There’s a fine line between being arrogant, boastful, letting your ego get the best of you and giving yourself the advantage to succeed. I was recently having a discussion on Google Plus with Jeff McDonald on a topic called:
How to crank G+ to 11.
I replied twice to the thread. My second reply was this response:
I’ve ALWAYS said there are better photographer in Madison, Connecticut, where I live and I’m not putting myself down, I’m simply stating a fact. There will always be someone better at anything. But where I excel, where I COULD be the BEST is marketing. My day job is at the public library, but more people know me as a photographer then as a librarian. I get many more opportunities in my photography pursuit because I’m ALWAYS at ALL the events w/my camera.
So I guess what I’m saying is, it takes work to market yourself, whether online (no one will find you unless you put forth the effort) or out in the world (if you want people to know you then you have to make the effort to be seen) And it doesn’t happen overnight.
My photography persona took well over ten years to develop and it’s something you have to massage on a daily basis, You can’t think:
“Oh, I’m here now. No one will forget who I am. That’s when someone else will move in and take over. You have to be ever vigilant, online as well as out in the world.
The tricky thing here is to know where that line is. Step too far over and you’ll likely see blowback that may result in negative feedback. In another Google plus thread I posted some photos from a recent trip to Mercy Center, in Madison, Connecticut.
Mercy Center Madison, Connecticut
You can check out my entire website here:
Before uploading the photos I posted a status update:
While shooting this afternoon, one of the maintenance crew zipped up to me on a riding mower and told me Mercy Center was closed for the season. Thought he was going to ask me to leave. In fact I THINK that was his initial reason for coming over. But he smiled upon seeing me and said:
You must be one of the most recognizable photographers in Madison. As I got closer I realized who you were and figured you’d be safe enough to let stay here for awhile.
My BEST friend always calls me a celeb, because EVERYONE seems to know me. Guess that celeb status worked to my benefit today. It isn’t the first time I’ve been given permission to be somewhere after hours or after season.
One of the HUGE benefits of living in a small town and having a public profile. Having worked at Stop and Shop for ten years, RJ Julia Booksellers for seven years and the public library (All in Madison, Connecticut) for ten years gives me huge benefits. I love knowing that I have this persona of a safe person. I left about ten minutes later. Didn’t want to overstay. But it’s SO nice to know that I have this status in Madison.
This is the advantage of being so well known as photographer in Madison. I have opportunities presented to me that other local photographers may not have. It’s all because I know how to market myself without crossing to that arrogance line.
Do you know where that line is and how NOT to cross it? That’s an important lesson to learn. Learning the lesson can help you in any number of ways, not just in photography, but in life in general. Learn the lesson and you’ll be 90% of the way to successful. I’m sure you’ve seen the slogan:
90% of success is attitude.
That’s true but you have to know when to temper that attitude. When you learn that, you’ll be almost there.
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.