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Can you repost professional photographs on social media?

Can you repost professional photographs on social media?

Quote image by Sophie Callahan Photography.

In a fairly recently Monday Q and A on my Facebook page, I received a variation of this question: ‘can you repost professional photographs on social media?’. Now, I want to put this into context a little. The person who posted was asking about a rider that they sponsor. The rider had added what was clearly a professionally taken image to their social media media. So does that mean that the company can repost it? Well no, not necessarily.

Can you repost professional photographs on social media?

If I was giving a one word answer, that would be no. If, in the case above, a rider has posted a professional picture on social media, this doesn’t mean you can automatically. Even if the rider has asked permission for the photographer and this has been granted, this doesn’t automatically mean you can…

So, first of all, your rider might not have the proper permission. Many people buy prints and take pics of the prints and then post these. This isn’t right. Often, photographers will provide social media images (that can be purchased for not much money) that CAN be used on social media. Some photographers add this in a package when someone buys a print. They all don’t but some do.

Now, even if the above has been done properly, that does not mean that you as a business can repost without permission. I mean, people do, let’s be honest about this, but you need to reach out to the photographer and get their written permission for this. Some may request further payment… you don’t have to pay this. But if you decide not to pay it, do NOT repost the image. Please. It’s not good. Many photographers are happy, if the image has been purchased correctly and you credit it to let you use it on your social media. I did speak to a few photographers about this and they agreed.

What about sharing a picture?

Sharing an image from the original source is a bit different. If the photographer has posted the image and you share direct, then technically there shouldn’t be an issue here (as long as you SHARE the image, you don’t screenshot or save the image and then post as your own). Some photographers do explain on their page that they do not want this done, and some confirm that they’re happy if images are shared but no saved and posted. Respect this.

Sharing and reposting are very very different animals. Sharing and retweeting show the original source clearly… reposting should (if you use the correct apps) but doesn’t in the same way. You also move the image from the photographer (or rider’s) feed to your own and post it natively there.

If a rider has shared an image from a photographer with a watermark across it… don’t share it. Again, USUALLY, when an image has been purchased properly, the watermark is removed. This isn’t always the case for social media images but generally it is.

And what if the photograph is really good?

It doesn’t matter how good it is. If it doubt (any doubt!) always ask. Always.

Are photographers just being mean?

Sometimes you’ll find a really grumpy photographer, just like you’ll find really grumpy INSERT ANY OTHER PROFESSION HERE. But this? No, this is their livelihood. And as far as I’m aware, not that many banks take goodwill in lieu of a mortgage payment. Of course, if the image has already been purchased once (important point!), it’s to promote the rider, they sponsor the rider, or various other situations, you’re more than likely to get a ‘yes, no problem’ response. But if you don’t ask… well… you could really annoy a photographer and could be charged too.

What do you think of collaborations?

what do you think of collaborationsWhat do you think of collaborations? I personally think they can be incredible. Collaborations were the subject of my first column in NFU Countryside Magazine, I’ve blogged about them a lot AND I’ve even made videos about them. Actually, I’ll be talking about another collaboration soon, but I digress.

In my Facebook group, I asked ‘what do you think of collaborations?’. Here’s what a few of the group members had to say…

What do you think of collaborations?

Sophie Callahan from Sophie Callahan Photography: ‘We can never have too many friends, especially as a business owner. We all have to work in this industry together and it helps if we can get along well with others. The more ‘friends’ you make, whether they are actual friends or just other brands that you align your business with, the better. And collaborations are a great way of forging new ‘friendships’.’ (Sophie’s written a great blog post about collaborations too – see it here).

Emma Warren from Hiho Silver: ‘Collaborations are brilliant – when you have common aims, are clear about what’s expected and try and make a point of giving more than you take.’

Emily Mumford from Inkpot & Press Media Services: ‘Collaborations can be the single most powerful marketing tool a business has at their disposal IF they are used correctly. Find someone with the same values and work ethic and you’re already winning.’

