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Photography Tips to Help You Get Sponsored

The way to win the hearts of those brands who are looking for outdoors influencers is through photography.

The outdoors industry lives in the space of visual communication. If it not for the magazines of old that told stories of hunting adventures or sharing pictures of fish caught around the Thanksgiving dinner table, there would not be the anticipation for the upcoming season or the next adventure. Now, the stories are told in the space of blogs and social media. Outdoors enthusiasts will scan through their social media to view images of hunting or fishing while they are sitting at their desks at work in anticipation the next time they are able to get outside.

Brands want to be sure that they capture the views of those people. But with the massive flow of images hitting social media from folks with a smartphone creates a big blur where no one stands out…unless the image is great! A fantastic photo on Instagram will cause a person to stop scrolling to spend time on the image.

But, how to get them to stop scrolling to look at your image and get the attention of the brands you want to be sponsored by?

Here are some tips to help you with that:

 

Composition

  1. Photography is all about telling a story. Hence the quote that a photo is worth a thousand words. Knowing how to tell the story in a photo is knowing how to set up the photo in composition. The composition is the elements in the photo that will replace the words of the story and showcase everything you are wanting to say. You could spend the time telling people what the image says by typing it all out but allowing people to connect with the photo on their terms and let the story permeate within them.
  2. There should not be any wasted space within your photo. The full frame of the photo all tells the story. From the background setting to the defined primary focal point of the photo all should be thought about when setting up your photo. Everyone has heard of a “photobomb” right? There is a reason that it is called that. It draws the attention of the viewer. Don’t waste any space.
  3. The value of a photo is how it is able to keep the attention of the viewer. An isolated shot is a fast reference image where if you were to take that focus point, like a product, and place it within a setting that causes interest it allows for more appeal to the product you are photographing.

Visual Hierarchy

  1. Visual hierarchy is the storyline of the story you are telling. Beginning with a focal point and then guiding the viewer to other parts of the image is how the story comes to life. By paying attention to things like contrast, focus, scale, etc.  you are able to understand how the viewer will perceive your image.
  2. Learn how a person views an image. While you are wanting to take a photo, grab someone you are with and ask them what they see first and then what they see next. There are many factors that will determine how a person will view an image.
  3. If you are wanting to attract sponsors, you will have to know how to draw attention to their products. Brands want to see how their products are being presented by their pro staff and influencers. If their products are not being shown well, they are not likely to give you attention to sponsor you. But, if you are able to understand how to showcase their products with good composition, then it has value. And if you are not going into the photo with a plan, then it will be shown that you did not have the products focus on your mind.

Defined Purpose

  1. One of the biggest mistakes that many beginning photographers make is that they are not planning their shots. There is not a defined purpose for the shot that was taken. By developing a plan to ensure the success of the photograph you are able to tell a better story. If you know that you will be in a location for a certain time, plan how you will showcase the products you want to be sponsored by.
  2. You are the author of the image and it needs to show. By defining your purpose of the image you are able to ensure the composition to achieve the goals. You will be able to place the focus in the right setting and in the right action to tell your story.
  3. Know your audience. A story is only as good as its ability to connect with the right people. By telling a story about a bass fishing lure but placing it in the woods because you do not define your image, you do not plan it, and you do not think about composition, the image will be lost on both audiences: the hunter and the angler. Make sure that you are aware of the proper content for the right audience.

 

 

 

Now get out there and tell some stories!

Tips to Getting Sponsored in the Outdoors Industry

We love the outdoors. And we know that you love it as well. But getting sponsored is so difficult.

There are many opportunities for those of you who would like to get into the outdoors industry to make a living or simply get paid to do what you enjoy.

But, so many who wish to receive those packages of camo and gear in the mail from sponsors do not know how to get to that point.

In today’s post we will be discussing some tips to get you going on the journey of sponsorship for the outdoors you enjoy.

More Than Just for Fun

Brands are looking for men and women to represent them in the market professionally

One wrong move by someone representing a brand can be detrimental to the brand. In today’s social climate, it is difficult for a brand to just trust anyone with their name on it. To be attractive to those brands you wish to be sponsored by, you will need to show them that you are a professional and can be trusted with their brand on the line.

