Next steps down the road of getting this photography business off the ground.
I was in the business world (corporate world) for many years but that is not the same as setting up your own small business. Some experiences translate, like communication, computer skills, etc. But much of this is new. As I navigate the new waters, I am constantly learning. Nora recently saw an item of mention in the local library newsletter about an offer for small business mentoring. A local businessman, Rick Scofield, was as part of a mentoring organization and was offering to sit down with business start ups to discuss their plans and offer direction. Since there was no cost, I contacted Rick to set up a meeting. We set up a date a time to get together at his office. In the meantime, I have gotten my website set up. That will be a continuing work in process as I continue to tweak things. I went with a company that specializes in working with photographers, Zenfolio, so the features lend themselves to benefit my business instead of a more generic set up.
Through a one of my former teammates from Merrill, I reached out to Barb Whitney, director at the Lansing Art Gallery to request to meet to and discuss some collaborative work possibilities. She had indicated to my friend Rich that she like the picture I had taken of him and he had supplied to them for a newsletter article that the gallery was doing that involved Rich who is on their board of directors. Barb and I had a great meeting to discuss the gallery, their mission and goals, and how we can work together we can further that mission. Since I am looking for additional exposure for my business and they are looking for quality content for community outreach, I will be their primary photographer for events and show receptions during the upcoming year. This is the very collaborative arrangement I was hoping for. For taking the photographs for use on their sites and materials, they will in turn credit me on the photos they use and provide my website address. The first event is on March 13th, Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition. The exhibition runs from March 3rd through the 28th. If you near downtown Lansing, stop on by and look in on it. I am hopeful that the additional exposure will drive some traffic to my website. At the very least, I get to see a lot of great artwork throughout the year.
The meeting with Rick Scofield was very helpful. Rick listened to my plans and the next steps that I was laying out. He has a couple of suggestions, talk to the Howell Chamber of Commerce and reach out to a local long-term photographer he knew from the area that was also a chamber member. I contacted the photographer and he was willing to meet me at a local coffee shop. This was very kind of him since he could have easily just viewed me as competition. As it turned out, we had much in common. He too also worked in the financial services field before switching to a full-time photographer. He shared a lot of good practical advice. I ended up also deciding to join the Howell Chamber of Commerce and hope to meet some of the local business people and do some networking at some of the Chamber’s event. If you have gotten to the bottom here, thank you for reading. We will see where this takes us.
Until next time,
Keywords: business, event, headshots, new, photographer, photography, portraits, professional, startup
Glad things are going well! I’m sure you will make a lot of great contacts in the chamber. I used to represent google at the Venice chamber events and it’s great for networking.
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