The Road ahead.
I, like just about every other business, am in the process of a total COVID19 induced revamp.
I’m attempting to transform from a B2B style “Corporate Event Photographer that books an occasional headshot or portrait session” to a B2C and B2B style “Portrait and Headshot photographer that books the occasional corporate event.”
Corporate events were my bread and butter but I think it's going to be a longtime (in business terms) until the general public is comfortable with attending large public gatherings. And while I truly enjoy events, I love portrait and headshot sessions. They present direct interactions with subjects and are extremely rewarding.
Building a business to consumer style portrait and headshot business is much different than nurturing an event photography ecosystem, so let’s see if I can figure out this whole B2C business development Rubik's Cube.
Scott Budden, one of my longtime friends and fellow member of the small biz tribe did a great job of steering his business through a similar transition at the onset of the COVID19 pandemic. He’s an aquaculture oyster farmer that primarily served restaurants up until the world ended so he and his team bootstrapped a direct to consumer pipeline seemingly overnight. It was miraculous to watch.
I did a project on the early days of his business, Orchard Point Oyster Co years ago. Check it out and order yourself some oysters.
My event photography ecosystem was built around personal relationships and featured a tight cadre of loyal and frequently repeating customers. I didn’t really have to market myself or appeal to a public audience. Companies that specialized in producing and presenting events in D.C. would plug me in as a trusted and talented photographer. Trust was a key word here. The more reliable you are as a vendor, the easier it is to be booked the next time around.
Over the coming months, I hope to help coax that system back into life while building a more public persona within and around Hyattsville, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
What sort of work goes into building such an ecosystem? Another website revamp, setting up a google maps listing, creating and sharing actual social media content (dun dun duuuuuun..), developing this blog, starting a quarterly(ish) newsletter, creating strategic regional partnerships, hopefully locking down a studio space (if you know someone in Hyattsville with an 10'x15’ box for rent HIT ME UP!), and generally getting myself out there.
I’m excited about this unexpected opportunity to complete reinvent myself again. Everything was peaches in February, but, such is life...