still Hey, who’s the dweeb with the camera? Table of Contents • Strategy Tip #1 – Shoot quality photography. • Strategy Tip #2 – Focus on the needs of your customer. • Strategy Tip #3 – Understand marketing. • Strategy Tip #4 – Show your work. • Strategy Tip #5 – Understand pricing. • Strategy Tip #6 – Do the research. • Strategy Tip #7 – Overdeliver. • Strategy Tip #8 – Leave behinds. • Strategy Tip #9 – Self-promotion. • Strategy Tip #10 – Use ebooks. • Strategy Tip #11 – Greeting cards and calendars. • Strategy Tip #12 – Get into the stock photography market. • Strategy Tip #13 – Working with local businesses. • Strategy Tip #14 – Start and operate an online photo service. • Strategy Tip #15 – Photography Website Basics. • Strategy Tip #16 – Promoting Your Photography Website. • Strategy Tip #17 – Standard Marketing Still Works. T his edition of “Freeze, I Have A Camera And I’m Not Afraid To Use It” includes updates added in response to the suggestions from readers of Volume 1. This edition includes more marketing re- sources and links. Also, it now includes informative sections on “Photography Website Basics” Strategy Tip #15; on “Promoting Your Photography Website” Strategy Tip #16; and “Standard Marketing Exam- ples” Strategy Tip #17. Improvements will continue to be made to this publication. The current updates are the results of former readers. We want to hear from you, also. Enjoy the read! And stay connected. Subscribe to a great resource, the “Best Amateur Photography Tips Digest” ezine today! Hi, I’m Kalem Aquil, CEO of www.Marketing-for-Photographers-and-Photography.com. This is the information that I wish I had when I first tried to be successful in a photography business - the first time. I cannot and do not claim to be an expert. Neither do I believe that ‘experience is the best teacher.’ It isn’t, necessarily. It’s just often, the most ‘expensive’ teacher. Some of the lessons I have learned are contained in this report. I do not make a six figure income with my photography business. I do, however, make money with my photography. And I still have fun shooting photography. Years ago I became a ‘professional’ photographer after years as an amateur photographer that had taken many photography courses, seminars and workshops. I knew photography very well. I didn’t know very much about business, however. My ignorance cost me a great deal of money and I eventually lost my love of photography as well as my photography business. Taking photos for the love of photography is one thing. Taking photos because I had bills to pay was something else entirely. I know now what I should have known then. This report contains some of the lessons learned that are applicable in today’s photography market. I’m hoping this report will inspire and encourage you to try strategies that may be outside of tech- niques you are used to doing. If increasing awareness of your photography, of you as a photogra- pher, and of your availability, is important to you, this report is for you. When it comes to marketing photography, many photographers have a tendency to stay in a com- fortable rut. We continue doing what we have always done – while often expecting different results! Some of us photographers, who consider ourselves to be amateurs, eventually venture into the busi- ness of photography. All too often, we think that all we have to do is have some business cards printed, pass them out, and wait for the telephone to ring. Unknowingly, we set ourselves up for fail- ure and a major letdown! This report outlines some of the steps I took to dramatically increase my presence as a photographer and to successfully make money with my photography. The steps mentioned in this report work for me, for my lifestyle and produce the most results for the least amount of time and money (if neces- sary) investment. Let me be clear: I put a great deal of time into being successful at marketing my photography. However, my time is spent doing marketing activities that provide me the most profit- able return on (time and money) invested. The photography niches that are my favorites and my most profitable are portrait photography and stock photography. I have established a very good reputation and good income from these photogra- phy niches. This report offers strategies that I successfully use to market my photography and in- crease my exposure for my photography (and photography business). You may not use every strategy listed in this report. Heck, you may not like any of the strategies in this report! However, the strategies listed are successful strategies that work for me and my lifestyle. All the techniques I describe here involve work – of course, that’s a good thing. Your competi- tion will be too lazy to do the work involved. They think that people/customers will automati- cally want them because their photography work is so ‘great!’ When you do the work, your photography business successes leap ahead of theirs. The majority of the strategies in this report are free and easy to accomplish. Most of them re- quire time, not money. Some require resources such as web sites, photo managing software, and books. This report also lists such resources – most of them are FREE! About 75% of this report describes strong, solid, verifiable and easily doable techniques which build a solid, long-term business. About 15% deals with dealing with people that you don’t know (you meet them in public places – I have ok people skills, but, I don’t always like to use them). And about 10% describes gimmicks. Don’t ignore the gimmicks. They often work bril- liantly. In operating my photography business, I attempt to automate as much of the business as possi- ble. This works for me in the photography niches that I prefer. However, my type of automation would not necessarily work for a successful wedding photography business, for example. I also make extensive use of technology to keep my photography work and contact info in front of people. For example, in addition to a photography website, online photo galleries, etc. I make my own t-shirts, calendars, post cards, greeting cards and other leave-behinds (items and/or literature with your contact info that is left after you make contact with people). How to start a photography business is a very large topic. Whole books have been written on just the smallest aspects of it. This report is an example of one photographer’s lessons learned. This report really doesn’t include anything new or any ‘secrets.’ I am simply sharing strategies that are successful for me. Don’t take these strategies for granted because they seem familiar. Take action. They actually work. More importantly, they will give you ideas for greater strategies specifically for your own photography business. Other successful photographers use these strategies successfully. So, why don’t you? At the end of the report, there is a list of resources for photographers chosen specifically for amateur photographers and experienced photographers looking to increase their exposure and the exposure of their photography. This report is aimed at amateur photographers, but you don’t have to be an amateur photogra- pher to find these business-building strategies useful. The strategies in this report are actions that I take to keep my work in front of potential custom- ers and to expand those that see and can use my work. I have another strategy that I use that keeps me on the minds of my existing customers and encourages them to use my services regu- larly. This report contains strategies to increase your exposure for your photography services (whatever you determine they are). Strategy Tip #1 Shoot quality. Whether you consider yourself Less is more. Digital allows me to take thou- an amateur photographer or a professional sands and thousands of images. And I have photographer, you have an obligation to pro- shot thousands and thousands of images. Now duce the highest quality photography possible. that I am better at determining better quality, I Poor quality photography doesn’t mean ama- am more selective with the photography that I teur photography – it means ‘poor’ quality show. Although I have thousands of images, I photography. cannot honestly claim that the majority of them are the best quality. They may be of the best This is most important of all. There is no sub- quality that I could produce at the time under stitute for quality. Unfortunately, many pho- the circumstances, etc. but, I have less than tographers, at all levels, feel that there are sub- two dozen images (of the thousands) that I can stitutes for quality. honestly consider my ‘very best.’ My fight against the urge to publish ‘everything’ contin- Continue to shoot. Continue to shoot. Continue ues. When I win the fight, only my best work to shoot. Am I making my point? is shown. Business gets better! Photobuyers and customers buy photographs When showing my photography work to po- that they like – not the photographs that we tential customers, I focus what I show them on think are the ‘best.’ Sadly, many photogra- how I can meet their photography need. For phers ignore this. Don’t fall into the trap of example, if they are looking for an Executive ‘self-congratulations.’ Continue to shoot. Get Portrait, I show them a couple of my Executive better. Produce quality. Continue to shoot. Get Portrait samples, not all of my samples. If they better. Produce quality. Etc. etc. are looking for a Pet Portrait, I show one or two sample sets – different poses of the same Your research will find that there is quite a bit pets. If a middle-age woman is looking for a of photography that is alarmingly poor. Face it, portrait, I show a couple samples of middle- with technology what it is today, any and eve- age women (or slightly older women). ryone can take pictures. Heck, with digital, all we have to do is point and shoot and we get a Less is more. Only show your best. relatively good image. Three or four people tell us that they like the photo – and presto, we Strategy Tip #2 think we’ve arrived! Focus on the needs of your customer. Too many photographers that want to be in busi- Your commitment to quality will establish ness fail to focus on what makes a business your reputation above the fray. Like a diamond successful – benefits to the customer. Usually in a sack of cut glass, you will hold immeasur- the needs of the customer will tell you what able value among the glitter. specific benefits to emphasize and fulfill. So, focus on the needs of the customer and then You must show your work. Only show your overdeliver on the benefits to the customer. best. Fight the urge to show ‘a lot’ of your work. As your skills improve, you will wish Hint: telling your customer the type of equip- that you can take back some of the photos and ment you are using does absolutely nothing to images that you have floating ‘out there.’ I meet their needs or provide benefits to them. constantly fight the urge to display/publish Your customer doesn’t care how many ‘everything’ that I shoot. megapixels or gigabytes you are using. They don’t care how well you understand f-stops or your photography regularly. depth of field. If you aren’t telling them how their photography needs will be met, it is a Commit to marketing your work. It takes time waste of their time. When you go to a first to develop. You must be patient and persistent. class restaurant, the owner or the chef don’t Believe in your photos and the quality of your tell you what type of stove, pots or seasonings work. Plan to spend time each and every day they use to prepare your meal. Think about it: marketing and showing your work. Show the most restaurant customers probably have a kind of work that you want, like and do best. If kitchen, a stove and pots and pans at home. you want to sell portraits, put together a portfo- They do business with great restaurants be- lio of your best portraits. If you want to sell cause they want a ‘quality’ eating experience – stock photography, assemble a first-class stock not an education in how to equip a kitchen. photography portfolio. The restaurants that meet their customers’ needs are the restaurants that are successful. Advice on the importance of showing your By the way, the mechanic that repairs your car work might seem obvious – it isn’t. Many pho- probably doesn’t tell you what equipment he is tographers fail to understand it and never using, either. Because you aren’t buying their achieve success. The more you show your equipment, you are buying what their services work, the more business you will have. Take do to meet your needs in the manner that you advantage of opportunities to show your work. trust and want. That can mean entering art fairs and photo contests, posting on websites, publish articles, Focus on the needs of your customer – that present community slide shows, hang your will establish, drive and sustain your success. photographs in coffee shops, beauty parlors, and offices and even in galleries. Strategy Tip #3 Understand marketing. Continue your market- Strategy Tip #4 ing efforts. Marketing is a process – it never Show your work. Again, this might seem obvi- stops. Marketing has a beginning and it has a ous, but, that just isn’t the case. For whatever middle. But, it never stops. This report offers reason, many photographers do not include effective and easy to do marketing strategies. showing their work as part of their ‘strategy’ Having a marketing plan is a must if you have for success. Too often, some photographers any serious intentions of being successful in feel that their work is ‘so good’ that it speaks any business – especially the photography for (and markets) itself. This simply isn’t the business. This was one of my costliest mis- case. The fact is that the most successful pho- takes – not having a marketing plan or follow- tographers in the world are successful, largely, ing the marketing plan that I had. due to the showing/marketing of their photog- raphy – not their ‘artistic’ greatness. If you understand what marketing is and what it isn’t, you will be very, very successful in Photography Portfolio: This is one of your photography business endeavors. Market- the most effective methods of market- ing is not advertising or selling. Marketing is ing your photography. Your photogra- marketing – it is a process that you continue phy portfolios represent your photogra- throughout your photography business experi- phy work, you and the perceived value ence. Without marketing you do not exist (in that your message communicates about the photography business world)! Put and keep you and your work. You should have a yourself on the map – market yourself and portfolio for each of your photography niches. For example, your Family Por- Disadvantages: No longer trait portfolio should be different from an industry standard in your Executive Portrait portfolio; your advertising, fashion, and stock photography portfolio on urban corporate photography life should be different from your port- Photo Contests folio on ethnic/urban children. Less is Art Fairs more. Only include your best work in Art & Crafts Fairs your portfolios and you should always Online be refreshing and updating your various Photography Websites – Every