What do Monet, Van Gogh, and Manet have in common? They were all underappreciated in their time, thus struggling with the poverty endured by so many creative artists. Why do such geniuses of visual craft have to cope with rejection and low sales of their work?
One of the oldest truths in artistry is that the most financially successful creatives are often the lesser-skilled ones. Those who lack skills to make quality photography sometimes excel in business relations, and this can drive better photographers crazy.
If you haven’t yet explored Tony and Chelsea's excellent vlogs, I’d recommend them. The thumbnail of a recent Tony and Chelsea video on this economic paradox reads: “Do nice guys finish last?” This episode details how photographers and businesspeople who are polite and easy to work with tend to do best economically.
When you look at it that way, nice guys should come out ahead.
The turn of phrase "starving artist" can become reality for talented artists who have inadequate business or networking skills. Photographers who write persuasive ad copy, have a slick website, and know how to market their work (even if mediocre) will often produce the best business results.
For the freelancer who has been at it for decades, the success of seemingly unskilled competitors can be a slap in the face. But many of these seasoned photographers never take the necessary time to learn an essential business strategy. Unless the “starving artist" gets lucky or happens to find an enormous audience, they will fall into a pit of obscurity and frustration.
This topic has been discussed here at Fstoppers, but Tony and Chelsea's video is worth sharing, as their breakdown of elements that create smart marketing provides a clear, actionable set of guidelines for talented photographers who are simply struggling on the business end.
Do you have any marketing strategies to add to Tony and Chelsea’s recommendations? Please share them in the comments section below.