Seven business strategies for photographers

(Last Updated On: March 21, 2013)
Food Photograph
by Rosh Sillars

Building a business is not easy.  If you are a photographer looking for people to pay you to take photographs, like it or not, you are in business.  You will not stay in business very long with $50 assignments and your best friends claiming you have the best eye they have ever witnessed. You would need to find 500 people to pay you that amount to just to make $25,000 a year, before expenses.  Heck, the cost to find 500 people will eat up a good chunk of your income.

You need to think big.  You need strategies that not every photographer knows about, how to implement or is using.  Listed below are seven strategies that will help advance your business and beat the competition:

  1. Search Engine optimization is not voodoo; it’s how you are found online.  One method to regularly earn links to your website is to take your B-roll or smart phone images and place them in Flickr Creative Commons for bloggers to use.  The fee for use is attribution and a link to your website.  You need to participate in the growing link economy.
  2. Pinterest is a popular visual platform. Take advantage of the opportunities available in this growing community.  One nice thing about Pinterest is that a link is connected to your website if the image is pinned from your website.  Also, make sure you have a business account upgraded to the newest Pinterest update.  The website has new analytics for business users, offering the opportunity to see which of your photographs people really like and share.
  3. Use your camera’s video feature.  You may not want to add video to your portfolio, but a video testimonial campaign earns you more work.  Every time you talk to a new person who is enthusiastic about your work, pull out your camera or phone and ask if you may record their testimonial.  Let them know how much you appreciate their thoughts and their enthusiasm. Say you would like to share it with your community.  Place the testimonial videos on YouTube and your website.  When other people say good things about your photography, it gives prospects additional confidence.
  4. Try new social media platforms.  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a must, but there are other platforms where you can grow a good community.  Pheed.com is one of those social sites that will introduce you to a new audience.
  5. Develop a plan.  Half of winning the business game is showing up.  Having a plan behind you is incredibly powerful.  Create a marketing calendar to keep you on task and regularly test new ideas to put in your plan.   Often the simplest ideas are the strongest; if you don’t test them, you will never know.
  6. Hang out.  Use Google Hangouts, a live video broadcasting tool, to share your work and develop yourself as an expert.  Watch hangouts found on Google+ to learn new ideas about photography and business.
  7. Use marketing tools that work well together to increase conversions (sales).  For example, follow up with a postcard after you leave a voice mail message.  Make sure you have a landing page specific to the products you are adverting online or in the social media.  Make sure you are always following up.

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