Karen McConnell from KA Equestrian: ‘Working with other brands, businesses and professionals has not only been hugely instrumental in building and growing my business but also inspiring, enlightening and great fun!’

Harriet Edwards – aka A Girl About Country: “Collaborations are really powerful, but only when they are mutually beneficial. Both (or all) parties must derive some benefit in order for it to be a success.”

Lindsay Robertson from Lindsay Robertson Photography and Country Meets Creative: “Like speed dating, awesome and can’t get enough with the right match!”

Ruth Chappell from Dressage Anywhere: “I love collaborations – I’ve only done a few and scratched the surface of what’s possible but they’ve been brilliant, whether it’s as simple as a blog post about another business or business owner, or something more detailed around products. It’s important to make sure you’re the right fit and have everything agreed (and written down if possible) in advance.”

Izzy White from Izzy White Photography: ‘If you find the right people, then it can work really well. I have had some great success from collaborating with fellow business owners. If you both benefit then I see it as a win-win situation. Provided you do your research and are honest with what you both want out of the collab, I see it as a great tool!’

Beth Hicks from Beth Hicks Photography: ‘They’re great when they’re with the right people with the same audience and similar aims, aren’t so great (and can be a bit of a pain) when this isn’t the case, especially when you’re putting in all the effort, hence why it’s so important to collaborate with the right people!’

Jennifer Dunig from The Equine Pass: ‘Collaborations were never something I’d ever considered when I first started out. I think it felt like I was asking someone for help or worse still, having to be a little less possessive with my “control” over my business but now I’ve actually ventured toward collaborations, I’ve realised that actually, they’re bloody fantastic for not only reaching a wider audience but making some great contacts within the industry that I otherwise wouldn’t have done.’

Danielle Crawford from Black Nova Designs: ‘Collaborations are a fantastic idea and when we first started out we did it a lot, just need to ensure you are getting the right contacts and pushing towards your target market.
Although saying that, we have achieved getting cheaper childcare by sorting the nursery Wifi equipment! People working together and helping each other out is the best way to do business.’

Hayley Files from Equissentials: ‘Collaborations are a great idea, especially as we do – with sponsored riders. However, it has to be mutually beneficial and it really helps if the riders you are working with actually buy/use your products to start with and have a relationship with you before the collaboration. It’s quite a challenging one to navigate, but when it works, it’s brilliant!’

Megan Allen from Rural Roots PR: ‘I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without collaborating with other wonderful small businesses; from joint pitches to just batting ideas around, as a solopreneur it’s vital to my business and my sanity!’

Wiola Grabowska from Aspire Equestrian: ‘I strongly believe collaborations are what makes running a small business with bigger projects not only possible but hugely enjoyable and rewarding. I find it a great challenge and a pleasure to figure out ways to help other businesses/individuals who work with me and when everything comes together well in the end, it’s wonderful to share the success with someone who cares about the project as much as I do 🙂 Last night I wrote final part of my reflections on one of the biggest projects I undertook so far and it would not be possible without sponsorship, wonderful support and collaborations with a few fantastic people. Collabs all the way for me.’

Anna Rainbow from Anna Rainbow Photography: ‘A few days ago, I couldn’t think how I might collaborate, now I’be been asked to take some images with the big C all around. Slightly fazed by bringing Christmas to a Hampshire garden in September, but so looking forward to doing something totally different and collaborating with a local 2* event rider who also makes crackers! The benefit for me – she’s taking my little man to his first event at Tweseldown in exactly one month’s time.’

Naomi Leach from NL Equestrian: ‘I think it’s a fantastic idea, a great business tool, and a really nice way to make new friends! The world can be tough for small businesses to get their name out there, so this is a great way to reach further afield and help a fellow business owner too. I’ve only done a couple so far but it’s definitely something I want to explore further!’

What do you think of collaborations? I’d love to hear…

 

Want to be someone’s sponsored rider? Have a look at our top ‘don’ts’ video!

