Marketing for photographers
It is exciting when creatives decide to take their hobby of photography and see if they can make it into a career. It is interesting though, how beginners and even those who have been in the industry for a while, may not realize how important marketing is.
It is therefore important to think about your marketing strategy. Your marketing plan can be broken down into the following components:
What does distribution mean and why should I even try to go down that road?
Let’s take for example, you have a Facebook Fan Page. Perhaps, you have a nice 500 fans. This means when you post, you have a distribution of 500.
The question on everyone’s lips is, how do I get seen by more people?
It is very important to have a website/blogsite to showcase a portfolio, plus ideally an Instagram/social media account as a reference point. When people see your work or hear your name, they will go here.
Now to get seen by a bigger distribution, think instead of 500 people, what about an extra 1,000 people? Scrap that, what about 100,000 people? How do you get seen by 100,000 readers?
Simply, by getting your work published in magazines, publications and newsletters in print and online. Then you ensure you have a media/press page on your website and include the publication online. This gives strength that you are a talented photographer and serious about accepting work.
How do you get published?
Prepare a press release with images you are happy for the publication to use. A press release is a document that is news based however promotes you. This is free advertising, meaning you don’t have to pay them to promote you. Plus, if the press release does get printed you will instantly receive a noticeably higher following for readers who saw it and want to see more of your work.
Photo credit to @trevis_travel
Who is your target audience?
Okay, I know, you feel that everyone is your target audience, am I right? Or perhaps at a certain age bracket? It can be difficult to work out your target audience but if you zone in on it and focus marketing directly to this market, you will have a higher chance of reaching your sales expectations.
How do you find your target audience?
A couple of questions first, what type/s of photography are you going to focus on? Now this might determine who your target audience is. For example, if you want to do portraits or art photography, having an art gallery in a store might be how you sell your work as well as an online store. Your ideal buyer would be people walking into the store to browse and then decide to book in a family portrait etc., while your art photography might be sold in store and online by browsers who like your work.
If for example, you want to get into commercial photography, your ideal target audience are businesses and advertising agencies. As the commission from one project may be high the stress of finding another photography job immediately after, may not be such a burden. Although, I must stress that it is important to continue marketing otherwise momentum will stop.
Now, what if you want to be wedding photographer?
What if instead of just shooting weddings you also sought out wedding/bride-to-be publications and pitched to be their contractor or professional photographer? This way you have two sources of income coming in, from two types of audiences and once you get to a point where you are receiving more income from one source, you can slowly drop the amount of time you spend on the other type or become more exclusive and therefore increase your fee.
Obviously, there are many different types of photography and ways to market your work. It is how you look at who would be interested in buying your work that will have you re-align your focus to a better marketing plan.
When it comes to general marketing, think about building your online fan base/followers and the sales will come.
Who to watch
A photographer worth watching is Trevis from Trevis_Photography. With 13.4K followers on Instagram, building an online following sets you up for when you go to sell your photography services and products. Also, with any social media site, if you have a large following with followers engaging with your posts, you might get seen by a business and get paid to take photographs and post them online.
Photo credit to @trevis_travel
With Trevis’s bio on Instagram stating his background is in Actuarial studies and statistics it shows that for many creatives, starting their passion on the side, while either studying and/or working occurs before they take their dreams and make it the forefront of their lives.
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