As photographers, we spend a lot of time sharing our images and trying to market ourselves on social media. It's no secret that we spend about 20% of our time actually photographing, while the other 80% is spent on our business. In order to be effective on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, however, you have to know the platform. And you have to know your audience for those platforms. Facebook When Facebook was initially launched in February 2004, its audience was clear. It catered specifically to college students. But two years … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Know your platform
Last week, I photographed a two-day conference for the State Bar of Michigan. It was filled with education seminars, an awards banquet, networking events and more. But what stood out to me was the opening keynote. Here's the thing. When it comes to communication and responding to inquiries, many of the same rules for attorneys also apply to photographers. Responding is the most important thing you can do All times of the day, it's important to be able to respond to inquiries. These days, potential clients contact you not only by phone and … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Respond, respond, respond
Earlier this year, I considered entering a large art competition. I had an idea, support behind me in terms of executing it, and thought I could deliver it without a hitch. It was going to be a large-scale photography piece that would be installed on the side of a building. The problem? I underestimated what it would take, and after taking a step back, decided to pass on the opportunity. It's challenges like these that make us better as creatives and as entrepreneurs because we ultimately have to decide what's best for our business. And … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Selectively choosing where to put your efforts
You can have the greatest website in the world, but if it's not optimized for search engines, it'll get lost in the shuffle. Integrating best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) will not only help deliver your website to a higher number of people — it'll also get you some new leads that you wouldn't otherwise have. What do you want to be known for? More important than your name or your company's name for that matter, is knowing what you want to be known for. Are you looking to become a well-known wedding photographer? How about a … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Tackling SEO for photographers
It seems like the In-Person Sales model (IPS) is taking the photography world by storm. Catering to photography genres like portraits, weddings, and families, this sales tactic is a full-service photography experience where you guide the client all the way from planning the shoot to selecting what artwork and size will look best in their home. Because I focus on corporate photography, I reached out to my friend, photography business coach and IPS Mastermind instructor Mark Rossetto to share his insights. What is IPS? A good restaurant … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: IPS, the face-to-face sales model for photography
Facebook and Instagram are great social media platforms to build excitement about your images, but should not be used as an online portfolio to send your clients to. Some don’t have an online portfolio because they don’t have the budget or skills to build a website nor the desire to maintain a WordPress site. Here’s how to create an online portfolio showcasing the very best of your images and the best part, it’s free! Why have a portfolio? An online portfolio should be a collection of your very best images to showcase your skills as a … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Create a free online portfolio
As an event photographer, I'm always asked after a photoshoot when I'll be able to deliver images to clients. In today's social media driven world this is important for clients, so they can show off their event to their followers. With the corporate event clients I work with, I have standard delivery times, but I promise to deliver event photographs within 48 hours. Nine times out of 10, my turnaround time exceeds what the client expects or desires, so it just adds to the positive experience they have with me. Have a reliable workflow I've … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Prompt delivery is key
A few years ago, I met someone from my church who ran a graphic design agency. While our meeting wasn't work-related, it was good to pick his brain a bit and hear some of his stories. He told me that, years ago, he had put all his eggs in one basket. He had one main client and hired 10 people just to work on that client. It was a major chain in the midwest, and it covered 90% of his company's overall income for the year. Then that company changed leadership and went with a different agency. He had to lay off almost all his staff because … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Never become satisfied
Before your next photo shoot is secured, it's important to think about the education process for your clients. I'm not talking about giving away trade secrets here — quite the contrary. Educating your clients shows your expertise at your craft and the business of photography as well. It also shows the client that you care and have some great ideas for them. Gather Information For example, you might be contacted about submitting a quote for a corporate promotional shoot. The most important thing here is to answer as quickly as you can. But … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Educating Your Clients Improves Your Chances of Landing Their Project
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-with-cindy-harter-photofocus-podcast-bonus-episode Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Please post a review on iTunes. In this episode, Skip Cohen and Chamira Young chat with photographer Cindy Harter Sims. We discuss in detail: how the journey of self-discovery can fuel your photography business development how to make financial plans for your business that help ensure success the importance of nailing technique down through unrelenting … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast with Cindy Harter | Photofocus Podcast Bonus Episode!
