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radiantphotography.com > Blog > 2010 > January

I’ve been semi-active on a couple social networking sites for some time now. For me, the best use of social marketing hasn’t necessarily been to acquire new clients, but to continue relationships and dialogues with existing clients. I update Twitter with strictly business stuff because of the one way nature of the updates, but I use Facebook’s more interactive interface to inject some personality into my postings. Myspace has fallen off my radar a looong time ago, but I still have a page I check every couple months.

After being published in Entrepreneur magazine this month, I’ve fielded a couple requests on how I made that happen. Did I know a guy who knows a guy? Did I get a hold of the editor directly? Um, no and no. I simply interacted with the magazine’s fanpage on Facebook. Here’s what went down:
Entrepreneur’s FB people posted up an inquiry if any small biz owners had been affected by having their credit lines pulled. I definitely had something to say about it, so I posted up a synopsis of what happened, but also posted that we were not going to seek a replacement line of credit, instead opting to save cash for the foreseeable future. This answer differentiated mine from other answers.

Something clicked with the Entrepreneur folks, because I got a FB message a few days later asking if I was open to a reporter contacting me for a story they were writing. Um…let me think…ABSOLUTELY!

That’s it! No pulling strings, PR blasts, or magic fairy dust. Just simple interaction and adding value to a conversation where others were being vague.

Earlier in the year I also won a book for posting in another Entrepreneur FB post, about how I use social media for marketing.

So while I’ve approached social media as a way to engage existing clients and spread news about Radiant happenings, being proactive about posting to others’ conversations seems to be paying off. Go out and actively seek social media pages where you’re opinion might be valued. In short time, with intelligent postings, you might find yourself being rewarded for being a valuable contributor.

Follow Radiant:
Facebook – New Radiant fanpage (under construction)
Facebook – New Whiteproductphotography fanpage (under construction as well)
Twitter – Radiant
LinkedIn – Ryan

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Being in a magazine isn’t uncommon for me. Seeing my name in print is usually a monthly occurrence, but it’s always as a byline under a photo or article title. So I was pretty excited a few days ago, when I finally got my hands on the Feb ’10 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, the issue that features an article I was interviewed for back in November ’09.

I’d been anticipating its arrival in my mailbox for days now, but was met with disappointment each time I opened the door (well, at least there were checks in there, so I wasn’t too bummed). During a recent visit to Wal-Mart I stopped by the magazine area and like the Holy Grail it immediately popped out at me amid covers of ‘roided up bodybuilders, hot rods, and bridal magazines. A quick search of the table of contents revealed nothing immediately indicative of where the article might be, but the contributor’s page had a photo and bio of Julie Bennett, the financial writer who interviewed me. Thumb through the mag and BAM….page 42…”What to do When the Bank Pulls Your Line of Credit”. Finally! Wait, why didn’t they hire me to shoot the article? Nevermind, let’s see where my name pops up.

Flip the page and there at the top, first words of the feature “Ryan Weber considered himself a prudent business owner.” Sweeeet! I never expected to be the lede in the story. Full of enthusiasm, I wanted to grab the old lady looking at wrapping paper down the aisle and tell her just how cool this felt.

Julie Bennett did a wonderful writeup of the now common occurrence of businesses getting their credit lines screwed with by creditors. The article starts with my story of borrowing family money to start Radiant, then later accepting a credit line from Advanta, only to have them go bankrupt and pull the credit line. That credit line wasn’t a primary source of funding for monthly expenditures, but it was a nice safety net when clients were delinquent or we needed to rent equipment for shoots. All of a sudden it was gone. You can read more about that whole experience in my previous post here.

Bennett’s article was well thought out and she did a fine job of spelling out various funding options for businesses that have lost their credit lines. However, since the interview took place in November of last year, I do want to update some of the information presented in the article:
– “My wife and I are paying the mortgage on our home and making payments on one car” – The house is still mortgaged, but the car is paid in full now. That payment is now rolling over into other debt and this week we’ll be paying off and closing our credit cards. Can you tell I hate the credit industry now? Thanks Advanta.
– “And we have a 6 month old daughter” – Our daughter is eight months old now and a total sweetie.
– “It’s very stressful trying to meet our monthly costs with no backup funding” – I don’t remember saying that, and we haven’t been in danger of missing monthly expenditures since the very beginning of starting this business. It is stressful trying to produce shoots with no card to offer as a deposit for equipment rentals. No worries, though, just a paraphrase that ended up as a quote, probably due in no small part by my quick talking on the phone during the interview.
– “Otherwise, I plan to go debt free and run my business on a cash basis. Losing my credit line was much too stressful.” – WE’RE DEBT FREE! We have no debt, low overhead, and about seven months of operating expenses saved up.

The article is absolutely worth checking out if you have a business and are dealing with creditors. It gives alternate sources of funding like factoring receivables, borrowing against purchase orders, and getting unsecured lines of credit. Credit cards aren’t your only option. Oh and the last section “Final Option: Go Cash” has a pretty smart dude who’s eliminating debt altogether and saving cash for expenses. 😉

Updated: 1/26 – Here’s a link to the online article.

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