The marketing napkin: How to stand out in the crowd – part 1

The marketing napkin posts have become a little less frequent but I can tell you I didn’t stop thinking about this series. I sat down and thought what kind of advise somebody with a creative business or just as an starting entrepreneur might need to know to get started and then I realized that I needed to write this 3 part series within the marketing napkin series – a series within a series… like a story in „Bones“ that takes 3 episodes to find the murderer (for those who don’t know Bones, search for it and watch it). So here we don’t want to find a murderer (luckily!). We want to get you and your business out of the crowd. While writing this it is already dark outside, the streets are covered in snow and as this is going to be a post that might need some reflection and thinking let’s sit down in one of those old chesterfield couches, that one day will be standing in my studio. We will have a glass of red Malbec and take the red napkin on which it is served to write down our notes and ideas for our marketing plan. Big sip – great taste – let’s get started.

In the jungle of services, products and vendors who all swim in the same pond like you do what makes you stand out? What would make you look different, more creative, better, more interesting to your client when they see you and 100 other vendors selling the same like you at the same moment? I cannot see many hands raised so I guess this is quite a hard question for each of us. This series will have three parts each containing one important point (according to me!!!) that sets successful businesses apart from mediocre or failing businesses.

When I looked around for successful businesses I tried to look out and see what were they doing at one point that all the others didn’t do? The first thing I recognized was:

At one point they all did something different than the others. This might sound stupid and obvious. But did you ever do something different. When I look around in the wedding photography world I see a million styled shoots and I see just a very very few ones are unique and different. All the others follow common trends, color schemes and are just all the same. Sorry to be this harsh but it is like it is. Begin 2013 I planned a styled shoot with my friend Giada from Don Florito flowers. We wanted to set something different and what we came up with excited us both so much that even heavy snow falls couldn’t hold us back from doing the shoot. And in the end the snow made this shoot stand out even more. I cannot count how often this shoot was published on blogs and in magazines. We didn’t even had to submit it, it was all going by itself as it was different from other shoot out there that time. Have a look at your raw model photographers – look through their blog. Look way back if they allow you and you will recognize at one point they did a different shoot, something unique, something not inspired by another shoot, something not for the sake of just shooting at one location or a special city but a true concept that was different from everything else.

If you are a photographer and you want to stand out then plan a styled shoot but don’t plan it just to get published, just to create something pretty – create something that hasn’t been there before that all the blogs and magazine WANT to publish. Dare to be different, dare to create your own signature style and you will earn the fame, the publicity and the success from it. Don’t expect this for any other shoot. Everything that is just a copy, a version or a mapping of anything that has been there before wont earn any fame and every successful photographer (entrepreneur, this is equal for any creative business or small business) was there where you are now and just at one point they did something different.

Isn’t that very encouraging? You can become what ever you want to be you just need to create something unique, something different, with a soul, with an idea…. and if you have that idea don’t wait too long… somebody else might find your idea as well and at once the shoot that you are planning for too long will be done by somebody else who gets all the fame for it. But that is another story….

These images are back from that styled shoot…

PS: This post just is a reflection of my very own thoughts. Please if you don’t like it, just don’t come back to my blog but don’t write mean comments or message how you don’t like my post. Be sure I don’t write for you my friend, I write for the ones who like these posts.