How To Ace Your Cold Calls

Want To Know A Secret?

AceYourCalls

No one likes making cold calls. It’s sort of like working out. Both are a necessity to keep us healthy. In comparison making calls to prospects is necessary for your business to prosper and be healthy. When done both offer the same qualities: completion makes you feel great, both create positive opportunities, and with good results motivation is inspired!

First things first when considering your cold calls. Stop calling them COLD. Cold is a negative word. No one likes to be cold (even New Yorkers after this heat wave). But honestly are your calls cold? Is a call to someone cold? No at all. A call for business is made with good intent to practice great business skills. Connecting with the right people for your business and networking with clients in the same industry is a far leap from cold. Does any of that sound cold to you? I’d say it all sounds pretty hot! But for this purpose we can call your calls warm…. 

Steps to Making Your Warm Calls:

  1. Remember They Are Warm Calls
    You are reaching out to potential clients and business. Take pride in operating like a business. Think of each call as one step closer to a new client! 
  2. Make A Script
    Don’t intend to be a robot but have somewhat of a scripted word layout to follow. I find when the target says “Hello” there tends to be a brief period of shock… be prepared! 
  3. Make Ten Calls And Re-Evaluate
    Scripts, Smitts…. Re-evaluate your script after contacting (and yes, speaking to) ten people. After the horror of making calls simmers down you may want to use your experiences to freshen up your initial script. You don’t have to always follow that script. Remember it’s a crutch for that moment you forget. 
  4. Practice Your Revised Script
    Call ten more people and again talk to ten. Practice not only makes perfect but allows you to gain confidence. Confidence sells, and lets face it you are selling something… 
  5. Stop Reading And Smile
    On top of being confident smile. People can hear smile through the phone. It creates an easy forum for them to talk and open up. Be real and be you. This is all part of branding your voice to your business/name. 
  6. Remember Your Goals
    If you want face time with potential clients break up your calls by area. The appointments should have a completely different script than any other call. If you are calling to introduce yourself to the client or see how you can ease their workload be prepared to let them know specifics.

Making A Call Sheet

It can be as simple as an index card. I personally am a phone jotter. I jot down things when making calls and like to have a sheet of paper. Your goals can be a part of this sheet.

Be specific with your goals. For example:

I want to set two meetings and gain four new connections. 

Your goal sheet should look like this:

 Call-Sheet-Example

 

 

 

 

Remember as you become a pro at making your own calls you gain invaluable information. When clients will meet you, who is the one setting up meetings for the creative staff, and so on. On top of industry related inside info you will also have stats on your performance. You will soon know how many calls YOU take to get to your goals! 

 

 

 

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How’d You Get That Shot with Michelle Kawka

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

 MichelleK_Shot

 

NAME:

Michelle Kawka, photographer
Find Michelle on Facebook
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See her videos on YouTube

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY ?

Portraits, Corporate, Events and Weddings. I shoot landscapes for my soul.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

I studied in Italy while in college & started taking pictures.  After college, I worked for awhile in a bunch of office jobs, but I still took pictures.   My friends all got married around the same time and kept telling me that they liked my pictures better than their own photographers’.  Finally, I decided to pursue my passion and I went to photography school.  I never looked back.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

My Gary Fong Lightsphere.  Lightroom 4, and my Canon camera.  

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
My Droid Bionic because I love Instagram.  I don’t really like to carry around a separate camera, I carry enough stuff around with me in my pocketbook !

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I don’t think that it really impacts my business much.  I feel it’s the same way Turbo Tax impacted the accounting field.  Some people are going to do it themselves, and some people are going to understand what a professional brings to the table.  We do so much more that click a button.  We have to plan the shoot, organize it and direct a crew while under time constraints.  Those aren’t skills that an amateur with an iPhone can necessarily do and get great results.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013 ?

