad news. However, I can do the same for you and make you just as successful. That’s the very good news!

The power of marketing comes from doing something that others are not doing.  The purpose of attending the Seminar is to give you this power by giving you access to knowledge that, first, is not widely disseminated and second is tailored specifically for you with the goal of giving you the power to master the market, take control of your own destiny and make your dream a reality.

Here are the link to  The Fine Art Photography Marketing and Business Success Seminar

Be good at marketing what you do, not just good at what you do!

Be good at marketing what you do,
not just good at creating photographs !

1 – Introduction
To make a living in photography, or in any business, you must be good at marketing and selling what you do, not just good at what you do.

When I started doing photography full time, hoping to make a living from it, all the other photographers were telling me that if I did great work sales would follow.  I heard that in school, I heard it from other professionals and I heard it fom competitors.  Problem is that wasn’t true and the people who were telling me that were not being successful selling their work. In fact, some were not even selling their work at all, they were just telling me what they thought I should do without having done it themselves!

To be successful selling my work I needed to change from being a creator of photographs to being a marketer and seller of photographs.

2 – Have an effective lead generation system
This means you have to find customers regularly.  This is achieved by having an effective lead generation system.

Just like a plant needs a source of food and water, a business needs a source of customers and buyers.  This is because customers are the lifeblood of a business.  The question is, where do you find customers?  The answer is simple: you find customers by having an effective and constant lead-generation system.  This system is to your business what food and water is to a plant, or to any living organism.  Without it you will not have a business for very long, if you have one at all!

3 – Don’t get confused by superficial ‘success’
Many photographers who claim being successsful selling their work do not actually make money. What they consider success is being accepted in a gallery (wihout any promise of sales), or receiving an award (without financial compensation),  or having their work included in a museum collection (through a donation, not a purchase) or something similar.    I recently read a photographer’s post on Facebook in which the person mentions having his work accepted for representation by a significant institution, then continues by explaining that he ‘just finished framing the door between the wine cellar and woodworking workshop.’  While both are interesting news, the second part indicates that money is not the reason why this person is selling his work.  Therefore, the marketing approach used by this person is not necessarily money-oriented.  In fact, in this specific instance, the goal is more about prestige than about income. Today I spend hardly any money marketing my work but I spent over 25k in consulting fees over the year to learn how to do it.   Spending my money paying experts to reveal their knowledge to me privately is what made me successful.

Something  I recommend  is your 1 on 1 consulting and your Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.  I have included the link below.  The reason being that the books won’t give you answers specific to your personal situation because they address a very large audience.  In order to figure out how to price your own work the best is to do consulting.

In regards to limited editions, I don’t cover that in my books.  I cover it only in the Fine art Photography Business and Marketing Success Seminar and in the Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.

Alain Briot

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on Amazon.com and as eBooks on my website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Arizona

Reaching your goals in 2017

Whether you think you can or think you cannot you are correct.
Henry Ford

Our Start the Year in Style Special offer

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1 – Introduction – New Year Resolutions

We all make resolutions at the start of the year.  However, for many these resolutions disappear into the ether around the end of January.  Quite often, thirty days is what it takes for old habits to return, for resolutions to be forgotten and for goals not to be achieved.  This is in part why I am publishing this essay at the end of January.  This is the time when many of us need help achieving the goals we set for the year.

So how do you do it?  How do you achieve your goals? How do you stick to your resolutions for the long-term, the whole year, and not just for a month?  Here are a few tips that have work for me and I believe will work for you as well.

2 – Focus on your vision

Vision is your guiding light.  Vision is what you see that others cannot see.  Only you know what your vision is and why it matters to you.  When setting your new year resolutions, let your vision guide you.  By doing so you will set goals that are meaningful in the context of your entire life, not just in the context of this year alone.  These will be goals that matter to you and that are worth committing to.  They will be goals that make the hard work needed to reach them worth it.  They may be new goals or they may be goals you have been meaning to achieve for a long time.  Either way reaching these goals will help make your life meaningful and build your self-worth.

3 – Set specific goals

Setting specific goals is half the battle because a goal set is a goal that is already partially reached.  This is because setting a specific goal forces you to define the path you will follow to reach this goal.  Once that path is set, all you have to do is follow it.

