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Marketing a New Skill to Learn

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November 18th, 2013

So how does one start a blog, I am told by marketing people that blogs are important for business and I do want to sell my images. Who would be interested in my opinion on anything or who would be interested in my personal life? So where to start?
I turned 60 over the weekend and frankly I find that more than a little troublesome, mainly because there is so much left to try or learn to do. However as I grow older the time left to do some of these things is growing shorter. For instance Iíll never be in shape enough to climb Everest so that is out. A Fly Fishing trip to New Zealand while possible is not likely because family and time with the grandkids is paramount and they live 1600 miles away in the other direction. There always seems to be a good and reasonable reason not to do something.

Iíve been taking photographs and spending a lot of time and money on photography ever since I was in University in the 1970ís. Itís only recently however that I have wanted to sell my work. I have done a few weddings and Iíve done a little bit of portraiture but never with the intent of making a living. Now approaching what has been considered retirement age for some decades now I am thinking that I would like to take this hobby and turn it into income. To that end I have published one magazine article this year about Aviation Photography and another aviation magazine will be publishing pictures of mine in the next month or so. Iíve also joined FINEART AMERICA paying for their pro-services and spending a fair amount of time going through my large collection of images and posting anything that I would like to put on my wall hoping that others might feel the same way. I watch the listing of images that are being sold and while I rejoice with those who have sold their work, at the same time I wonder why mine are not getting any financial attention.

It turns out that one of the skills I need to learn is marketing, the act of selling yourself and your work. So where do you start? Apparently you start with your friends and others that you have some connection with. I worry about this because I have other friends who have taken this idea to heart and I am inundated by email and on FACEBOOK with pyramid sales material from people I have liked in the past but I am now seriously thinking about preventing their stuff from ending up in my mail box. If there are many others reacting the way I do then the notion of promoting your stuff to your friends may not be very productive and in fact may be producing some irritation if not out right anger. So the question becomes how do I get my material found by people who might actually be interested in buying it. A mystery I have yet to solve adequately.

Phil Rispin