How critical is social media/marketing to your photography business?
Photographers are busy people. So too are our clients. More so than ever before we have an abundance of information available to us at the click of a mouse. It’s always evolving; full of opportunity and at times, a little overwhelming.
As you can see, the modern day photographer is a busy one indeed. Running a successful photography business has always been about much more than just taking great photos.
As shown in the diagram above, the skills we need as a photographer in 2010 are much more diverse. The list could go on, but, I think you will see the most notable change in skills is the web?based tools such as website/Blogs/Facebook/Twitter.
And with all the new ways to promote your business the range of options is both exciting and challenging. Wouldn’t you agree?
Which social media/marketing tools are right for you?
This is a very personal decision; it’s about finding the right fit for you, your brand and your clients. Often a combination of your preferred tools works really well.
About one year ago, I euthanised my Facebook account. A bold act at the time when I was so heavily entrenched in it, but certainly a move I have not regretted.
About one year ago I set up my twitter account. This, I can report has been the most inspirational move I have made in years.
Instead of being in touch with old high school friends (lovely as they are, we lost touch for a reason) I was now immersed in a world that spread outwards to photographers from all over the world. From my home office in Melbourne I am getting creative inspiration, ideas, technical advice and feedback from my photography and industry colleagues that I never once had.
From using Twitter and linking in to dozens of photographers Blogs, I have realized the potential power of the Blog. If utilized right, a Blog is a current, living document of your photography business. In some cases the Blog can supersede a website.
Simply so that my current and future clients can get to know me… FAST! My Blog is a behind the scenes look into what I do, it’s more personable and friendly than a website. This is key for my wedding & portrait business clients.
For my commercial clients my website is a more formal introduction to me and my photography. In the short time I have had my Blog online, my enquiries have increased significantly.
“My entire business was built on my website, Blog, facebook and twitter!”
“My Blog is definitely the most important marketing tool for my business. It allows me to share my most current work and allows me to connect with current, prospective and past clients as well as many other photographers around the world”
Website Vs Blog
In your business, one web tool may outshine the other. Yet, what is so powerful about these available tools is how amazingly well they can compliment each other. I use my website and Blog to differentiate the services I offer. For me is all about
making it easy for people to find and to connect with me.
“Website and Blog are the most important in our business. The websites works as a medium for art directors, designers etc to look you up and see your work so it’s an important overview of your work. The Blog keeps them informed about what your doing and hopefully on their minds when a suitable job comes up. Obviously you need to promote in other ways which direct people to your website otherwise it can sit there being very idle.”
Adair Lander from Adrian Lander, Commercial Photographer, Sydney.
Shouldn’t I just be taking photos?
Whilst all this stuff sounds easy and exciting, most of it equates to a lot of time and personal input from you. All of the time spent at the computer, is time away from your camera. So, if you consider it a chore to participate in social media, then I suggest you don’t.
The inspiration I have gained from being able to connect with fellow creative people has truly taken me by surprise, yet it all falls into step behind me actually shooting.
Top tips for Blogging
- Content is king – add regular posts that create interest for your viewers
- Use Twitter & Facebook to attract visitors to your Blog
- Match your Blog to your branding
Top Social Media Tips
- Be yourself, share share share! (but not the nitty gritty details)
- Respond to others; let people know you are alive and kicking (and interested in what’s happening)
- Don’t try to do too much, just pick the programs that you enjoy using
At the end of the day, regardless of what decade we are in, nothing is has been or will ever be more important than taking really good photographs.
I am excited about my photography career, I hope you are too!
Gemma Carr is a Freelance Photographer from Melbourne. See more from her at her site GemmaCarr.com.au. Follow her on Twitter at @GemTweetAlot. This post was previously published in the members area of ACMP.