what to do(employment related woes)
I studied Graphic Design and could not get a job at all, I started my own, but already a month in I know I probly will not make a year. I need to get at least one photography shoot or 20 tshirt orders a week to keep me above water.
I have half a BA, I left. ok I flunked out, bad. I had a 2.9 GPA, what can I say..I am not an ademic...but I do not want to get stuck into retail again. I was doing that for the last 8 years while trying to get through school and suffering with an undiagonsed depression.
and yes I know my spelling is horrid.
But my depression mixed with my un treated ADHD made me either get fire or bored of the job, then I would quit because I would get overwellmed.
but what I am running into is that people do not want to pay for pictures here, or for their shirts. They want 10 shirts but don't want to pay the $200 that is needed to make them. Everything is so expensive. I took out a loan to pay for the equipment. I can't afford to go back to school.
I am marketing everywhere, and I know that the other photographer in town is fighting me tooth and nail. She wants to shut me down. I have to deal with uncouth peoplewho don't want to spend money on a photoshoot.
and I can't get a job anywhere, and I know my past is not helping me. I need to take my happy pill, and see a therapist. But there are none here, I moved back to my small town
I feel so lost, my depression is nagging at me, I am loosing weight and I have no money at all
Why not see if you can get an outlet near a university/college site and do an offer on t shirts bought in bulk. See if any businesses want logo'd stuff. Make some business cards and drop them through likely doors or put an advert in local papers. You could always offer something like 100 free business cards with t shirt with orders or the other way round. Make up the extra cost in postage and packaging so it won't cost you.
Hope this has given you a few ideas. Good luck
hey michelle, sorry things are looking gloomy to you. are there any free programs in your area to help with your depression? my aunt works for the state she lives in -offering free psychiatric help. that might be worth looking into if you feel the need to see a therapist again or you feel like your depression is getting worse. (((HUGS))) hang in there
i can offer you a few tips on business. I have a friend who is a photographer and she works her bum off for all the business she gets (not saying that you don't- i just know she works very very hard for the sale) She has a blog, facebook fan page, twitter, and etsy. Also she posts once in awhile on craigslist. She posts something everyday on twitter and her facebook fanpage. She does this cool contest every month. Basically you submit a photo of you kid and for a whole month she lets the public photo on which kid is the most photogenic. If your kid has the most votes she offers that family free photos, or no session fee, something like that. the runner up gets a percentage off their next photo shoot. I think that is a really great way to try and attract more customers. because while she isn't giving everything away and the family gets a "good deal". Maybe you could work for a newspaper? I know another gal who is into graphic design/ photography and she works freelance for a newspaper. maybe you could try offering cool packages, like a pin up package and have a make up artist come and do your customers make up or something- that would be cool!
as for this other lady that is trying to shut you down- you just have to make your mark and prove that you a different then her. every artist is different, i'm sure you have a different spin on your photos then she does. When i was looking for a photographer for my family reunion i probably looked thru 10 different portfolios- all the artist had different styles, yet each one was very talented. do you what i am trying to say here hahaha yes this other gal is a photographer, but you are not the same and hopefully someone looking for your style of photography will find you.
If you think you are not going to last a year- then you just won't. You have to think positive! and I believe in you
Aw Michelle, I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so down about your situation. One month is not really enought to get established, so I wouldn't despair yet, I think you would have to expect it to be into the second year before you really get known and start making a decent profit.
I think that these days, you have to diversify into as many different things as possible. How about doing some school/ class photography? There are companies here who do this at my kids schools, and you can't resist buying the photos when they get them ( and they do charge a lot!)
You could also suggest to schools/ community groups/ other small businesses ways of fundraising or publicity using your photography. For example, my kids got given small plastic keyrings with their pictures in them, for us parents to buy, profits going into some school fund. The pics were taken by a local photographer who was paid well for it.
Local small businesses also used same photographer to produce a calendar to give out to their customers, featuring the local area, and another for a small builder's firm featuring building projects they had completed. She also got orders for photos for putting in business brochures for the same companies.
Also, don't miss any local opportunities...take photos at any events going on locally, and find somewhere to display them...along with a sign saying " if you would like copies of any of these, please contact Michelle....etc." and charge a reasonable price.
Then you could try taking some photos of local landmarks, places of interest etc. and send them to your local small newspaper/magazine along with a little article....they are always looking for "fillers"
Just hang in there, keep positive, and remember that things take time. Believe in yourself, and it will all come eventually, I'm sure.
