How to become known as the big-name photographer even if you come from a small town and achieving success in your photography business no matter where you come from.

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Today’s episode my special guest is Clay Cook. He’s an amazing commercial and editorial photographer from Louisville, Kentucky. Today, we run through how to be a big fish in a small pond; meaning how do you make it big in a very small market or in a very small town. And Clay has done this; he’s gone from picking up a camera then 2 years later becoming a fulltime photographer working for himself and 4 years later being financially secure. So, how did he do it?

We also run through his beginnings as a rock star in a band and how that actually helped him get his photography career up and running. We also run through how to not burnout which is quite important. He’s got a 3 step formula for how to not burnout. Then I also asked him about how to get started from scratch if he’s starting from scratch in a new town and he wants to get into the industry the way he has, what would he do? And he gives us 6 steps that he would do to get going in a small town and a lot of it revolves around building relationship with people. And we also run through his giving back, what he’s doing Africa to help out people in need in Africa.

Enjoy! Brent.

In this episode:
(01:55) – Why is it important to be a big fish in a small pond?
(03:28) – How did Clay Cook do it?
(06:59) – Point of success
(11:12) – 3 step formula for how to not burnout
(13:23) – 6 steps on how to get started from scratch


Episode Highlights:

Why is it important to be a big fish in a small pond?

  • A lot of struggles
  • All about relationships
  • Knowing the right people
  • Back it up with really good marketing

How did Clay Cook do it?

  • Learned the importance of grassroots promotion
  • Getting out in the field
  • Working the floors and angles and meeting people
  • Get out of the house and get into parties
  • Build relationships with the people you meet

Point of success:

  • Accomplished your dream
  • Being your own boss
  • Financially secure
  • Work balance

3 step formula for how to not burnout:

  • Travelling
  • Shutting down technology
  • Experimenting

6 steps on how to get going in a small town:

  • Think of your business first before you think of your photography
  • Have a good foundation
    • Branding
    • Portfolio
    • Website
  • Have the key elements for a website
    • Simple
    • Blog
    • Contact information
  • Get your branding right with a printed portfolio and a great website
  • Know when to use social media (timing is crucial)
  • Building relationships and meet people
    • Facebook
    • Instagram

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