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From Obscurity to Internet Sensation — How Creatives Can Win the PR Game with Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is a media genius who promotes, inflates and hacks some of the biggest names and brands in the world. He’s also the Director of Marketing for American Apparel. Oh, and he’s just 25 years old. His point-of-view is enlightening when it comes to understanding today’s complex media landscape. You might remember that I had him on chasejarvisLIVE last year. Since then his book ‘Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator’ has become a bestseller and his secrets have become well known. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene (who appeared on another super popular episode on chasejarvisLIVE here), he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising was internationally known. His strategies are used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and have been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company. Ryan is back in Seattle teaching for creativeLIVE (happening today and tomorrow here) with a course on PR for artists, entrepreneurs and businesses where he will be going deep with some of the topics we touch on in this interview.

CJ:I believe that this is the most exciting time in the history of mankind to be an artist. And I’ve heard you say that we’ve entered a “new economic model.” Do you agree with the fact there is more opportunity for creatives right now than ever?

RH:I totally agree. Look, you could post a video online tomorrow and it could get a million views within 24 hours. You could email a link to your product to a blogger and it could become a major media story within minutes. And what does all that cost? NOTHING. It’s amazing. I don’t think those things were ever possible before, or if they were, you’d have to retain enormously expensive agencies and professionals to help you. So yes, it’s a spectacular time to be a creative. HOWEVER, it’s not always as simple as just posting a video or emailing a link. Look at the people who have managed to have repeated success online–there are methods and tricks and processess that make this replicable and possible and that’s what I’ve spent my time studying, implementing and writing about.

CJ: You are a well-known voracious reader. What books could you recommend for people who are interested in growing their PR and Media efforts?

RH: Believe it or not, I think some of the best books about marketing don’t talk about marketing at all.
I like the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, I think Saul Alinsky’s books on community organizing are AMAZING (Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals). I would also suggest people read Clay Shirky’s book about Here Comes Everybody and the book Blue Ocean Strategy (which is easily translatable to marketing and positioning your creative business). And of course, Seth Godin has laid out probably the best basics in terms of understanding marketing and business in Purple Cow, Permission Marketing, The Icarus Deception and all those books. I tried to write my book to fill in the gaps

CJ: What is the first step for a creative to get their work noticed… from someone besides their mom?

RH: I’d say hold on a second. People think about marketing too early and too late. Before you think about, I want creatives to be POSITIVE their work and business is ready for lots of attention. If your website sucks or your distribution is disorganized, do you really want anyone other than your mom to buy from you? Getting in the New York Times would be a disaster. So hang on a second and make sure your house is in order (and this is something we’re going to talk about in the creativeLIVE class today and tomorrow.
Then I would say: are you ready to be a full time marketer? Because marketing is not something you do two weeks before the product comes out either. It’s a lifestyle. You have to think and breathe it constantly. You have to know the influencers in your space, create messages and content they can spread. You have to bake that into your product. In other words, campaigns take time and resources and unless you’re going to dedicate yourself to doing it–it won’t happen and you won’t get results.

CJ: What are the tools you could not live without in getting your job done?

RH: There’s no question the single most effective tool in marketing is relationships: who do you know? Who can you reach out to to share your message? If you don’t have any answer to those questions it doesn’t matter how many great apps or tools you have. So I want to recommend that people spend less time obsessing about technology and more time with people, building connections, friendships and reciprocal relationships. But personally in terms of tools, I’m completely dependent on Google Docs and Basecamp. It’s how I collaborate with my employees and keep all my research and contacts organized.

CJ: Who are the people you really admire in today’s over-saturated world of noisy content? Who is breaking through that noise and more importantly,why are they able to?

RH: Joey Roth, who I’m going to have on during my class is an amazing example of what a talented, driven person can do–how one designer running his own small business can get more PR and publicity than he knows what to do with. And he gets it for the right reasons: he makes a great product and connects to the right influencers to share it. I’m going to talk to him and get him to share his secrets with everyone in the class.

The term PR is a slippery one these days. There is this blurry line between PR and Marketing now — but it really seems to put the individual creator at an advantage. What is efficient PR in 2013? Is there still a place for Edelman and giants of the PR world? Or are they on their way out in this time of the creator taking control?

RH: To me, PR and marketing are the same thing. And they all come down to a single principle in today’s attention economy: doing interesting things. Businesses need to be create content and messages that facilitate their customers talking about them and their product. That’s PR–giving the public something to talk about and relate to. Obviously there is still a place for PR giants because giant companies have totally different problems than entrepreneurs and growing companies. But if I had a choice, I’d much rather be a creator–operating on a small scale, able to do exciting things and quickly getting my message out.


CJ: Lets assume, with the help of your methodology and a lot or hard work, a creative achieves a level of success. They get the business, the attention, some audience. How do they take it to the next level?

