View Full Version : Direction please?

05-25-2009, 04:34 AM
I guess my next step is to accumulate speaking merits - "13 for lectures on approved programs or for positions as instructor or lecturer at approved PPA affiliate schools".

How do I go about doing this? I've been developing a few courses - a few I've taught at the "night school" level in my former affiliate. How do I get this out to a larger group and/or receive merits for them.

The courses include:

1. Maternity Photography
2. Plus Size Photography
3. Home/Work balance - the reality of maintaing your photographic life without lose your wife (or husband).

In addition, I've been helping a few fellow photographers develop their business plans.

How do I transform these into speaking merits?
Thanks in advance!


05-26-2009, 07:10 PM
There are a few options to choose from when you go down the path towards the Photographic Craftsman degree.

1. You can "apply" to be a speaker within the affiliate groups. I suggest trying to do the California tour or like a Tennessee swing (a bunch of local affiliates within the same two week block). Now the tricky part is trying to get the affiliates to take you on. Getting noticed for the local's scene, a speaker needs to be either a good draw/famous/tracks well or FREE with a remotely interesting topic, reasonably good portfolio and some presentation experience.

Now getting noticed can be tricky and requires a little bit of work. I suggest doing/being some or all of the following:

a. Be a print competition luminary. Very few things fast rack’s a speaker more than being a competition champion. Now one doesn’t have to win everything all the time but one get’s noticed a lot more if their name keeps popping up on the list of winners. I was once told that people who get the coveted 4/4 case are kept track of. See people who are often in charge of finding / or approving speakers pay attention to the regional and nationals print comp results.

b. Get on board with a major sponsor. Now this is the other fast track path to craftsman. Most major sponsors like Canon are regularly approached by the associations for speakers. Once you get on board with one, then you’ll start getting sent. I suggest figuring out who you spend the money most at and talk to them. See if they’ve got a speaking team and see if they would consider including you.

c. **Make friends** with your local and state groups. Local groups are almost like families and family (supposed to) takes care of each other. Be visible around your state group, show up, volunteer at the conventions/functions and you may well be the next early bird (sucker err intro schedule) speaker. Hanging around sad events often leads to exposure to association hierarchies. BTW, the ourppa.com is a family as well. Oh and don't forget that some deals are made at the bar or over dinner.

2. If none of the above approaches appeal to you, then I suggest hosting your own Super Monday's, Webinar's and/or PPA approved lectures. Thing about super Monday is, most only really get a few students and you don’t get paid (you actually shell out money for coffee, snacks, power) so it’s really a donation (most say, it's the price for the merit) of your time (whole day program) and resources. Some use the SM’s as a venue to try out a new program or a warm up for a bigger venue.

Just some thoughts for now and let me add that there’s a whole lot more to the speaking circuit than meets the eye.

Further topics...

Getting paid to speak by the associations and/or sponsors
Making money from students
Getting invited back
Making it to the big show (Nationals, WPPI and overseas speaking engagements).
Setting up your own "successful" classes and speaking tours.

05-26-2009, 07:36 PM
Hi Jill;

I got Craftsman, in 3 years, like this. I taught an early bird at one of my state association's meetings. It went well and I ended up teaching at a state convention. The word went out with my friends who were also members in sub state size groups. And, a couple state friends put out the word and got me teaching gigs in 3 other states. If you have a course subject that people like the word will get out. The key is being a member of your state group, as far as I am concerned.

08-17-2009, 07:56 PM
Hey Jill, great to see you here online!!
Put together a media kit, with your p.r.photo, your bio, examples of your work, and class topics. Contact the directors of the Affiliate schools, and send it to them, with a cover letter, stating that you are intested in teaching at the schools. Also send it to State Affiilate Convention chairman, who are usually booking for conventions a year in advance....then also, write some articles that can be published in the Affliate magazines, at no charge...this helps to build your name, and credibiltiy within that community.
Also, volunteer to teach a Super Monday class....that also will build your speaking bio on that end, and you will recieve a teaching merit for that.
Many local associations, can offer a merit to speak, in lieu of payment. Ask one assoiation for their reference to other accociations....
Many people set their minds to doing this in one year... and "hunker down" and do it.
You can also write an article, illustrated for PPA magazine, and recieve merits for publications.... BE SURE YOU KEEP RECORDS and your merits in a file, to document, in case there is ever any question. You are responsible for the documentation , if there is ever any question. One last thought, corporate sponsorship money has really dried up to our associations, and is really a challenge. Many speakers have created product to sell, when they speak, compensating for the lack of sponsorship money to help pay them....
Just be very carefully NOT to sell from the platform. You will not be invited to many associaitons if you have that reputation.
Best of luck! You go girl!!

08-17-2009, 09:23 PM
Jill, Marc and Carol have given some good advice. The first thing I did was put together some information so I seemed more "prepared" as a speaker (we all know I am.... but *they* need to know that too).

My speaking topics developed off of what I've been doing a lot of. Talking about Facebook, blogs, and websites is easy for me, and is information that photographers want to learn.

Even if you don't get a widely known sponsor, try talking to your lab. Mine (JD Photo Imaging (http://jdphotoimaging.com)) has happily sponsored me, and been more than generous in supporting my speaking "career" ;). Do a program at your lab -- I just did this, and it went very well. Plus, I have a nice "testimonial" from my lab now:

Thanks for coming to our lab to teach social networking to photographers. All I can say is "Wow - you get it!"

You took everything we've been sharing about marketing with Facebook and Twitter and condensed it into two hours that were easy to follow, interesting, and lots of fun.

If photographers aren't following you on Facebook or your blog - or attending one of your classes - I believe they are missing out on the most important marketing trend this year.

Tom Hicks, Owner
JD Photo Imaging
Also, you can ask your friends in other associations who is "in charge" of selecting speakers. Once you have a name, you can send an introduction, mentioning how you are familiar with the organization.

08-18-2009, 06:46 PM
Don't forget about Super Monday. You can earn two speaking merits for hosting a one-day class. PPA is now accepting applications for the spring 2010 program. Go to http://www.ppa.com/education-events/sm_new.php for details.

08-18-2009, 07:14 PM
network, network, network! You've gotten some great advice so far, and I'll just add a few more nuggets in. Depending on the kind of experience you have speaking, it's usually best to start out locally, get the kinks worked out, and proceed from there. Imaging USA is a great place to network if you'd like to start speaking outside of your local area. And Greg is right, Super Monday is a great venue for a program. It's labor-intensive because you're building an 8-hour program, but the preparation is a great way to figure out what and how you want to talk about your subject.

08-29-2009, 03:40 AM
not to thread jack, but I just wanted to offer thanks, that was all profoundly helpful advice for me as a newbie :)