It takes a ton of time, work, commitment and perseverance to forge a career in photography—even more so when you’re carving your own path as an entrepreneur. While there’s unfortunately no real shortcut for creating your photography brand from scratch, there are a few relatively easy things you can do to market yourself once some of that heavy lifting is over.
- Post Your Work to Instagram
Again, we’re not here to take away from the fact that building a social media strategy—and executing on that strategy—is hard work. But as a photographer, you have a natural advantage over many other entrepreneurs and businesses, especially when it comes to innately visual platforms like Instagram.
Think about it: one of the hardest and most important elements of managing an Instagram account is taking high-quality photos that will engage your audience—an art that you, as a photographer, have already mastered. Unless you’re at a stage where you’re leveraging Instagram as a sales channel, doing some light hashtag research and posting a few images a week is a great way to start building and growing your audience.
- Make Friends and Family Part of Your Professional Network
We’re not talking about printing out your best photos for your mom to hang on the fridge (though don’t get us wrong—we are in no way discouraging that, either). What we mean is that creatives often overlook what can actually be one of their most valuable networks.
No one is more likely to attest to your character and talents than those in your inner circle. But gushing aside, your friends and family likely all have jobs, social lives and networks of their own, and we’re willing to bet there are more than a few people in that web who could use a photographer. That being said, it’s important your mom, dad, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and acquaintances all have the information to be able to speak accurately on your behalf. Make sure they understand what you do, let them know where people can access your work and how they can get in touch—then let the gushing begin.
- Ignite Word of Mouth
In the digital age, word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools we have as artists—but it’s not something that’s going to start magically spreading on its own. Creating incentives for clients to pass your information along to their networks can be highly effective in growing your own. Referral programs, loyalty programs and basic influencer marketing tactics are a few easy, inexpensive ways you can start turning clients into brand advocates.
- Be Nice
This should probably be at the top of the list, as it’s the one that underlies pretty much any marketing tactic you implement as a commercial photographer. At the end of the day, people are naturally more inclined to want to work with—and recommend—someone who is approachable, amiable and professional in addition to doing great work.
For many people, especially if they’re the ones getting their pictures taken, photography can sometimes be a bit of an awkward experience. Putting them at ease, not being standoffish and delivering both great service and a quality product is the best way to encourage people to want to hire you again and spread the word.
- Start Selling Your Work (It’s Easier Than You Think!)
Again, we’re not discounting the fact that developing a full-fledged ecommerce strategy can be extremely time and labor intensive, especially for new and emerging photographers. That’s why we created Your Art Gallery—an online platform that allows you to easily exhibit and sell your work.
With Your Art Gallery, all you need to do is create an account, choose the images you want to showcase, and upload and price your art. We handle all of the fulfilment, production, shipping and customer service for you, giving you 90% of the royalties on anything that sells (versus the 50% average that galleries typically accept).
Visit www.yourartgallery.com for a completely easy way to start marketing and selling your work today!