If you’re like me and live in a town of 1,300, marketing is the most difficult aspect of business you’ll encounter. Marketing with conventional methods is often extremely difficult or even impossible. In this article I will outline some conventional and non-conventional ways of marketing yourself in a small town.
One of the biggest hits at a wedding reception (or any event) is the photobooth. It’s an area where guests can gather around and make ridiculous faces, dress in silly props, and have an overall great time. When running a photography business that shoots events, we are always asked if we offer photobooth services, so I think it's a natural evolution to want to incorporate one into your packages. When I first found the booth from Photobooth Supply Co, it instantly stood out from all the other options.
This is one of the most important questions that most photographers out there have been asking themselves. We admire the photographers who have their own styles, and sometimes we try to imitate their styles that we like most. We were all taught to try everything, until we find our own unique visual styles. But, is that really important?
One of the most common questions photographers have is about how to effectively price their work. Rates vary so widely based on location and skill level that many are left scratching their heads as to what is fair. This has led to the common mantra stating “ask for the clients budget.” Here is why I think that's a ridiculous way to price yourself and a horrible piece of advice.
Photographers are creative entrepreneurs. As creative entrepreneurs, most of us aspire to monetize our craft and make a living as artists. In order to run our businesses efficiently, it’s important to have tools and systems in place. If you’re a single person operation, it can be overwhelming at times to think about all the things that go into running your business that aren’t “photography,” including but not limited to marketing, bidding, invoicing, making phone calls, sending emails, networking, upgrading equipment, and higher education to name just a few. Without systems, it’s easy to get off track.
That title might sound a little bit backwards to most of you, but it is not. I know many professionals feel you shouldn't do any photography for free, especially after you have worked your tail off to get to a point where people will pay you to make images. However, even as a full time professional photographer, I actually do a lot of free work. But I do it only on my owns terms, and do turn down many offers.
Renting studio spaces can get pretty pricey, especially in big cities like New York. VSCO is now offering free studio time in their New York location for all artists. If you are in the area, and have a project that requires a studio, this could be an awesome opportunity to take advantage of. The studio includes a permanent cyc wall and even some basic lighting to get you going.
So, you’ve got your portfolio finished. You have strong images that display the work that you want to be hired for. Your website is branded in a way that appeals to your target market. Your business cards are all set to go. So why aren’t clients flying through your door?
A few months ago we shared that Instagram began to roll out some pretty powerful analytic tools called "Insights," though as many of you might have gathered it's not available to the masses just yet. Select users have their hands on the tools currently and they are able to track things like impressions, total reach, clicks to the link in your bio, and even what percentage of your followers are male or female. The tools expand further down into regions of the world your followers are from, including the exact city. Here is how to get them right now, for free.
Thomas C. Corley, author of Rich Habits, wrote that the the most successful business owners create multiple sources of income. Seasoned photographers have experienced the ebb and flow of the portrait business over the years and know that the best way to stay afloat is to be consistently adaptable. Maintaining multiple baskets for income to be generated is key to surviving a slow season.
You may have purchased your first DSLR camera, you may have already fallen in love with the art of photography, you may be thinking about taking your work to the professional level, but what would my best piece of advice be to an aspiring professional photographer? My advice may surprise you.
A number of websites offer multimedia content to content creators for their projects through an easy-to-access online portal. But as well as those sites serve the many that use them, they all have one thing in common: they set the price for all content. Letting photographers, videographers, and musicians set the price for their own work, Pond5 is an exception in a set of businesses between which it is increasingly hard to differentiate.