Influencer marketing is a growing platform for professionals to showcase products for brands who sponsor them

It is said that influencer marketing will be overtaking the traditional marketing by next year. TV and radio will be the set back in the past and you as an influencer will be where brands will invest their products and marketing money to make their products and services known through brand awareness. You are a valuable asset for these brands and you will be rewarded for representing them well.

To get influence, it takes time. A lot of it. Learning, publishing, and growing.

The reason that there are so many who wish to get into this without success is due to the lack of investment of the many. The amount of time it takes to position yourself as a professional and worth the investment is extensive. This is no longer something anyone can do. It is for the one willing to do what it takes to make it. Learning the software and skills needed to be that asset along with taking the time it is done right will ensure that you are set apart from all the others who just take a picture with their phone and post it up.

Be Professional

Professional in conduct

You are a professional. Influencer marketing is a profession now. Conducting yourself in a manner that reflects the brand well will showcase you as one who is worth the investment.

Professional in content

The content has to be on point. A bad photo that is out of focus or a video that is jumpy or pixelated does not reflect well on the brand you represent. When a brand sponsors you it is for the content you will be delivering to the world. It must be professionally done and stand out from the barrage of common images on Instagram.

Professional in context

Positioning yourself as a professional in the outdoors industry merits that you know what you are talking about. The tradition of the outdoors runs deep within so many and if you are posting up content that is out of context, you will get called out. Being called out for a mistake not only makes you look bad but it also makes the brands you represent look bad. Before you go live with your content, make sure you know what you are talking about because if you don’t someone will know and will let you know about it.

Numbers Are Important

Your followers are your value to the industry

Within influencer marketing, your value that you bring to the table of the conversation is the amount of followers and audience you have. This is a measurable analytic that can be considered when a brand is looking to invest in you.

Reach is what brands are looking for and if you don’t have it, you won’t get sponsored.

Brands are wanting to get their name out there into the market to as many people as possible. The investment of gear and/or monetary supplication to you as an influencer is predicated on the amount of reach you have within the market.

Sales-driven motivation. That is what they are after.

Sales is the End Game for influencer marketing. By starting out with ambition of brand awareness, they are investing in their future by choosing to partner with you. Whether it is a short-term goal for a promotion or they are looking to play the branding long play, the end result for them is sales.

 

So, you have the desire to invest the time required to go professional. You have the professional content. You know how to market yourself.

But…you do not have the followers.

We can help with that. Jumpstarting your career in the outdoors industry through Social Media Growth on Instagram.

Check out how you can jumpstart your outdoors career here.

Why Branding Matters in the Outdoor Industry

How can you be found if you do not know who you are?

Branding is a hot term in the modern age. It has many different perspectives of what it is.

Is it a logo?
Does it mean I have to sell something?
I just like being in the outdoors, do I need a brand?

First, let us define what branding is.

Marty Neumeier, author and speaker on all things brand, defines branding this way:

“A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”

In his book, Brand Gap, he aligns you to what a brand actually is as opposed to what people say about what a brand is.

Why Do I Need a Brand?

This will be defined by you. If you enjoy the outdoors for the sake of being in the outdoors, then you may not need to develop a personal brand around that. The idea behind building a brand is for the sake of communication.

Community is built by those who rally around a shared topic or experience. It is a place to gather and engage in the lifestyle that they enjoy or wish to be a part of. This is a primary motivation of creating a brand. All it will take is a few minutes on Instagram to see that people enjoy being a part of something. If you desire to develop a community around crappie fishing, then you may seek to create a personal brand. If you are looking to become a leader in trout fishing to add value to the industry, you may want to consider creating a brand. Even if you enjoy sharing your outdoors experiences with others as a way to connect and inspire, you may want to consider building a brand.


The answer should come easy to those who are building a product for the industry. Yes, you will have to develop a brand. Yes, you will have to add value to the industry and connect with those who are engaging with you and your product.

Here is the biggest issue with product brands in the outdoors industry:

THERE IS NO BRANDING

Developing a cool product is not enough anymore. Showing people how your product works alone is not enough to get people to click the Buy button. If you are selling a product to the outdoors industry, you have to communicate.

How Do I Communicate?

If you recall, branding is not what YOU say you are, it is what THEY say you are. And if you are not a part of the conversation then you cannot know what is being said.

There are many avenues that you as a brand are able to connect and communicate with those who have chosen to be a part of the community you have built.

Social Media, YouTube, blogging, and email are all “touch-points” that will ensure you are part of the conversation. You, as a brand, are able to guide the conversation through everything you do that is seen, heard, or read.