4 – Set specific deadlines

Setting goals is important but without deadlines nothing gets done.  Deadlines set a line in the sand, so to speak, a time by which things must get done.  Again, be specific when setting your deadlines.  For example say: I will have 12 fine art prints matted and framed by June 30th.  Or, I will have my folio project that includes 12 prints, an artist statement, a biography printed, packaged and ready to show by July 1st, 2017.

5 – Start with what is hard, reward yourself with what is easy

Make a list of what you have to do each day, then give a letter to each task.  A for the most important and difficult tasks, B for the second most important tasks, C for the less important tasks and D for the easiest tasks.  Start your day by working on the A tasks, the most important and difficult ones.  When those are all done, move to the B tasks.  Don’t move to the B tasks until all A tasks are done.  Do this for all the tasks on your list.  By the time you get to the Ds you will find them so easy that they will feel more like rewards than actual tasks.

6 – Define success in your own terms

Success is different for all of us.  Therefore you need to define what success is for you.  Don’t define success as others see it.  Define it as you see it.

What constitutes success for you is most likely different from what constitutes success for others. Your goals, your desires and overall what you consider to be success in a specific endeavor is unique to you.  Don’t worry about it.  Whether what you want is more or less or different from what other people want is irrelevant because you and them are different people in different situations focused on different goals.

7 – Be realistic

Only realistic goals get done.  Overly ambitious goals are discouraging because they are so lofty that we feel we will never reach them.  Unrealistic deadlines have the same effect.  When deadlines are set too far in the future they make us feel we have all the time in the world so we never get started.  When deadlines are too short they make us feel we wont’ have time to get things done.  Either way we get discouraged before we even begin working on our goals.

A realistic goal is a goal you know you can achieve with the time and resources you have available to you.  Only you know what is realistic.  Just like success is individually defined, what is realistic is individually defined as well.  What is realistic for you is different from what is realistic for others.  When you set realistic goals you give yourself the opportunity to succeed.  When you set unrealistic goals you set yourself up for failure.

To be effective deadlines also have to be realistic.  For example, a good rule of thumb for finishing a photography folio project is 6 months until completion. This time frame works well for me and for my students.

8 – Set Mini-Goals

An effective technique if you tend to put things off or if you feel overwhelmed is to set mini goals.  A mini goal is a goal that is so easy to reach that there is no doubt we will reach it.  Mini goals can be set for any activity.  If your goal is to exercise you can set a mini goal to do one push up, or do one ab crunch, or run for one minute, and so on.

Applied to photography examples a mini goal can be going out to take one photograph, or completing a project that features three photos of the same tree near your house, or reading one page of that book on photography you bought but never opened.  If you show or sell your work a mini goal can be to select one photo for your next show, or mat one print, or put a price tag on one photo, or find one show you can do this year, or apply for one show or even sell one photo.

Because these goals are so low they are not frightening and getting started is easy.  They are so minimal that success is guaranteed.  In fact they are so easy that once you get started you cannot help but exceed the goal.  The result is that you become an overachiever right away!

9 – Quantify

Even though you defined success in your own terms, it is challenging to achieve a goal that is not quantified.  To achieve your goals you need to define them precisely.  The first step is to quantify these goals.  This means putting numbers on what you want to achieve.  How many fine art photographs that you will be proud to show to everyone do you want to create this year?  How many projects do you want to complete?  How many locations do you want to photograph? How many workshops do you want to attend?  The list goes on; these are just examples.

10 – Check your progress regularly (daily, weekly or monthly)

Mark Twain said that bad habits must be pushed out of the house one step at a time.  They cannot be kicked out because if you do that they will return. Instead, they have to be persuaded to leave, making it clear that they are unwelcome so they do not come back.  This is done little by little by making sure at regular intervals that we are on our way to betterment, whatever the endeavor might be.

Whatever resolutions you took, whatever goals you set, make it a habit to ask yourself regularly what you did so far to reach these goals and resolutions.  Do this each day for daily goals.  Do it each week for weekly goals.  Then at the end of the month do a monthly check during which you list all that you did this month in regard to reaching a specific goal or following through on a specific resolution.

