I’ll give it to Facebook. They’ve got the evergreen content strategy nailed. Those reminder posts that they inject into your feed really give you a good perspective of where you are today versus where you were one, two, or five years ago. It’s amazing to sit back and think about what we choose to post at certain moments in our lives, and how much we take for granted in the “in-between” times.
As Firelance Media has grown over the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve seen several shifts in the business of firearms that were almost direct reflections of where I was in my personal training and philosophical journey. Tacticool everything was the rage 5 years ago, and then the market got (and still is) saturated. Then it became all about being the grayman and developing a concealed carry lifestyle. Now it is shifting towards precision and long range and night vision. These market shifts have had a direct effect on how companies adapt and market to their customers, however the adaptation has been slow due to one particular reason. Strategy.
This segment is several years behind other sports related industries like snowboarding, surfing, or even fitness. I don’t see it as a bad thing, I see it as a wealth of opportunity for brands to reinvent themselves and reemerge more focused than ever. Many lessons can be learned from other industries, but for some strange reason, the firearms community (specifically the tactical segment) tends to only market to itself, creating a smaller and smaller customer base. A lot of customers (including me) get bored seeing the same old thing time and again.
The realization that the shift is happening is real. Over the past year specifically, our clients have been coming to us for advice more than imagery. They want strategy sessions where we help them with their marketing. Or ideas on how they can improve their website. Or how to navigate the personalities in this business. Or how to get more traffic. Or position their company for acquisition. Or setup Facebook Ad campaigns. Or develop eCommerce stores. Or get pictures of their events. Or produce documentary videos to tell their story. Or develop email campaigns. And on and on.
All of those examples indicate a lack of strategic thinking capability. That DOES NOT mean that the company was doing anything wrong or that they are incapable, they just don’t have the time, energy, or resources with experience to think down the road 3-5 years and develop a strategy or growth plan.
I’ve been fortunate over the past 20+ years to have worked in a variety of industries where good project planning, strategic thinking, and planned execution was core to success.
As general imagery becomes a commodity (even though there is always a place for awesome high-end work) you’ll start to see us bring our strategic experience to light over the coming months and we’re really excited for what we’ll be rolling out.
We’ll always have a place working behind the camera, but as we shift back towards our consulting roots, I think you’ll find that Firelance has much more to offer than you realize.
So what the hell does that have to do with Facebook Memories? Never forget to take a look back and realize how far you’ve come. You’re better at this than you think.
Also remember that it’s ok if you need help to define your path forward. That’s why we’re here.
Matt Stagliano is a photographer first, and firearms / outdoors enthusiast second. His work has appeared in countless magazines and online outlets such as RECOIL, SKILLSET, Guns & Ammo, Concealment, Breach Bang Clear, Ammoland, and others. He spends most of his time running Stonetree Creative, a full service portrait studio in Maine when he is not on assignment as Firelance Media. Learn more about Stonetree online or follow him on Instagram (@stonetreecreative). On Facebook here.