RH:Marketing is how you scale–as they’re calling it now it’s a form of “growth hacking.” At the end of the day, the whole point of market is to drive new business right? So if you’re not doing that with your marketing its just an art project. For me, as I’ve grown my business, I’ve tried to bring people along with me. I am always training new people, teaching them what I know so they can come along and grow. I want to take on new clients so I can give them (and myself) an opportunity to try new things. I think creatives have an obligation to pay it forward and give the same training and advice that people gave them. To me that goes hand and hand with scaling up your business from a one man shop to a two man shop to a many-person shop.

CJ: Final thought: What are the opportunities that you see creatives missing? The things right in front of our faces that can make a massive difference in success that most people walk right by?

RH: The web is infinite. There’s no limit to the amount of content it can produce or the amount of posts that a blog can publish. So stop thinking that getting press is hard. People WANT to write and talk about you. So give them what they want! Stop sitting around and waiting for them to come to you. Embrace this awesome opportunity and use it to your advantage.

Check out Ryan on this week’s creativeLIVE workshop here.
Ryan Holiday currently lives in New Orleans with his rebellious puppy, Hanno.

What You Need for Your Photography Business – [Guess What? It's Not a Camera]

chasejarvis_ramitsethi
Put bluntly, if we creatives want to make a real livelihood with our work – we need to realize that the business end of the stick if we’re holding. And while you know I’m always up for the occasional rant on this topic, I today decided to save myself a few blood vessels and some hot air, and instead passed the baton over to my homie, best-selling business/finance author and master of psychology, Ramit Sethi. I’ve said this before in public – Ramit taught me more about the business side of art in 30 minutes than I’d learned in the previous 5 years. As such, if you listen to one person about this shiz, I suggest you listen to Ramit. – Chase

Thanks Chase.

Let me start by asking you a couple questions.

Do you need the latest camera or software? Will it help grow your business?

Or is it more likely that the latest shiny equipment is distracting you from finding clients who will pay what you’re worth?

Today, as in right now, creating a framework to think about whether buying the latest equipment will actually help you grow your creative business and earn more money. Here’s how this came up: I was in San Francisco, shooting a day of video, and on a break I overheard my crew talking about whether they should buy a $70,000 camera to grow their business.

My ears perked up. I asked them why they would buy it. Their answers were wishy-washy and vague: “Well…it’ll help us get exposure…” So on the spot I suggested a framework to use when deciding whether to purchase new equipment for your creative business.

You might be surprised to hear what I suggested.

1) There’s a time and a place when buying the right equipment will help grow your business
2) But surprisingly, most clients don’t care about your equipment
3) If you can figure out what they value, you can save tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and actually make your clients happier — at the same time.

Put another way: I’ve hired many photographers, videographers, writers, and designers in the last 3 years. Can you guess how many times I’ve asked what camera or software they use? Answer: Zero. I’ve spoken to Chase about this as well. How many times do you think he’s been asked about his equipment unless it’s a super elite, over the top shoot. His answer is the same: zero. Put simply… buyers simply don’t care about that. And usually that equipment won’t help you make the thing you need to make.

Now, there is a time and a place to invest in the right equipment. You can become the ‘specialty guy or gal’ at this or that, but I bet dollars to donuts that we’re not talking about what you need NOW. When you’re growing your creative business, here’s a little video to guidance how to know whether you should invest in new equipment…or decide to first focus on other areas of your business….

By the way, in the video I mention deeply understanding your clients to figure out what they value. (This is how you can find better clients, charge more, and work with the people you want to.) If you’re curious how I study my own clients, here’s the actual survey I’ve used to generate over $100,000. Feel free to use it for your own business.

I now return you to your regular programming. [Thanks Ramit! - chase]

3 Undeniable Reasons To Pursue Personal Work — Why Being The Guinea Pig Pays Off…Bigtime

I have been a long-time, huuuuge proponent of taking time to pursue personal work. Its in fact my pursuit of personal work to which I attribute a good bit of my success. In short, it’s by taking time to investigate your personal vision that you will be rewarded. My homie Joey L., has been finding time to uncover personal gems throughout his career. And you’ll see in his guest post below – it has paid off for him bigtime. Take it away Joey. – Chase

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UPDATE: Joey is actually giving a free, LIVE class right now on creativeLIVE. Check it here…
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Thanks Chase and greetings Chase Jarvis readers. I am humbled to be able to post here, and speak to you directly.If you’re familiar with my photography and behind the scenes blog, you probably already know that I’m a huge advocate of photographers spending time on personal work.

Although I’ve shot many commercial photo shoots you may or may not have bumped into on the street or on a magazine rack, I’m glad to say I’m actually most associated with my portraits of people from Southern Ethiopia, and the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia.

chasejarvis_JOEYLhamar_tribe_ethiopia
The Image above is a Panoramic image of Hamar Women at Sunrise, Southern Ethiopia. Photographed with Mamiya 645DF with Phase One P65+ Digital Back. Lit with 1 Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octa and a Profoto 7b power pack.

