Google+ Nacho Marketing | A Camera and a Dream


My death row meal would be nachos.  In the last minutes of my life, I want a giant plate of crispy tortillas, gooey cheese, salsa, beans, meat and extra sour cream and jalapenos.  I want to wash them down with a gigantic ice-cold beer.

But I’ll also eat those nachos that they sell in gas stations. That’s right,  those disgusting ones that come in a paper boat with the orange cheese food pumped on.  Go ahead, judge me.  I will eat fantastic nachos, okay nachos and even shitty nachos.  If you put enough sour cream on a shoe and told me it was nachos, I’d probably eat it and proclaim it “pretty good”

This same theory has been my marketing plan for a good part of my career.  Start with the base and throw things on it and sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s just okay and sometimes it’s a fail with a lot of sour cream. I often feel like I am just guessing with no real idea of what I doing will work, throwing jalapenos at the wall and hoping they will stick.

Like a toddler stamping their feet all I want to do is put up a website, show pretty pictures and have people hire me.

Setting a marketing plan is hands-down my least favorite thing to do every year (taxes notwithstanding). It’s the one piece that frustrates me, eludes me and paralyzes me to the point of inaction.

 You know what I mean by inaction, right?  Those are the days you spend surfing Facebook and watching You Tube Videos of kittens while eating cookies and feeling the self-loathing bank fill up. 


And because I live in the Midwest this also generally happens in the deep of winter when there is very little sunlight and blistering cold and snow.  Add in days of wearing the same pair of yoga pants and  not leaving the house and some cheap Costco vodka and BAM!  Welcome to my world, hope you have a strong liver.

This feeling is by far the worst part of being a business owner for me.  When I started doing in person sales (That’s IPS if you want to use the lingo the kids use these days) my big hang up was “I didn’t want to be pushy”.  I don’t like being sold to, and I didn’t want to be seen as some money-grubbing-used-car-salesman-photo-pusher.   Not only was I hung up on this feeling, I was feeling  overwhelmed at the amount of “stuff” I’d have to invest in like a flat screen, projector, and the costly software. “You’ll get it back after a few sales”  is all well and good, but what if that investment is going to wipe out my savings RIGHT NOW? Excuse me while I am a bit skeptical of that argument when I’d like to be able to keep the heat on in December in Wisconsin.

When I started dipping my toes in IPS, I came across this article from The Modern Tog that took the “big purchase” equation off the table.  Armed with nothing more than 5×7 proofs, I started my IPS sessions  and I tripled my average sale and instantly became another of those annoying blathering testimonials for why they work.  Clearly, I had to get past my own shit first.

With marketing you’re dealing with a lot of  complex unknowns.  I decided recently to only offer complete wedding coverage, meaning I am not offering shoot and burns for weddings any longer.  This is throwing me into a whole new genre of clients, and the unknown is scary.   This ultimately is where my fear is coming from, and my artist brain has rebelled by going on lock-down and refusing any more rational thought until quarts of Carmel Sea Salt Gelato are administered and I find another resource that kicks me into gear.

What’s your hang up?  Do the kids say “hang up” anymore?   What’s the thing you want to conquer in your marketing in 2014?





  1. “I will eat fantastic nachos, okay nachos and even shitty nachos.”
    Haha! I feel the same way about mac and cheese.
    Marketing is so hard for me to get my brain around. I feel like it get it in theory, but when I try to come up with the steps I need to take my mind goes blank. This year was my first year “in business” and the only marketing I have done so far have been blogging and Facebook, which is kind of the minimum. The last time I tried to brainstorm marketing ideas I ended up eating cheese and crackers and watching creativeLIVE.

  2. I too would eat sour cream on a shoe and declare it ‘alright.’


    My marketing conquests for 2014 include marketing to the humans that actually shoot weddings from November-ish through March-ish, unlike the majority of the midwest that just hibernates and watches America’s Next Top Model all winter.

  3. I would like to get my favourite venues to be my marketers.. So that each time they booked a new client they could say.. “Have you got a photographer? Mel is great!” I’ve done a couple of demo albums for a few of my fave venues.. But I need to work more on the ‘get out there’.. buy them lunch.. have a chat and keep in touch.. making their job easier to make my job easier.. (and more profitable!) but without feeling like I’m all no schmooze and no genuineness!

  4. Amen Sister! I know just what you mean with taking solus in a heaping pile of hot, salty anything.
    As I am just starting my new business, my largest obstacle is my own fear of walking into a business and introducing myself, laying my portfolio out and just asking what I can do for you. Guess I’m afraid that I’m not good enough, and maybe I’m not, just this moment. I guess the trick is in getting over myself, start the dang journey, and see where it goes. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one footstep”. Words to live by.

  5. When I was doing weddings, I found the marketing to be fairly easy and straight forward – a couple bridal shows and I had a very strong word-of-mouth thing going. Then it simply died. Gone. over. So off to portraits I went. OMG. I ws completely mystified as to what to do. I was known far and wide for my weddings, I was constantly booked (California helps with that). I couldn’t figure out how in the hell I managed to spread my reputation like that. And selling afterwards in person? Holy shit. I was terrified. Being that I’m pretty remote, all my wedding photos were shipped – I never had to face anyone seeing their photos for the first time. In the last few years, I have discovered that I’m actually pretty good at IPS, but that I have hermit qualities. So my goal last year and for next year is to get my sorry ass out of the Studio and attend more parties, events and yes, I’m joining the Lioness’ Club. I’ve had lots of fails with marketing ideas that “seemed so great”, but honestly nothing works for me better than getting my sorry butt out in public. So off I go. It’s hard to do when I’m busy, but…. the dead season is here so no excuses, right?

  6. I want to become confident enough to realize that I really am good enough . . . I’m smart enough . . . and, gosh darn it, people like me! If I can’t convince myself, how will I possibly convince my clients?

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