Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year! - Make This Year A Perfect Ten

2010 Happy New Year Everybody,

We made it - a brand new fresh year lies before us.  A new canvas yet unspoiled upon which we will paint our future.  How are you going to approach your new year?  What are your goals and your plans for success for 2010?  Too early to think about it you say. No, today is the day to begin. Start on Monday and you've already wasted 1% of the year!  Start NOW!

Don't know where to start, well, let me give you a kick start in the right direction.  Then you add to it, fine tune it to fit your business plan, make it yours, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, start today!

Ten Ways To Go From Good To Great in 2010

Gold top 10 winner 1. Design 10 new products for your studio.  This isn't just your job - ask your staff, ask your clients, ask fellow professionals.  But be sure you come up with 10 new, original products that will "turn your clients on" for 2010.

2. Come up with 10 ways to promote your business for 2010.  For instance, promise yourself to keep your blog up to date at least three times a week. Promise yourself to obtain a better understanding of the capabilities of Facebook and Twitter so that you can more easily spread the word about your business.

Get yourself invited to speak at Civic groups in your city or town.  There are hundreds of these groups in every city around the country, AND they are always looking for speakers.  Need a topic - how about;  "How to Take Better Pictures With Your Camera."

You're the professional and should be able to put together a presentation on the subject in no time.  What's the benefit of your program presentation? It puts your professional face in front of a lot of new prospective clients. And, when you stand in the front of the room, you are the EXPERT in that room! Have business cards/promotional materials ready to hand out.

There, I've given you 4 to start - you've only got 6 to go.

Marketing -0 iStock_000000307584XSmall 3. Come up with 10 new ways to "touch" your customers for 2010. Holiday cards, birthday cards, the occasional phone call. There, you have three more - only 7 to go.

4. Come up with 10 new photography shooting ideas - different compositions, Z-ray ideas, a new lens perspective etc.  Maybe a different way of saying this is to say, "Come up with 10 photo ideas you are not using now."

5. Spend some time researching 10 blogs that speak to your creativity and photography and then regularly and consistently follow them and learn from them. Make that 9 blogs - surely DigitalProTalk is your #1 choice;~) The best way to learn is to study.  Spending 30 minutes a day studying your 10 favorite blogs is a great way to keep yourself refreshed and revitalized. 

6. Spend $24.95 at Kelby Training.  That will open the doors to hundreds of lessons on photography, Lighting, Lightroom, and Photoshop.  It's the best educational "bang for the buck" available.  Watch at least 10 training sessions.  Remember, knowledge is power!!!

7. Head to Barnes and Noble or Amazon and buy 10 books on photography, any kind of photography.  Now you've started your "knowledge" library.  Schedule time each week to read and study the contents of your new library. The first book I would buy is "Captured by the Light" by David Ziser.  Oh, such shameless self promotion.

Business - iStock_000002983026XSmall 8. Design 10 new studio promotions for 2010.  "Baby Day Thursday", "Fridays Are For Families In June", "Me and My Best Friend (or pet)". This list of promotions can be creative and varied. Just remember to think "outside of the box" as you create your promos. Not everyone will be an earth shattering success, but the process of planning and doing them will discipline you to continue to promote your business and refine the promotions.

9. Make 10 new contacts with vendors. Plan to visit them regularly during the year.  I am NOT talking about putting the big “SMOOZE” on them.  I talking about creating meaningful relationships so you can build on each others success. Helping them to become more successful will only help lead to your own success.

Rainbow - iStock_000006008588XSmall 10. Devise 10 ways to stay inspired for 2010.  Inspiration is your high octane fuel for 2010.  Never run out or it or your year will sputter to a stop. There are many ways to stay inspired in this wonderful profession:

  • Look at beautiful photography,
  • Take photo-walks,
  • Brain storm with like minded photographers,
  • Setting up photography "play dates" with yourself and even other photographers you like to hang with.
  • Photograph something, anything you routinely don’t photograph

There, I've given you five - only 5 to go.

Hey gang, whether we like it or not, we need to make a concerted effort to not remain the same but to constantly challenge ourselves.  We've got to constantly strive to keep the creative "brain juices" flowing and if we do, I promise you, you will have a great 2010! Work the plan deliberately, daily, and diligently and you will succeed.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone, 



  1. Thank you! This is GREAT!!!

    Happy New Year!

  2. As we embrace a new century, I pray that this year brings more love, peace, and that God continue to hold you in the palm of his hands.  Happy New Year to you and your family!

    Frank Wilson & Family

  3. Thanks for the help putting our thoughts into order. I can't help but notice that your new book "Captured by the Light" would be out. Unfortunately for me, being on the other side of the world, I would have to wait 4months for the book to arrive. I would love to see your tips and techniques on the DVD in the book. This certainly helps especially with my new EOS 7D to control multiple flashes. What more, I've 3 weddings to do this month, each asking me for something extraordinary! Kuang Eu, Malaysia.

  4. Hope you don't mind, but I did a cut paste of your "Ten Ways" into MS Word. Laid it out as two columns and plan to put it into a frame and hang it right by my desk. Great pearls of wisdom, as usual. Thanks and have a good New Year.

  5. Excellent information! Thanks David. Wendy

  6. This is great advice and great inspiration! Thanks for this!

  7. Excellent! Having spent a few hours going over missed blog posts looking for inspiration just like one of your suggestions I have certainly found it.

    2010 looks to be a great year and with ideas now filling my head I thank-you for sharing your advice and suggestions.

  8. Excellent post and I am going to bookmark it so I can read it throughout the year!

  9. I have your blog bookmarked but in 2009 did not visit often enough. My new year's goal is to read your blog everyday. Thank you, David, for taking the time to share a little of yourself with the rest of us! You are an answer to many prayers on how to be more successful in photography!!

  10. Thanks for the goal-setting challenge and inspiration, David!