The Revolution That is Now Occurring In Jobs

October 9th, 2011

Seth Godin (a prolific marketing writer) did a post on his blog recently that I think was particularly insightful and timely considering state of jobs world wide. Seth explains his view on the changing nature of jobs. This quote sums up the post:

When everyone has a laptop and connection to the world, then everyone owns a factory. Instead of coming together physically, we have the ability to come together virtually, to earn attention, to connect labor and resources, to deliver value.

What does all this have to do with real estate photography? Being a real estate photographer is an instance of the new kind of job that Seth is talking about that the future is moving towards because of the following characteristics:

  1. It’s an independent gig. Your not depending on some big institution to get it all right and to create a job/career for you.
  2. You learn to market yourself and your skills and connect with others and create you own value. This is valuable and an essential part of the the new evolving economy.
  3. As an independent business owner you will have many more opportunities to engage in an “ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects” than you would working for a big institution.

I think Seth is right when he observes:

The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way. No one is demanding that we like the change, but the sooner we see it and set out to become an irreplaceable linchpin, the faster the pain will fade, as we get down to the work that needs to be (and now can be) done.

I talk to a lot of new real estate photographers that are coming into the business and the most difficult time most seem to have it with marketing themselves and approaching the world from a business standpoint. Unfortunately they don’t teach any of this stuff in schools. They only way to learn this is to get out and start doing it.

If you’re reading this blog you are already at some level of already doing the things that Seth is talking about. My point here is to give encouragement that you are on the right track and the more you build up your skills for marketing, connecting with people and for thinking creatively about how to improve your products the better off you are in real estate photography and in whatever gig(s) it may evolve into in the future. It’s not easy, but the struggle is worth it! The people who get good at this will do fine in the future.

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10 Responses to “The Revolution That is Now Occurring In Jobs”

  • Your posts are great, please keep your thoughts coming!


  • Highly inspiring tips . You make it quite clear for those who tend to go for this kind of jobs.

  • Totally agree. Especially in real estate services, where agents prefer personal relationships with their vendors. This is a gig that cannot be nationalized. The “art” of PFRE is subjective. Every agent has a preference or bias towards a certain look or feel.

  • @larry – you are always inspiring to new RE photographers and to old ones. This post is right on – we need to create new ways to learn the things to make ourselves successful. thank you for providing one of the many venues to learn these skills. Another good way to learn some marketing skills is to hook up with great vendors who provide a higher level of customer service including marketing materials, forums and community. Finally, I still believe that mentoring is very important to our development as professionals. As most of you know, I have taken on a client and am proud to say that he is doing quite well with the encouragement and knowledge transfer that we are sharing. I think we should all make a commitment to match up with someone of lesser skills (not in our market area of course) and see how we can help. Mentoring has helped to clarify our own marketing plans and business growth as well. We in turn have mentors that we look to for advice. If you see someone with a lot of questions on a forum or blog that you feel could use your help and you keep seeing this person with a yearning for knowledge – contact them directly as well as responding to the post. You never know what type of growth you can experience as well.

  • This is similar to the stuff that gets talked about in The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. I’m about halfway through the book, but the “flattening of the world” via globalization is basically opening up the playing field for everyone to be their own person when it comes to making income and creating value for the world.

  • @Kerrick- Yes, Thomas Friedman writes about this subject extensively, and in his most recent book, That Used To Be Us, he argues that it’s the combination of globalization and the rapidly increasing population that is using the internet that makes this a big deal.

  • “… most difficult time most seem to have it with marketing themselves and approaching the world from a business standpoint.”

    I feel those just getting into this business, or any business where they are working for themselves, really need to take a closer look at this issue. Having been self-employed since the age of 20, I remember the paradigm shift that I went through in going from the mentality of an employee to that of a business owner. It was tough. You are right, they don’t teach that sort of thing in school, at least no schools I ever attended. A photography business is in many ways no different from selling health insurance, or running a handy man business, or even selling real estate. There are activities that must be done on a daily basis, like prospecting for example, that have little to do with selling the actual product or performing the service in order for the business to perpetuate itself. Very few businesses will make it on luck and good looks alone. Take a long, hard look at the ‘business’ side of your business. Chances are this is where you can make the biggest strides, not necessarily in learning how to take better pictures.

  • Actually, it’s EXACTLY like the real estate business! The most successful agents are those who know how to run a business and know and understand marketing. I really do see that the highest producing agents came into the field with a business background. That’s also why they’re totally on board with pro photos, videos, etc., as they recognize that one of the biggest parts of their business is MARKETING.

  • Iran: I totally agree with your post and comment. It’s incredible that nothing is taught in school about running your own business or even the steps to get started and yet statistically over 50% of the populace who do not already have their own business plan on starting one in the next five years. The intangible component of having your own business is the most important part – I’m having at least two lunches with clients per week, regardless of whether or not they called me out that week, just to maintain the all important social network. If you look at it from an agent standpoint, developing and maintaining their social network is one of the most important parts of the job, so it comes as natural and maybe even expected, to have regular contact/meetings/lunches/golf/whatever to keep up the relationship. I think that this is one of the least mentioned parts of doing modern business in this realm. Creating a network is one thing, and it can be difficult, frustrating, and very time consuming, but just as important is the maintenance of that network.

  • I am relatively new to the real estate business but not to the world of marketing and negotiations. This online world of self branding is a huge shift for me as I have previously done all my business face to face. Yes you are on the mark when you say it is time to get out and start doing it. Like any new skill i suppose.

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