I would love to see the industry come up with creative solutions to the issues that photographers face today instead of complaining how much the industry has changed and how they wish how things used to be.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION: 
I have photographed jobs for Wella Hair Color, the United States Marine Corps and Microsoft as well as for many private individuals.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The techniques I used to get this shot were fairly simple.  I went to the beach as the sun began to set.  The beach itself faces North so it gets a lovely cool north light at sunset.  I shot all available light, ISO 800 at 125 at f/8 with the 17-40 mm Canon L lens set at 17mm.  I did a color balance and auto tone in Lightroom 4, then used presets to bring in the contrast and color as well as used vignetting to give a spotlight type lighting.  I shot 5 angles of the building , all hand held and decided I liked the one the best.  I also cropped in it Lightroom to make it more of a panoramic shoot.   I stood on the beach for approximately 15 minutes before I decided it was too cold and I was done shooting.
The image I have chosen is called Beauty in Devastation, which is a series of photos that I created in the 2 weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

Growing up in New York City, the beach has always been a place of relaxation and spiritual renewal for me. When Hurricane Sandy came through and wreaked her havoc along the coast on Long Island, it was a heart breaking experience to see so much devastation. However, in the cold November autumn air, in spite of the destruction, there was something eminently beautiful about how our human made structures were bent and reshaped by the force of Nature. This body of work, taken in the Rockaways, Long Beach and Hampton Bays, are a meditation on how very fragile we are.

The photo is of the Beach Hut, which is a lively restaurant on Meschutt Beach on Peconic Bay.  It is a beach I frequent often because of it’s shallow, warm water perfect for swimming or sitting in an inflatable tube with a cheap novel.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
I love taking photos and directing video.  I have a really great team and shoots are pretty chill and a lot of fun.  

MichelleK_Profile
To check out ALL of Michelle’s work 
please go to her website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

How’d You Get That Shot with Kevin Steele

A Spotlight Series About
The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

 

NAME:

Kevin Steele
Facebook with Kevin
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Connect on LinkedIn

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

I shoot People in Motion: active lifestyle, travel and portraiture for advertising and editorial.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Life began in the darkroom every day after high school. Although I went to a university to study astronomy I never became an astronomer.  But I’ve been an engineer, author, climbing guide, and tech specialist before focusing full time on photography the past 7 years.  Photography had been on the side until word of mouth led to my first big location ad shoot.  Which fittingly enough is this photograph on Mt Rushmore.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

White gaffer tape. Black coffee. The Nikon D4 and D800 with 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 85 f/1.4 lenses most of the time.   When shooting motion I love using Pentax 6×7 lenses adapted for the Nikon, nice long manual focus throw, beautiful optics and the full frame 35 sensor uses only the sweet center spot of those medium format lenses.   And really my absolute favorite and sentimental tool is the Rollei SL66 with Zeiss lenses, alas it seldom gets out. It’s original owner, my Dad, handed it down over 20 years ago  – it’s a 46 year old beautiful piece of kit.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:

iPhone. I just always have it with me, great for scouting and snapshots.  I’m so bummed about Instagram – I’m about to bid them farewell as they’ve screwed up their terms of service.  I love the simplicity of it (I stick with one filter) and the creativity born of constraints.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

A fellow photographer turned me onto Seth Godin’s post of the recent Christmas Eve: “True Professionals don’t fear amateurs”. In a nutshell professionals love it when passionate amateurs show up – it pushes us to higher levels. I think it’s great that everyone can create and share and film and edit and experiment.  Maybe it’s just capturing a retro snap of their friends or maybe it sparks entry into a creative field that we don’t even have a name for yet – everything moves forward.  I do feel that those pros in the middle that had satisfying careers for years can’t rest on their laurels, especially if they’re in client direct portrait, wedding or corporate work.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:

I expect the tech will always move forward – better tools. I do like where we are right now and feel that we’ve come to where it really is almost good enough. Maybe the industry should take a break for a while and let us flesh out the craft of what’s in our lap.  But people never rest J.  On a recent shoot for Adobe I saw some amazingly talented digital artists stretching CS6 in ways I would not have imagined.  I think the business side will continue to evolve: agency Art Buyers and Art Directors are being hired by their clients: in-house work will expand as the ad side becomes less about a single campaign and more about a broad brush of digital, social media, print and viral campaigns.   Editorial is changing rapidly and favors the niche mag that has great content.  Publications that deliver only good-enough images, design, and story will find themselves behind. It doesn’t matter if it’s on paper or pixels – one doesn’t kill the other, the source material is what counts.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