Doing so makes you accountable for following through.  The goals you set are no longer abstract ideas.  They are now live actions that you are working on daily and for which you must show weekly and monthly progress.  Accountability is the keyword here.  Making ourselves accountable for the goals we set means we feel responsible to achieve these goals.  Goals and resolutions are no longer a ‘maybe’ proposition.  Instead they become a ‘must,’ something we have to get done.

11 – Be creative, not competitive

Competition means trying to outdo someone else.  Creativity means finding unique ways of reaching our personal goals.  When you operate on the basis of competition you focus on others.  When you operate on the basis of creativity you focus on yourself.  Eventually what matters most is you.  Reaching your personal goals has nothing to do with how well, or poorly as the case might be, others are doing.  Reaching your goals is not a matter of outdoing others.  Reaching your goals is a matter of outdoing yourself.  The way to achieve this is through creative thinking, by making the necessary breakthrough, the leap of faith that will allow you to make the changes you need in order to reach the goals you set for this year.

12 – Don’t worry

There will be obstacles along the way but those can be dealt with in due time, whenever they show up.  The problem with worrying about things that have not happened yet is that it means worrying about things that are vague and undefined.  Most of our fears never materialize. However, in the process of worrying about what would happen if they did, we waste our time and damage our health.  Nobody dies of hard work but many die of worry.  The expression ‘worried to death’ attests to this.  Don’t join the list by worrying unnecessarily about things that might happen.  Just move forward by working on your goals and deal with problems when, and if, they show up.

13 – Focus on the positive

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.  The mind finds ways of obtaining what we think about.  Therefore think about what you want and you will get what you want.  If you think about what you don’t want, you will get what you don’t want. In other words, as Henry Ford put it, whether you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.  Therefore think that you can.  Think of concrete ways of reaching your goals and you will be on your way to making things happen.

14 – Get help from people who are where you want to be

Don’t reinvent the wheel. The wheel has been invented and all you need to do is learn how to use it. To do this get advice from those who have been there themselves.  Only those who have been where you want to go can help you get there in a practical, efficient and successful manner.  They are realistic about it and they know exactly what it takes to get there.  Their advice will get you there faster than you ever will on your own.

15 – Don’t do trial and error

The trial and error process is wasteful of both time and money.  If you are like me, your time is precious.  Certainly, money is important as well.  However, for many of us time is more valuable than money because we can make more money but we can’t make more time.  Therefore, if we can afford to, using money to reach our goals is the most efficient approach.

16 – Focus on both soft skills and hard skills

Both set of skills are important and necessary for success.  Don’t focus on one or the other exclusively.  Instead, set goals that foster the acquisition and the development of both.  If you are not familiar with these two skills, read my essay titled Soft Skills and Hard Skills because it describes what they are in detail.

17 – Conclusion

Nobody is perfect, myself included.  However, we can all improve our success by following the simple steps listed in this essay. If we do so we will be on our way to keep our 2017 resolutions. Eventually, it boils down to a simple approach: focusing on our vision, defining success in our own terms, quantifying what represents success, not letting negativity get in our way and going for it.

Be sure to take advantage of our Start the Year in Style Special offer
 Click here now to read the details

Save Money on our workshops and consulting registrations !

 

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style, How Photographs are Sold and Marketing Fine Art Photography.  All 4 books are available as printed books on Amazon.com and as eBooks on my website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Arizona
January 2017

Advanced Adjustment Layers Mastery Workshop on DVD or USB card

Advanced Adjustment Layers Mastery Workshop on DVD or USB card

This new and extensive tutorial will be released this fall. Right now a pre-announcement list is available. To get on the list simply email me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com with the words ‘advanced adjustment layers’ in the email subject. You will be added to the list and will benefit from special offers and lower pricing when this new tutorial is released.You will also be notified first.

You can also download the detailed table of contents for this new and extensive tutorial at this link.

A new podcast episode focusing on the new Advanced Adjustment Layers Mastery Workshop on DVD or USB card is also available. You can listen to it now on the Podcast page or on iTunes.
Additional information about this new Mastery Workshop will be posted to this site soon.