serious portfolios. Whether your portfolio is photographer must have a photography online, printed or on disc, the principle website. Regardless of how easy and is the same – when editing, always and more user-friendly technology has be- only show your best. come, there is a ‘learning-curve’ on establishing and maintaining a photog- Photography Portfolio Types raphy website. There is no way around Print Portfolios – All serious photographers it, to be a successful photographer, you should have, at least, one (preferably one for must maintain and update your website each photography niche). yourself. A good way to learn is to get Advantages: Strong impact, best potential im- a free photography website. Upload age quality, attention to detail your images and set up the site to meet Disadvantages: Cost, lack of your purpose. Refine and adjust the portability, time to put website to accommodate your knowl- together edge growth. With even the most basic Online Portfolios – Every photographer should of computer skills, you can operate one have a photography website for their specific of the free photography website that is photography now offered all-over the internet. Advantages: Instant access anywhere in the Within about two months, you should world, inexpensive, great marketing tool, eas- have a very confident and comfort feel- ily databased by internet search engines. ing about your ability to maintain a Disadvantages: Image is successful photography website. You limited to individual can then either subscribe to the free computer monitor cali- website (they are almost always trying bration, low resolution to get you to upgrade) or you can pay Disc Portfolios – CDs, DVDs, and zip discs for a more sophisticated photography are an acceptable method of sharing work website hosting company. There is one Advantages: least expensive method, easy to website that provides a fully opera- duplicate, ability to incorporate multimedia tional photography website for free. Disadvantages: Computer They provide the website for three systems and software months for free – without advertising incompatibility, resolu- or popups. For a list of photography tion, inconsistent moni- websites and other photography re- tor calibration sources, click here. The disadvantage Slide Portfolios – Once an industry standard, of having someone else build your pho- some editors and photobuyers still ask for them tography website is that you have to Advantages: Easily viewed, relatively inexpen- depend on the web designer/builder for sive, easy to make several copies every change and update that you want to make – it’s a bummer, most web de- that you are capturing have value. We are not signers (in my experience) are in a selling photograph sizes. separate world from the rest of us. Online Galleries Part of the process of understanding pricing is Photo Blogs. There are many blogging op- correctly valuing your photography. Another tions. I use Squidoo—how about you? part of the process is educating your photogra- phy customer. During your pre-selling phase, Strategy Tip #5 your marketing message should communicate Understand pricing. One of the mistakes many the ‘value’ of doing business with you. Re- non-experienced photographer make is selling member, almost anyone can own and shoot a on the cheap. Sometimes they do it out of ig- camera. norance. Too often, they do it out of under- valuing their work and failing to understand When I calculated my costs of taking photo- what quality photography is and what it isn’t. graphs, I determined that I had to charge a minimum of $75 an hour to even begin to The photography business falls into two cate- break even. And that amount is often too low. gories: Of course there are times when I don’t charge 1. Assignment Photography: Portraits, Wed- or get money for my photography services. If I dings, Corporate, Event, Glamour, Nature, stick to my marketing plan, I can easily calcu- Travel, Fashion, etc. late the residual income that I usually get by 2. Stock Photography: Pictures taken on not charging for my services. The customer speculation of subsequent sales. may see the transaction as “getting something for free,” but, I can assure you that I have cal- In photography, what is it that we are selling? culated the exposure that I can translate into We aren’t selling square inches of paper for business before I agree to give my services for the cost of printing them. Too many photogra- “free.” phers place value on their work based on the size of the pictures delivered. The most impor- I often tell potential customers that “they may tant thing to keep in mind is the value of your not be able to afford my services.” This might work. seem rude to some, but, I say/imply it gently and helpfully. Under no circumstance do I You are selling the value of your work! For ‘discount’ my photography services. My mar- example, your creativity and unique ability to keting strategy does not allow me to discount capture something that others do not see or my work. The portraits that I sell are on the cannot capture, has value. Anyone