On the afternoon of 9th February 2012, I sat down at my desk and spent a couple of hours doing a bit of speculative work. As the saying goes, it’s necessary to speculate in order to accumulate. Speculation can help you broaden your markets.
When we sow these seeds, we don’t always know where they may land, or even if they will germinate. But if you don’t sow a seed in the first place there is nothing to grow.
My speculation on this occasion was not for a writing market, but a photography one. A company was interested in seeing photographs that might be suitable for calendars. I spent the afternoon going through my photographic library identifying some images I thought might be suitable.
In October, I had a letter from the calendar company. They wanted to use one of my photos in their Devon calendar for 2014. Then a week later they sent me another. They wanted to use another one in their 2014 Heart of England calendar. Last week, I had another letter: they’re interested in three more photos for the 2014 Shropshire calendar.
I’m now beginning to harvest the benefits from that initial sowing. I’m approaching other calendar companies and putting together an article for photographers about what I’ve learned so far, such as what makes a potential calendar photo. So, even though I’ve targeted a new market, I’m using the experience to give me ideas for my traditional writing markets.
As 2012 enters its final few weeks, think about new markets you might want to consider approaching next year. You never know how these may help you with your existing markets.