Edit, November 2010: I am pleased to announce that I have condensed the content of my How to Become a Pro Photographer series into a concise, richly illustrated 27 page eBook that contains all the info, professional insight, links and resources included in the blog posts.
The great benefit of having it in eBook format is that you can have all the info at your fingertips, in one place, right on your computer or iPad.
Marketing is where things start to get scary for some photographers. After all, we’re passionate enough about our imagery to want to make this our full or part time profession, and we’re certainly adept with technology and digital imaging gear. However, this is where photography starts enter the business realm, which, unfortunately, doesn’t always come easy to some creative and artistic types.
However, photographers are good at creative problem solving, right? We problem solve apertures, shutter speeds, lighting conditions, subject placement in the frame and tweaking our shots in post processing.
Well, marketing is the same thing. It’s solving a very simple creative problem that can easily be summed up in one sentence.
“How can I convince clients to hire me?”
Marketing is simply finding creative ways to get your name and imagery in front of potential customers enough times so that they remember you and eventually find a reason to hire you. In that sense, marketing is a long term solution. It’s laying a foundation that you build on each time you make a contact.
They say it takes seven impressions until someone remembers you. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It takes longer than that for them to need your services, and it takes even longer for them to actually pull the trigger and call you for a job.
I send promo cards to my clients on a regular basis. Then one day, after about seven years of that, one of my cards landed on the desk of the Outdoor Photographer Magazine editor right when he was trying to decide who to feature in the next issue. I got the call, and it not only turned into a feature story about me and my work, he also assigned me to write a feature article and photo package about the stock photo industry for their sister publication, Digital Photo Pro.
That said, there are definitely times where someone will come across your website, see what they like and call you right away. In fact, these days, with websites becoming the primary way to view a photographer’s work, it’s happening more often.
Whether someone calls after seeing your website once or because they’ve seen your promo cards for ten years, the basic rule of marketing is the same. You have to make each impression count, ESPECIALLY the first one.
Want the rest of the info? Get the eBook.