Stop Selling Yourself to Photographers
With social media ever present in our daily lives, it’s easy to turn to photographers across the world for critiques. Photographers everywhere, some much better than you, some much worse, will climb out of the woodwork to tear your work apart, or give it the praise of a lifetime. Because of this, its so easy to get caught up in the thoughts of other working pro’s opinions about what to do next. Stop.
Sure, take their advice, if its good. They’ll teach you about composition, posing, color and everything else. They may be able to rip apart your photo, and inevitably make the next one better. But don’t you dare market towards photographers.
If you’re running a business in photography, you need to remember that your clients aren’t photographers in Seattle, Chicago, New York, or Omaha, they’re in your neighborhood. They’re simple people looking to have their wedding captured, or their families, or themselves. They’re just trying to be a part of photos that are interesting to them. They’re looking for you to to make them happy with a product they’ll love. Those photographers you’re constantly showing off your work to aren’t going to make your business better. They’re not going to pay your rent or your car insurance, your clients are.
Sure, there are exceptions. Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, and David Hobby have all had incredible success marketing towards photographers. This website is another obvious example. But there is a huge disparity between photographers who have found success marketing to photographers, and photographers who have found success through clients. The odds of you being able to travel the world teaching classes on lighting is far more unlikely than you finding success in focusing on your craft as a photographer and marketing yourself.
Separate yourself from the industry for a second. Just because Sara Kiesling commented on your status once doesn’t mean that you’re going to get exponentially more work with photography. Do people in the city you live in know who you are? Are you a part of your own community? Is your work immediately recognized throughout town?
So take a moment and stop. Stop asking for other photographers to like your Facebook page (like my page, please), and start looking for ways to engage your clients and your community.
Instead of setting up meet ups with your photography friends, find community events that you can be part of. Instead of Skyping with your favorite photographer out of Miami, communicate with your local Chamber of Commerce on a possible business profile in their monthly flier. For every ten minutes you spend talking to a photographer on the other side of the country or world, you need to spend twenty talking to someone locally. Do that, and you’ll really see growth in your business and in your craft.