Too many times, we as photographers spend way too much time thinking before we act. If you don’t, much more power to you! Because we delve in the creative world, we can come up with ideas for this and that, ideas that can add to our bottom line. But, more times than not, we hold back.
I just received a book, Poke the Box, by Seth Godin (left). It’s not a big book, at only about 84 pages, but it is definitely a winner. Godin has written many books that use basic intelligence, but he “twists” the words to make it digestible for you and I, much like Malcolm Gladwell, who takes unintelligible business precepts and enables you and I to understand what the hell he is talking about, and how we can use the resulting parables in our lives.
“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo,” Godin writes. The bottom line is that if you don’t start something, if you don’t jump out of the box, nothing gets done.
Do you have some ideas that need pushing? Do you have ideas that you know will add to your bottom line? What other money-making areas of photography would you like to pursue?
Just last week, I knew I needed to do something to generate another area of income. Someone recently told me about gumroad.com. This is a site that distributes a variety of material: videos, PDFs, etc. He had been using it to distribute back issues of a magazine he used to publish.
So, I took some time to think about what I had that I could turn into into a PDF, in short order. I knew a video or a podcast was out of the question, at least for the near future. It had to be something that was already in the works, and something that my audience would want (hopefully). Even though there was some trepidation on my part I decided to take one book I had previously published, and I another that I had already created as a PDF-only title (left).
Godin likes to refer to this process as “shipping it,” which is taking an idea and turning into a product, and then putting it out “there” to let the marketplace decide what happens next. We no longer have the benefit of waiting for things to come to market. We no longer need to wait for someone else to get “it” out there. At this point in time, “they” are you and I.
To finish up with my newer products, I reformatted them and placed them on gumroad.com, and waited for the money to flow. Well, it may not have flowed as freely as I would have liked, but I did realize a few sales. Granted, I didn’t exactly break the bank, but a few days have passed since I placed them on the site, and the sales are trickling in.
One of the products is “Frame of Mind,” a poetry book I recently published, and the other product is “100 Figure Studies.” I shipped them both and let the marketplace decide their fate. And they are both only $5 each.
If you could do absolutely anything in photography, that you aren’t already doing for whatever reason, what would that be? Think about it, then do it. No more thinking, just doing! Turn your thoughts into something that can add a bit more to your bottom line.