Alain Briot

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

advanced-layers-start-screen

advanced-layers-contents-screen

After the Rain-how it was done

After the Rain : How this image was created

Vistancia-Reflections-Collage-BW2-FS

This image is a collage of 2 photographs. The camera I used wasn’t wide enough to capture all I wanted in 1 shot.

I could have used a wide angle attachment but it is huge and carrying it defeats the purpose of having a small lightweight camera. Collaging is easier. I like the technique so much that over 50% of my work consists of collaged images.

The image was taken during a walk in my neighborhood. The tree is just down the path from my house. It’s not that remarkable. What makes it attractive is the reflection. I’ve seen it with reflections before but this time the water pool was larger than I’ve seen it before and that what made me see this image.  Plus, there were no leaves making it more effective as a graphic element.

Our eyes change and we see things differently. I like to carry a lightweight camera because having to go get your larger camera, tripod, etc makes it more difficult to capture things intuitively and spontaneously.

Regarding tripods, lenses, etc. who wants to take all that for a stroll down the neighborhood path! This photograph would not exists if I didn’t have a simple lightweight camera. I wasn’t going to take my medium format digital camera to do this ! A small lightweight camera opens another way of seeing and capturing what you see.

eBooks-all 5Get 40 free ebooks when you sign up for my free newsletter!

Click here now to sign up for your free newsletter

Alain Briot

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

Reaching your goals in 2016

Whether you think you can or think you cannot you are correct.
Henry Ford

Take advantage of our Start the Year in Style Special offer
 click here now to read the details

Save Money on our workshops and consulting registrations !

 

1 – Introduction – New Year Resolutions

We all make resolutions at the start of the year.  However, for many these resolutions disappear into the ether around the end of January.  Quite often, thirty days is what it takes for old habits to return, for resolutions to be forgotten and for goals not to be achieved.  This is in part why I am publishing this essay at the end of January.  This is the time when many of us need help achieving the goals we set for the year.

So how do you do it?  How do you achieve your goals? How do you stick to your resolutions for the long-term, the whole year, and not just for a month?  Here are a few tips that have work for me and I believe will work for you as well.

2 – Focus on your vision

Vision is your guiding light.  Vision is what you see that others cannot see.  Only you know what your vision is and why it matters to you.  When setting your new year resolutions, let your vision guide you.  By doing so you will set goals that are meaningful in the context of your entire life, not just in the context of this year alone.  These will be goals that matter to you and that are worth committing to.  They will be goals that make the hard work needed to reach them worth it.  They may be new goals or they may be goals you have been meaning to achieve for a long time.  Either way reaching these goals will help make your life meaningful and build your self-worth.

3 – Set specific goals

Setting specific goals is half the battle because a goal set is a goal that is already partially reached.  This is because setting a specific goal forces you to define the path you will follow to reach this goal.  Once that path is set, all you have to do is follow it.

4 – Set specific deadlines

Setting goals is important but without deadlines nothing gets done.  Deadlines set a line in the sand, so to speak, a time by which things must get done.  Again, be specific when setting your deadlines.  For example say: I will have 12 fine art prints matted and framed by June 30th.  Or, I will have my folio project that includes 12 prints, an artist statement, a biography printed, packaged and ready to show by July 1st, 2016.

5 – Start with what is hard, reward yourself with what is easy

Make a list of what you have to do each day, then give a letter to each task.  A for the most important and difficult tasks, B for the second most important tasks, C for the less important tasks and D for the easiest tasks.  Start your day by working on the A tasks, the most important and difficult ones.  When those are all done, move to the B tasks.  Don’t move to the B tasks until all A tasks are done.  Do this for all the tasks on your list.  By the time you get to the Ds you will find them so easy that they will feel more like rewards than actual tasks.

6 – Define success in your own terms

Success is different for all of us.  Therefore you need to define what success is for you.  Don’t define success as others see it.  Define it as you see it.

What constitutes success for you is most likely different from what constitutes success for others. Your goals, your desires and overall what you consider to be success in a specific endeavor is unique to you.  Don’t worry about it.  Whether what you want is more or less or different from what other people want is irrelevant because you and them are different people in different situations focused on different goals.

