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Finding Your Value Proposition

Lesson 43 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

Finding Your Value Proposition

Lesson 43 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

43. Finding Your Value Proposition

When trying to establish a value proposition, I start by looking at the problem. What is the clients problem and how are we going to solve it? Alex shares his tried and tested approach to finding your value prop an hear what his is.


Class Trailer



Workshop Intro






Gear - My Camera Bags


Mastering Camera Settings


Blue Hour, A How-To


Photos That Move Us


Visual Storytelling 101


Endurance In A World Of Sprinting


Keeping Your Ideas Fresh


Building Your Story Arc


Shooting More: Action Plan


Conveying Emotions


In the Field


The Assignment: Himalaya Pre-Pro


In the Field: The Himalaya Defender Shoot


The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro


In the Field: Canon USA Shoot




Keywords & Organizing Images


Commercial Grading


Masking & Radial Filters


Perspective Correction


HDR (Hand-Held)


Black & White Edits


Before & Afters


Moody Grading


IG Export Settings


Web Export Settings


Clone Stamping & Patch Tools


Grading in Lightroom


Hand-Held Panoramas


Radial Filters Pt 2


Delivering Files to Clients


Archiving & Organizing Images


My Favorite Software




Let's Talk Business


Building A Desirable Portfolio


How to Contact Clients


Prospecting: Finding Brands That Fit You


Getting Clients To See Our Value


Paid to Travel the World


The Art of Making Moodboards & Treatments


Keys To A Fulfilling Career


Three Things You Need To Know Before Pitching


Finding Your Value Proposition


Media Kit: A Walk Through


How I Built My Audience


Social Media Landscape


Module Recap


Bonus - Everything To Know About Filters


Do You Need Lens Filters?


Filters in The Field


Bonus - Find Your Path


Find Your Path


Bonus - How To Print Your Work


Why Print or Sell Photos


Preparing Photos for Print


Reviewing Major U.S Printers


Lesson Info

Finding Your Value Proposition

(ethereal music) So it all comes down to this very simple question. And that is what value do you create for your client? When trying to establish a value proposition, I start by looking at the problem. What is the client's problem and how are we going to solve it? And this process requires quite a bit of empathy. You have to visualize what it's like to be on the other side of the table as a client. So what's it like to get all these emails from creatives and companies that offering you their services? It must be pretty daunting, right? Once we've established the client's problem, for example. So-and-so is releasing a new product and they need images to launch it. Well, great, we have a problem now. Okay, so how are we going to make these images that are so remarkable that they will help make the client's launch a success? An effective value prop boils down to three things. First, identify new clients' problem. Two, solving it in a way that is unique to you. And three, offering very ...

specific value. For example, faster, more quantity. You will be available all the time for them. Just like, what is your specific value to add? So personally, my value prop is being to produce work that will make people excited about an idea, a place, or a product and to do so faster than most people and on budget. So what's your value proposition? What makes you different or better than the guy next door? (camera shutter clicks) A very important part of all this is trust. Even if your value prop is clear, you're gonna need your client's trust in order to move forward. And once you have enough project under your belt, clients will trust you more. Especially if the project you've done have been for similar companies. But what if you have a limited portfolio? Well, if you have a limited portfolio, it's important that you are reassuring to your client in the most sincere way because you're coming to them with an interesting approach and a concept, but they don't know who you are. They don't know if you're the most suitable person to actually execute that idea. Maybe tell them you'll work your butt off until the project is delivered. That you'll be available on super short notice at every hours of the days. And make sure that you stick to the word if you say that. (camera shutter clicking) This is pretty powerful, because it's one thing to execute the job you're hired to do but it's another to go way beyond what was expected of you. Imagine how a client is going to feel if you, for example, promise them 30 proofs and you send them 60 or 90, right? You just over delivered. Under promising and over delivering has been one of the foundations of my internal value prop. So it's one thing to have your external value prop where you tell a client what you're gonna do for them. But internally you wanna have a few values too that you get out when the client doesn't expect it. So I don't pitch them to clients. I don't tell them I am going to over deliver. I actually just know I will over deliver and they don't know about it until it happens, right? And I make sure that I do that every single time. One example to illustrate this is a brand was looking for prints for their office. They reach out to me and probably another handful of photographers. They're asking for my favorite images that fit the theme they're after. And they want just a Dropbox, you know, full of images. If I just look at what is expected of me is that I'm gonna throw my favorite photos in that folder, send it to them and wait, right? That's what they want. But the other way, I think is smarter to go about, and what I did is, I asked for their, you know, address. I printed these photos at, you know, some of my favorite photos as 8 x 10 proofs and send them to them with a little handwritten note. So who do you think they'll be more likely to order the prints from? The guy who just send them the folder or the guy who actually took care of sending them this print so they can see how the colors feel, they can play with them. It's not rocket science, but just try to go that extra mile every single time. (camera shutter clicking) You wanna be able to talk different formats and mediums. It's very important to post your work on social media, for sure. But you need to be able to have other platforms at your disposal. You wanna diversify the outlets that you can collaborate with. So how about pitching a magazine one of your stories or collaborating with a YouTuber that makes films about you know, things you know about. Let's say there's, you like, making photos about coffee and there's a YouTuber that has this awesome you know, coffee account. Why don't you guys collaborate and make a film about that? That's useful to the audience, right? So just start thinking about what other outlets you can add to your contacts because the more outlets you have at your disposal, the larger your value prop will be. All of a sudden, you can tell your clients that you can also get them on that magazine or that YouTube account. And obviously be transparent with whoever you include in your proposal, right? Let the YouTuber or the magazine or the outlet know in advance, you know, that you're gonna do that. And if they're keen to collaborate, ask them for their rate, right? And include that rate in your new proposal. (camera shutter clicking) Why is it important to see things from the brand perspective? So you're approaching your brand with your idea, right? It sounds really cool to you. You're putting that together, but do they know what they're getting out of it? Is that crystal clear? Most often we get kind of selfish and offer something to a brand and they don't see what they're gonna get out of it. So if it's not clear, they're not gonna buy it. Make sure you define what's in it for them. (camera shutter clicking) This is a thought that Chase Jarvis, legendary photographer, shared many moons ago that has helped a lot of people. You know, people who are facing the dreaded question of I need to make some money and this client has some for me, but they're offering way less than they should for this. Do I still take that job? Do I still, you know, do I do this job underpaid? Or do I not do it? You may be tempted to tell your client, sure, okay, let's do this, but only for this, you know, only this one time, right? I'll do you a solid, and then after that, my rate is gonna become many more. Client might be like, yeah, sure, okay. But doing that is shortsighted because in my view, you're not earning the respect of your clients. If they can get you for a thousand bucks then why would they give you 10,000 bucks when they have a larger shoot? To them, you'll always be the thousand dollar guy. And that's the value they've put on yourself. And you've made that happen. Whenever something bigger comes, they'll give their 10,000 bucks to, guess who? The $10,000 guy, right. Because they know he, he can handle something larger and you can't. Not true at all, but that's how they see it. So in this case, unless you're not going to be able to pay mortgage or rent, don't take that shoot. If you do, just don't expect that you're gonna grow much with that client. You may just take it and then kind of forget about this client because it's, the relationship is pretty much screwed from the beginning. (camera shutter clicking) I wanna leave you with this question. What is the value of the content you're creating? And not just for a client this time, but for an audience because with every project you make for a client you have to find ways to make that content, that project you're doing, valuable to your audience. Because if your fans are not getting value, then you've just failed. Ideally, you wanna be at the intersection of two of the three types of content that I've just outlined. You, of course, can create images that are beautiful and compliment them with captions that are useful, for example. That's how you do the two of them, beautiful, useful. Or you can make entertaining images and have useful captions. That's just, how, how can you connect these three things? For me, for example, it's always been about making photos and films that are inspiring, beautiful. And I also want them to be useful. So people get value out of that. If sometimes we dabble in, in entertaining stuff, good. But that's not how I measure my work. I measure it on the basis of is it beautiful and is it useful? That's it. So what kind of work will you do? So just think about this. What kind of work will you do? (camera shutter clicking)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