One thing I keep hearing from photographers — "the photography market is saturated." Undoubtedly, the area you live in is filled with other photographers looking for gigs. The fact of the matter is that if you can differentiate yourself, you'll have no problem securing photographic work. Being Thoughtful I've written in the past about regularly checking in with your clients. But there's more you can do than just sending off a pre-written e-mail. Do something that goes beyond just a basic holiday card sent in December. A friend of mine … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
I shouldn't have been surprised on Wednesday, when Instagram announced its latest product — IGTV. Focused on taking the vertical video format a step further, IGTV is a new app that could be YouTube's biggest competition yet. As photographers, is IGTV something we should embrace? Is it worthwhile to try out yet another social network? The last time I talked about a new option was with Vero. And while I was big on it at first, I've not used it in the last month. Will IGTV suffer the same fate, or will it be in it for the long haul? What is … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Is IGTV the Next Big Thing?
We all know the phrase, "Keep it Simple, Stupid." There's no reason to go in-depth or overanalyze something when it can be done in a simple way. The same can be said about pricing your photography services. There's a few key things to take into account when you're thinking about pricing. While most of us have a standard rate we work off of, this can be interrupted by things like requested discounts, or when you have a larger job that requires more work. Have a Standard It's important to have a standard rate that you work off of. This … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Keep it Simple Pricing Strategies
As a corporate photographer, I get e-mails from potential clients pretty regularly through my website. Most of these e-mails are requests for quotes or checking my availability. I try to respond to e-mails pretty quickly, and for the most part, the potential clients answer back. But there are always some that slip through the cracks. Why Don't Potential Clients Respond? There are three main reasons I've found that potential clients don't respond, even after reaching out to you directly. You're One in One Hundred In this case, they've … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: What to Do When Potential Clients Don’t Respond
Every photographer, one day or another, will be asked to give away photos. This is something that most photographers either have a strict policy about or decide on a case-by-case basis. While the idea of giving away your work might be a tricky one to accept, it's also something that might help you in your goal to become a full-time photographer. Let me explain. Why Would You Give Away Photos? I've written in the past about volunteering your services for non-profit groups to get your work out there — and this is no different. If you've … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Should You Give Away Photos?
At this year's NAB Show, Chris Do, CEO, and Founder of Blind, controversially stated that vlogging is effectively dead. As social media continues to evolve, with the introduction of Cake.co and other networks, can the same be said for traditional blogging? Blogging has been around since the mid-90s and has been a staple of the internet world. Whether it's keeping up with your family's adventures to finding the latest and greatest recipes, blogs make up a big piece of the worldwide web. For photographers, blogging has been a way to get our … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Is Blogging Dead?
One of the biggest struggles I have in using Instagram is deciding what hashtags to use. I usually use some that are consistent with each post, specific to my camera make (Olympus), location and type of photography. But recently, I discovered a tool to make this a little easier — Focalmark. The app is available for free (with paid upgrades) for both iOS and Android devices. How it Works With Focalmark, you can copy up to 30 hashtags directly to Instagram or your phone's clipboard. Focalmark works by asking you three questions. First, it … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Strategize Your Instagram Hashtags with Focalmark
If you're just starting out in photography, one of the biggest challenges is finding your first few clients. While you can have a great social media presence and website, it doesn't mean anything if you can't find clients (and are trying to). So what are some good ways to get in front of people and attract clients? Shoot and Share This is one of the greatest things I did starting out. I attended public events in community spaces and took photographs. I took candids, posed photos and covered the event like I thought I should. If people … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Easy, Creative Ways to Attract Clients
You may have made the contact, and have the lead, but what good is it if you don't visibly show your potential client that you're interested in working with them? For most of us, we don't give things like body language and how we communicate a second thought. But it's important to take these things into consideration, especially when approaching a new client or presenting an up-sell. Start Your Day Off Right, and Be Ready Before you even drive to your meeting, it's important to take a few notes. Try to find out as much about the person as … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Show Your Client That You’re Interested
As photographers, we often put the focus on our client's image, rather than our own. But having something as simple as a professional headshot shouldn't be something we only recommend for clients — after all, we're professionals too. A headshot is often the first impression someone has of you, so be sure to have a professional yet engaging portrait to show your network. Make it Clear and Professional Just like your clientele, you want your headshot to look professional. This means staying away from a busy background. I personally opted for … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Make Sure You Have a Headshot Too!