7 – Be realistic

Only realistic goals get done.  Overly ambitious goals are discouraging because they are so lofty that we feel we will never reach them.  Unrealistic deadlines have the same effect.  When deadlines are set too far in the future they make us feel we have all the time in the world so we never get started.  When deadlines are too short they make us feel we wont’ have time to get things done.  Either way we get discouraged before we even begin working on our goals.

A realistic goal is a goal you know you can achieve with the time and resources you have available to you.  Only you know what is realistic.  Just like success is individually defined, what is realistic is individually defined as well.  What is realistic for you is different from what is realistic for others.  When you set realistic goals you give yourself the opportunity to succeed.  When you set unrealistic goals you set yourself up for failure.

To be effective deadlines also have to be realistic.  For example, a good rule of thumb for finishing a photography folio project is 6 months until completion. This time frame works well for me and for my students.

8 – Set Mini-Goals

An effective technique if you tend to put things off or if you feel overwhelmed is to set mini goals.  A mini goal is a goal that is so easy to reach that there is no doubt we will reach it.  Mini goals can be set for any activity.  If your goal is to exercise you can set a mini goal to do one push up, or do one ab crunch, or run for one minute, and so on.

Applied to photography examples a mini goal can be going out to take one photograph, or completing a project that features three photos of the same tree near your house, or reading one page of that book on photography you bought but never opened.  If you show or sell your work a mini goal can be to select one photo for your next show, or mat one print, or put a price tag on one photo, or find one show you can do this year, or apply for one show or even sell one photo.

Because these goals are so low they are not frightening and getting started is easy.  They are so minimal that success is guaranteed.  In fact they are so easy that once you get started you cannot help but exceed the goal.  The result is that you become an overachiever right away!

9 – Quantify

Even though you defined success in your own terms, it is challenging to achieve a goal that is not quantified.  To achieve your goals you need to define them precisely.  The first step is to quantify these goals.  This means putting numbers on what you want to achieve.  How many fine art photographs that you will be proud to show to everyone do you want to create this year?  How many projects do you want to complete?  How many locations do you want to photograph? How many workshops do you want to attend?  The list goes on; these are just examples.

10 – Check your progress regularly (daily, weekly or monthly)

Mark Twain said that bad habits must be pushed out of the house one step at a time.  They cannot be kicked out because if you do that they will return. Instead, they have to be persuaded to leave, making it clear that they are unwelcome so they do not come back.  This is done little by little by making sure at regular intervals that we are on our way to betterment, whatever the endeavor might be.

Whatever resolutions you took, whatever goals you set, make it a habit to ask yourself regularly what you did so far to reach these goals and resolutions.  Do this each day for daily goals.  Do it each week for weekly goals.  Then at the end of the month do a monthly check during which you list all that you did this month in regard to reaching a specific goal or following through on a specific resolution.

Doing so makes you accountable for following through.  The goals you set are no longer abstract ideas.  They are now live actions that you are working on daily and for which you must show weekly and monthly progress.  Accountability is the keyword here.  Making ourselves accountable for the goals we set means we feel responsible to achieve these goals.  Goals and resolutions are no longer a ‘maybe’ proposition.  Instead they become a ‘must,’ something we have to get done.

11 – Be creative, not competitive. 

Competition means trying to outdo someone else.  Creativity means finding unique ways of reaching our personal goals.  When you operate on the basis of competition you focus on others.  When you operate on the basis of creativity you focus on yourself.  Eventually what matters most is you.  Reaching your personal goals has nothing to do with how well, or poorly as the case might be, others are doing.  Reaching your goals is not a matter of outdoing others.  Reaching your goals is a matter of outdoing yourself.  The way to achieve this is through creative thinking, by making the necessary breakthrough, the leap of faith that will allow you to make the changes you need in order to reach the goals you set for this year.

12 – Don’t worry

There will be obstacles along the way but those can be dealt with in due time, whenever they show up.  The problem with worrying about things that have not happened yet is that it means worrying about things that are vague and undefined.  Most of our fears never materialize. However, in the process of worrying about what would happen if they did, we waste our time and damage our health.  Nobody dies of hard work but many die of worry.  The expression ‘worried to death’ attests to this.  Don’t join the list by worrying unnecessarily about things that might happen.  Just move forward by working on your goals and deal with problems when, and if, they show up.

