RMD Hub. To do or not to do, that is the question.
I’m fairly confident this is going to take me an entire day to write. And as a self-indulgent long format essay, when complete, nobody will probably bother to read. I could be right. But write it I will. I have an entire day to do so and I’ll explain why that is so, later.
Marketing guru Seth Godin suggests…write stuff! Everyday. Don’t care if anyone reads it. You are writing it for your own enjoyment and benefit. If others read it, well bravo. Good for them!
So today (Monday) is RMD Commercial day, and since this piece will be shared on the RMDC website/blog and dedicated to my dedicated LinkedIN and Instagram pages, I can justify taking an entire day to write it. This is all part of the RMD Hub program. What on earth am I talking about? Well if you persevere, it will become more evident further on!
You see I’ve never been interested in ‘specialist’. Too much of one thing is a bad thing in my book. As a photographer I’ve had many interests, straddled many industries. And over the past 30 years as a professional I’ve been acutely aware that my interests have changed. All the while the industries I’ve served have changed too. We all know the saying ‘adapt or die’ or ‘sort the chaff from the wheat’! Might we all agree, nothing stays the same forever? I believe change is a good thing. It forces me re-evaluate. Learn new things. Re-focus.
As a result of my varied professional agendas, I ‘time manage’ my week and my focus by allocating a different day to a specific area of my business.
My main professional agenda includes; working with great corporate clients. Selling my fine art photographic prints via an online e-commerce website. Taking an environmental stance. And shooting dark, gritty personal street photography projects, that I call quasi-fictional fantasies, which carry a neo-noir vibe and form part of my fine art agenda.
My secondary interests include considering ways to conduct ‘photo workshops’ and as a cosplay junkie, I’ve even dabbled with a walk-in studio portrait concept that is wholly about escapism, fantasy and dressing up in silly costumes.
Wait there is more!
Within each agenda I subdivide that into another set of interests. So for example my dedicated corporate website www.richardmarkdobson.org showcases my hospitality, industrial, travel and portraiture work. I can further divide that up by deciding what kind of hotels/hospitality clients I seek? Or within my industrial tab, chop that further to include my growing interest in space, aerospace and tech industries. Within tech I split that into robotics and UAV start ups.
Confused yet? Wait it gets even deeper 🙂
“Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech used in reference to a person who has dabbled in many skills, rather than gaining expertise by focusing on one. The shortened version “a jack of all trades” is often a compliment for a person who is good at fixing things, and has a very good broad knowledge.
I’ve tussled with this conundrum as a photographer for many years. As mentioned, I’ve had many professional ambitions and interests. I still do. Picking up a camera over 40 years ago, set in motion a fabulous career and life of adventure, but along the way there has always been this niggling question in the back of my mind. Am I diluting ‘brand’ Richard Mark Dobson by working across multiple-industry platforms?
Can or should a photographer attempt to be a photojournalist, corporate advertising and art photographer all at the same time? I’d be interested to know what other people think!
And it gets more complicated….
For example. If one decides to be a full time photo-journalist. Does one do nothing more than shoot reportage stories? Even within this ‘professional category’ some would argue that one has to decide yet again whether to focus on humanitarian or environmental issues? Or just cover breaking news? What about taking the more leisurely approach of story telling through long format features?
As a commercial/corporate photographer, does one just seek out aerospace or hospitality clients? What are the moral dilemmas of approaching oil and gas clients? Yes it can be good money, but possibly for all the wrong reasons. What about chasing down the best paid work of all, ie. choosing to be an advertising photographer? Some people would say it’s selling out shooting diapers! Or again morally repugnant, signing up for liquor or tobacco campaigns. But heck, personally I love shooting great advertising campaigns. How do you make decisions about what campaigns to choose. It’s only the A-List that get to pick their jobs. I’ve never aspired to be an A-lister. All I want to do is follow my interests and do good work.
I’ve learned a lot from having the audacity to try different things;
I’ve shot award winning ads…
chased down truckers with hookers for French GEO magazine…
photographed some great hotels…
created some lovely abstract art…
taught some gifted students…
photographed friends wanting to don costumes…
taken pride in my portraiture work…
So a personal level, I shrug off the notion that I must or should just concentrate on one aspect of photography.
Hence I’ve created the RMD Hub. What is the RMD Hub and should it even exist? Some would argue that it can be counter productive or even downright dangerous to showcase too much on one platform. I think it’s just impractical.
I’ve purposely set up 7 different websites. I wholly promote three and let four lie in the background. I pay a yearly premium on those three, and the rest are free/generic URL, leave banner ads on wix sites. I have 5 Instagram pages. 3 Facebook pages. I have set up three different business pages on LinkedIN. I spend 80% of my time, promoting brand RMD and lead generation on LinkedIn. I have 5 Instagram pages. 3 Facebook pages. I have set up three different business pages on LinkedIN. I spend 80% of my time, promoting brand RMD and lead generation on LinkedIn.
I think it’s just impractical. I’ve purposely set up 7 different websites. I wholly promote three and let four lie in the background. I pay a yearly premium on those three, and the rest are free/generic URL, leave banner ads on wix sites. I have 5 Instagram pages. 3 Facebook pages. I have set up three different business pages on LinkedIN. I spend 80% of my time, promoting brand RMD and lead generation on LinkedIn.
It might all sound like sheer madness. Maybe it is. But at the same time, I believe it’s better to have different windows for different agendas. Point relevant people, clients or customers to relevant websites!!!!!
But to tie my varied photography interests together, make sure I stay focused and allow search engines to find me, I have created RMD Hub. The introduction section of that website will explain how it all works 🙂