Getting approached about sponsorship is a daily occurrence for many PRs and the companies they work with. We all appreciate that people want support, and that’s fine, what isn’t fine is how some people choose to ask for this help. Well, I say ask…it’s often more of a rude demand made in the wrong way! If you’re looking for some tips when it comes to help to approach companies about sponsorship, have a look at this video about rider sponsorship don’ts. It might just help.

 

 

 

How to be a sponsored rider

How to be a sponsored riderHow to be a sponsored rider

Being a sponsored rider is more than just wearing a saddlepad with a company’s logo on it, and for those looking to be a really valuable asset to a company, this blog is for you. How to be a sponsored rider.

Do sponsored riders need help?

I’ve written a couple of blogs about sponsorship and sponsored riders, both of which were based on my personal experiences. I stand by everything that I said in these blogs. I truly believe it’s the rider’s job to be attractive to the company…and it annoys and disappoints me each time I receive a Facebook message on a page I admin with the SAME recycled copied and pasted information that has about as much appeal as a gone off tuna sandwich (I don’t like tuna anyway, so gone off tuna is a whole lot worse!). Now, don’t get me wrong, I do work with some good sponsored riders who seem to get it. They have a website, they come to ME with ideas (I love that, it makes me very, very happy), they send me information that I can use on social media for my clients, they respond promptly. The key aspect here is that we work together. I know what my clients want to achieve and I work with a rider to make this happen. The emphasis is on them though as the sponsored rider. I’ll do my best to keep everything ticking along, but I’m not planning to write up a blog for someone when they should have done it. Why should I? I’ll edit it, I’ll pop in the links, I’ll sort out the images, I’ll do all the work for my client, but I should NOT be creating the content too…that’s the job of the sponsored rider. I work with a number  of different brands and a number of different riders (and have worked with many more!) and feel that presenting yourself correctly, doing what you say and knowing what the company is looking for is not just important, it’s essential. But, how would someone who hasn’t been on this side of the fence know all those things? The chances are they wouldn’t…so what can they do?

Can you learn to be a better prospect for sponsorship?

The answer is to learn. If you want to drive a car, you go for lessons. If you want sponsorship, you need to learn how it works. Learn how to be a sponsored rider. Most riders can’t afford a PR to hold their hand at step of the way, but they can afford something like a Skype consultation to chat about their situation, their USP, people they could target and how they can approach them. Of course, the emphasis is, again, on the rider…but so it should be. Hand holding is fine and, let’s be honest, that’s how we all start in whatever job or hobby we do…it’s almost like the lead rein part before the real fun begins. So, here’s my idea.

 

How to keep sponsors happy

how to keep sponsors happyHow to keep sponsors happy

I’ve been blown away by the lovely positive response that my little blog how to be a sponsored rider received – it was nice to have so many people read it, share it, talk about and, hopefully, take something from it. I regularly read tweets and Facebook posts from people moaning that companies in the equestrian industry don’t sponsor and support riders and, from the other side of the fence, the vast majority of riders give them no reason to want to be involved. There has to be a payback, a return-on-investment…and a lot of riders simply don’t give this. Actually, the same can apply to events and competitions requesting sponsorship, but I digress. Before everyone leaps around and says that I’m being negative about the whole industry – rest assured that I am not. I love the equestrian industry and there are a number of riders and a number of events that do an exceptional job for their sponsors. They really do go over and above. But there are many that do not…and, in many cases, it wouldn’t take all that much to make a big difference.

Anyway, as a sequel to last week’s blog (think of the Harry Potter series, but with a little less magic), I thought I should do a follow up blog on top tips to keep sponsors happy. This is not a definite guide and lots more can be done if you just think outside the box a little. So…

1. Do what you say. If you say you’re going to do x, y and z…DO IT. Don’t wait to be reminded. If you promised someone that you’d send regular reports, pictures, products reviews…do it. And, a personal bugbear…if you send someone a picture, make sure that they can use it. If it’s a professional snap, permission needs to be obtained BEFORE it can be used. You do the legwork and get written permission. Please. It’s a basic thing for life this, not just when it comes to how to keep sponsors happy!

