If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you’re anything like me and always looking for ways to grow and grow your photography business. Through my more than 10 years of freelance career, I discovered that I am not the biggest businessman, but I am very good at creating products and photos that customers are very satisfied with. My problem, as is the case with most freelance artists, is my lack of self-promotion. The achievements of one person can be exhausting, and playing the roles of secretary, designer, photographer and accountant will result in lack of marketing in your business which is your livelihood and earn money.
So why do most of us fail? We fail because we are artists, not marketers. Our passion is to create, not promote. Here we distinguish successful photographers from fading photographers. I see that more and more highly skilled photographers are always one step ahead of the less talented photographers, and all of this is back to self-promotion.
So how do you market yourself successfully? As we all know, advertising on the Yellow Pages is expensive, it allows you to reach a wide audience, but it doesn’t always mean big business. So let’s start small, and then gradually increase. So what’s your niche? Think about your focus and target your audience on a smaller, more direct scale. Let’s take high-level photos as an example.
#1- Have marketing materials handy, approach the school and ask to leave a flyer/brochure for advanced photos. This should always be done at the beginning of the school year, as most schools have short deadlines for yearbooks. If you encounter this issue, use one of the following three steps to resolve it. Some schools have too many photographers competing for a promotion, and when they hear that another photographer wants a free promotion, they will immediately shut it down.
#2- Coordinate with the school leadership team. Most leadership groups are responsible for raising funds for senior travel and gatherings, so if you give a small discount to the leadership committee, 5%-10% of your photo sales, for every person who recommends and distributes your material, it’s a win/ win.
#3- Take a yearbook and/or photography class at school. See if you can come in to give a seminar on how to take better photos, how to use PhotoShop/lightroom to enhance photos, how to shoot indoors, etc. This is what I did to create a closer bond to keep with the school. It is important for the future relationship with that school.
#4- Most high schools will publish some sort of school publication or newspaper. Contact the school directly or by phone to let them know that you are interested in advertising in their school newspaper. Advertising costs for most school publications are not high and can be targeted to the exact audience you want. Make sure your ad hits your unique selling point. “What makes me different from Joe Blow Photography”? Ask yourself this question and implement it in your ad.
How much success you want to achieve in each school you are close to is up to you, but if you try any of these steps, you will have more success. My recommendation is to follow all four of them.
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