Okay, I probably don’t know that much about this… or do I. I may be a marketing genius or maybe just incredibly lucky when it comes to getting business. I really favor the later in this but i’ll tell you some of what I do to market myself anyways. This is a blog post for photographers or other people in similar businesses.
First of all I really suggest being yourself. You’ll never have to put on an act or be someone who you’re not. I am myself when I go through my day, my week. If there’s a chance to do good I do it, sometimes people are watching. First off, everyone is going to want to throw a nice guy some work. I also don’t mind doing charity either, it makes me feel good and helps other people as well as karma brownie points. People pay attention when you’re consistently doing the right thing, the honorable thing and helping out where you can.
Another strange thing is following your passion. PEOPLE NOTICE! If you’re into candles and constantly posting about new candle making techniques or a new fragrance you made and how excited you are people may think you’re strange but they know you’re genuine. If you dig something, if you’re over the top in it for the passion then the money will come. I’ve never made my focus about the money, it’s really just a nice symptom of having a passion for photography. I’ve also turned down money as well which I suggest once and awhile, pay it back. You never know when that person who you hooked up is going to have an even better way to hook you up. Quick story, this year I had a call from a waitress who said I took her photo seven years ago. I was at place on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester (basically forty restaurants within a mile stretch), I was hanging with my friend and I was taking photos of my food and then I asked to take a photo of this waitress. I asked for her e-mail and sent her the photo. She called me up this past December and booked me for a wedding in January. Another story just for an example. I was shooting a wedding a few years back and took the time to chat with one of the guests about cameras and then handed off my very expensive camera and let them try it out for a few minutes… he booked me for a wedding last year. So by being friendly and sharing my passion I’ve landed work.
So now the more practical things you can do for marketing. Post about what you’re up to on social media and act excited about it, hey maybe you are? Maybe post on Instagram or Google+ because there are sects of people that still use these platforms. If you post on Google+ then you might get featured as a news article when people search for certain keywords which essentially draws people back to you. Instagram I use to post my best of the best photos. I don’t post any chum there, it’s all my processed work or things that I’m proud to share. Instagram isn’t for my photos of Starbuck Mochas or cell phone photos. Everyone treats Instagram a little bit different and some people even go as far as to color grade against everything they already have up there. A big thing is following a theme, at least thats what I hear. Myself I post what I’m really into, travel, weddings, food, abandoned buildings, building facades. There’s a lot of people who will have the best ways to gain followers and how to make the best Instagram, but I believe you can do it just for you.
Okay i’ve started a new paragraph so this must be a pretty good topic. USE FACEBOOK! Use Facebook for the free advertising of you and your brand. Your friends may know someone who’s looking for someone just like you. You can also maintain a business page as well as your personal page. I’m sure we’re all over posting about what we do on a minute to minute basis but why not include a little bit of business in with that pleasure, right? I also use Facebook as a tool get to know my clients. I can figure out their personality a bit and hopefully fit in better with them at the wedding after we share a few dozen memes. I also encourage my friends to share the posts that I really need them to, such as information about my business or deals I might be having.
One more thing on Facebook which i’ll give away to you. I only share all this information in the hopes that some of you will get really good and force me to up my game even more. So Facebook has that awesome algorithm that fits all you most important friends in and if a new person comes into your life you might start noticing them more on Facebook as well. Facebook judges how long you look at someone’s posts or how quick you scroll over someones post, if you’ve clicked on their page or their post. Facebook will now think that they should include more information in your newsfeed about this particular person, get it. So if I’m out there posting photos of abandoned buildings or amazing photos of cupcakes then I bet some of you may slow down or even click on my posts. This means you’re more likely to see my future posts, my future posts about my wedding photography business.
Another one of my tricks is simply posting all the photos that I really like, Europe, traveling, food, abandoned buildings, hiking, cityscapes, landscapes and then peppering in wedding photography. This works wonderfully with Instagram and Facebook. So start doing it. People notice when you have a passion. I know this because I continually get told this by brides.
You can market yourself like a bad ass but the question is if you can keep it up for years. I do this non stop. Day and night, vacation or laying in bed I think about how to get my business even bigger and better. There's a lot of times when I make a purchase and i'm thinking if it will benefit my photography. Even when I buy food i'm thinking if I could take an awesome photo of it.
I don’t always look at what everyone else is doing, I look at what they're not doing and then I see if I can fill that gap. One of the biggest things i’ve had to deal with and figure out was not listening to other people. I’ve listed to too many people who had ideas about my business who in all actuality knew nothing about my business. Other photographers have told me how they do things and what has really helped is to be different from them. I’ve gone in the wrong directions way too many times from people telling me that “it won’t work”, “you can’t do it like that”, “the way you’re suppose to do it is…” and a million other negative or non helpful comments. When you’re starting out you have the freedom to throw it all against the wall and see what sticks. I still change the way I do things regularly, be adaptive, don’t have a set policy on anything. If your customers are all asking for something or expecting something a certain way then go with the flow.
So I don’t want to give away anymore of my secrets but I hope this helps you. I help a lot of people out with other businesses because some of this marketing advice really can translate to other fields. Feel free to leave me a comment.