Contrary to what some people might mislead you to believe (Dating No 1), marketing is nothing like dating. In marketing, you are trying to establish a business relationship whereby you provide a service, for a fee, and the client gets to benefit from your creativity. In the dating world, this would thus be a "car date", and in dating, you are trying each other out for the possibility of a long-term deeply personal relationship, not a financial one. Women, In those instances, are referred to as gold diggers, or worse.
In irresponsible dating, you spot someone you find attractive, and then fumble through the process of seeing if you are compatible. If you were to exercise this approach in your marketing efforts, your level of failure would be very very high. In fact, photographers every day practice "dating" marketing. Looking at the publications like Vanity Fair or National Geographic as printed parallels to an available Jennifer Anniston or Brad Pitt, photographers drool at the notion of working for these magazines much like fans drool over attractive celebrities, and barrel head on trying to "get with them". The problem is, there is no 400 lb body guard protecting those photo editors from the dolts and floozies that are throwing themselves upon the VF/NGS/etc alters in an irresponsible way. These photographers don't bother to see if they are a good fit, like the photographer Jeffrey Thayer did when he made his recent "pilgrimage" to NYC, as recounted on the liveBooks REVOLVE blog here. Thayers' result - heard more than once " I was able to discuss the publications’ visions and to show where mine could complement it. They both enjoyed my work and, the greatest compliment, said that some of my images “are such (insert magazine title here) shots.”
Did Thayer have those successful encounters by "trying out" his clients, to see if there's a fit? Did he waste the time of the photo editors/art buyers/etc fumbling to see if there was a good fit? Not at all. He was thoughtful in his approach. He didn't try to sell himself above or below his abilities or style. He researched where his style could compliment and benefit the magazines and clients. When was the last time you approached dating thinking "hey, they'll really benefit in so many ways by dating me!" (That is the fastest way to getting the cold shoulder from the apple of your eye.)
Equating marketing to dating just doesn't pass the smell test, unless you want to be errant and irresponsible about both, and lather up in some eau de photographer in the process.
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