I am doing all of that, I post everyday of facebook, I applyed for a kisosk at the summer market(to sell jewelry) I have a blog
face book page
I have posters up, I post on facebook everyday
its just on the tshirt/jewelry front people want to order large amounts and not pay for it
I think its really tough working for yourself. I'm a qualified massage therapist and I do that on the side of the job I'm currently in but its so hard drumming up trade. Also with massage you don't want the wrong trade, if you get my meaning. Its also really tough selling yourself when your depressed. Its hard to believe that your worth hyping.
Have you got a flickr account? That can be another way to get your pics out there. Also I try to remind myself (although nowhere near enough) that my brain maybe wired differently to others but that sometimes means I see things others miss. The same is true for you - keep your eye out for other business that maybe struggling or places where you can see potential if they updated their marketing and approach them and ask if you could take some product shots for them. If they like what you've done then you're more than willing to negotiate a price that works for both of you. You have nothing to loose. You're extremely creative - just look at all the projects you've posted!!!
Also you could have a think about some slightly offbeat ways of attracting business. There must be occasions when people want pics where they are not currently being offered.... You're are also very environmentally conscious and ethical about how you trade so you could try approaching somewhere like your local animal shelter, or a conservation area or elderly care home or nursery. Our older clients where I work love showing of photos. They're not interested in digital pics, they want something to carry round with them and show people. You could also offer workshops to new parents on taking a good pic.
Sorry, I got a bit carried away there. Its just that I'd hate to see you throw in the towel just yet. I totally understand what you're saying about how much trade you need to have to stay afloat so maybe get some part time work but don't let the business go just yet.
thanks arty, it was just a rough day. I vented and feel fine, I think I will get myself a treat Monday.
No worries x
thanks for being there
Do you have a tourist trade? You could take arty, atmospheric type shots of your town and the harbour and make them into cards, calendars, t-shirts etc for tourists. They pay a lot more than locals do=)
How about doing band T shirts as they will want larger orders. If you do bulk orders you could bulk buy your materials making it cheaper and you could do a run of same shirts so it would take less time saving you money all round. You could offer a reduction for orders over a certain quantity once you have worked out your time/cost I agree with Nora. You shouldn't expect to see a profit till your second year as you have to take into consideration set up cost, initial layout for materials and equipment. That's normal. Keep really good accounting books to show profit & loss and keep all your receipts. You may be able to write of some against tax. Not sure how your system works there but over here we can get 5% depreciation value knocked our tax bills for equipment & 5% deduction for use of home stuff that is for business purposes eg telephone, lighting, computer, fuel bills, stuff like that. See if there are any enterprise schemes for new businesses too. Check it out you may be eligible for more than you think
i'm glad you felt better after you vented it can take awhile to make your mark in a town as a business but i think you have a great start and everyone gave you some neat ideas !
thanks guys, your the best
Can I just say, that being a Business graduate - well nearly I have two months left - most businesses make losses in the first year and sometimes a second year, you would be considered a business marvel if you managed to break even within the first year of business. It is not solely the monetary figures which determines your success, but it is how you manage it. One of the first things we are taught in Business studies GCSE's is that the initial outlay for business start-ups typically require heavy investment, most businesses get this from loans of business grants, which leave the company in debt within its first few years and because the business is only just set up, you are not expected to have as many contact and sales as a mainstrem competitor as you are not well known and do not yet have a strong brand and reputation.
I understand how you feel, I will finish Uni though the entire three years has been and uphill struggle, particularly this year, especially this semester!! Not everyone is cut out for academic studies (no offences meant) I'm not - I know I'm not, I'm just about managing to scrape through my degree, but that does not mean that because of this you should be reduced to retail, the best learning is from experience not books and journals.
A big portion of it is how you market your product, I would suggest a Marketing course but that leads back to the point of academia, unless you do a short course, get some basic business knoweldge if you can (although I realise this contradicts what I JUST said!!) do you know who you are marketing to? And don't just say anybody (no offence) because that is simply not true, it seems like you ought to be marketing at younger people around 15-25? More than likely under 30...? It's good you have a website, its just getting it out there, and hopefully once things getting more into the swing you may get marketing by word of mouth. I'll definatly spread the word about Mei Mei from my end.
I hope this has helped, sorry if I got to business technical...
I also understand your employmen woes, I haven't found a job yet and I'm applying to a few places but there aren't really any job in the sort of area I want to go in... it's very annoying. And I graduate within a few months so the situation is pretty desperate. I'm sure Mei Mei's will work out for you, it's still very early days yet though so just wait and see.
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