Lessons from the Scene: Are all your eggs in one basket? by Stanley Leary


 by Stanley Leary

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To "put all your eggs in one basket" is to risk losing everything all at one time. For me this applies to two aspects of my business.
First, if you have a niche’ market it is good to develop a second niche’. Kodak saw the writing on the wall years ago and diversified beyond making film products only. If they didn’t they would no longer be around. 
My interests direct my photography. I love sports and this is really where I first started in photography. Shooting college sports was exciting. I didn’t out grow this interest, but added other areas.
My faith has always been what drives much of my passion. I have worked for Christian organization covering mission around the world and continue to do so today. I really enjoy things that challenge my heart the way my faith does for me.
I also love technology. This challenges my mind. I love to figure how things work and how to fix things. This has driven my interest in research, technology, and photography through the years. All three of these loves exist in higher education. This is why I have helped many schools, colleges, and universities through the years with their recruiting and public relations photography.
By diversifying and being niche driven, I have been able to keep my eggs in separate baskets.
The second area where I have diversified is in marketing of my services. One of my best marketing is done through networking. This is getting me involved in my communities. 
By joining a photography association I learn from others and plug into friends who occasionally get over booked and refer to others they know in the industry. I have joined the Atlanta Press Club because many of those who are members go to the social events and meetings that I would not meet anywhere else. I have been able to meet people who have become good friends and may hire me for future projects.
I have gone to the library to build a list of people in the markets of my area of interests. This database of 3,500+ names is categorized. I have categories for family, clients, prospects, and broken into almost every imaginable group. I have phone numbers, mailing addresses and emails. 
Each of these is a different way to contact the people. I call them, send postcards, and email e.newsletters.
When someone writes me back to unsubscribe to my e.newsletter I don’t delete their name—I add them to my no newsletter category. They still get postcards and occasional phone calls. 
Lately I signed up for a new cell plan that lets me make unlimited phone calls as long as I am using the Wi-Fi feature of the phone. I am learning how to have meaningful short conversations with many people. They are meaningful because I really do care about each person. 
One of the gifts have learned to appreciate more each day is my memory. For some reason once I learn something (really learn it) I usually don’t forget. This has helped me in ways I am now only beginning to realize. 
When I meet someone I haven’t talked to in long time I can almost remember our last conversation clearly. So, I tend to ask how they are doing and how something we talked about last time is going. 
I know others who call a lot for business, write notes about a person the next time they talk again. I started to jot down notes. Just by writing it down once helped me to remember. 
When you think you have done all you know how to do in a particular niche’ in your field try to apply those principles to a new niche’. Be persistent and try many different approaches. What’s the biggest room in the world…the room for improvement.