One of the things I hope all my students take away from our time together is an ability to solve problems, to figure things out. It’s a much more valuable skill than calculating flash exposures, really. In the end, most of journalism comes down to solving problems – looking at information, processing that information and presenting it to an audience in a form they can understand.
Over on the Your Photo Promo site there’s a post titled, “Be A Problem Solver and Sell More Photography.” Well worth spending some time with. I love the idea of being able to share resources with clients.
I get kidded when I say, “I got a guy …” – but having that guy, and being able to share him (or her, depending on who it is), is a wonderful thing. You don’t just want to be just the visual resource, be the resource for everything – not the source, the resource. For instance, just this semester (and off the top of my failing memory) students and colleagues came to me with questions about the following:
- What camera should I buy?
- I need a computer …
- What software?
- Where’s the best place to buy cameras?
- I need a chimney inspection
- I need a new roof
- I need a car
- My car’s making this noise …
- Is grad school the right thing for me?
- Law school?
- I think I’m being stalked
- I’ve been sexually harassed
Being asked these questions means you’ve established a relationship built on trust. Being THE resource people go to is a huge thing – and a great marketing tool.