When I say “personal work”, I’m referring to any body of work that wasn’t paid for by a client; work you created out of sheer passion. Now, I’m not saying I am not passionate about my commissioned jobs! Lately I’ve been fortunate to work on some truly interesting stuff that keeps me wired all day long. However, what I am talking about is a project that comes 100% from your soul. While your commissioned work may be an artistic collaboration with a brand or product, your personal work is an extension of yourself.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share how committing to personal projects can directly benefit your portfolio and career as a whole. Even if a photographer has never done a commercial shoot before, it doesn’t mean they can’t get hired off a body of personal work that relates to a brief. Whether you like to shoot landscapes, beautiful women, quirky characters or still life, there is a client out there that is looking for this type of work. For me, its environmental portraits. Images of humans in their surroundings extends to everywhere around the globe, not just the endangered cultures in remote locations I choose to focus on. There is a market for this type of photography, as well as many types of photography you like to work with, I’m sure.


chasejarvis_JoeyL_killing_lincoln_movie_poster_blog
The movie poster above, shot for National Geographic’s “Killing Lincoln” just came out the other day. I think it’s a perfect example of my personal style extending to a commissioned job. The lighting is actually quite simple. A Briese DP90 camera left, high above eye-level of the actors, angled in such a way to get dramatic shadows on the opposite side of the face. Inside is a 5K bulb, which allowed me to get an exposure ideal for my Phase One back- which only really shoots up to ISO200 before the grain is terrible. There are 3 constant lights on the background set- 2k Arri fresnels at the left and right side, and a 5k Arri fresnel in the middle. A hazer machine brought in a thin layer of “fog” to help the light feel more painterly. The microscopic particles of the haze catch the light trails. To view more information about this project, check out my blog post here.



Now, I realize a lot of you are like me, and enjoy nerdy gear-related technical information too, so I’m dropping some of those goodies below each one of the photos.

Okay, let’s start with the 3 main points:

1- Personal Work Keeps The Portfolio fresh
ChaseJarivs_joey_l_photographer_turkana
Above you will see me half submerged in Lake Turkana, Ethiopia, photographing a man named Shallowgo checking his fishing nets. The final image is below. I’m shooting with Mamiya 645DF with Phase One P65+ Digital Back. Assistant is holding Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octa and a Profoto 7b power pack.



You’d be surprised at how many artistic people there are out there who reach a certain level, then simply give up on improving their craft. Even photographers with extensive client lists who were once busy can find themselves going through dry periods because they forgot the value of progressing their work to even greater heights and creating something new.

In the past, I have absolutely been guilty of this. Sometimes I work myself into a creative funk and it takes months to realize I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough. Then all of a sudden, a storm of new ideas hits me, and I start experimenting and trying new things I’ve never done before. Sometimes these new shoots work out and provide valuable pieces to my portfolio, but sometimes they don’t work at all. Even if I spend a week in pre-production, a whole day shooting, and walk away with one new picture that is portfolio worthy, I’m happy. I recommend a photographer’s portfolio to not last over 30-50 images, so a single photo every once and awhile is going to build this body of work in no time.

The best thing about testing new ideas in a personal setting is that there is no pressure to deliver. A real commercial set where people have paid you to deliver a certain amount of key images is not exactly the place to be testing new wonky ideas you aren’t sure will work. So, you start a guinea pig project on your own time to try new things, and hopefully you can implement what you learned on paid gigs later.

Failure is okay. After all, as photographers and filmmakers we don’t even have to show the world the work we failed all. In our portfolios, all we show is a pretty little selection of where we succeeded. The rest can stay hidden on a hard drive forever, (which you can decide to keep or destroy with a sledge hammer, depending on how bad it was.)

















2- Passion Draws Eyes
ChaseJarivs_JoeL._sadhu_varanasi





When he was young, Lal Baba’s parents arranged a marriage for him. Uncertain about his future, he ran away from home in Bihar Siwan and took up the lifelong task of becoming a sadhu. This was taken in Varanasi, India.



I like to show people updated portfolios. Whether I meet new potential clients, or co-workers who have known my work for years, I always like to start the meeting with new personal work. This way, these new images become a conversation piece, since there are usually some interesting stories behind how the images came to be. “I got a flat tire in Ethiopia and was stranded for days” can be an interesting conversation.

Passion doesn’t lie. When other photographer’s show me their work and I can hear an undeniable sense of excitement in their voice, it gets me interested in what they have to say. Instead of pretending to be excited about work that’s several years old, it’s much better just to go out and create something new that keeps your blood pumping.

Sharing personal work is one simple way of showing passion. The last person someone wants to hire is someone who doesn’t care about what they do, and only creates when they’re on a job. There is a way better vibe, and it is easier to be productive around motivated people.