can buy a high end. For example, the smallest portrait camera, but can they capture the image exactly that I sell is 16x20. My lowest priced portrait the way you do? The time you invest in train- is above $250. The only times that I produce ing to be ready to capture the image has value. smaller portraits are when a customer is order- The time you spend taking the image and pre- ing more portraits or when I include them in paring it for presentation has value. How you my marketing promotions. Needless to say, present the image to the customer has value. photography customers seeking smaller por- And, of course, your ability to assess accu- trait packages are not potential customers, for rately what your customer wants and overde- me. I would compromise the value of my pho- livering every time has value. If you are selling tography work if I discounted it. Marketing portraits (children, family, pet, etc.), the fond high end portraits initially proved very difficult memories attached to the time and moments for me. There were (and are) photography businesses all around me that were/are selling Using computers and the internet to research lower priced photography than me. But, once I information has to be the best contribution to understood pricing and the value of my work, I mass education since the development of the established marketing strategies to focus on book! Of course, I may be biased - I am a life- photography customers that buy high end por- long ‘information junkie.’ I had an insatiable traits. Consider this – almost all portraits repre- appetite for information even before the popu- sent emotional value. Usually, the emotional larity of the internet. Since the internet phe- value of a portrait increases as time goes by. nomenon has exploded, I have literally been in Marketing high end portraits requires me to ‘information-junkie-heaven!’ I can’t believe include the “emotional value to the customer” what we are experiencing! Of course, I must in my messages to regular and potential cus- admit that I am not normal. My friends make tomers. clear to me, on a regular basis that I am walk- ing and talking proof that “too much informa- Strategy Tip #6 tion is not such a good thing.” Do the research. Do you know where the mar- ket is for your photography? Do you know Don’t worry; to do the required research, you what your photography niche is? Have you re- do not have to be an ‘information junkie.’ searched the market to determine what you There is good news and bad news about the have to do in this market to succeed? Have you easy accessibility and amount of information: determined what your “photography marketing 1. The ‘good news’ is that there is a vast strength” is? If not, don’t panic. Ninety-five amount of information that is easily and percent of photographers, just like you, can’t quickly accessible. answer yes to any of those questions. Unfortu- 2. The ‘bad news’ is that there is a vast nately, most of them will never understand the amount of information that is easily and importance of the answers. And others will try quickly accessible. to successfully operate without answers to these questions. The speed and amount of information can overwhelm you and much of it is wrong! The advantage that you have is this report. Assisting you to ask and answer these ques- Most people that do research on the internet use search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo! MSN, tions is one of the goals of this report. Asking and answering the questions will target your Ask, etc.) Still others that do targeted research photography market like a laser beam. An- use ‘search tools.’ Similar to search engines, swering the questions will assist you to deter-these ‘tools’ allow you to enter information, mine the most successful, effective and profit-based on the answers that you are seeking, and able marketing strategies for you and your find many resources. Some search engines and photography. some search tools allow you to search many multiple sources for your information. This is Do your research. I am making an assumption referred to as a mega-search. Often, doing a (so pardon me if I’m mistaken). I am assuming search requires knowing how one database re- that by virtue of you reading this pdf report, lates to another (and other esoteric techno- you are ‘relatively computer-able.’ In other speak). words, you possess enough familiarity with computers to do ‘basic’ and effective online Search Tool: The most effective and easy to marketing tasks. use search tool that I have found anywhere is called Search It! It is simply the best research tool available on the internet – at any price! similar photos. You can download a free copy of Search It! That’s right – free! Yes, it is the full version. For example, I enjoyed taking close-up This tool is offered by a website business com- photographs of wild plants and flowers. pany called SiteSell. Like many successful I offered them for sale in the stock pho- marketers on the internet, SiteSell feels their tography market only to find out products are so good and impressive that they through research that close-up photo- give free copies of ‘full and complete’ internet graphs of wild plants and flowers are tools, such as Search It! . The search tool was very plentiful. Although my ‘great developed for webmasters to help them find shots’ were ‘great’ to look at, there was the best keywords and success resources for no market for them. (Actually, there is their websites. However, Search It! is so pow- no market of consequence. I have erful, that it literally can simply, easily and ef- enlarged some of the close-up photo- ficiently research anything and any topic. graphs to sizes of 6 feet x 8 feet and used them as display at fairs. Their size Add this free tool to your marketing tool kit, and sheer brilliance attracts a lot of at- and you will be light years ahead of your pho- tention. And I sometimes have post tography business competition. I promise. cards and greeting cards printed up Also, your time spent researching will be re- with the close-up photographs. How- duced by, at least, 75%. ever, both of these strategies only sup- plement and contribute to my market- Lesson Learned: Great pictures that ing efforts. The money that I make nobody wants! from the photographs is small and, Shooting digital allows me to shoot as compared to my other photography many photographs as time allows. revenue sources, is of no consequence.) Which, in turn, had me shooting almost everything. Consequently, I had lots of Another Lesson Learned: Not every- ‘great pictures.’ As I was learning body appreciates close-up photography. about stock photography and gathering Initially, I made the mistake of includ- ‘all’ of my ‘great shots,’ my research ing close-up photography in my made it clear to me that there are cer- ‘portrait portfolio.’ I got comments on tain photos that there is almost no mar- how ‘beautiful and clear’ the photos ket for – simply because everybody has were. But, I didn’t get follow calls from These are two images that I felt had value ($) until I did the research. They ’only’ have value to me. I have enlarged these to 6 ft. x 8 ft. They get attention. the people that I was showing them to. your customers? Everyone you come in con- One day, a friend told me that women tact with: vendors, co-workers, neighbors, don’t want to have pictures taken of family, clients, everyone. If you adopt the atti- themselves that are as ‘clear and de- tude that everyone is your customer, you im- tailed’ as close-up photos. I removed prove the chance that they will influence future the close-up photos out of my portfolio sales. – the follow up calls came. I didn’t pay attention to my customer’s needs. If IWhen your photography customer has a prob- had, I may have determined on my own lem, you must find what should have hap- pened, what didn’t happen and what needs to that their needs often includes photo- graphing them in soft and feminine happen. Giving good customer service is about tones – not bright and detailed high-attitude. Yours! When a problem occurs, treat lights. it as a challenge or an opportunity not as a problem. Ask questions and listen. Show em- Strategy Tip #7 pathy, apologize and ask how you can fix the Overdeliver: Give great customer service. problem. If you focus more of your energy on Solving your photography customer’s prob- listening, you will often discover their real lems will help you sell and publish more of problem or real need. Have a plan to solve your photography. Treat everyone you deal common customer problems and treat each with as if they were your customer. Why? customer service issue as a potential opportu- Your customers pay you the money that your nity for a new sale – because, in the end, it is. photography business makes. They make your Lessons Learned: Solving your cus- photography business possible. So who are tomers’ problems is often meeting By looking at magazines, brochures and other published literature, I get a sense of what style stock photobuyers buy. I then shoot stock images attempting to meet that style. One of my photogra- phy niches is chil- dren. Capturing their charm in images re- minds me of photo- graphing flowers. their needs – and they remember you for it. My experience has been that the most common problem my potential photography customers have is a ‘time’ problem – they usually don’t have much of it to get what they need done. I specifically don’t do ‘rush’ work be- cause I don’t like to ‘be on call’ in my photography business. (Another reason that I don’t offer ‘rush’ services is be- cause products that are produced quickly aren’t perceived as having a high level of quality, by some. And I want the value of my photography to be Please don’t feed the ducks? perceived as having high-value.) How- ever, I have the capacity and the neces- sary contacts to produce almost any my own with an inkjet printer using glossy type of photography in a matter of business card stock. I put a striking image on hours, max. I don’t publicize this to one side of the card and a calendar on the customers (regular or potential) at all. other. I