One of the biggest struggles I had when first starting my business was how to price my photography. And while there's no easy answer, there is a recipe for success that I've followed for the past few years. 1) Your Time + Your Costs There's more that goes into pricing your photography than just your time shooting. You have to remember preparation and setup, post-processing and client communication. Most clients don't like to see these items lined out on an invoice, but be sure to pack it into your overall hourly cost. In fact, the only item I … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: The Value of a Professional Photographer
When it comes to developing websites, there's one term that gets met with a lot of confusion — Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Recently I decided to redesign my website, and instead of just uploading pretty pictures, I made sure that everything was optimized for search engines. The hope was that I would be better found as a corporate event photographer in my area. An Image-Driven Website Before my website redesign, I focused on my images and highlighting them as best as possible. For me, this meant having a five-image slideshow that would … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: The One Change I Made to Increase My Website Leads
You might have noticed a few changes to Instagram over the past week — and now it's official. Instagram has caved, and has decided to make newer posts more important to its users. I had received messages from several people about this over the past few days, and while I, too, had noticed some changes, Instagram made it official on Thursday, saying in a press release, "With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won't miss the moments you care about." What This Means Simply put, you're more likely to see new posts from the … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Instagram Caves, New Posts to Appear First in Feed
One of the things I've been playing around with lately is looking at different ways to market myself using my existing imagery. At WPPI, I happened to find a great way to do this with Animoto, a company that lets you create both marketing and slideshow videos for your business. You can customize them to your liking, using your own images and text, and then share on social media and elsewhere on the web. The videos that Animoto produces are not only easy to produce but engaging. The platform comes with a wide array of customizable templates … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Marketing Videos that Don’t Suck
When I was out west for WPPI, I kept hearing about the latest and greatest social network, Vero. Despite the initial bugs, I immediately signed up, anxious to see whether Vero could be a helpful platform for photographers. There's been a lot of debate about Vero's CEO and his past, but so far, the platform is pretty impressive. What is Vero, and How is It Different? Despite having an uptick in popularity the last couple weeks, Vero isn't new — it's been around since 2015. It's positioned as a mobile-only platform that works on both iOS and … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Is Vero the Next Facebook or Instagram?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about some out-of-the-box ideas to get your photography marketing going in what is typically the slower winter months. One of these ideas was mentoring an up-and-coming photographer, which I thought I'd expand upon. My Mentoring History When I dove into photography a few years back, I was lucky enough to have a mentor to help guide me along the journey. Our paths to starting out were similar — we both left full-time jobs for the aurora of being a creative. This mentor helped me start out my career and give me … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Embracing and Mentoring Fellow Photographers
Nearly all of my professional photography is done as the in-house photographer for Cull Group, Inc, the marketing, and design agency my husband and I own in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There are a few matters that might be helpful to understand for someone who wants to start working with an agency but isn’t sure what to expect. Be Prepared to Be Mobile When working with an agency, you probably won’t always be able to shoot out of your home or actual studio. I’ve had headshot sessions that were at the client’s location and large-scale sessions … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Working With a Design Agency
In December, I went through some of the most popular social networks and wrote about how to make your images pixel-perfect when exporting. There continues to be one social network that reigns supreme — Facebook. While it's fairly easy to crop and export for Facebook through Lightroom, it's even easier with the built-in crop tool in Luminar 2018. Working with the Luminar Crop Tool If you've cropped images in Photoshop, Lightroom or any other image processing software, you'll feel right at home when doing so in Luminar. Whether you export a … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Cropping for Facebook with Luminar 2018
Every year I have my ups and downs when it comes to my photography schedule. For me, typically the winters are less active in terms of business, while the fall picks up like crazy. During those slow times, I try to think a bit outside the box in terms of finding ways to get my name out there as a photographer. Support Your Existing Clients If your client has an upcoming event that they haven't contracted a photographer for, reach out. They might not be thinking about photography for the event, but here's your chance to offer your services. … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Creative Ways to Expose Your Brand