Mar­ket­ing your work

What­ever ca­reer path you take, un­der­stand­ing how to pro­mote your work is es­sen­tial if you’re go­ing to get the suc­cess your pho­tog­ra­phy de­serves…

Digital Camera World - - COVER STORY -

THERE ’S no point in shoot­ing amaz­ing im­ages if peo­ple are never go­ing to see them!

As a pro pho­tog­ra­pher, your job isn’t just to press the trig­ger. You have to wear sev­eral hats: ac­coun­tant, photo ed­i­tor, lo­ca­tion re­searcher and, of course, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer.

No­body else is go­ing to do the hard work of pro­mot­ing your pho­tog­ra­phy for you, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few sim­ple things you can try to drum up busi­ness. Many peo­ple think mar­ket­ing is a dark art, but it’s quite straight­for­ward: just use ev­ery means at your dis­posal to tell peo­ple what you’re shoot­ing and why they should hire you or buy from you. Here are six ideas to get you started…

1 Al­ways carry busi­ness cards

One of the cheap­est and most ef­fec­tive ways of mar­ket­ing your pho­tog­ra­phy is to not only in­vest in some busi­ness cards, but to also carry them at all times. You won’t be­lieve how many op­por­tu­ni­ties present them­selves where peo­ple will tell you they (or a friend) need the ser­vices of a pho­tog­ra­pher, so be ready for it.

A set of 50 qual­ity busi­ness cards will cost from £20, but re­mem­ber, the card is a re­flec­tion of your busi­ness, so avoid cheap deals that use in­fe­rior stock paper.

2 Build a port­fo­lio web­site

Hav­ing a per­ma­nent web­site where po­ten­tial cus­tomers can not only view, but also buy, your im­agery is the sin­gle most im­por­tant mar­ket­ing de­ci­sion a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher can make.

With a mul­ti­tude of plat­forms to choose from, you are spoilt for choice, with many web­sites of­fer­ing a ‘full cir­cle’ ser­vice that show­cases your work, pro­vides links to so­cial me­dia plat­forms, in­cludes a cart and check­out fa­cil­ity and con­nects to print­ing labs to ful­fil or­ders so you don’t have to lift a fin­ger.

Don’t for­get to go the ex­tra yard and set up a proper do­main name for your site.

3 Blog about your work

Reg­u­larly telling peo­ple about the pho­to­graphs you’re al­ready tak­ing gives them a pre­view of how you ap­proach photo shoots, the gear you use and the fin­ished prod­uct you cre­ate. This can in­flu­ence a client’s de­ci­sion to hire you – and a busy shooter is a pho­tog­ra­pher in de­mand.

By shar­ing your ac­tiv­ity on a blog, it also en­cour­ages peo­ple to re­visit your site for up­dates; and blogs can, in turn, be shared to your Face­book page.

4 Dive into so­cial me­dia

There’s no mis­tak­ing so­cial me­dia has changed the pho­tog­ra­phy in­dus­try. One pic­ture go­ing ‘vi­ral’ can cat­a­pult a pho­tog­ra­pher into the spot­light and help them gain ma­jor ex­po­sure. Ev­ery pho­tog­ra­pher who wants to make money from their camera should set up a Face­book page – it’s free and takes a mat­ter of min­utes to cre­ate and sec­onds to main­tain with posts. The same goes for In­sta­gram, a great plat­form for shar­ing im­ages and video.

5 Show­case your prints

If you are keen to sell prints off­line, try ap­proach­ing lo­cal busi­nesses in your area, like in­de­pen­dent restau­rants. Chat to the man­ager and ask if they would like to show­case a few of your prints. It’s a great deal for both par­ties: you get to show­case your work to a new au­di­ence, while the busi­ness gets prints on the wall for free!

You can go a lit­tle fur­ther and do­nate a print to the lo­cal health cen­tre. Not only do you do a good deed, but your pho­tog­ra­phy is seen by even more po­ten­tial cus­tomers.

6 At­tend trade shows

The Pho­tog­ra­phy Show is the big­gest UK pho­tog­ra­phy event and is at­tended by all ma­jor brands. Along with the op­por­tu­nity to bag a bar­gain piece of kit, it places you in a hall with hun­dreds of like-minded pro­fes­sion­als, plus a num­ber of key in­flu­encers who could help steer your pro ca­reer.

Smaller events also take place around the coun­try: these also serve up the chance for you to mar­ket your pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness to a new crowd.

Above So­cial me­dia can pro­vide you with a gate­way to dis­cover new au­di­ences, make con­tact with other pro­fes­sion­als and re­alise fresh op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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