3 – Personal Work Gets You Hired To Shoot What You Like to Shoot

ChaseJarvis_JoeyL._robert_de_niro

The above portrait I took of Robert De Niro was for Screen Actor’s Guild which has light reminiscent of my personal portraits. 


When you photograph a subject or in a certain style that interest you, it’s usually the same style you end up getting hired to shoot. An art director has a lot of confidence in hiring a photographer who has already shot something that vaguely matches their vision for the project. Personally, a lot of the times I am hired because of what’s already in my portfolio. I often hear something like “we used this photo of yours as a reference, and we’d love if you could create something similar for our photoshoot.” This doesn’t mean you should do the exact same thing you’ve already done, it just means that you’re being hired for what you’re most passionate about! Now it’s time to apply those skills for other purposes. I’ve developed a lot of skills I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for keeping myself busy. For example, I’ve found that working with foreign subjects who aren’t used to photography has really boosted my communication skills in every aspect of my life. Another example, is that I use a lot of the same lighting styles first developed in a safe, controlled studio setting when shooting in the field.

Another key thing I’d like to mention here is spreading your photographs by using the power of the internet. With todays technology there’s no excuse for your work not be seen. With social media, blogs and photography contests such as PDN, if you do good work, someone is going to see it and share it. This doesn’t mean that these tools do the work for you, but it does give you a platform that spreads your work instantly. The more eyeballs on my portfolio, the more likely it is that a single one of those pairs of eyeballs can translate into a real job.

So now a plan of action. Ask yourself these question: What’s something you’ve always wanted to photograph that excites you? How are you going to photograph it differently, and make it yours? And most importantly — how are you going to make it happen?

My Next Personal Project

I want to share my next kickass personal project with you. It’s overly ambitious, and recently keeps me up at night with extreme jolts of both fear and passion. (A good sign- this means it’s something worth doing.)

People of the Delta is my first major film project, which was written in collaboration with the tribes I’ve photographed in Southern Ethiopia while working on my personal series “The Cradle of Mankind.” This video pretty much sums up everything I could write about the film in this post, so if you’re interested, take a gander here:

Kickstarter Campaign for: “People of the Delta” Film Project from Joey L on Vimeo.

You can check out everything about the project on the Kickstarter website here:
I’m not going to ask you to back this project unless you can get something valuable in return. I’ve set up a bunch of interesting rewards geared at photographer’s to help this project happen. On the Kickstarter site, you’ll find all sorts of rewards. There are downloads of the final project, a complete lighting and production tutorial on the creation of the film, gallery prints, gear with my photos on it, and even portfolio reviews where I’ll sit down with you on Skype to have a one to one chat.

Another reward I just launched is an NYC photography workshop with me, and spaces are quite limited. If you’d like to meet me and see me ramble about Lighting, Photoshop and other stuff related to our industry, this would be a good chance.

I’m guessing that if you’ve sat there and read this whole article, you’re passionate enough about what we do to go out there and start your own project. You don’t need fancy tools or a plane ticket to some remote place, all you really need is a vision and a strong desire to make it happen.

Joey L.

People of the Delta Kickstarter:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joeyl/people-of-the-delta-film-project
Portfolio Website: http://www.joeyL.com
Behind the Scenes Blog: http://www.joeyL.com/blog
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joeyldotcom
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joey-L-The-Photographer/166804470002802

How to Raise Your Rates, Deliver Better Work & Get Paid What You Deserve — [Guest Post by Ramit Sethi]

Photo: Mike Folden

No one has single-handedly given me better insight about the business side of art/photography than New York Times best-selling author, Ramit Sethi. As artists, if we want to make a living with our work, we – like it or not – must foster our business/entrepreneurial skills, we must realize the value of our work, and we must know how to get paid. In this tight little guest post, I asked Ramit to share one of his favorite tips on finding high-quality clients. I’ve used his strategies, and they work. A worthy read. – Chase

When Chase asked me to come on chasejarvisLIVE a while back talk about the business side of photography, I decided to share some material I’d never shared before.

One of the most popular segments was the Briefcase Technique, a way to hook clients into your work, “wow” them, and differentiate your approach from most other creatives.

Hop into the interview below and skip to 34:00 to hear me and Chase talk about the “Briefcase Technique” – or in this case, let’s call it the “portfolio technique”.

This technique allows you to:
• Instantly increase your rate and get paid what you deserve
• Filter the serious clients apart from “looky-loo” prospects who waste your time and never pay
• Stand out from the bottom-barrel competition, who will offer their services for $200 and a ball of yarn

Best of all, using the Briefcase Technique, you’ll actually deliver a better service to your clients — one they’ll be thrilled to pay for.

If at all in the past you’ve wondered why clients didn’t select you, or why they argue with you about your rate, there is a way to sidestep that entire conversation.

