This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Marketing 101 - understanding exposure in a world of privacy

As an old Marketing guy, I understand exposure. That is, I want people to know about my clients, to recognize them, to know what they do. My specialty has always been the kind of "soft sell" image advertising that lets my clients put their best face forward. If this is new to you, it can all seem very confusing, and possibly on the edge of making things look "too good to be true", but really it's just exposure.

Since the invention of Facebook I've seen a lot of people taken by surprise at how careful management of exposure can give an impression that seems too good to be true. I've seen people who have learned how to catch the angle of a photo just right to hide that the fact that they're overweight, or use dramatic lighting to show off their six-pack abs. The list goes on and on, and when you think about it, it's exactly the same thing that people do when they have photos taken of a house they're going to sell. They make sure that it looks the best it can be. Of course, nobody's house is that clean and perfect, and that offends some people. It doesn't bother me at all, I understand the importance of exposure.

If you're interested in learning how exposure works, talk to a model, or an actor. I've known a few of them, and believe me, they like exposure. They always have "head shots", which shows them looking their best. They usually have a LOT of photos, and videos, etc. Their next job could come from anywhere, someone seeing them on Instagram, someone seeing them at the grocery store. I've spent a lot of time in Studio City, California, where people are seen by modeling agencies, talent scouts, you name it. The grocery store on Riverside and Laurel Canyon is practically a runway of models walking by all of the time. Of course, the superstar actors and models don't have to do this, they don't seek exposure, they want to be left alone. The other 99% are seeking exposure.

One of the strangest combinations that I see quite often is artists who are dealing with the concept of exposure. Of course, most artists just want to go do their art, they don't want to have photos taken of themselves, stand around at cocktail parties, be interviewed, that sort of thing. And it comes as a terrible jar for most artists when they encounter that world, which they have to do to make their art commercial. If the only people who know about them, and their art, are a handful of friends, and their dog, there really isn't much chance of making a sale.

And that's what it's all about: sales. Without doing that, a model is just another pretty face walking by. Once a contract is signed, the process of commerce begins. And that's the whole world of business - of licensing, or royalties, which is a whole 'nother can of worms. And if you're wondering why there are so many starving artists, it's because most artists don't even want to think about commercialism. And it starts with exposure.

Image at the top of this post: One of my clients, Motivational Speaker Joel Weldon. He's standing in front of an audience of thousands of people. That's exposure.

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