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.