2. Go over and above. Promise what you can easily deliver and then apply yourself as to how you can do even more. Be innovative and use your initiative.

3. Wear the kit. If you’ve been given embroidered and branded kit to wear then please, PLEASE wear it. Wear it at shows and competitions, wear it when competing…wear it as much as you can! Again, it’s a simple way to keep sponsors happy but it really does go a long way!

4. Recommend what you use. There are some great forums available and places where people are asking for advice and help with equestrian products, and there are limitless opportunities on social media to promote the products and companies you work with and love. Mention them on social media, make a film showing how you use the kit, take a picture at a show of the product in action, tell your friends…the company will be sponsoring you to increase its exposure, help it do this.

5. Make the link. Can you have a code that friends/students/fellow riders can use when they order to show that the introduction came from you? Speak to the company and see if they can supply you with a promo code or something that perhaps gives a small discount/free P&P but shows the lead. It shows ROI and will help you to be more of an asset at the same time as increasing sales.

6. Give feedback. If you have a product that you love – let the company know. If you have a product that you feel could be improved – let them know. Feedback is an essential part of any business and allows people to assess and adjust as needed. Provide the necessary feedback.

7. Be squeaky clean. Your reputation is something that you have to protect. If you lost everything tomorrow, it would be your reputation that could remake you or break you. Keep your social media profiles clean, remember your manners at competitions and think about how your actions could change how an outsider could view you and your brand. If your actions compromise your brand, something has gone wrong and you could be compromising your sponsorships. I have been astounded (not in a good way) at some of the things that people say on social media. I’m not saying remove your personality, far from it, but launching attacks on others in a PUBLIC FORUM is not acceptable. If you haven’t got anything nice to say, just don’t. There are times when everyone wants to scream and tell the world all about how x has stitched them up or y has copied them or z is clearly out of their tiny mind of thinking what they think…but social media isn’t the way to vent. Call a friend, go and muck out, go to the gym/run to vent your frustrations. Some of the things I have seen on social media from riders has cemented the fact that I would never want a brand I was responsible for to be involved with them.

8. Offer your services. If you have a quiet time out of season, why not say you’re willing to give a free lesson or two for a competition, work on a campaign, do a Q and A on Twitter, offer a yard tour or be involved with a photoshoot? Sponsors love this. Approach your contact and see if they’re interested. It’s soul destroying contacting all your brand ambassadors and asking for their assistance with a project and having one get back to you. This is not how to keep a sponsor happy! It can make you feel like you’re asking for their first born when, actually, you’re asking for a bit of their time to do something that will promote your brand as well as theirs.

9. See the association. Being associated with a good brand is good for your personal brand too. If you can approach other, non conflicting companies and say ‘for x I’ve done this, that and the other’ it makes you far more attractive. Much  better than ‘yeah – I wear their saddlecloth when I remember’…

10. Communicate. Even if you have nothing of interest to say, make sure you drop your sponsor an email explaining what you’ve been up to. Maybe your horse is out of work because of x, y and z and you haven’t been to any shows, but let them know. They may have an idea that could turn a negative into a positive or, at the very least, they’ll know that you are still thinking of them and haven’t fallen into a black hole! You don’t have to write reams each time you contact them, just a quick email between classes at a show, or even a vlog that they can use on their social media that you’ve recorded through your phone. Technology is there to be used and harnessed to make our lives easier…so harness yours.

 

Sponsorship is a two way thing but, as the sponsored rider, the onus is on you to do what you say. This will go a long way to keeping your sponsors happy. I know that you’re very busy, and that’s fine… but the chances are that you will have agreed to something in order to gain a company’s sponsorship , so uphold your end  of the bargain. If you’re too busy to work with the company, don’t approach them in the first place. Go over and above and really show what you can deliver. From small acorns do mighty oaks grow… and you never know where a sponsorship can end if you give it the right amount of attention.