13 – Focus on the positive

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.  The mind finds ways of obtaining what we think about.  Therefore think about what you want and you will get what you want.  If you think about what you don’t want, you will get what you don’t want. In other words, as Henry Ford put it, whether you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.  Therefore think that you can.  Think of concrete ways of reaching your goals and you will be on your way to making things happen.

14 – Get help from people who are where you want to be

Don’t reinvent the wheel. The wheel has been invented and all you need to do is learn how to use it. To do this get advice from those who have been there themselves.  Only those who have been where you want to go can help you get there in a practical, efficient and successful manner.  They are realistic about it and they know exactly what it takes to get there.  Their advice will get you there faster than you ever will on your own.

15 – Don’t do trial and error

The trial and error process is wasteful of both time and money.  If you are like me, your time is precious.  Certainly, money is important as well.  However, for many of us time is more valuable than money because we can make more money but we can’t make more time.  Therefore, if we can afford to, using money to reach our goals is the most efficient approach.

16 – Focus on both soft skills and hard skills

Both set of skills are important and necessary for success.  Don’t focus on one or the other exclusively.  Instead, set goals that foster the acquisition and the development of both.  If you are not familiar with these two skills, read my essay titled Soft Skills and Hard Skills because it describes what they are in detail.

17 – Conclusion

Nobody is perfect, myself included.  However, we can all improve our success by following the simple steps listed in this essay. If we do so we will be on our way to keep our 2016 resolutions. Eventually, it boils down to a simple approach: focusing on our vision, defining success in our own terms, quantifying what represents success, not letting negativity get in our way and going for it.

Be sure to take advantage of our Start the Year in Style Special offer
 Click here now to read the details

Save Money on our workshops and consulting registrations !

 

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style, How Photographs are Sold and Marketing Fine Art Photography.  All 4 books are available as printed books on Amazon.com and as eBooks on my website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Arizona
January 2016

Selling your work like a pro – becoming part of the 20%

Selling your work like a pro: becoming part of the 20%

1 – Introduction
I am often asked for recommendations by students who want to sell their work and generate income from the sale of their photographs.  Usually these questions come from photographers who have tried to sell their work and have been unsuccessful and are wondering what to do next.

2 – Recommendations
My first recommendations is to revise your price list.  Most photographers get it all wrong, to put it bluntly, when it comes to pricing their work.  My second recommendation is to learn salesmanship.  There are 2 types of sales: the first one generates a few % of my income, the second one generates 95% to 99 % of my income.  Most photographers only make the first type of sales which means they miss out, or lose if you prefer, 95 to 99% of their potential income.

My third recommendation is to work on your marketing plan.  Many photographers start selling in restaurants, bars or other public places in addition to their website. Those are the starting points of most artists.  Unfortunately they are not enough to generate regular or significant sales.

To achieve regular significant sales you need to have a professional marketing plan tailored for your work, a plan designed to meet your financial goals and fit in your schedule.  This is something that has to be worked out in order to become successful.  Without a marketing plan you are left hoping for the best which is how most artists do it.  This does not work and this is why most artists make very little, if any, money from the sale of their work.

3 – Becoming part of the 20%
The goal is to become part of the 20%.  In any business, be it photography or any other product or service, 20% of the businesses take home 80% of the income.  The other 80% share the 20% of the income that is left.  In other words they get the crumbs while the top 20% share the pie, so to speak.

To make real money you need to be part of these 20%.  This is true whether you want to do this part-time or full-time, and whether you want to do this now or later.

You need to learn, study and practice marketing to become part of these 20%.  If you try to reinvent the wheel (meaning try to learn how to market your work on your own), it is virtually impossible to join the 20% because you have no idea what successful businesses are doing marketing-wise. They play close to the chest and what you see from the outside is not representative of what takes place behind the scene.  In fact what you see is often misleading because while you may see their marketing materials, you have no idea  what their marketing plan is.

