By Guest Blogger Kristen Gramigna
Thanks to customer trust in social media and e-commerce platforms, photographers can now cater to customers regardless of where they’re located — provided they can cut through the clutter that exists in a crowded photography space. Here are some simple tips on how to get your work noticed, regardless of the size or location of your current customer base.
Share your knowledge. Photographers have knowledge that would be useful to anyone who takes pictures, and it’s a marketing advantage for those who know how to leverage it! The objective in sharing your knowledge is simple: Build online credibility and reach more potential prospects with as little investment as possible.
Consider how you can share tips in a “shareable” format like a brief blog post that shares lighting tips, a visual infographic that walks a user through the best color scheme for a group photo shoot, or even a YouTube video that teaches how to make a subject feel comfortable in front of the camera. Get clever about how you can put your own personal spin on “evergreen” subjects and you’ll likely find numerous opportunities to partner with blogs, local broadcast media, publications and business associations who will welcome your expert insight as a guest blogger, speaker or featured interviewee, allowing you to cast a wide net to potential prospects.
The more reputable and credible the partnerships you form, the more likely that their link back to your site (from theirs) will boost your website’s search engine ranking, to ultimately make your name and website appear near or at the top of more search results.
Leverage social media. Social media has become a medium based on visual images. Ensure that everything you post is conducive to sharing on any social media channel your prospects use, including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. To generate more repeat interactions, you might also consider offering a few low-resolution downloadable digital images (that you don’t intend to sell) that people can use on their sites, blogs or on social media that represent your talents appropriately. In exchange for this, you’ll gain more exposure, like a link back to your site from wherever the image is published, and an agreement that the user will tweet any image they download and “like” your Facebook page.
Segment your audiences. Understanding what images people are most likely to buy — and why — can help you stand out in a crowded photography space. Search your own sales history to spot the “best sellers” in your collection, and to determine how you can leverage that success further. Consider the subject matter of the piece, size, price point, how the buyer found your piece, and why it was purchased. Once you understand how people find your work and what moved them to purchase, form a strategy to segment your prospects and customers so you can market to them appropriately.
For example, past customers who are corporations may respond to a promotional offer for free low-resolution images when they purchase pricier, high-resolution images for commercial use; customers who purchase your work for home décor may respond to an offer that includes free custom framing. Likewise, scour popular stock photography sites like iStockphoto and Getty Images to review the top-selling images for the week, and consider how you can produce work that will fit the current market need.
Stock photography images used by advertising agencies and designers often have a common thread: They’re high resolution to allow for cropping, include a simple, clean feel free of background clutter and leave plenty of room for copy and image manipulation to accommodate a layout. Perhaps most importantly, the images evoke emotion. Though providing such imagery may not give you all the artistic freedom you seek, it can grow your brand awareness and credibility as a photographer, so you can develop a steady stream of work that ultimately allows you to choose the type of work you want.
Standing out in a crowded photography space doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking, as long as you’re willing to bring some creativity and strategy to how you’ll reach customers and prospects. By putting these tips into action, you’ll understand more about how to make your talent accessible to those most interested in it, so you can build more exposure and ultimately find more customers willing to pay for your work.
About the Author
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a payment module supplier for creative businesses and other small business ventures. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.