My favorite kind of shoot day is when we are all feeling the love.  The client, maybe an agency, definitely the crew, are all making it happen. I’ve had great shoots recently with FedEx, Adobe, Oakley and Polartec. On the editorial side – Runner’s World, Trail Runner, Men’s Journal, WebMD, Parade Mag. There are a few local clients that really get to benefit although my rates are a stretch up from the local norm.  I love shooting athletes of all ages. I love photographing people with passion.  Much of the local work doesn’t go in my portfolio but it keeps my chops up and is always fun.  The locals include Opera Santa Barbara, The SB Triathlon and California’s regional visitor’s bureaus.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The concept here was an iconic image that shows the monument with a unique viewpoint.  The client, CMC, manufactures and distributes equipment for the rescue industry: firefighters, police, SWAT, search and rescue teams.  Their customers get into some dramatic locations and each year CMC publishes a catalog with an epic cover shot of their gear in action.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

The immediate issue was access: the client and ad agency worked well in advance, almost a year, to get permission from the Park Service and Homeland Security. We flew into Rapid City, South Dakota and spent three days on location shooting in early morning and late afternoon.

With a climbing background I’m very comfortable working at heights and on ropes. The models were actual Park Service rangers and although some may mistake the rangers for climbing the faces they are actually rappelling down  – part of their job is to inspect the cracks on the faces.  There’s a big one crossing Lincoln’s nose and in 1998 an instrument was installed to monitor the expansion and contraction of the crack with the seasons.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

For this shot I’m standing on the tip of Jefferson’s nose, secured by a rope to my climbing harness, leaning over to frame Lincoln, the rangers and the landscape.   If you watch Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” you’ll see Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint drop down between Jefferson and Washington at the end of the film (they were actually on a replica built back at MGM’s studio).

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.comThe strenuous approach to the top of the heads was almost as exciting as being out on the granite faces. Step off the trail and over the “No Access” fence, up past security cameras and sensors, scramble behind the heads, past the large Secret Chamber which was envisioned as a “Hall of Records” and onto the top.  Ropes secured and harnesses checked, the rangers went up and down, moving across the faces as I shot from different vantages.  Changing lenses had to be done with care.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.comThis was not the client’s first select. But as I looked through the edit again and again this was clearly the photograph that best represented the sublime feeling of being out on the tip of Jefferson’s nose with a view very seldom seen.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

Shout outs?  All the support from my wife Linda and boys Nico and Aidan. Mom and Dad. My rep Doug Truppe. And of course my interns and assistants Meg, Meagan, and Megan (thank god they’re spelled differently!), Karla, Jerry and Anna.  Those embarrassing light-test photos we’ll save till the next spotlight series…

 

 

kevsteele_rushmore_bio_pic
To check out ALL of Kevin’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

Creating Your SMART Goals

Imagine It, Dream It, Make It A Goal That’s SMART!

 

I love (love, love!) this time of the year. Not for the holidays, cooking, or family but because all business people take their goals serious. It is a time where reflections and reviews are critiqued with the utmost structure. A time for a measure of return on investments made. A time to restart a new plan based on success and failures of last year.

Whatever your return on investment was you should be planning (or have planned already) your roadmap of success for 2013. Setting goals are sometimes hard. Businesses get caught in their own catch 22 of being creatively savvy and not business smart savvy.

Most times knowing where you want to be is the easy step. Creating a roadmap and game plan is often difficult and decreases the likelihood of success. This stage is the “Getting There” stage of your goal setting. It’s easy to say “I want to make a million dollars in 2013″ or ” I want to acquire the market share in my county” but the question of “How to get there?”  is often the difficult part. Everything in life needs direction, roadmaps, or instruction. Goal setting is no different.

To set your goals you should make them SMART:

    • Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions: Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why

 

    • Measurable – Establish criteria tracking to measure statistical progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.When you measure your progress it makes it more rewarding to: you stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement. The question “How?” is often used to insure a goal is measurable.

 

    • Attainable – When you identify goals you can figure out ways to make them come true. Developing the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that are farther away become attainable as long term goals. Goals that are easier to attain are short term goals. KNowing the different is crucial.

 

    • Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective. A goal can be both high and realistic. You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be.  Some of the hardest goals ever attained were attained simply because they were a labor of love.

 

    • Timely – A goal should have a lifeline of its own. With no lifeline there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to learn how to fly, when do you want to learn by? “Someday” won’t work. If you anchor it within a  time frame, “by June of 2013”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.Your goal can then be broken down into a simple solution:  There are classes, how often, how to pay for them. To learn how to fly you will need to follow the guidelines and incorporate them into your goal lifeline. Then you can incorporate the how’s of doing it… get it? Time makes goals seem easier to reach too!