I’ve hired many photographers, videographers, editors, writers, and designers, so today, I want to give you a peek inside your client’s minds — and share the truth that many clients won’t tell you:

• Clients are rarely interested in art for art’s sake. They’re interested in business — usually the bottom line.
• That means if you go to them talking about your camera equipment, or how long you spend on copywriting, they will stare at you and get confused. When you speak the client’s language — how you can save them time, cut costs, or best of all, earn them more money — they will instantly trust you as “one of them.”
• The most successful photographers are NOT necessarily the most classically “talented” ones. They’re the ones who understand their clients’ hopes, fears, and dreams best — and articulate it in the client’s language. Once you can do that, money is a mere triviality.

The Briefcase Technique will show you how to speak your clients’ language. It seems simple, but the video masks the deep research that goes into knocking your client’s socks off.

When you can do this effectively, you can triple your rates, negotiate $10,000+ raises, and land clients that previously demanded 10+ years of experience. My students have done each of these things using the Briefcase Technique.

Here’s the video on exactly how to do it:


If you’re still curious about more details on how to raise your rates, I put together a free mini-course for you:
http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/earn1k/chasejarvis-raise-your-rates/

Good luck.

Holiday Sale + Round-the-Clock Creative Education Streaming at CreativeLIVE.com

What does a stream of non-stop 24/7 creative education look like? In case you’ve been on vacation, it looks like what http://www.creativeLIVE.com/live has looked like for the past two weeks…and will continue to look for the remaining few days of 2012. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of the year, you can join a community of more than 1 million people strong and check out the most popular segments of streaming video education on photo & video, business & productivity, design & software courses as well to teach you real skills that will improve your work or hobby and help you run your creative business.

But wait, like the Ginsu steak knives…there’s more. As a big thank you for all this community support you’ve given creativeLIVE.com throughout 2012, yours truly and the creativeLIVE crew have put all courses on sale at 20% off and — for an even beefier savings — check out discounted bundles of coursework on Photo Essentials, Wedding Photography, Post Production and more. All of these bundles have more than 40 hours (if I’m not mistaken…), of the highest quality video instruction content available from many of the world’s best creative instructors.

Thanks again for supporting creativeLIVE + and our little creative revolution.

And YES there is a limited time to this offer. Ends 12/31/12. Get some.

New Terms of Use for Instagram: Users React with Outrage

chasejarvis_INSTAGRAM ANOTHER UPDATE 12/19: today Instagram did a much better job in the media explaining their position – specifically around not “selling” your images as in “here ya go company X, use this in your next billboard”. As an artist & entrepreneur, having been involved in IP licensing all my professional career and navigated these waters before…as such I think I understand their challenge better than most. The legalese required around IP creators (in this case photographers using the platform ) in a social sharing environment is tricky and has some specific requirements and often positions such a service in an unintended light. Clearly IG wants to make money in/around your photos – they’re a business. But without getting in the weeds on that, the key point they articulated more clearly today is their lack of intent to outright “sell” images. That’s not their game – at least not yet. I’d guess those inside the org are trying to position the widest possible array of future revenue streams so that they don’t have to change the ToC much in the future as these things always create a shitstorm for the social sites and they can’t do that without going to great lengths to explain this to their community. There are still open issues that many creators will take up with such ToC (as there are in Fbook for example), so there is still work on their part to be done, but there is likely a future where the words in the ToC can better capture the ground between Instagram and it’s users. TBD.
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UPDATE 3:00pm Pacific Time 12/18: Instagram has rescinded its position. I applaud them. I hope what comes back (and it will) will be better, and more in accordance with the community they created in the first place. Check out co-founder statement here.
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NEWS: You might remember the well-known mobile phone app Instagram made big news a few months back when it was acquired by Facebook (FB) for $1 billion. Instagram is back in the news today, especially…ahem…with creatives and photographers, with an update to its terms of service that will let the company sell users’ photos to other companies.

The new terms of use (below for your reference), effective January 16, have many changes — but the biggest changes came in the section about users’ rights. “A business or other entity may pay” Instagram to display users’ photos and other details “in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Users can’t opt out of the new provisions. The only way to avoid them is to delete your Instagram account.

This is a rather large change effing ginormous change in the terms. The current terms simply note that “Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content.” The new terms make it a “sub-licensable” agreement, with an updated emphasis seemingly focused on Instagram’s ability give content to third parties. In addition, users waive their rights to a class-action lawsuit or class-wide arbitration. A note at the top of the new terms, in bolded caps, says that any dispute between Instagram and a user “will be resolved by binding, individual arbitration,” unless the user opts out of the provision in writing. (If you want to do that, you need to snail mail in your opt-out statement. The address is buried in the Terms of Use: search for “Arbitration Opt-out.”)

