Photographers all over the world seem to have a complex about how they can gain more clients and interact with people. Sure, there are shows or conventions that you could attend, but they are always about someone else. You want to show off what you can do, right?
Photography is one of the particular career paths that thrive on interaction and connection. When you photograph for someone, you are now ingrained into a moment of their lives. Every time they see that photo or relive that memory, your name comes up.
How can we be more accessible to our clients, both new and old? How do photographers maintain a professional distance from prospective customers or reach out without seeming desperate? How do new photographers put themselves out there, to begin with, so their work will meet important eyes?
Here are a few tips on how new, or even seasoned, photographers can continue to get their work and their name out and into the industry. If your business or your name is on the lips of other photographers, it’s free marketing for you.
Tip 1: Social Media
This is a standard answer for any creative endeavor. Find a way to gain a social presence by sharing your work and your story. It might seem daunting, but have fun with it. It’s a great place to show your work and connect with other people doing great work too. People will find you with a photo, but they stick around for the story.
Tip 2: Go for Gold (or Green)
Do some reviewing of products. Depending on your niche, of course, this could be a winning combination. Those who wish to break into the commercial photography business will find great value in taking shots of products for other companies. It’s great practice and gets you noticed each time you do it. Reviewing also brings in a little money most of the time as well which then gets invested in more ways you show off your work.
You can also sign up for photo contests. Go ahead, put your work to the real test and see how it is judged against other great photographers like you. It’s often a rewarding, sometimes monetarily, humbling, and an inspiring experience. You are putting your work out there and seeing work of other great people to reflect on that will only make you better.
Ever walked into a coffee shop with nothing on the wall? I bet not. Coffee shops are great places to display and sell some of your printed work. The crowds are mostly other creative people who will appreciate your work and give you the opportunity to show them your work with your name on it. This will help them make a better connection with your work and link that to your business. Plus, if you manage to sell a few, it’s a little money that might have been unexpected.
Tip 3: Off the Beaten Path
Start sharing. No, not more talk about social media, but a different medium. Podcasts. Create a podcast or a few YouTube videos. These can be fun, informational, educational, and more. Facebook Live is another medium that’s catching on like wildfire. Teach someone the buttons on their new camera. Interview photographers in your area and help everyone gain exposure. Social media isn’t the only way to share information. With a little practice, you might even start to like the sound of your own voice.
Tip 4: Teach or Be Taught
Workshops are one of the best ways to get your work out there and meet other creative minds like your own. This is an opportunity to go to a workshop to learn or even start a workshop as a teacher! Every photographer has something to offer. Find new guest speakers to bring in and take notes. Network with other photographers in the area because, as it turns out, you’re all more like a team than enemies.
Marketing is What You Make It
Putting yourself out there is what you make it. It can be scary if you worry about it, humbling if you are boastful, or exciting if you are receptive. No matter what emotion you get from reaching out, to be more accessible, doing so is completely necessary. You will never reach new clients by sitting around and doing nothing. Being yourself, mostly for extroverts, is one of the best marketing strategies you can use. Being yourself as an introvert is one of the best ways to grow and reflect every time you meet someone new.
Don’t be afraid of being accessible to people. This includes clients and other photographers. Enjoy learning, reaching out, and meeting new people. Make friends, snag more clients, and become the professional photographer you are and run the most successful business you can by following these four easy tips.