Turning your love of photography into a successful business takes a lot of skill, time and tact. The vast majority of new businesses I've noticed simply build a Facebook page, maybe a website, and leave it at that - waiting for all the work to come in. In terms of advertising, these new photographers post on their local Facebook Buy and Sell page and hope for the best. While this seems like an easy, cost-effective way to launch a business, you may not be attracting the right customers.
So how and where can you learn the skills it takes to increase the right traffic? This is where the Rich Photographer Univeristy comes in.
Based on the work of Dane Bergen - a Gold Coast, Australia marketing guru - RPU is the culmination of his years of work targetted at photographers. I was fortunate enough to be part of an elite group that had a sneak peek at Bergen's masterpiece, and I asked him a few things about the content and how he became interested in marketing strategies specifically directed toward photographers.
"I was in marketing from 2008 to 2011 working basically in lead generation and optimizing businesses so they converted prospects into clients more easily," Bergen told me. He found teaching marketing to small businesses was more attractive than larger companies.
"The decision to work exclusively with photographers was something that happened gradually," he said. "I worked with a few photographers, then more and more until it was all I was doing."
"I found that photographers were great to work with because in general, they have a massive passion for photography and amazing experience with it, but they don't have the same enthusiasm for marketing which is the reason their businesses often struggle. I just help to point them in the direction of what they can do to have the biggest impact on their profits in business."
He's right - what photographer really wants to sit down and figure out their next ad campaign or marketing strategy in general. We just want to shoot and sell, right? Therein lies the difference between a mediocre business and a great one.
The content on RPU is largely based on a manual chock full of excellent tips and marketing strategies that are easy to implement, but powerful traffic-getters. He's also included videos unveiling the proper use of building Facebook ads that work, how to get referrals and make them work for you, plus a unique take on business cards (just to name a few).
The important thing about RPU (and what sets this program apart from the majority of promotions I've seen) is that the information Bergen presents WORKS! It's simple, easy to understand, and you will see increased activity - which translates into more work and increased sales.
RPU also isn't something that was dreamt up overnight, Bergen has put a lot of hours into this program, and it shows.
"It's hard to say how long I've put into making the course," he said. "I've been working on it gradually since 2012 - it started out as a PDF and grew from there as more and more strategies got added."
"If I had to put a time limit down I'd say it would be around four to six months of full time work - which includes coming up with each idea, tweaking it, testing it, and finally teaching it through the manual or video lessons."
It's also an ever-evolving beast, as Bergen noted there is more to come.
"There will certainly be more content, and updates to current content as things change," he said. "Members will have access to all the updates though."