ANALYSIS: Instagram is blowing it hard on both the WHAT (selling out your images with no profit to you) and the HOW…by changing the ToC to gobble up your imagery bound to by using the service after allowing users to build up huge followings and large libraries of imagery. Lame sauce and an assault on your work.

Let’s call it what it is… this idea isn’t new, it’s just a shitty way – the shittiest way – of going about monetization. In truth, I had plans to allow photographers to opt into a sales program as a source of income for photogs if they so desired back in 2009 when I launched Best Camera app, the first photo app to share images direct to social networks (top 20 App of 2009 – Wired, NYTimes, Macworld, etc), but there were key differences then…the same key differences that, if I were in charge of Instagram’s ToC (and what I had in my roadmap for Best Camera before it was derailed), could make/have made a huge benefit for photographers. Here’s a different approach that would be acceptable

1. Make the program an opt in program. Check a box in your user settings that says “this image can be sold (or x’d or y’d whatever)”, with some legal jargon, and have only those images be available in the marketplace. Make it image specific. For the people who want to manage that – who want to earn money – this won’t be a burden. For those who don’t want to play, it’ snot an issue.

2. Assuming #1 above, then split the revenue with the photographer. As the creator, you should own the right to exploit the work you create. A simple rev share would generate tons of dough and be perceived as a win for photography, not an attack on it by a multi billion dollar company.

There are just two things that could have changed today’s news into a huge win instead of a f*&king disaster. And FWIW, there are 100 other ways to monetize their platform that could be a win for content creators instead of an assault. If they need help, Kevin (founder), just give me a ring. I’ll help outline some alt options for you.

I’m flattered that not so long ago Instagram was a lift and stamp copy of Best Camera. I had my reasons for letting BC go that way and I think they did a marvelous job of executing – better than I ever could have done, especially without giving up my career as an artist. I love the results of what they’ve been able to build, almost flawlessly to date, a massive global community creating photos! But let’s face it. Instagram was a silicon valley startup on its second pivot (translation: tap into something hot right now and try to make it happen to get your investors money back…which they did). They saw market opportunity, not photography. The founders are nice guys (we have lots of the same friends) who certainly “like” photography, but they are not photographers, and they don’t have the sensitivities IMHO required to navigate the creators’ landscape (or if they have them, we have’t seen them yet…). I hope they can recover. For them, for you. I actually think they CAN recover. These guys are super smart and I’ll be in support of them if they can change and adapt to what the world wants – fair terms. But… For now, I recommend that those of you on the platform let them know that this isn’t cool.

SPIKE – the Robotic Phantom Camera – Shoots Better Than You

Across the pond from me in Germany there is some stunning work getting kicked out of a little boutique firm called The Marmalade that you should know about.

I’m drawn to more than just the final result…I love HOW they’re acheiving it too… Behind the scenes thinking and such below. Have a great Monday.

Learn How To Learn Anything, Hack Any System & Be Your Best: Tim Ferriss on creativeLIVE

UPDATED AGAIN WITH A TREAT: SPECIAL OFFER: This is LIVE right NOW. Buy the Tim Ferriss creativeLIVE course #4HourLife and get a free copy of Tim’s new book. Click for details http://cr8.lv/4-Hour_promo. Sale ends today! (somewhere around a $35 value …book + shipping)
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UPDATE: Tim is LIVE NOW… both today and tomorrow. Tune in here at creativeLIVE.com/live
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Short version: renowned 4-hour-everything guy Tim Ferriss is gonna be on creativeLIVE next week for 2 full days of badass, actionable inspiration and instruction. Go here for details.

More detailed version and how this relates to you: One of the most important characteristics in making one’s way through a creative career or any entrepreneurial endeavor is learning what’s most important and executing against it. What do I need to know and how do I acquire that skill, be it learning how to light with strobes, make a music video, dominate at Photoshop OR…. literally anything else. In short, you want to learn how to learn. How fast you can learn, grow, be in the system while simulataneously hacking it is, in my humble opinion, crucial to success in any field.

Enter, my pal Tim Ferriss. Tim takes all this to the next level. I’ve personally learned more from him about ‘how to hack learning’ than anyone else. You’ve probably read or seen one of his previous #1 NYTime Best selling books (4 Hour Work Week + 4 Hour Body) OR seen him on one of my most popular chasejarvisLIVE’s ever (I taught him how to build a studio set and then he photographs a bikini model), but the real news I want to share with you here is twofold:

1. He has a new, super badass book coming out in 2 weeks; and

2. More importantly he’s bringing this new book + BOTH previous books to life in realtime on creativeLIVE (the online learning channel I co-founded) next week. Two full days of live, interactive learning with Tim and host of world class experts. Not gonna lie to you, I’m canceling all other obligations and will be sitting in the soundstage during the entire broadcast.

