by Raven Mathis Published 01/11/2012
The art of belonging
Raven has always looked to play a big part in the industry she loves so much, and she's a member of WPPI and a contributor to the IHF Photographer blog (www.iheartfaces.com) for female photographers and the [B] school (www.thebschool.com), which is a community where photographers help out other photographers. She recently made the decision to join The Societies, having been encouraged by a fellow photographer to look at what it had to offer.
"So far I'm particularly loving the forums that are on offer as these give me more perspective and allow me to take a peek at the way things are done in other countries," she says. "I love to expand my horizons and take in bits and pieces of information and apply them to my business. It's this attitude that has kept me moving forward and it's ensured that I don't end up getting stuck in a rut."
Now that she's a member of The Societies Raven is looking forward to the opportunity to not only visit the Convention for the first time in 2013 but also to speak there, and she's got no fewer than three workshops lined up that will cover everything from branding through to networking and boutique sales. "I'm planning to share my methods with delegates in the hope that they can take away some things to implement in their own studios," she says. "I'm speaking at the Business School on the Wednesday, where I'll be talking about networking ideas for everyone from beginners through to experienced professionals who might be operating on a limited budget. The workshop will cover tips and tricks for successfully spreading word-of-mouth business, and I'll include a step-by-step walk through that shows how to build relationships with vendors and past clients that encourages them to recommend and refer you to potential clients, all without you needing to spend your budget on expensive advertisements or directory listings. We're talking here about referrals that cost no more than a smile and a thank-you, and these days that kind of approach can save you a fortune.
"On the Friday I'll be presenting a workshop entitled 'Ditching the Digital Downloads," and this will explore ways in which you can get rid of any digital downloads and shoot-and-burn packages you might be offering. I'll be talking about the tools and methods needed to give your clients a one-on-one boutique feel in their own home, all the while increasing your back-end sales.
"Finally on the Saturday I'll be presenting a workshop that will cover brand building in a saturated marketplace. Here I'll be talking about techniques you can use to build a successful brand that will complement your photography business and your personality. I'll touch on logo development, industry faux pas and how to build a contiguous look from first impression to completion of a project. During the talk, I'll also provide photographers with information that will enable them to keep their business one step ahead of the bazillions of new photographic businesses that are popping up with a website and fan page each day."With all of that going on it would be understandable if Raven was to relax a little in between workshops, but true to form she's planning to make the very most of her Convention visit and will be looking to do a little mingling and learning alongside the teaching. "If the Convention is anything like past conferences I've attended, much of the value of the event will come from being able to speak to and share ideas with other delegates," she says. "In terms of workshops to get along to, this is like asking a parent to choose a favorite child! I'm thrilled to be attending, and will be doing everything to absorb all the information that I can. I know that I am particularly interested in hearing more from Katie Trujillo as she has a great fresh perspective on the industry and I hear that she was stellar last year, but there are lots of other things that I want to get along to as well."
It sounds like it's going to be a busy week for Raven and it's a fair bet that the 2013 Convention might be just the first of many she finds herself attending.
More information: www.ravenmathis.com
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