Competition Management Marketing Photography Positioning Small Business Strategy

When are you going to adapt?

During the Olympics, I watched a number of photography blogs by photographers on location at the Games so I could watch for the best images you might not see on tv – and certainly not at high resolutions.

My 2 favorites were Mostly True by Kenneth Jarecke and Best Seat in the House by Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

There isn’t usually much business discussion on most of the photo blogs I watch so I don’t often mention them here. However, Jarecki made a comment in his Usain Bolt post (great shots in that post) that is worth passing along.

In that post, he notes how little awesome photography is made available to the public and calls for publishers to adapt to changes in media and find a way to publish this material (and of course, monetize it so he can get paid as well).

An excerpt:

This just happens to be from the Olympics, but right now there are photographers producing amazing work all over the world, who are also unable to get it published. Except maybe on a blog here or there.

No matter what business you are in, the last part of his post is worth reading and worth thinking about in the context of your business, as well as your prospects and clients.

That discussion continues several days later with his current post about how the independent photographer is moving from making their $ from magazines and newspapers to niche blogs.

From a discussion he had with Alan Chin regarding publishing on blogs vs the New York Times and Newsweek:

â??We reached about 25,000 viewers a day, but those 25,000 WANTED to be reached.â? (quoting Chin)

Thatâ??s the key, reaching viewers that want to be reached. Four million people might see a story I do for TIME today. Forty million might see a piece in PEOPLE, but what percentage of those readers are really interested in my photographs?

Think about that in the context of your marketing. These guys talk about it being humbling reaching 25000 instead of millions, but they still appreciate that the ones they do reach are THE ONES WHO CARE.

Many times I’ve made reference to carpet bombing your town with brochures (or whatever) via sending only the best quality prospects a mail piece (or a call, or whatever).

That’s exactly what he’s talking about.

And finally, while watching the news of Gustav last weekend, CNN Headline News shows a piece on the band, New Kids on the Block (bleah). These days, they are a group of dads in their 30s and they’ve introduced a new CD of new music aimed at their also-aging fans from their heyday.

What blew me away about this news piece was a comment from the band’s leader. He just bought his first iPod. Remember, this is a guy who has been in the music business for over 20 years and has kids.

And he still admitted to the reporter interviewing him that he just didn’t get that “they don’t sell CDs anymore”.

It’s a sad reflection on the state of the music industry, who (with the exception of Apple’s iTunes) continues to struggle with the concept of new media. This points back to the discussion Jarecke was having. 25000 people getting exactly what they want, instead of millions getting lots of stuff they don’t want.

Looking at your business, are you doing the same? Are you really focusing on the folks who are very seriously into what you do or sell? Or are you still trying to sell everything to everyone?