Landscape photography marketing is one area that photographers often find particularly hard. But if you want your photography business to grow, you have to know how to market yourself and your work.
Why artists need to market themselves? So that, you the artist, wouldn’t starve to death.
No, but seriously. Otherwise, you risk ending up like Vincent Van Gogh who (in the words of Steven Pressfield) “produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”
A lot of artists have this notion that they’re the creative person, and marketing belongs to the business world. Some even think it’s evil or dirty to promote themselves, and they don’t want to have anything to do with this” filthy” world.
The truth is, it’s your job to market yourself. You are the artist, and you know how to spread the word about your work. After all, you created it. You can’t rest after creating your art; you need to start marketing it.
With the decline of reach on both Facebook and Instagram, I have started to focus my energy into LinkedIn. When I decide to do something I usually research the best practices and methods first, create a plan, and then get down to business. I am lucky this time though, as I knew a couple of guys who could help me out. I met Maurice Jager two years ago in Germany, and since then we keep bumping into each other in America. Every time I speak to Maurice he advocates the use of LinkedIn, and has given me so many great nuggets of info on how to navigate it successfully. Because of this, I thought there was no better person to explain the benefits of LinkedIn than the man himself. So get a pen and pad ready and take some notes.
If you run a photography business, then you know that photography skills alone aren’t enough for success. Good marketing is one of the important aspects of business, and automotive photographer Clint Davis has made a brilliant move promoting his work. He used Lego kits to create personalized promotional mailers for his clients. Clint invested a lot of time and creativity into this project, and the end result sure shows it!
You don’t own your Facebook page. Yes, the page that you invested hundreds of hours to build, nourish and cultivate is not yours. It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s. The new Facebook’s Explore Feed feature works differently in Serbia and a few other countries than in the rest of the world. This shows that, by building a photography page, you’re actually working for Mark. You have to either pay, or forget about Facebook for business promotion and growing your audience.
In my last article “Photography marketing: preparing the ground for your business to flourish” I pointed out how we can do our best to market ourselves and how — occasionally — coincidences or serendipity play a much bigger role than marketing.
Now I want to go through the habits that could significantly improve the chances for your photography business to flourish. Easy things that can be done to encourage those potential clients to work with us. You want those tips that are going to boost your photography business, don’t you?
Ready? Here we go:
A guy that started his career without even having a portfolio wants you to know what he finds important to consider when it comes to market your work.
After I published “What is decisive in a photographer’s career?” I got quite a few comments in a couple of Linkedin groups.
In my article I pointed out how opportunities, more than technical skills, creativity or experience, are a key factor to determine success. Someone suggested me to change the wording from ‘opportunities’ to ‘marketing’, because good marketing generates opportunities and, more often than not, photographers seems to lack that very skill.
I totally agree with the fact that effective marketing is essential, but my focus was on something slightly different. What I was trying to underline was precisely the importance of opportunities. And, actually, I believe that marketing doesn’t necessarily replace opportunities.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… When you start thinking about social networks, your head starts to spin. There are so many of them, and it’s not easy to decide which ones you should use as a photographer. Using them all takes a lot of time. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish what makes the use for business and what’s just for fun. In this video, Joe Edelman gives you an A to Z of social media use for photographers. Meet their pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to prepare images for social networks without wasting too much time.
There are many books and countless online articles about marketing your photography business, each with their own thoughts and opinions. Over recent years, the main the push has been towards social media and the wide audience it brings to the photographic entrepreneur. However, with sites like Facebook basically giving page managers the finger unless they pay to have their page promoted, I fear that it won’t be long before others follow suit and the viability of social networking as a means of marketing for small business will be a thing of the past. So, what do we do?
In a recent article over at Fstoppers, Craig Beckta shares how to effectively grow your marketing reach while others are losing theirs. “Don’t make the mistake of countless other photographers by building your business on someone else’s platform,” he cautions, which is exactly what marketing through social media is. But, Craig offers a different approach.
Self-employement can be great, but one of the worst parts about being in business for yourself is…well, being in business for yourself. So much more responsibility rests directly on you, and you almost literally hold the key to your success or failure. You are salesman, accountant, receptionist, customer service representative, coffee fetcher…and, somewhere way down the list is the actual service you provide.
Many of us dislike or perhaps loath some of the other hats we must wear. We’d rather be shooting the covers of magazines than spending time cold-calling, trying to land that next magazine cover shoot. But, one area where many well-meaning and driven photographers lack expertise is in actually marketing their services and bringing in new clients. Sure, there are plenty of divas who simply think if they shoot what they love that the masses will blaze a trail to their door, but most photographers are simply intimidated by the prospect of marketing or at a loss as to where they should begin.
And then, there’s always the cost factor. Many of us don’t have large marketing budgets. We can’t afford to launch TV campaigns the are synchronized with print and online advertising pushes and reach tens of thousands of people in a short time. We are stingy with our money, not because of a dark, miserly side, but simply because we know the value of the money we earn and always seem to have a million other areas to which we could apply it. However, marketing your photography business doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Fashion and editorial photographer Jeff Rojas is based in New York City. He has competition on every street corner and a budget that doesn’t come to close to rivaling the GDP of even the world’s poorest nations. (I mean, which of us really does, right?) So, with a little time and creativity, Jeff has done his best to maximize the budget that he does have.