Strategies and Tactics to Market Your Photography
Question: How do you choose your assortment of marketing tactics?
It’s important to recognize the changing landscape of the photography industry. Today, the demands on photographers like you are much greater than just being able to take a good photo, create a strong composition, understand lighting, or create a well-executed visual concept. The photography climate really digs deep into an artist’s relationship-building process and your ability to market yourself.
"Define and Market your Visual Voice” was a recent seminar taught by Amanda Sosa Stone and myself. At the seminar presented by APA|NY, Amanda and I spoke about how as an artist, you need to have basic fundamentals in place first before you begin to market yourself.
Here’s a checklist of components to consider:
- Do you have a strong edit of your work that reflects your target market?
- Do you have strong brand elements such as a logotype treatment?
- How about an easily navigable website?
- A print, digital or iPad portfolio, marketing materials such as business cards, e-promos, and direct mailers.
- A database?
- A marketing plan?
Seven Prongs of Marketing: Marketing Across Multiple Platforms
In today’s market, there is no singular way to effectively market yourself; you need to consider cross-marketing. I believe in a seven-prong approach:
- Electronic Marketing. Email marketing is a very economical way to see a reaction to your work by the opens and clicks through to your website. It’s important to make sure your contact lists reflect a relevant target audience for your work.
- Direct Mail. Direct mail promotions should be sent less frequently than emails. They should also specifically target your top tier of potential clients (which means the direct mail campaign should be printed professionally). I recommend multiple, related images to really showcase your work.
- Telemarketing. As I mentioned before, marketing is a lot about relationship-building. As an artist, you need to make sure you are still reaching out to your potential clients over the phone. If doing this is too time consuming, let a company with experience in setting up appointments and portfolio requests (such as Agency Access) do this for you.
- Social Media. It’s important to use every outlet available to market yourself; Sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are major components.
- Existing Clients. It’s essential to continue marketing to existing clients on a quarterly basis. A quick message, such as a personalized e-mail, should be sent to touch base and share recent work. In general, this is a good process to keep in place.
- Blogs. Blogs help to showcase your personality (your personal brand), as well as share current work and relevant information.
- A Unique Promotion to Your “Special Someone.” This goes out to a very specific and tailored list of potential clients. It is a way to showcase your creativity and share your personality. This is something that your targets will not throw away and will help to make your brand shine. Casey Templeton did an awesome promotion last year that generated a huge response. 2010 Commercial Photography Self Promo
Photo Cred: Casey Templeton Photography
You now have all seven prongs of marketing, which will help you establish what to do next.
Be sure to first set up your marketing budget and prioritize all of your steps. If you do not have enough in your budget to complete all seven prongs, you should at least consider email, direct mail, and telemarketing in order to gain momentum in establishing your brand.
Remember that the ultimate goal is to establish your brand and to continue bringing awareness to it. Your brand and all your marketing need to consistently reflect your personality and your vision. Use your marketing as an opportunity to showcase your process in creative ways that portray you as fun, professional, and easy to work with. For example, you could create a “behind the scenes” video of one of your shoots. In the end, it will allow you to bring something extra to the working relationship.
Define your market and establish your budget. Build your plan and begin to market.
Jennifer Kilberg’s unique insight into the photo industry is a result of her extensive experience and understanding of all aspects of photography since joining the industry in 1996. In 2004, Jennifer started FluidVision Inc. and has worked with a diverse international client base of photographers and illustrators of all styles and specialties. As a strong communicator, Jennifer enjoys working with all types of personalities, and her loyal client base is a testament to her ability to build long-term relationships. Jennifer has worked with Agency Access clients since 2009 in both Campaign Manager programs and other types of consultations. FluidVision
1. Important Rules for Successful Email and Direct Mail Marketing
2. Dialogues Podcast: Episode 001
3. Filtering Through Social Media Platforms