One of the challenges I have had since opening up my work studio to the fine art world is how do I market it. With all the hype around social media, I made the mistake of jumping in head first. With no basic understanding of marketing concepts, I soon began repeating the same errors over and over. In my push to better manage my marketing efficiency (or lack of it), I decided that it was time to take a workshop on Transformational Marketing and it was an eye opening :)
Today, there are 5 ways to buy and sell. To explain the different vehicles, the instructor used coffee as an example:
1) Commodities: The selling of the physical coffee beans;
2) Goods: The selling of your favourite package coffee at your local grocer;
3) Services: Enjoying a cup of joe at your favourite coffee shop;
4) Information: Purchasing of a recipe coffee book to satisfy your caffeine interest;
5) Experience: Enjoying a cup of coffee at the top of the CN Tower.
My photography, like many other artists falls under the 5th category. Sounds nice, my art provides an experience. BUT, after you leave a gallery showing my work, you probably will quickly forget about it as it did not change your point of view. Many who fall within the 5th category are trying to change that form and this has led to a 6th phase coined Transformational. In short, this new form can have an impact on your life (physically, mentally, socially and so forth) in the following doses:
1) Nano - changes one life in a very small way;
2) Micro - changes a small part of your life;
3) Macro - pushes one to become a better person - example: a set of stairs that plays music when two users walk them. This would allow one to become healthier as well as help develop social skills as it takes two to compose a tune;
4) Super - the ultimate life change.
Have you ever experienced the above as a consumer?
Soon, the instructor turned the mirror onto our work, challenging us to think of how our work could become Transformational. I automatically thought that I would be lucky if my work would fall under Nano, doomed to remain in the Experience state. Thankfully, after more pondering and group discussions, I realized that my initial assessment was incorrect.
For something to be transformational, it needs to encompass at least one of the following:
1) A Story
With that I posed the following question to myself:
With my photography, I want people to become more?
...aware and I want to use story telling, convergence as well as include a contribute factor.
This is when the flood gates began to slowly creep open. I was instantly reminded of my documentary work, where in fact my goal was to bring awareness to lost architectural details of place or a space via a carefully crafted visual and textual journey. These documentary projects transformed into unique small collections, with people acquiring unique pieces and in turn they become linked to one another via the story, the perfect convergence. This might result in a contributive factor, as the new piece hopefully reminds them to enjoy the simple yet overlooked unique moment/detail in their lives. I might be reaching for the stars with that last one, but the workshop did introduce some new elements that got me to stop and think. The past week I have been pondering, maybe I am more than just a Nano, I might be Micro! The challenge for me now is to validate the above as well as plot a path to a more Macro state. Work never ceases and fortunately, I love my job!
Wishing you a transformational day :)