DeMato Productions
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NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

Mentorship

 

Mentorship is such a blessing...

 
 

...not just for the mentee, but also, for the mentor, :)

 

One of the greatest gifts that you can share is the experiences and lessons that helped get you to where you are with your business today.  Mentorship is a huge piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle.

I never truly understood the value of mentorship from the vantage point of the mentor until I found myself in a position to do so… 

...and now, I’m pretty selfish about it and want to do it as much as I possibly can, :) 

Although I serve thought leaders and change agents looking to gain more visibility in order to create immense impact for those who need to hear it most, I always have a place in my heart for my fellow photographers. 

I have a deep respect for anyone who has the balls to monetize their art in a way that does not conflict with their integrity.

I believe that that is the definition of awesome, :)

And, as result, I want to give back and help those who remind me of myself and are in the early stages of building their businesses. 

I want to help ease their growing pains as much as I can. 

After all, I gotta look out for my people.

Recently, I was contacted by a photographer who just quit her day job and was looking to turn her portrait photography side business into a full-time endeavor.

This was me, so I know how uncomfortable those shoes feel when you’re walking in them.

So, I set up the call, rolled up my sleeves and we got to work.

At the beginning of the call, I heard a lot of indecisiveness and zero direction.  

She is the classic, jack-of-all-trades photographer who feels that the more services they offer, the more opportunities she has to make a living. 

Again, this was me to a T. 

As a result, I started off by sharing a lot of nuts and bolts information about the benefits of niching down to only one photo service. 

I, then, briefly discussed how to market that one service with image and blog content that positions her as the expert so that she can charge a premium.

I also talked about relationship building by engaging people authentically on social, and the importance of social intelligence as a way to get into existing conversations on social to attract eyeballs to her work.

Throughout this part of the conversation, I could hear her pen working double time as she feverishly scribbled notes. 

But, what ended up really resonating with her was my personal stories around the conflict and turmoil that I felt as I was going through the same struggles just a couple years ago. 

I shared with her the emotional toll that it took on me - the doubt, fear and uncertainty that hung over my head for years, wondering if I can actually make a living doing the photography thing.

I also told her that whatever photographic path she chooses - be it family portraits, senior portraits, families, entrepreneurs, etc - she needs to be deliberate and choose a path that will light her up inside, even on her darkest of days, because there will be many dark days, especially in the beginning stages.

Despite those trying moments, as long as she has that belief in herself and her ability to serve her tribe, she will come out on the other side a better photographer, business owner and person, overall. 

I didn’t hear the pen moving during this part of the conversation, :)

After we spoke, she texted me about a half hour later and told me that I got her wheels turning and she’s been writing out a bunch of ideas based on all of the stuff that we talked about.

She felt motivated and inspired.  Her light has been ignited. 

Like I said, mentoring is a gift, not just for the mentee, but, for the mentor as well, :) 

What has your experience with being a mentor? How does it make you feel to advise, enlighten and inspire?

Please share your experiences in the comments section.

 

PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)