 

Sometimes setting yourself up to fail is the worse thing you can do. No matter what your business we are ALL human. Our human nature is to be fulfilled. Setting a goal and reaching it is fulfilling! I don’t care who you are. If you had a goal to close a client by February and do it it’s gratifying and builds confidence. Confidence makes us stronger and makes us persevere harder next time… challenge ourselves even! However, if we set ourselves up to fail it could be a domino affect for the entire plan.

So set your SMART goals up and don’t forget your key ingredients: imagine it, dream it, visualize it, and reach it!

If  you would like more information on goal setting and your roadmap of marketing for 2013 you can book your appointment with us today!

Happy Goal Setting!

image (c) Alex Geana

How’d You Get That Shot with Alex Geana

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography! 


NAME:
Alex Geana
Website
Tweet Alex
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Link to Alex 

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
I work in fashion and still life, with a focus on fine art conceptual pieces and commercial work.  I know – vague.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
I’ve always loved it. When I was in high school I had a really amazing photography teacher named Mr. George Talley. This was before all electives were cut. He showed me how to develop film and work in the dark room – an experience that forever changed me. It wasn’t until I got published by Gawker and started attending fashion shows that I really looked at photography as a career. I had access to an industry I loved and the moments to make good pictures were plentiful.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
I use a 5D Mark II and have a Leica D‑LUX 5 for my blog. I work with a variety of lights, from Impact to ProFoto, I’ve even worked with Alien Bees. Each shoot is different. I’ve really wanted to work with Broncolor but I’ve never had a chance to.  Recently I’ve become obsessed with Hahnemuhle Baryta for my fine art show.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I try to always keep my Leica D‑LUX 5 with me. I really want an M9, but that’s really just a dream till I book more commercial work. The small camera takes really honest photos. When you have a DSLR with you, the camera takes over the moment, people try to pose, we’re in an age of over-styled street fashion and everyone’s watching out for cameras, they’re either drawn to them or afraid of them. I really like having a small “walking about” camera. But readers on blogs are really judgmental and they need a good photo. If you can’t make a good photo for your blog, they turn away quickly.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
It makes educating the client harder. I’ve had clients tell me they can’t afford to work with me because they spent 4k on a camera and don’t know how to use it. They wonder why they can’t get the same pictures I do with the camera we both have. It breaks my heart, because for half that cost, we’d have enough cash to make some good photography.

Photography has really moved away from the camera, it’s just a tool we all have. It’s become more like sculpture. Michael Weschler (@MichaelWeschler ) a photographer friend of mine likens being a photographer to being a director. We produce photography. We make the picture happen. That’s what people don’t really get about photography. We need to make the photo. Then you also have to know how to record the image you’re making. It’s a holistic 360-degree process, which people don’t get. You don’t just show up, point and shoot.  Then fix everything in Photoshop. Photoshop can’t create a pixel. You need the right exposure to capture an image that Photoshop can improve on.

We can’t stop clients from thinking it’s the camera, but it would be nice if they spent more on photographers they liked, instead of gear they can’t use. It would help everyone and make better content.
Clients, especially new clients don’t understand how much time and planning photography involves. I also think this is effecting the top of the market, because art buyers seem very weary to try anyone new, unless they have proven themselves a countless number of times.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:
Have no clue. Probably the same as 2012, I don’t see technology effecting us greatly. I think their needs to be changes. Lots of changes and I see no organization. Which is frustrating. Lot’s of young photographers are depressing their own industry because they’re jumping at every “Work for Hire” contract sent their way and lowering their rate to next to nothing. It would be great to educate and figure out a way to communicate to all the “cool kids” who don’t really understand the business of photography. I was one of them. Now I really understand how to estimate and say no and build value for my work. So much of art has to do with making your own market. I don’t know if my long road will pay off. I’m hoping it does. When an emerging photographer gives in to a “Work for Hire” contract everyone suffers.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:
My work is in two museums. The Museum at FIT and Leslie Lohman, I had a chance to work with Icon Fitness and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (she’s really sweet, smart and nice in person). Daphne Guinness is my hands down favorite subject and model, she was a joy to work with and I’m very excited to have been included in her Yale University book. I’ve worked with a variety of fashion designers and look forward to growing in that realm. I’m never satisfied with my work and always want to get better.  I also love getting published on La Daily Musto – Michael is a lot of fun to hang out with, I love going out with him and taking pictures of club kids. Daily Intel hired me because they saw my work on his blog.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:
I started applying my knowledge of fashion photography to food; I really loved the concept of manipulating and styling. So I just started making work and wanted to experiment with process and light. Finally it came together as a show, I’m trying to place it now and starting to build relationships with galleries that have a base.

I don’t know if it’s a unique technique per say, I think it’s obvious that it’s on a light table. It’s two lights above, two below. What does make it unique is my obsession with styling and creating the work. It took me two hours to find the perfect lettuce, take it home, and style it just right. Add water droplets in all the right places and redo it a few times. Eighty frames were shot. I finally chose one and spent two hours retouching and refining the printing process. All told each photo in the series took an average of eight to twelve hours to make.

Photography simply takes time, we become more efficient with it, but good pictures take time and patience and there’s nothing we can do about it. Everyone wants everything to happen quickly because of the just in time Internet culture. But to get something truly extraordinary – it’s simply, time, patience and planning and there’s simply no short cut.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
Check out my blog Making a Picture and check out my Online Portfolio.

 

To check out ALL of Alex’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

 

 

Rule Your Marketing Track…. Don’t Run Around It Aimlessly

 STAY ON TRACK EASILY BY FOLLOWING THIS… 

Many business owners often find the task of marketing daunting. Staying on track with your plan can be a challenge and often takes a single person to keep on track with the plan throughout the year. If you are a small business owner and do not have the luxury of an assistant or a full marketing department don’t worry, staying on track can be easily obtained by following this short list:  

1. Keep It In Your Face. Never file your marketing plan away in a file cabinet. Keeping your plan posted on your wall or board will allow it to be a constant reminder. If your plan is wordy get creative and make a nice visual chart that will enhance your decor!

2. Organize By Time Horizon. Divide your marketing plan into months. Following a timeline is often the best way to stay on track. More important put your monthly reminders into your electronic calendar to act as a back up. When you schedule meetings and appointments you will get reminders of things to do. For help with setting up your marketing plan follow our Roadmap of Marketing directions here

3. Plan and Prioritize Special Promotions. If you are like many small businesses you have special promotions or advertisements that need to go out at specific times. These are most often a greater part of your marketing budget. Keeping close track of these is crucial to your success. If your piece is not planned already leave time in your schedule for an ample planning process. 

4. Monthly Reviews.  Your marketing goals are like targets. Reviewing monthly to make sure all your targets have been met can be very rewarding. Proving you can stay on track and follow your marketing plan successfully will build confidence in this segment of your business!

5. Estimate Your Time Spent. Estimating your time spent on all of your marketing tasks will allow you to plan for next years marketing. Your business grows year after year. Keeping track of time spent on marketing is a great way to see what tasks you will want to delegate later. Examples of good things to track is:

  • How many hours do you spend on specific marketing activities?
  • What are the three main marketing activities where you spend the most time?
  • How many hours each week do you spend on marketing? Be specific: mailing, addressing, setting up, dealing with designers…

You’ll likely find that you are spending half your time on your highest marketing priorities. Some business owners haven’t carefully thought about their targets, and often neglect important marketing tasks until it becomes a crisis, demanding their full attention.

Marketing can be easy and fun when planned around your main business activities. Remember a solid, successful campaign must be consistent and followed throughout the life-span of the original plan. If you cannot stick to a full year of marketing it may be time to revise your budget and bring help in immediately. There are plenty of resources at your local chapters of APA, ASMP, ASPP, and PPA. Remember to utilize your core support groups for advice, referrals, and insight on steps to follow with the most success!

For assistance with your marketing and staying on track contact iHeart Marketing or book your FREE no-obligation consultation today!

How'd-You-Get-That-Shot-Blog

How’d You Get That Shot: The Technique Of Photographing by Photographers

How’d You Get That Shot?

How'd-You-Get-That-Shot-Blog

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography! 

The digital era helps some of the finest industries expand and witness growth in techniques that can only come from science and the creation of new technology. This series is prepared to take you back to the knowledge, creativity, and personal techniques of real Photographers. By real I mean the people that have a sole purpose of photographing for a living. The Photographers that don’t rely on photoshop for visual remedies. Photographers that know the difference between an image shot on an iPhone and one from a full format camera. Photographers that remember the cost of developing a bad image instead of just deleting it. Photographers that makes the Whopper look like the most delicious sandwich around or the one that drives Moms everywhere to stores for Huggies! The Photographer that can capture the raw emotion of a sorrowful smile and make us feel compassion in one instant. 

Today the creativity and hard work that goes into taking one single image is so easily replaced with “Hey, that’s a great shot!” without the knowledge of where it even comes from. The endless uploaded media we share that really does not do the subject justice hurts the true craft behind what Photographers really do. As Lawyers will argue that they argue the best cases and Doctors will confirm they know the best remedy for your ailment, Photographers are no different… they are the true expert behind the lens! Their job is their passion! They have studied and perfected technique. Some are still studying to stay abreast of todays vastly changing technologies. When a Photographer looks at a group of people they do not see a group of people they see the balance of light, the contrast of colors, the mere depth of perception that alters the image to make it memorable for a lifetime. And that’s what this series is about!

Together lets bring the art of photography back into that special light where it belongs. Let’s get back to what really goes into making a single image! While the world is full of creative people I believe I have gathered some of the finest professional photographers to tell us about their stories. In the next several weeks they will share their visuals, their explanations of techniques, and their depth of what goes on while exposing how they got that shot. I hope you enjoy all of them, I know I will!

If you are a professional photographer or know of one that should be in this series please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

Missing Your Target?

 What Good Is Targeted Marketing

If You’re Missing Your Target?

Is getting through to potential target clients becoming more of a challenge? If you are marketing and not hitting the proper contacts it’s almost better (and easier) to spend your marketing dollars elsewhere. Finding out contacts that WANT to receive your promotions can benefit you in the long run. Your marketing will benefit from being more effective, increase the amount of interest per promotion, and your marketing budget will be spent wisely with a quicker return on your investment. The old saying “Throwing spagetti up against the wall to see what sticks” is clearly not cutting it anymore for marketing.

Your potential clients are too inundated with numerous promotions these days.  It’s your responsibility to deliver your message in marketing not only clearly and precisely but in a manner that benefits your brand best. Additionally, your time spent on your marketing efforts is totally wasted if you are promoting to contacts that have no interest in working with you. For instance, purchased lists give you a full abundance of information. Problem with the information is it is NOT targeted to you. License agreements and purchased lists are basically public compiled data that everyone in your industry has access to. Taking the step further to target who is worthy of seeing your promotions will allow you to stand out and make sense of your market in a more intimate setting.

Targeting your potential clients can be very easy. For marketing I always recommend combining your personal contacts, dream clients, and a short generic list created from your database provider. However, after creating a list that fits your specialty you then must target that list down to your specific marketing needs. Having help with this task is great if you have the resources. If you are a hands on kind of owner or don’t have the resources you will need to spend some time with this. If not some options for assistance can be an intern, assistant, or marketing company.

Your generic list is the name I use to refer to any list created from a database provider. I call them generic because several other artists in your specialized field can create the SAME list. Going the step further will not only bring greater awareness to your brand but allow you greater results.

For more info on how you can target your market contact iHeart Marketing today! To schedule a FREE one-on-one consult please reserve your consult time today! To find out more details on our Targeted Marketing Services visit us here!

Feeling Inspired…. or NOT?

30 Ways

To Keep Your Creative Inspiration Flowing

How to keep up with inspiration is quite a chore when you are a small business owner. Adding into the mix that you are a creative business owner could almost be a recipe for disaster. What are some sure fire ways to keep yourself inspired even when your inspiration “bank” is running on low?

  1. Get off that high horse – don’t take yourself SO serious
    Half of our battle is usually within ourselves. Laughing at ourselves is great.
  2. Make a lunch date
    Whether you call up a friend you haven’t seen in awhile or take your honey out to break up the day inspiration can be found
  3. Dance like there’s nobody watching
    Not only is this in many quotes and well known inspirational sayings but it works… I do mine to Cake!
  4. Go to the aquarium
    There is beauty in sea life that can be magical
  5.  Keep an electronic notepad with you at all times
    I use evernote and it rocks! Ideas, voice notes, images, everything!
  6. Google “Get Inspired”
    Let’s face it we are not alone in any phase of life. If you’re feeling something chances are someone else has been there and you can find it on the www.
  7. Cloud watch…
    Such an under rated relaxing past time, what do you see!
  8. Read a good book
    A good book not only offers an escape from reality but it exercises  your brain
  9. Wake with the sunrise
    This is very reminiscent of a new beginning. The amazing thing…. it happens everyday!
  10. Pop some corn with that movie
    Psychological sensors in your brain will relate the smell of pop corn with fun, the movie is a bonus of a momentary lapse of reality for the length of the movie.
  11. Stretch your muscles
    Stretching your muscles will get the blood flowing to your brain and your body
  12. Take a midday stroll
    There are few words that describe leaving the phones behind and strolling midday, even if it is only for a half hour
  13. Create your own “project” that means nothing to anyone else but YOU!
    Something as simple as shooting something you love everyday keeps inspiration flowing
  14. Sing your favorite song… even if you’re tone deaf
    Music speaks a universal language, we all know it. No matter what your taste it’s easy to be inspired by singing along.
  15. Camp in your backyard and watch the stars
    Add the kids for an added lifetime memory!
  16. Un-clutter your workspace
    Lets face it if the gutters on your house are filled with clutter nothing drains, your office should flow the same way.
  17. Have a deep conversation with a friend
    I’ve been blessed with many friends that can talk about theories and the meaning of life. It never fails to inspire!
  18. Keep those visuals of your loved ones close
    Whether it’s a picture on the dash of your car or a simple photo key chain being reminded we are surrounded by love inspires
  19. Treat yourself to a berry filled smoothie
    Not only do antioxidants get your blood flowing but they are like a natural workout for your brain.
  20. Go cut the lawn
    Nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass to inspire something fresh!
  21. Listen to a friend in need
    Sometimes hearing others problems makes ours seems foolishly simple.
  22. Get to the beach
    Crashing waves, misting salt water, sand in your toes… I think my brain just left me at my laptop!
  23. Inspire someone else
    I love inspiring others, it’s like my own personal guarantee  that inspiration makes the world go round.
  24. Get involved with your community
    Walk a dog, be a big brother, touching the lives of others will reward your inspiration.
  25. Take your child to the park (and get on the swings with them!)
    Something about giggles and swings that is just contagiously inspiring!
  26. Keep a “To-Do” list
    Checking off the items on this list acts as positive reinforcement.
  27. Basque in the sun
    The warmth and light of the sun really do create happiness. Happy people inspire, it’s a fact!
  28. Take a long, hot, fully decorated bath (candles and aromatherapy do wonders)
    Even if you’re a man you know ya wanna be lavished in lushness.
  29. People watch at your local park
    We are the most amazingly, creatively, inspiring breed out there… other than dogs maybe?
  30. Visualize your final goal often
    Keeping your eye on the prize is always motivating and inspiring. 
Now there you have it, 30 ways to stay inspired. Try any of these to get out of that non-inspiration rut. I’m sure there is something new on the list you haven’t tried. If you know of some fresh ideas you don’t see, please share them with us!
~ Until we meet again, stay inspired, or better yet, inspire someone else!

It’s All About The Connections

What Exactly Are Connections?

Connections are iHeart Marketings fancy but realistic name for networking with a targeted group of people. Connections are like opportunities. There are several available to us on a daily basis but if we never make the effort then a connection will never be met. It is networking at its very best! Follow up with style! So how do you start making connections? It’s easy…. well for some it will be easier than others. 

Connections are basically follow up calls. Some call these type of calls cold calls but I like to use the phrase “warm calls” In a successful campaign these contacts should have been exposed to your brand by your promotions sent. If you are running a successful campaign connections can also serve as a confirmation that exposure of your name, brand, and work are working properly. 

So how do you begin?

Connections and networking can begin with the following:

  • A targeted sphere of people you want to connect with
  • Referrals from your sphere of influence (friends, family, past clients)
  • Contacts from groups and organizations
  • Statistics of people that showed an interest in your promotions

Rules to live by when networking and increasing your sphere of influence:

  • You never get a second chance to make a first impression
  • Be polite and courteous of others time
  • Get over yourself
  • Always ask for referrals from happy clients
  • Know your goal/s
  • Stay your eye on the prize…. more business!

Now that you have some pointers jump in and try to make some connections. If you fail, try again. Connections can be made personally or with the help of a hired hand. Sometimes having someone that is comfortable on the phone and enjoys speaking to people will get your foot farther in that door. The key benefits to this service is:

  • You can be made to appear more professional by having an assistant or manager doing your calls
  • Someone else has nothing to fear from your highly shelved dream clients
  • You can focus on other tasks in your business that only you can handle
  • Someone else may be able to obtain more details than you cause the person receiving the call isn’t on the spot

So whatever you chose make it the right choice for your business. Whether you make the connections or someone else does it has to be done.

~ Until we meet again, Happy Marketing!