In the last six months, we’ve done four photography workshops. Starting last month, our goal is to do a workshop monthly. We are developing four types of classes:
- Photography basics
- Photography advanced
- Photoshop basics
- Photoshop advanced.
Last month, it was photography basics. We had 40 people show up with camera and notepad in hand. The cameras ranged from point & shoot to a few high-end prosumer models. Our participants were old and young. Everyone had a shared interest in photography. Our goal was to give a foundation of knowledge that they could build on.
The class lasted about two hours (next time, we are going to have an intermission). Every person that came seemed very interested and excited about what we covered. The workshop is pretty structured because we’re teaching a lot of material. We’ve tried to make it as interesting and captivating as possible. Here are some highlights:
One question we get a lot is, “Why do it?” It’s confusing for people that we aren’t charging for this – people are willing to pay for it. Also, we get asked if we’re afraid that we’re training our future competitors. If we are training people that will be able to take pictures of their own children, isn’t that one less customer?
So, why do we do it? Two reasons. First, we enjoy these workshops. It’s fun to interact with the public. The people that come are always fun, interested, and appreciative. It’s cool to get with people that have our same passion for photography. Second: we do believe that doing this for the community will benefit FotoFly. Maybe not directly, but we are letting people get to know us. We’ve found that helping people is the best way to build relationships with them.
We know that our company will succeed if we build real relationships with enough people. We are lucky as photographers because we have a huge opportunity to do that in every session. If we were selling shirts or copiers, the chance of building a lasting relationship is not as easy. It’s easier to build that relationship with parents when you are jumping on the ground, tickling their two year old so that they will have an image that shows the real personality of their child. Trust me, parents find it endearing.
So, our workshops are just one more way that we can build a lasting relationship with you. Our company will succeed or fail one relationship at a time. However, this isn’t just a long-term financial strategy. We don’t really think about that. In the moment, it really does just feel good to serve and that’s as good a benefit as any.