I’ve seen the syllabus for the course, it’s insanely inspiring and ambitious. I’m an excitable guy, but I’m rarely as hyped as I am for this workshop. Learn how to learn anything from the meta-learning expert. The course is live on creativeLIVE on November 14th + 15th. Check it out here if you want more info or to register to attend online.

You can order the book here from Amazon. Check out Tim’s blog here.

Here’s his creativeLIVE pitch:

[the book trailer video was shot by my pal, director Adam Patch. Head on over to the trailer on YouTube here and leave a comment if you dig.]

tim ferriss on creativeLIVE

Be Bold, Be Different [chasejarvisLIVE re-watch with Snowboarding Legend Travis Rice]

You’ve heard me say it before – don’t sink all your effort into being incrementally better. Instead be DIFFERENT. Be BOLD.

This episode of chasejarvisLIVE was focused specifically on this simple idea. And my special guests for this episode epitomize this ‘different’ and ‘bold’ mantra as well as anyone I know. Like all of my guests, these guys aren’t ensconced in the “this is how it is” photo industry – they’re innovators from a parallel universe….

Yes, Travis Rice is the best snowboarder in the world. But what makes him the subject of this #cjLIVE is not really his skill. It’s that he is an innovator, a risk taker, a visionary the star of the most progressive action sports film ever made (The Art of Flight). He’s a bold and creative leader in his crowded and noisy industry.

Some take-aways from this show:
_be bold – as in snowboarding risk is a part of the game
_be different – build your own way down the mountain -as Travis did with SuperNatural)
_get used to hearing “no” when they say your idea is “crazy”… you’re probably on the right path
_protect what you believe in- know when to be the one saying “no”to opportunities that are not the right fit.
_life is long- the amount of things you can create, learn and share in a lifetime is massive.

Analogously, Chad Jackson hails from Brain Farm Digital Cinema. He and his partner Curt Morgan are the makers of the most innovative, high caliber and DIFFERENT action sports films in the world (eg. The Art of Flight). By using unique techniques and special cameras (like the phantom), leveraging relationships and their special vision, they have broken away from the old action sports film paradigm to set a new bar, a different bar.

It was an enlightening experience speaking with Travis and Chad. Enjoy the re-watch.

chasejarvisliveS03E12_travisrice

chasejarvisliveS03E12_travisrice

chasejarvisliveS03E12_travisrice

Eyeist.com Helps You Build a Kickass Portfolio

In case you missed our December 6th, 2011 episode of chasejarvisLIVE, it was all about the portfolio. We had Allegra Wilde, visual strategist and co-founder of eyeist.com on the show, talking about common mis-steps and some of the best ways for your work to get noticed. She even gave us a quick portfolio review and a sneak peek at her upcoming service eyeist.com. Yesterday Allegra and her partners launched their product for the world. Check it out here. It’s a service that will truly help photographers worldwide.

The company has assembled a team of over 50 reviewers, who are among the most respected photo experts and authorities in the field including Photo Editors, Publishers, Photographers, Advertising Agency Art Buyers, Photo Agents, Gallerists, Museum Curators and more.Registration and image uploading is free at Eyeist, and photographers can purchase their review from an a la carte menu of services including selecting a Basic Review and receiving a recorded oral critique, a Website Review, a Live Review in real-time using Eyeistʼs innovative interactive workspace, or a Photo Editing andSequencing review of their photography project. Base prices range from $100.00 to $350.00 and photographers can request a specific Eyeist Reviewer or ask to be automatically matched with a reviewer according to their needs. All of the reviews at Eyeist are completely private, but as an added public feature, there is a section of the site in which Reviewers can highlight work that has been submitted by photographers during the review process. These projects will be showcased in a specially curated “Reviewers Choice Gallery” which provides an open acknowledgement for the photographer in the eyes of the Eyeist Review Team. Allegra comments:

“Weʼve seen plenty of public forums that comment on photography, but this is the first time that experts have been given their own platform to contribute their opinion on what theyʼre seeing—and liking—all in one place.”

Business Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs with Ramit Sethi

ramit sethi chase jarvis creative live

Big news. Ramit Sethi is doing a 3 day intensive course on creativeLIVE starting today. Right NOW in fact. If you know who he is and why I’m so stoked, go to creativeLIVE.com/live RIGHT NOW for free. If you don’t need or want to earn money with your creative work then no worries – total respect – skip this post and jump over to 13 tips for a more creative success (one of my fav posts). But if you do want to earn money or make a living with your art and DONT know why I’m so pumped then read on….

