The real cost of your marketing is not the money spent per month, but the cost of opportunity for leaving money on the table.
Don’t think about the set amount you spend every month for your marketing while you are building your brand.
“Instead, consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales that you are losing for not properly promoting your photography business”Instead, consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales that you are losing for not properly promoting your photography business.
This mindset is all too common for photographers! Often, creative photographers who are artists cannot see beyond their creations. Your images are always lovely in front of your eyes but often never seen in the photography market because of a lack of a business mind.
It does not have to be this way, but it is a fact of life for more than 90% of photographers worldwide who rely on and believe their images will do the trick instead of business and marketing power.
Selling photography and visual services is just like selling cars! Sounds awful? Yes, but even cars that are selling are marketed with images shot by somebody who saw the idea and visual marketing in the first place.
On average, photographers spend about $10,000 or more for their gear. And, some go beyond hundreds of thousands of dollars and never even produce a single image that gets published. Have we reached the point of sugarcoated blindness followed by insanity? It sure looks like it from my side of the fence. Trust me when I say, I was there.
“They run the gizmo-obsessed trigger-fingers who get hypnotized by their geeky message that convinces them, “This new thingy will give you better images.”I get it; manufacturers run the visual industry. Wrong; they don’t. They run the gizmo-obsessed trigger-fingers who get hypnotized by their geeky message that convinces them, “This new thingy will give you better images.”
We all like gear, and we want it all. But when the books get balanced you’ll eventually realize that when it comes to photography, self-promotion is the single most important plan you should investigate.
Here’s a quick hypothecal example for a possible marketing scenario:
- You just shot great images and believe that they are as good as anybody’s images seen in the leading publications.
- You have edited them, and there are 100s of winner choices that look gorgeous.
- But you don’t know how to approach the industry specialists or editors.
- You leave them on your hard drive and post something on social media instead.
Let’s start that over again!
- You have finally shot quality images that may be eligible for pro-publishing.
- You have edited your images, and a few of them could be winners (“Twelve significant pictures in any one year is a good crop,” -Ansel Adams).
- Since editors usually approach known photographers, be ready to up your game and have something substantial that fits their chosen category and demographics.
- Study the photography marketplace. Market your photography and prepare yourself for the big day when you are ready to knock some editorial and commercial doors down.
- Have a website that caters towards clients who are your target market.
- Consider doing or having someone with experience do some SEO work for your website.
Assign yourself a small budget that you wish to spend monthly to promote your services. Start with $200 per month on social media and adjust accordingly but choose your target market wisely. You might not see results right away! Only expect to heighten awareness about you and your brand. Decide if you are marketing your services or branding.
These are just a few tips that the photography business entails. Clearly, each one of you is a unique case, and your plan should reflect what works best for you.
There are numerous ways how photographers can market their magic and get prepared for publishing. Before you start selling yourself, identify your desired photography style and to whom you are marketing because this is what for which you will be known. Here is a quick reminder of what the world of publishing is looking for from qualified photographers:
- Latest style
- Expertise in lighting and style
- Clarified imagery with message
- Ability to sell products for their clients, publication subscriptions, clothing, style factors, cars, and even cameras.
I hope that this gets you thinking further about your photography business. In the meantime, I am focusing on 2017 production budgets and how I can steer some of that into my bank account. So should you!
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