A Note From Alex

Ratings and Reviews


Not What I Was Expecting Let me just start by saying that the workshop was very good. There were lots of things that I learned and many insights I took away. Perhaps the greatest bit of wisdom imparted to me was not anything Alex said but how he approached every subject he talked about. I felt that he was talking to me as a friend, very personal and open book. This was both a blessing and a curse as the course tends to meander around and is not as structured as others I've taken. Alex's passion for the highest quality, and craftsmanship in every aspect of his business, is very evident. From the premiums he charges, to the attention to detail in client deliveries. This is where my review is going to give some hopefully constructive criticisms. For someone so focused on a premium experience I was a surprised to find the course a bit sloppily assembled, and the videography and editing lackluster. This is coming from a videographer and someone with a lot of experience in online training. A few short examples to illustrate my point include: repeating segments of the edit (in some instances the exact same segment), poor framing. Colors changing between cuts, and my biggest pet peeve, not leaving photo examples on for long enough to see them. These are all small things, but they add up, and along with the topics meandering, left me a bit disappointed. I'm curious who you would say this class is aimed towards. Amateurs, mid-level, or experts? The assumption of who you are addressing changes throughout the course. I feel like with a bit of work from an instructional designer, and some editing cleanup, you could help hone this course to be one of the best out there. I feel like I need to do a more in depth review than will fit here, to actually explain this well. Let me know if that would be helpful to you. One other note: When I signed up for a workshop on Adventure Photography, I honestly thought it would be more field focused. The field examples were all shoots for products, and not shoots documenting an adventure. I guess I had just hoped to learn that side of the storytelling process more. Getting into the nitty gritty of being wet, cold, and dirty, and still shooting bangers. The section on filters (going out and building the snow cave) was more what I thought this course was going to be. Anyhow, with all that said, I still found it valuable and worthwhile. To summarize, the course feels a bit unpolished and in some ways unfinished though there is still great value. I've taken Jimmy Chin's Masterclass on adventure photography and it felt very structured and highly polished. I purchased "Adventure Pro" on the "finish in a month" discount. I would have felt ripped off if I had paid full price with the course in its current state. Thanks for reading and I hope my criticisms come as helpful. As I've already mentioned I'd be happy to further elaborate.

Topher Hammond

One of the best photography investments I'm only 1/4 of the way through Alex's course and I feel like I already have a loose plan on how I can move forward in my own career as a photographer. I felt like my work was lacking a specific feeling. The way that Alex articulated ideas on how to convey emotion in your imagery and building that overarching story arc for your own life narrative were super helpful to focus on how to make my work better. Super looking forward to the rest of this course. Thanks Alex and team!

Sergi Mas de xaxars Rosell

Great Workshop I learned quite a lot with this workshop. Because I'm in the industry for 5 years now, there were a few things I already knew. On the other hand, Alex showed me different and more effective ways to improve my business. I like the way he gives the lessons, always in a personal and close way. This is the knowledge I wish I had when I started. Totally worth it!

Student Work