Self promotion is an invaluable tool for photographers.  It’s not something you can blow off, it’s a must.  It has to be a major part of your marketing campaign.  In addition to self promoting consistently you need to make sure that all of your touch points coincide with your look your feel your brand.  You must use dynamic eye catching images.  Creatives are busy, they don’t have time to spend analyzing photographers so you have to force them to stop and take a second to look at your work.

I’m going to point you over to Heather Morton’s blog for a deeper look into promoting your work to AB’s.

By the way, if your not reading Heather’s blog you need to be.  She’s a cool AB who’s interested in helping photographers learn about the relationship between them and their buyers.

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For those of you who haven’t read the brand gap yet. Are you lazy, poor or just a procrastinator, well I’ve found an alternative. This shouldn’t take the place of the book but it’s better than nothing. Enjoy-

Slideshare is a cool place-

I highly recommend “meetings and portfolios, fantastic forgotten tools” in the March/April Picture Magazine even though half of it is a Q & A with me.  It’s a really good read, check it out.

One of my favorites:

Would you recommend to other emerging photographers to follow in your footsteps- to go after meetings in other cities right out of the chute?

A- If you’ve spent the time to plan everything out, have a solid portfolio book, a website and your work is great then absolutely.  To me first impressions are everything.  You wouldn’t show up for a first date poorly dressed with fast-food wrappers scattered throughout your car would you?  It’s the same thing with the agencies; don’t show up until you’re prepared and confident in what you’re doing.

Leslie writes a regular column in Picture magazine and is very active in many creative/creative-business groups and forums, both online and in the real world, including AIGA, Adlist/Adland, APAnet, APA, ASMP, and Editorial Photographers (EP).

Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua lives in San Diego, California with her architect husband and two very spoiled cats. For more information please visit her website here and her blog here.

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Far more often that I wish were the case, I have potential clients contacting me saying they need marketing help because they need work NOW. I usually do not end up working with these folks, because I can’t help them in the way they want. Marketing will not get you work fast. If you think that working with a consultant or changing your marketing will get you work tomorrow (or in a short time period), you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

When you change your marketing, whether launching a new advertising campaign or a complete re-branding, you are laying the foundation of a new story. The first tool you use is the first telling of that story, and you are telling it to a skeptical lot. You need to tell that very same story over and over again, with consistency, to reach your targets and build the trust that the story is true. Then and only then will those targets become clients.

If you need work now, you don’t need to market, you need to sell. And that’s a very different animal. You can only sell to 1) previous (satisfied or better) clients, or 2) targets that have been marketed to consistently for a long time and who are on the verge already of becoming clients (and it’s hard to figure out who those folks are).

Now, is it possible that you could send a postcard and get a new client? Sure, it’s possible, but so is winning the lottery. It’s just about as likely, too.

Marketing is about telling your big story–who your business is, what it promises–and re-telling and keeping those promises. It’s an offering. Selling is asking for something. You can sell fast, but you can’t market fast.

The other thing about fast–it is easy to screw up. “Marry in haste, repent in leisure” is a very old saying and it applies here to. You can easily do something to sell now that will violate the promises you have been making in your marketing and that, in the long run, will be very bad for your business. Compromise your marketing with your selling and you might get a few gigs today, but you will struggle in the future.

So, I suggest keeping the long view when it comes to your business. Slow down. Market consistently, expect no immediate results. Make sure your selling keeps your marketing promises. Stay on the path you plan for the long term, and your business should be successful for the long term.

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So, I was going through my hard drive recently and fell upon an old copywriting assignment I did while in ad school (I studied art direction). I was really tempted to go through and edit it but I didn’t. It’s pretty funny to me now, although there are still some good thoughts in there. -Enjoy-


In order for anything to work, you have to be persistent. Persistence is an important key to success. But in marketing it’s especially true.

Your work, brand and company message need to be seen by your target on a regular basis without it becoming annoying (for fun, some annoying commercials here and here.) The more vehicles you’re using the better. And if you’re vehicles are different than everyone else, that’s even better. I wrote a decent post on some marketing vehicles.

Being persistent with a narrow target of potential clients is the absolute best. Why waste your marketing money on a broader group when you can narrow the list down and target the people you know you want to do business with? Persistence with these people will really pay off.

As with anything a marketing plan should be a long term plan that will take a while to develop. The best returns in business are ones with projected long term results. Short term thoughts and fixes are a recipe for disaster.

I see marketing working like the snowball effect. When you start out, it’s small. The longer that snowball is rolling, the more momentum and energy it builds up, gaining more mass and surface area. Eventually that snowball is so huge that nothing (virtually nothing) can stop it (Apple?). It rolls nearly effortlessly as you become more and more successful.

Be persistent in everything you do, be smart about it, plan it out and study the results. You’ll be glad you did.

I’ve been getting a lot of email lately from some pretty cool blog readers inquiring about marketing.

To me a marketing program or plan is like a pizza. A pizza is only whole if it has all of the pieces. Sure you can feed yourself if you’re missing some pieces but the more pieces you’re missing the fewer people you can feed (it won’t be as effective as it could be).

When I was younger my idea of marketing was to place some ads in certain locations then wait for the phone to ring. What was I thinking! Passive marketing is just about as bad as doing nothing. Well actually it might be worse because doing nothing is relatively free.

So how should you market yourself? Do you want some concrete advice that’s set in stone and sure to make you wealthy? I bet you do. Unfortunately everyone is different and has different goals they want to accomplish. But I have made a list that might help out.

Don’t stop with this list, I often find that there are at least 10 more ideas behind each item in a list. In terms of effectiveness the more you do the better off you’ll be.

And most importantly marketing is a cumulative effort. No one or two pieces of the pizza are going to get you consistent work. The more times a potential client sees your brand/images over a period of time (without being annoyed) the more likely they will remember you when a project comes up. The key is to be consistent throughout your branding/design materials.

Online portals
Workbook.com
Photoserve.com
Altpick.com
Blackbook.com
Gosee.us

Personal website
Updated regularly
Professional design/branding

Physical portfolio book
Yep you still need them. They are even more important now than ever and it’s a really easy way to stand out.
Sent out to buyers on a regularly basis. Don’t forget to pay for FedEx both ways if it was your idea. If they call it in they pay.

Email promotions

Once a month sent to a highly targeted list of buyers
Outcome and status tracked to improve on the numbers the following month

Print promotions
Sent every month to same list of buyers that has the same image as the email
Sent to AD’s and AB’s when I see cool award winning work in CA, Archive etc.

In person visits
For crying out loud, show them you care
Research the agency or company before you meet
Make friends not sales
Keep in touch with past clients

Personal work
Shoot tons
You should always be changing and evolving

Enter contests
Yep should be part of your plan and if you get in you’ll win a lot of publicity

Blogging
You’re reading this right?

Press Releases
Notify pdnonline.com and photoserve.com when you have news about your company. They update their home page with new assignment work, awards won and other news.

Right about now you might be asking yourself, “Does ED do all of this?”
—– You bet and much more —-

If you need more help contact the marketing guru, Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua. 
She’s a wonderful person and a marketing expert geared specifically for photographers and other creative artists.

Got better ideas? I’d love to hear them