This post is part of a series on branding and marketing in the run up to my teaching on the RPS ‘Introduction to Business for Photographers’ course in April.
It is preceded by Developing your brand – Part 1: your values and messages and Part 2: your brand’s identity and strategy and will soon be followed by Developing your marketing strategy Part 2: Sharing your work.
Why is marketing important? Social photographers, such as those in the wedding industry, must secure new clients every year. Commercial photographers, such as wildlife or product photographers, must stay in the forefront of the minds of art directors, magazine editors and other commercial businesses that might use their images or services.
While being technically competent and artistically creative is essential to thrive as a professional photographer, those who are good at marketing and self-promotion will always do better in business. Make it easy for your potential clients to find you by executing a strategic marketing plan.
In today’s marketplace, the focus of your marketing strategy will involve a strong online presence. At the centre of your online presence is your website, but your full online presence incorporates other key components of sharing your work – blogging, social media streams and publication on other people’s sites/blogs. The more your business is positively referenced in different locations online, the more clients will build trust in your brand.
Developing your website
Your website represents the virtual shop-front of your business. It must communicate your brand messages clearly. Work to display the most salient information simply and make your site easy to navigate. Above all, it must communicate four things: who you are; what you do; how to contact you; your portfolio.
Create a professional and personal ‘About’ page. It is a good idea to include a recent picture of yourself, and essential to make it easy for clients to contact you. Consider addressing the following: Who are you? What is your background? What are you offering your clients? Why should they trust you? What do you have in common with your ideal clients?
Display your best portfolio, and update it as often as you can. It is a good idea to show only your very best work, remembering less is more, and also to show only what you would like to shoot again. This will help target your ideal client and drive your business in the right direction.
It is crucial that your website is accessible on mobile devices as well as different web browsers, so do use HTML rather than Flash, and consider using a WordPress based platform.
To learn more about how to set up and run a successful photography business, why not sign up for the RPS course ‘Introduction to Business for Photographers’