Affiliate Brainstorming - Page 3
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  1. #21

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    It was started in the 1930s. We've been members for 19 years.
    Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.-Charlie Chaplin

    CPF-Certified Picture Framer

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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

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    OK, keep an eye out on the next installment.
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Palmyra, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,214

    Default When will ????

    Hi Michael;

    When will you be visiting a meeting of PPAofPA ? Keith & Holly Howe will be our kick off first day speakers at our upcoming convention on Sunday April 19th. (hint, hint ) And, Don Chick is one of the print competition judges too.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

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    Quote Originally Posted by D._Craig_Flory View Post
    Hi Michael;

    When will you be visiting a meeting of PPAofPA ? Keith & Holly Howe will be our kick off first day speakers at our upcoming convention on Sunday April 19th. (hint, hint ) And, Don Chick is one of the print competition judges too.
    I'll be in Atlanta during that time for my inaugural board meeting. The "visit" would be a rather tough commute
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Springfield, Illinois
    Posts
    575

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    For what it's worth from a part timer. I've already talked about a problem I had which was the straw that made me leave the Illinois association. http://www.ppa.com/community/forums/...253#post199253


    So here is my 2 cents. I have been doing this part time for better than 5 years and in 53 months, I will being doing it full time . We are nearing completion of our 3200 sq. ft. studio and while I have never had any "Official" training, I am a sponge. I read every day and I am studying to take the test. I attended the State Conventions, the PPA Make More Money convention and have my hotel reservations for Imaging next January. So....

    When we (my wife and I) joined the Illinois association, the first morning we had the membership chairman all over the new people welcoming us to the association. Really made all the new members feel good. By lunch, we were on our own and it quickly turned into a good old buddies event and I and the other new people were left in the corner with no one to dance with. It is very obvious that our convention is a party time for those who have been friends for a long time and "are" the officers, etc. I do not find that they are friendly to anyone outside of their group (but ask a question and they will give you an answer). None of them, from my point of view, take a new member under their wing and just make them welcome. The only two functions they do are the two conferences each year and a magazine that highlights all the "In" people. Kudos to those that have monthly meetings, study groups, etc.

    I was an aspiring member and through the conventions I learned to price my work like it should be. I learned a lot of things that helped me grow and get to the place where I felt confident enough to invest $100,000 in building a studio. The membership is a lot of the life blood of the associations I would think, and as such, a lot of time should be directed at finding new members and keeping them. I would not limit what aspiring members could do, charge them more, etc. They are just like the digital Debbies, those that are serious about the profession will grow and stay and those that are hobbiest will leave after injecting some money into the association.
    Roger Williams, CPP
    www.Tranquility-art.com Portrait/Wedding
    www.TAP-Online.net Sports when time allows

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

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    Roger, you are not alone. In fact, without getting into my soon to be Governance" message, many state associations have been exhibiting just the things you mentioned. Many associations (not just states) fail to see that this is a new era, and the experience is what drives members to love their associations, and retain their loyalty. Unfortunately, what makes the associations wake up, as California did, was to go to near catastrophic levels before those loyal to the association realized that their association that they love is going to BK (bankruptcy).

    Right now, I am in a process of creating "Modern Models" of how associations should look like. California would be a perfect model because I sat through a meeting three years ago that announced that we were $60,000 in debt with no money in the bank, and we had some other nasty encumbrances that I can't mention. At that meeting we did a two day brain-storming with a commitment that California was worth saving. At our convention this year, we had our first General meeting of the members to get an update on the state of the state. The great news is that California, in three years (saying "short" would be a lie) a balance sheet of nearly $300,000 in the positive was reported! Add to this, we grew the membership by 150 new members so far this year.

    It took a lot of dedicated work and hardship from the last three executive boards and to say we're proud of them is a huge understatement. The key thing is that people are buzzing about PP California. And that's what is needed in the affiliates of PPA.
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,208

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_Gan View Post
    ...we were $60,000 in debt with no money in the bank,...The great news is that California, in three years (saying "short" would be a lie) a balance sheet of nearly $300,000 in the positive was reported! Add to this, we grew the membership by 150 new members so far this year.
    That's pretty impressive turnaround. I'd love to see that happen here in MI. Did you develop a plan of action for getting the younger generation (20's + 30's) to apply for membership as well? That's something we are lacking... I obviously fit in that age range, but I'm more of an exception than the rule. Some of my friends who are the same age don't really see any benefits of local PPA membership -- I would love to get that preconception changed
    Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
    bphotoart :: learnwithbetsy :: email

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Springfield, Illinois
    Posts
    575

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    Michael,

    I was sitting at lunch just now reading my new copy of Professional Photographer, the article on page 22, Bright Beginnings. As I read it I finally figured out what it was that disappointed me so by our affiliate. After attending a LOT of seminars on how we need to separate ourselves from everyone else by providing the very best customer service and connecting with our clients on a personal level (I agree with this 100%), that is what is missing at the affiliate level. When my wife and I attended the PPA Make More Money conference in Memphis, Al Hopper started up a conversation with us. We talked for about 20 minutes about my family, the business, PPA and a lot of other things. I left the conference feeling really good. Imagine, someone that important taking that much time just to talk to us, someone he did not even know. Now jump back to the affiliate. Like I said previously, if I asked a question, the officers, speakers and or judges were glad to answer my question but that was it. At one of the conferences I volunteered to help with the print judging crew, unpacking, et. al. While I helped a little bit I always felt on the outside and not a single person on the print crew even introduced themself to me.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe the affiliates need to start practicing what they are preaching and provide superior customer service to their members. Bring the members into the family and connect with them on a personal level. Have the Masters and the officers talk to the members one on one.

    OK, time for me to shut up now.
    Roger Williams, CPP
    www.Tranquility-art.com Portrait/Wedding
    www.TAP-Online.net Sports when time allows

  9. #29

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    Good points Roger. I've been trying to go out of my way to at least say hi to the new people I see at our state conventions. And at our local regional, I've been trying to make an effort to get to know our new members. We could be doing a better job at our local though and I'm sure it is one of the reasons we haven't been retaining new members like we should be. We do have a group that consists mostly of members who have been part of it for a long time and I notice that most of them don't really go out of their way to talk to the new people like I've been trying to do.

    I think our next board meeting is going to be really interesting. As treasurer, I've been warning them for the last year that our funds are dwindling and we need to work to turn that trend around or we are going to be in the same place PPC was. Attracting and retaining new members is probably our best option to do that. We have a large percentage of life members who pay no dues, just meeting fees, so we need to offset that by increasing the number of dues paying members, especially since many of those life members don't come to the meetings anymore.
    Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.-Charlie Chaplin

    CPF-Certified Picture Framer

    http://www.leboutonphotography.com
    http://www.facebook.com/LeBoutonPhotography

  10. #30

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    We've found that food attracts people to the meetings. We have meatballs and chicken wings along with a veggie tray and some punch.

    People congregate there and naturally just start talking to each other. A water cooler area of sorts.


    Roger, instead of this "please come talk to me" approach, why not go out and reach out to them?

    Sounds like your association has created the venue and the leadership is welcoming and available to answer your questions. It's just the extra step of hanging out with the cool kids that your not getting yet. I don't think it's a big deal, now if people are being rude and or shunning you then it's a different story.

    Often, it's really what you can do for the association/community that matters.
    -Marc Benjamin, M. Photog. Cr. F-PPC
    marcbenjamin.com

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