Recently I saw a tweet about a professional wedding photographer who has taken to GoFundMe in the attempt to raise money for a new D4s. Now before you jump down the guys throat like so many people already have you have to look at the idea in whole. You have to ask yourself, is this a good idea, does this make me look desperate or should I never had done this in the first place.
Click the Video Above to hear a phone call with the photographer Stephen Yanman.
In theory there is nothing wrong with crowd sourcing. You offer something in return for donations and boom you get funded. In this case the photographer is offering something and not just looking for a handout. But the key thing to remember is “PERCEPTION”, how will people perceive what you are trying to do.
Here is the exact campaign as it is being presented to the public.
“Buying a new camera every two years is an expense that Pro-Photographers have to take on to keep up. (No they don’t take any better pictures, but when you take 100,000 images a year they do wear out)
Help us get the latest and greatest and to maintain our edge in the Orlando Market.
We are not asking for a handout, the products listed all have value – (Save maybe our “Gratefulness”).”
Remember what I said about perception up above. Though Stephen has good intentions they did not come across in the best way in his pitch. We could sit here and rip him apart for what he is trying to do or we could spin it and learn from it so we don’t make the same mistake.
I will be the first to tell you I have done many things wrong and many things that may be perceived wrong. So let’s keep an open mind and see how we can all do better in the future.
Reading over the pitch all I can think about is that the photographer is saying that cameras are very expensive and they need help being able to afford the latest and the greatest. I perceive this as saying “I don’t have enough jobs to cover the cost of purchasing the latests and the greatest”. Now these are my words but very easily could be what is going through many peoples minds when they read that.
Stephen goes on to say they are not looking for a handout and that the rewards are worth their value. The truth is they rewards are probably well worth the value. You would get professional wedding coverage that I am sure Stephen would produce.
But in the end it comes down to how you word and sell everything. If I was reword this pitch to fund a D4s I would spin it a totally different way. I would bring to the forefront that you wanted to try something entirely new with your clientele. I would let everyone know that you have already purchased the D4s and by having that camera you will be able to create some fantastic memories for people who fund you.
You spin it in a way that makes it feel like fun, like you don’t need their money and that you are a forward thinker. The moments I will capture with this camera are going to live with you for a lifetime.
Sell the sizzle not the steak. In this case he is trying to sell the fact that he want’s a new camera. This is not about you the photographer this is about what you can do for your client. Paint the big picture for them, what you will be able to do will leave them breathless.
In theory this could have worked but it’s the wording and perception that has people talking or trying to rip apart the photographer.
Let’s all take something from this and chalk it up to a learning experience.