The purpose of studying marketing and salesmanship is to give you this knowledge, bridge the gap between you and the 20 percenters and let you see what is really going on behind the doors so to speak.  The goal is to learn what the 20% are doing that you are not privy to so that you can become one of them.

4 – The 2016 Alain Briot Marketing Seminar
I will be teaching a Fine Art Photography Marketing Seminar in Spring 2016. This will be a 2 day event and it will take place in Peoria, Arizona.  Peoria is 30 minutes north of the Phoenix airport.

I will be teaching marketing techniques not featured in my Marketing Books. These are techniques I started using after I wrote the book (the book was written in 2009 a long time ago by current marketing standards).

This event is by invitation and places will be limited. I did not teach a marketing seminar for several years so I expect this one to fill out immediately.

If you are interested send me an email at: alain@beautiful-landscape.com with Marketing Seminar in the subject line. A discounted special offer will be available for the first registration.

I will email you detailed information about this Seminar upon receipt of your email.  This information will have a list of all the subjects I will cover during the Seminar.

Alain Briot
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
alain@beautiful-landscape.com
928-252-2466

Podcast by Alain and Natalie Briot

Podcast by Alain and Natalie Briot

New Free Episode
A new podcast episode was published today. You can listen to it at this link. This is the 73rd episode of our podcast.

About our Podcast
In this podcast Natalie and I discuss the many aspects of professional landscape photography, from technical to philosophy, composition, art, marketing, equipment and much more. I share my 30+ years of experience in a series of discussions with Natalie, my wife and business partner. This podcast also features readings of essays by myself, excerpts from Travis Terry Native American Flute CDs, video print reviews of fine art photographs, excerpts from my tutorials, and more.

You can listen to our podcast for free at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Podcast-home.html

73 free episodes are available for your enjoyment

We also talk about running a landscape photography business, how to sell fine art prints, how to market photographs, how to know when you have a best seller, and how to address clients.

We address the technical, artistic and philosophical aspects of landscape photography, including our unique approach to the art of photography. In doing we contest a number of myths which, we believe, are holding back numerous photographers and preventing them from creating world-class images.

Join us in this exciting, and at time controversial, series of conversations, both in audio and movie format.  Not only is it well worth your time, it will also help you become a better photographer and will save you years of trial and error by providing you with our life-long experience

http://beautiful-landscape.com/Podcast-home.html

Alain Briot
http://beautiful-landscape.com

Workshop Question

Workshop Question

I recently received the question below and I thought it would be interesting for you to read my answer as it applies to many photographers looking to attend one of our workshops

Question:
I am an amateur photographer. I have read one of your books (Photographic Composition) and listened to several podcasts. I like them a lot. I am currently considering joining one of your workshops.
The reason for this mail is that I am wondering if the workshops are appropriate for my level. Could you please comment on what skill level you expect your target audience to be at and whether it will be an overkill for me.

Response:
Our workshops are open to photographers of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced. A lot of our students start at a beginning level, then move up to more and more advanced levels as they continue to practice and study photography.

Personally I think that starting at a beginning level is ideal because you get the maximum from attending a workshop. Plus, you do not have to get rid of ‘bad habits’. This is good because it is more difficult to unlearn bad habits than to learn good habits right away. I do understand that the cost of the workshops represents a sizable investment. However, our prices are competitive with the prices of other professional photographers.

We do keep the number of participants low, and you have 2 instructors, myself and my wife Natalie to work with you and help you with your photography for 5 days. We give lectures and presentations everyday, and we review your photographs personally during the workshop.

We also do not teach from my books, therefore you will learn during the workshop is different than what you read in my book. We always teach the latest techniques and latest subjects I am writing about during the workshops, so what you learn is something that no one has heard or know about yet. You are the first one to know about it!

Finally, we have many repeat participants, which means that we are offering something that people value. Be sure to read the many testimonials on my site from previous workshop participants. I

s there a workshop you are particularly interested in? If not, let me know what you are looking for and I can recommend a specific workshop that will work best for you.

Best regards,
Alain Briot

Author of
– Mastering Landscape Photography
– Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style
– Marketing Fine Art Photography
– How Photographs are sold

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com