Monthly Archives: October 2012

Photography is a Commodity – what now?

My good friend Ben Vigil sent this article to my through our Facebook page.  First, if you want to send anything my way for discussion or consideration then lay it on me in the comments section or a  Second, I’m almost afraid to post this because it advocates something that I hate (namely putting a little too much emphasis on personality) but it does bring up a great point.  Please give this article a read and then come back for some incredibly insightful commentary.

What happens when photography becomes a commodity? 

Ok, let’s not dwell on the personality part of it (hang on) the thing I think is really worth focusing on is the “value-chain” idea.  I have often advocated the idea that photographers focus too much on the photography when the client finds value (often more value) in the other pieces of the chain that don’t involve the photos.  I think clients are concerned about value from the beginning through the end of the process and they will be making decisions about who they will hire based on the entire value chain.

So while the article suggests that personality is the weight that tips the scale I think there is far more to it than that.  Again, being likable is never a bad thing, but the people we like the most don’t always deliver, and aren’t always who we’d choose (or trust) to hire.  The takeaway from this is to consider the entire value chain and to really think about how many areas the client might be looking for us to deliver on and how we might leverage all those areas.

Let me know what you think, and where you’re seeing opportunity in the value chain to improve.

– trr


Thanks for all the kind words on the site redesign.  Make sure you check out our updated WORKSHOP dates, our special deal on our Mystic Seminars one-day class, and check out yesterday’s post about throwing out the Features and Benefits model of marketing.

I’m still working on an article on the state of the photography industry.  Please send your thoughts and ideas on the subject.

By |October 31st, 2012|Branding|4 Comments

Forget Features and Benefits

Modern marketing tells us to run down a list of features and benefits.  After all, every client makes a buying decision after carefully and logically weighing lists of facts and figures, right?  I’ve got a different idea.  Stop marketing features and benefits altogether.  Seriously, on paper how different are you than the other guy?  I’m a wedding photographer, and I’ve had it with being boiled down to a a list of hours of coverage and pages in albums.

Instead think of yourself, your product, your service like this – what problem are you the perfect solution to?  What obstacle do you exist to solve, or overcome, or eliminate?  What purpose do you exist to exemplify?  Convince me of what you’re on this Earth to address and you no longer have to worry about features and benefits.

You just need to communicate the problem you exist to serve.  

People don’t always need features, but they sure know when they encounter problems.  When people encounter that problem, they think of you.  When someone finds themselves in a situation where e problem presents itself, they know who they gotta call.  When you are the perfect solution to a specific problem you own a position.  So much easier than messing around with traditional marketing.

So, what specific problem are you the perfect solution to? 


– trr

Book our NETWORKING class at Mystic Seminars

As we’ve mentioned previously we’ll be speaking at Mystic Seminars in January and we’re also presenting a one-day intensive class focusing on NETWORKING, Word-of-Mouth and GETTING BUSINESS.  This is all about maximizing profitability by spending little-to-nothing on marketing.  Many people believe that just doing good work and providing good service is all it takes to get referrals.  I contend that those things are a given and there are additional concrete steps you can take to generate actual leads and get other people advocating on your behalf.  There is a science to it and you’re all going to end up Mad-assed Networking Scientists.

If you’re interested in booking more work without spending any money, if you want jobs to come rolling in and people signing your praises, if you want to radically reduce the money you’re spending and take the uncertainty out of your marketing efforts then we’re here to help you.

The one-day hands on has now been reduced to $300!!!


REGISTER HERE to book more work easier.


– trr


An update that we are now oversold for Sexy Business Mystic and we are thrilled.  However, please do not register for this workshop as we cannot accept any more participants.  But, if you’re coming to Mystic Seminars and want something more hands-on, you can register for our one day Networking seminar here, we’ll also be presenting a short program during the convention and would love to see you there!

Stay tuned- we will be adding new Sexy Business workshops for 2013 soon!

What you’re afraid of and what you can sell

So last week we completed another SEXY BUSINESS WORKSHOP. Doing these workshops I’ve become quite convinced of one thing – the thing that you’re afraid to reveal is the thing that ultimately tells the market why they should hire you.  Are you hiding something about yourself?  Are you pretending you are something that you’re not?  The thing that you don’t want people to know about you is the thing that tells the market why you’re positioned to deliver.

The market doesn’t need you to bullshit or pander.  Clients are looking for someone who understands them.  Like I said last week, clients are motivated by fears as well as wants.  If you help them understand what you’re afraid of and how you’ve dealt with it they’ll know that you can manage what they are afraid of.

What you’re afraid of is your secret weapon.  Let it out and see what happens.

– trr


We’ve had a run on Workshop dates so we only have one more workshop on the books and only 1 more spot left in that workshop.  Check us out in Mystic Connecticut this January for both Mystic Seminars, our Hands-on Networking Intensive at Mystic and MYSTICALLY SEXY BUSINESS.  We’re holding this one in a lake house and lodging will be available on the cheap in the house the workshop is being held in (only $250 for the 4 days!).  We’re transitioning to a new online payment system so if you want the spot send me an email at and I’ll get a registration link out to you.

If you’re thinking about the workshop the MANIFESTO seems to be pushing people over the edge.  Expect some tasty testimonials and a new look to the SB page soon.  We’re putting the schedule together for the 2013 SEXY BUSINESS schedule so if you want to be notified when the dates are set or you’d like to suggest a location please send those requests and suggestions to