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Industry Insider: PPA: June 2011 Archives

PPA: June 2011 Archives

Photographers are notorious for focusing more on their art than on their businesses. PPA has been working to change that mentality over the years with business education, business resources...and competitions like MarketShare.

MarketShare is the PPA's new marketing competition. It celebrates the creativity and effectiveness of photographers' marketing activities while spreading those ideas. The intent is that photographers will be able to gather up more inspiration for their own marketing by seeing what their peers have done (via the entries).

Photographers from PPA and our sister association the Society of Sport & Event Photographers (SEP) have until July 31, 2011, to enter online for free. There's a chance for the entrants' peers to vote on their favorites, and an expert judging for the best in each category (which will result in cash prizes). Those Best in Class winners will also get a free registration to Imaging USA 2012, where PPA and SEP members will vote to decide the all-around People's Choice winner from among them.

With this focus on the importance (and fun!) of marketing, PPA is again turning photographers' attention to business. After all, their success is our business.

Learn more about PPA's MarketShare competition here: www.ppa.com/marketshare

We all use benchmarks every day to help assess where we are and how we need to get better. You may have started the year with a goal to lose weight or otherwise improve your health. If so, you're probably using a scale or measuring tape to keep track of your progress. Your doctor also uses benchmarks like your blood pressure or cholesterol readings as indicators of your overall well-being.

In the same way, PPA helps photographers measure the health of their current business practices through the Financial Benchmark Survey and its analysis. These tools give studios key performance indicators (benchmarks) based on financial data compiled from hundreds of studios. The PPA benchmarks are the industry standards, giving photographers goals to aim for when managing their numbers. And PPA uses those benchmarks to guide photographers to better success--by setting annual goals, tracking income and expenses against budgets, and recognizing ways to control costs while increasing profits.

PPA is the only organization that conducts such comprehensive financial analysis for photographers, and we're currently recruiting studios for the 2011 Benchmark Survey. By participating, photographers not only help themselves to a free analysis from PPA accountants, they also help the industry by providing the data used to build these benchmark tools--tools every photographer can use to improve bottom lines.

Expect to begin seeing results of the latest survey and analysis at Imaging USA in New Orleans. In the meantime, encourage your photographer customers to participate in PPA's Benchmark Survey--it's good business for everyone!

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