Out of sorts?

12 May, 2023

Lying in bed a few weeks ago, with very little brain power to do much more than half-heartedly meander through Google, I discovered the origin of the idiom ‘Out of sorts’.


In the world of printing (pre-computers) the letters were called ‘sorts’. If there were some missing, you were ‘out of sorts’.

(I should know better. My early days in advertising were spent working with some amazing typographers.)

I love this idea that important letters, or pieces missing from a sentence, can translate to a feeling of unease and lack of flow. I’m the kind of person that can’t breathe if a comma isn’t where it needs to be.

We need all our body parts (including our brain and lungs) to be working, or we can feel out of sorts.

Likewise, your business can feel out of sorts.

You might be desperate for some decent jobs, feeling invisible, confused, or lacking in direction.

When I meet and work with photographers, it’s often easy for me to see the missing pieces in their marketing strategy.

It boils down to these key parts:

  1. Have a clear vision. What do you want to be known for?
  2. Know your brand. What do you do best and how does your work make people feel?
  3. Identify the brands and creatives who will pay for that. Who will appreciate and value what you do and how you do it?
  4. Build your online presence in the language that those people will understand. Your amazing work, their language. Whether it’s advertising folk, designers, photo editors, or a marketing manager at a brand, they will all have their own way of finding and selecting photographers.
  5. Consistently make work that you love making. It will inspire the right people and they’ll hire you because of it, especially if your online presence is speaking their language.
  6. Put into place a system that allows you to share and connect, share and connect, share and connect. It’s a long game and consistency, once again, is key.

If any of these steps is missing, or in the wrong order, you may not be getting the results you’d like.

But if you can identify the missing pieces you have a wonderful opportunity to get things flowing again.

This week I challenge you to run through the above checklist and see what you can fix.

And as always, I’m here to help.

If your marketing seems out of sorts, schedule a free call with me here . I’ll pop my printer hat on, and run through the above steps with you to check for missing pieces, and then suggest ways I can help.