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Photographer turned marketer: OVERWHELMED by options! FBA?

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Photographer turned marketer: OVERWHELMED by options! FBA?

Post by Jason » July 5th, 2014, 6:57 am

Greetings, peeps,
Been reading the forum for a while, but I haven't posted a while because I've been traveling. About me: I did 16 years as a cube slave in Silicon Valley, 11 of which were at Apple. My soul became so incredibly stagnant that I could no longer force my hand. I quit my job in 2010 to travel, enjoy my life, and pursue creating another form of income. At this point, I call Chiang Mai, Thailand my home. I have always loved Thailand, and Chiang Mai is a fantastic city.

I am a photographer who has traveled all over the world and taken a large amount of photos. If I had to name some of my passions, they would be travel, photography, graphic design, music production. I am a creative person by nature, but gave that up and essentially sold my soul to Silicon Valley for the bigger paychecks.

Making money as a travel photographer is extremely tough. This is why most photographers resort to doing weddings, corporate events, portraits, etc. Many of the ones who don't tend to gravitate towards the event model -- doing workshops and tours. These can be profitable, but only if you can find the customers. So far, I have been unsuccessful in this (although I am new to it). Its a very narrow niche, and it's very competitive. Your customers are essentially rich people who just bought cameras and like to travel in groups. 50+ demographic, affluent, amateur photographers.

I attend mastermind meetings locally here with other internet marketers. They have been extremely helpful and supportive in regards to helping me build my site, and market my tour. But, as with any business, it takes time to gain momentum. And time is a commodity that I don't have years of lying around. Which is what has led me to internet marketing/online business.

I feel like I need to 'have another iron in the fire' so to speak. I cant just sit here and watch my other business fail while not doing anything. I don't want to give up on the photography and tours, but I also don't want to just watch my bank balance slowly creep down while doing nothing else.

I will admit to being pretty overwhelmed with the options out there in internet marketing. Info products, list building, affiliate sales, drop shipping, the list goes on, as I am sure you are well aware. I am just going to be 100% honest here: I am not passionate about marketing, nor do I have any experience. Back in the corporate world, there was the engineering group (where I worked), and the marketing group. Very different work, very different mindset. There were not many from engineering who ended up in marketing.

But here I am :) I don't having a marketing background is required to create an internet business or to get started in internet marketing. However, I think that if you DID have that sort of a background, that things might be a bit easier for you. Because right now, I am extremely OVERWHELMED!! :( I kind of always have been when I look at the IM sector... people are making money, yes. Its possible, yes. But the methodologies are not something that come naturally to me.

But I am 1000% committed to NOT returning to the cubicle. I don't care what I have to to. The problem is, I don't really know WHAT I have to do! Or what i should do.

Out of all the options out there, the one that appeals to me the most is drop shipping, FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon), that sort of thing. But again, no experience with this. I know i need to find a niche, and find products. Not sure how to to this, however! I have read that "one of the most common mistakes is to chose a niche you are passionate about" = saying that you need to look outside of your own personal interests to find a good paying, profitable niche. I understand that... But I will admit that building a business about a product or products that I don't care about or have any interest in sounds pretty depressing. A friend of mine recently sent me a "market criteria checklist" which I thought was pretty helpful. I have attached it here: Where to go from here with this? Not sure!

I was wondering if there are any others out there like myself, who have maybe struggled with similar situations. I would love any and all advice this community would have to offer! The amount of collective knowledge present here is staggering! My hat is off to you! I have endless respect and admiration for you successful business owners... I hope to follow in your footsteps very soon! Perhaps after a bit of help and guidance :)

Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!

Jason Green
Soma Images
+1 408.508.9218

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Post by Jester » July 10th, 2014, 2:43 am

We've had some threads on this stuff, do some internal google search of the HA forum and see what you find.

Guys don't always share their best secrets though.

Then of course there is the "Warrior Forum".


BTW, I've wondered if an artistic, creative guy could just take a continual stream of interesting photos to upload to stock photo sites. Could that work?
"Well actually, she's not REALLY my daughter. But she does like to call me Daddy... at certain moments..."

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Post by Paloaltoguy » July 10th, 2014, 3:56 am

I don't get it, what exactly were you doing at Apple? Why don't you setup a local online marketplace for photographers to sell their stuff to "startups" in the Valley? Make it sound good and then *market* the shit out of it.

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