BACKSTORY
One of the most popular cjLIVEs last year was the Ramit Sethi episode. More that 25,000 people watched the 60 min live broadcast from 100+ countries, another 100,000 hit the re-watch in various places. And for good reason – it was a game changer for lots of people. Ramit is not a creative guru, a filmmaker or a photographer – this blog, my constant spouting, etc are full of that yummy stuff. Ramit is different. He’s a genius at teaching creatives like you and me who lack some business chops how to position our work. By example, in that single chasejarvisLIVE episode Ramit went into very specific detail about:

// how to win jobs by preparing ahead… specifically the “portfolio” or “briefcase” techniques…

// how to negotiate higher rates for your creative work – the very specific words to use that demonstrate high end value and vision

// how to position yourself as a high end creator – not a commodity that goes to the lowest bidder

// how to position yourself as the prize in any negotiation around you and your work

I’ll be honest – the reason I hosted Ramit onto #cjLIVE was because we’d met last fall and I learned more about the business of positioning yourself in n 1 hour talking to Ramit over dinner than I had from anyone prior to him. More than agents, managers, Hollywood people, marketing people etc. It was a shock, because I considered myself pretty good at that shiz… but he blew me away. The reason? Turns out he’s a Stanford educated behavioral psychologist. He understands value, perception, human delivery, persuasion, confidence and so many other things that – until he revealed them to me – were just nebulous concepts.

So don’t be fooled by the title of his NY Times best-selling book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Yes, he’s a personal finance guru – and you should listen to him for that advice as well (my wife and I are on his savings “plan”) – but why you should watch his 3 day course at creativeLIVE this week is simple – he’s great at teaching all these soft skills I’m talking about that will separate you from the rest… landing gigs, scoring that agent, billing higher rates, and getting respect in a crowded and noisy industry.

Check it out.

[aside - I'll be dropping into his show on Friday for Q&A. Stay tuned to my social feeds]

How to Cultivate an Online Community — Re-cap from Aspen Panels at The Meeting 8

#TheMeeting8 – Recap Video from Aspen/Snowmass on Vimeo.

Some of you might have noticed that I dropped the behind-the-scenes video last week from the shooting of the Aspen-Snowmass campaign. I launched this immediately following a return visit to Aspen to attend The Meeting, the annual gathering of professional filmmakers, media, and brands. The folks at Aspen put together this cool re-cap video – check it out above.

Aspen is always well worth the visit, but late September is an especially stunning time of year. The foliage was popping, the films were mind-blowing and there was even a bit of professional education sprinkled into the mix. I participated in two panels – one as the moderator [Content Distribution] and one as a panelist that focused on how to cultivate online community . This panel was alongside my friends Robert Scoble, Gary Arndt and Alex Hillinger.

Some key take-aways from our panel:

_most of the most successful communities were born of interest and passion – not just the desire to “have” and audience (duh)

_giving content and expecting nothing in return is a key to building a successful communities

_social media is a tool. It is not THE point. Social Media is to Building Community as A Hammer is to Building a House

_spending time responding in person to positive AND negative comments is critical.

_taking advantage of opportunities for physical interactions are great community builders (eg: Recently, I did a tweet-up in South Africa that was an awesome one-on-one interaction with members of this community)

If you want to see the full panel discussions – the results are below for your viewing pleasure.

Pitch Your Creative Vision [chasejarvisLIVE rewatch]

Last week I hosted author and pitch guru Oren Klaff on chasejarvisLIVE. Wow. I knew it was going to be good – but we had no idea that there would be such a huge reaction to Oren and the information he shared from his book Pitch Anything. The community has been talking about it all week. So here it is again for your viewing and eternal viewing pleasure. Oren is not only the purveyor of more than $500 Million (yeah- read that twice) in successful pitches in a variety of industries – he also happens to be hilarious. Watch the episode to hear some of his epic quotes. He and his book – and a simple framework of how to make YOU and YOUR WORK become “the prize” — has helped me perhaps more than any other book on “selling” AND I think he can help you too.

Believing in your work is not an F-in tactic. -Oren Klaff

If you’ve been around my blog or this community for long, you’ll know that my focus is photography and directing, but most of all my guiding mantra is about living a more creative life – whether a photographer, filmmaker, designer, chef, painter, dancer, whatever. While we LOVE to focus on tapping into our “creative side” – take it from me, if you ever want to have a chance at earning a REAL LIVING with your creativity (or, hell, even making even a dime with your work) then being able to PITCH and SELL your work is essential. Don’t make me say that twice. The age-old idea of the starving artist is a sad, boring, and tired one. Better learn to talk about, position, pitch and sell what you make. This episode gives a road map to getting started.

Any of this resonate with you?

_ ever had anxiety about how to present your work to a client?
_are you confident with your skill as an artist – but discouraged by your ability to get paying work?
_have you ever seen a major campaign/exhibition and thought, “I can do better photos/film/copy than that?” …and wondered why you’re not getting the job?
_do you know that the demand for creatives going UP and is one of the fastest growing segments?

I already know your answer to those questions above. Check out the mission critical re-watch above for all the goods.

Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, Manfrotto and B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make and sell.

Please show them you care and follow them on Twitter at: @hpprint, @HasselbladBron, @manfrotto_tweet, @BHPhotoVideo

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