People can smell if you are only trying to sell them something and do not consider them or their lifestyle. Without developing a brand around who you are as a person, community, or business you will lose momentum and the conversation can turn on you overnight.

Developing a Brand Guide is the best way to align your personal brand or business to know who you are, what you stand for, how you are valuable, and why people should care. The Brand Guide allows for you to develop your design aesthetic as well. What your logo will look like. How you will use your typography on your website and graphic designs. What colors people will see and recognize with you.

The above image is a guide to how to view Branding in relation to the rest of your business strategy and execution.


This is just a taste into the world of branding, but we have good news!

RECEIVE OUR FREE BRANDING EBOOK

Website Design | Raven North Outfitters

After a long winter, spring finally arrives and almost over-night the forest seems to come to life and Spring Bear Season is upon us. With the mild temperature and warm sunshine the Bears start to move in search of food, in fact it is very common to see more than 10 different Bears in one day. Spot and Stalk hunting is action packed, and an enjoyable hunt, giving hunters of all levels a chance to discover the natural beauty that Alberta, Canada is famous for while trying to locate a trophy bear. 
Camping in traditional Wall Tents, Raven North Outfitters offers 6 day spring bear hunting adventures in the Boreal Forest region of Alberta Canada.

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Outdoor Lifestyle Video

Looking to promote your company with an Outdoor Lifestyle Video? This can be one of the most effective ways to market to new customers. In the days of Social Media, customers are sharp. They know when they are being marketed to. We do not want to see a commercial that tells us how great the product is. We want to see it in action and make our own judgment. That is why Outdoor lifestyle videos are such a valuable piece of promoting any product. Especially in the hunting and fishing industry. As anglers and outdoorsman, we know what is fake and what is real, better than any other market. It is not something you can fake. Being an outdoorsman. It is something engrained in each of us and we want to use products that support the lifestyle we love. Let us help you prove it.

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Westin Yancey | Modern Outdoor Media

Growing up I always had a strong passion for the outdoors. My father was an outdoorsman and we would fish “Like Father, Like Son, Bass Fishing Tournaments” on the weekends. I would put on my upland bird vest and walk up to a wooded area near my neighborhood and hunt Squirrels and birds with my pellet gun. You remember the type, you pumped them so many times, that the final pump had to be pushed down using all of your body weight on top of your leg. I would collect patches that I found at tournaments and shows and have my mother put them on my fishing shirt.

Now I am blessed enough to work in the outdoor industry as a brand manager for Undercover Truck Bed Covers. Building an outdoor division to show how useful out truck bed covers are for the outdoorsman. During the last 4 years, I have grown and managed many brands across the web. Modern Outdoor Sportsman, Bass Fishing Nation, and Undercover Sportsman are a few of my main platforms. It has brought me great fulfillment and has allowed me to cross pass with many outdoorsmen I now call friends. But I wanted to do something more…

I want to share my Vision and my Passion with men and women who aspire to build a career in the outdoor industry. Because regardless of what someone might say, it is possible. One thing I have learned by managing these platforms. Is that, there are thousands of young men and women who aspire to “Get Sponsored” by outdoor companies. But many of them do not know a good way of going about this. I aim to help.

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Brian Cornelison | Modern Outdoor Media

Meet Brian Cornelison

Brand Manager

Brian grew up in the small town of Rogersville, Missouri. There he graduated high school in 2007. Brian’s first experiences in the outdoors were on his grandparents 80-acre plot of land and his aunt & uncle’s lake house around Table Rock Lake. This is where he first learned how to shoot a rifle and the feeling of having a fish on the end of his line.  Brian’s love for sports and competitive nature made the transition into the outdoor and fishing industry simple. He loves to compete in Kayak Bass Fishing tournaments and has co-anglered in a handful of local bass tournaments.

Living in the Portland, Oregon area for over 4 years he enjoys chasing smallmouth bass in Portland’s local Willamette & Columbia rivers. Though bass fishing is his favorite Brian enjoys taking advantage of the Pacific Northwest’s outdoor opportunities such as salmon & steelhead fishing, hiking, and upland hunting. When he isn’t in the outdoors you can catch Brian shooting baskets at the gym, watching sports, or grabbing drinks with friends.

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Brian specializes in the following Outdoor Marketing services: