Local Crowdsourcing Concept
I’m a photographer. I’m a creative.
I‘m not an advocate for buying photography gear without good reason. I’ve been through that phase already and I’m ashamed of myself at how much money I wasted. There is a term for this — photographers call it G.A.S. — or Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
Don’t worry, that’s not what this post is about. I’m not going to try to get you to buy new gear that you don’t need. There are plenty of YouTube channels for that. I’m not even going to mention the actual gear that I’m spying. To the contrary, I’m going to propose a concept that I hope will allow me to crowdfund my next big purchase. If I’m successful then you’ll have a blueprint to help you do the same. I’m sure that this isn’t an original idea but I’m putting it out there anyway. Success or failure — I hope that we all have an opportunity to learn something in the process.
My local market
I live in the Middle East and focus primarily on headshot photography. My goal is to elevate the personal brand for everyone that I come in contact with — mainly men. Few men have a really compelling headshot that represents them in the most baller way.
For more information on why I do what I do and how I go about it you can visit my web site and blog. The blog is just now getting going but I do have a few good articles on there. It would be great if you all could share some of them!
My style of photography is considered to be on the high-end of the spectrum in this country. I’m talking purely in terms of cost (the rest is subjective). There are a lot of photographers that charge pennies on the dollar relative to what I charge. However, I would suggest that for what I do these photographers are less capable. I’m not implying that they’re less skilled photographers — they’re just less skilled in my particular niche. Many of the population here are happy with low-end photography. As a result a lot of my efforts focus on educating the people on the value of my service. The bottom line here is that I aim to target the high end customer — even if it results in less volume.
The purchase that I want to make is for a portrait lighting kit that is unlike any other (again, for my niche). The problem is that it’s really expensive.
Don’t go thinking to yourself that I just have a case of G.A.S.! I’ve been eyeballing this purchase now for over a year but haven’t been able to justify it.
Regarding equipment; take a look at the following quote from this page:
98% of ALL cameras and ALL lenses are better than 99% of ALL photographers
This quote is TRUTH. It’s a quote that I keep in the back of my mind these days before I make any big purchases. So I’m in touch with my impulse spending habits.
Another thing that I’d like to add to the purchase is a new laptop so that I can shoot tethered on location. Let’s say that the grand total of these purchases is USD $7500 (approximately 2900 Bahraini Dinar).
How does this purchase differ from your typical G.A.S. scenario? Here’s how. I truly believe that my level of skill in my niche has transcended the quality of my current lighting gear. I’m at that point where the upgrade to the more professional lighting equipment actually makes sense and will allow me to produce a more consistent, and therefore predictable, output. I’ll be able to get to that next level.
I plan to craft a long-form landing page that contains sales copy tailored for men. It’s written in a language that men understand. It’s a little more raw in nature than most people are accustomed to but it’s honest. It’ll be written to tug at the heart strings of men and also bring a little humor (my personality) into the mix. The offer will only apply to men. In our society this might work in my favor actually. It will build in a sense of exclusivity.
The desired end result is that I’ll reach people who are, or will become, fans of what I do. I want to make men believe in WHY I do what I do and, as a result, how what I do will add value to their brand. All of the copy will surround a central message that speaks to how I can take your LinkedIn profile picture from this:
The new image most definitely represents Bryan’s brand as a mentor and community leader in a more professional manner than the previous image.
The Photofeeler community agrees that our result is on another level.
The message will continue to speak to how we accomplish this goal together — as a collaboration. That is how I will build my tribe.
In my mind this is a win-win scenario.
The offer is basically a two for one deal. I’ll get into more details in future articles but the quick version goes something like this.
Pay full price for a headshot session with me now (as a part of this campaign) to upgrade your LinkedIn presence (men only). This session will be conducted using my current equipment (still excellent results) and will be shot on a solid white background. The proceeds from these sessions will go (almost) completely to the purchase of the new gear. I say “almost” and I’ll explain why in the next section.
Within 6 months of the purchase I will invite all of the participants back to the studio for an updated headshot with the new lighting equipment.
This offer will result in everyone receiving two high quality headshots that have two separate looks for the price of one. During the second session these men will be seasoned veterans and I would expect them to be more relaxed. This could result in an even better result than the first session. At the same time all of the participants, who hopefully believe in my message, will be helping me upgrade my headshot game.
In my mind this is a win-win scenario.
So, how many people do I need to shoot? Let’s work backward and use round numbers. I need 3000 BHD to make my purchases. At a fee of 100 BHD per shoot that will require me to connect with 30 men who believe in me and want to help a brother out.
Let’s go ahead and make it 40 men. That will give me 1000 BHD extra that I can put toward an advertising budget and venue rental (these budgets haven’t been worked out yet — they’re a guesstimate at the time of this writing).
So that’s it! I have to use this campaign to connect with 40 men who don’t know (yet) that they need a brand upgrade.
The holidays are here. Nobody is going to do anything until after the new year. I’m aware of this. My goal is to plan the copy and marketing by the end of the year and be ready to launch the campaign after the new year. I’ve considered putting a timeline on it and encouraging people to share and try to have it go viral on a local level through advertising and organic efforts. I think it needs to have a time limit — maybe 1 day per person (so 40 days). I’ll feel this out a little more before settling on a number.
Between now and the new year I will release more content on my blog about the importance of personal branding in the digital age. This is to set the stage for the campaign.
The actual shooting can take place over two weekends and I’ll collect the money on the day of the shoot (vs. at the time of commitment).
The end result
These guys will have had two headshots taken by me and they will be a part of an exclusive club that helped me achieve an essential goal during my journey. As a result they will also have elevated their personal brand on social media — which will help them with future opportunities.
I would love to hear some feedback and/or recommendations! Connect with me on Twitter and let’s get the conversation started!