always include my website address and When they call and frantically tell me my full contact information. Another great what their problem is – I fix it. When I leave-behind can be a calendar. Calendars al- fix it, I don’t charge them more for the low you to leave potential customers with a ‘rush’ job. They love me just for that mini portfolio that includes 12 of your images. gesture. And, of course, they then con- Newsletters are a powerful leave-behind. A sider me ‘their’ photographer. From brochure with selected images of your best there, I do everything possible to con- work is a good leave behind (a good idea is to tinue to provide the same level of ser- print your photography business brochure on a vice. When I fix such ‘impossible’ greeting card – my experience is that people problems, they proudly recommend me hold on to a greeting card with good images to their friends, families and co- longer than a brochure). They even sometimes workers as ‘their personal’ photogra- save it and put it up in their space at work. If pher. you have included your full contact informa- tion, you have a well-placed advertisement for Strategy Tip #8 your photography. Leave behinds. When you appear anywhere to show your photography work, speak to an au- Strategy Tip #9 dience, meet with editors to show your portfo- Self-promotion. There is absolutely no substi- lio or talk to anyone about your photography, tute for promotion. If you want to be success- be sure to have a leave-behind. Business cards ful in the business of photography, your mar- are also a must-have, but you need much more ket needs to see and be aware of you all the than a business card to leave a lasting impres- time. And while you’re at it, you can contrib- sion on prospects, clients or potential custom- ute to your community. ers. Here are some suggestions: 1. Join local service and business or- I use business cards very effectively. I print ganizations 2. Volunteer to teach photography workshops and seminars 3. Donate your photography to chari- ties 4. Mentor someone with an interest in photography 5. Volunteer your photography ser- vices to a non-profit organization’s community event There are rules to good self-promotion. Pho- tographers need to aggressively promote them- selves if they want to be published or hired. Here are some basic rules: 1. Make sure your contact information Too often, some photographers underestimate appears on everything you mail, the affection people have for their pets. distribute or show to the public. 2. Expect to contact someone at least seven times before they start to pay attention to you. Sending only one postcard, for example, simply is not enough and won’t work. 3. Use the media to spread the word about your photography business and yourself. 4. Use one dramatic photograph with high impact on your marketing pieces instead of several smaller images. 5. Show only your best work. 6. Don’t sound desperate – customers There is a very small (but totally dedicated) don’t do business with desperate market for various icon niches, such as businesses. Harley-Davidsons. I wanted to shoot specific photos of motorcycle clubs. I took this shot and printed it on greeting cards that I sent to motorcycle club representatives. I don’t ride motorcycles, but I think club members appre- ciate the art photo of their passion. “Mr. Bob” (LeSoinne) leads the music class for the toddlers of the Center for Community and Family Services, located in Southern California. As photographer, I had to be in the room without being a distraction. Young chil- dren are so sophisticated, that they will want to see the photo right after its taken - they know that digital is immediate! Strategy Tip #10 emerging and unknown photographers, they Use ebooks. Stand head & shoulders above the buy mostly stock photography. You must be crowd, consider producing a photography persistent for this market. You’ll need to treat ebook. This report is an ebook. As you see, an greeting card and calendar companies the same ebook is a digital file that readers can way you would magazines. Study these mar- download or receive on CD-ROM. Ebooks kets closely and carefully. Since greeting cards don’t have to be printed on sophisticated have to convey their messages in a limited presses, bound, inventoried, or shipped. amount of space, your photography must per- Ebooks are rarely returned for a refund fectly match the message. Make sure your pho- (especially the ebooks that are given away – tographs reflect the personal tone of greeting like this one). Of course, you can sell your cards. Usually these are photos that have emo- ebook on your website, at regular bookstores, tional impact. on ClickBank.com on Ebay, or on internet fo- rums. I publish my own greeting cards and calen- dars. There is no way (at least, as far as I can Photography ebooks are most popular when figure out) that I can mass produce greeting written with a how-to approach, as in travel, cards and calendars that I would need to in or- cooking, gardening, etc. der to generate the You can build the ebook profit to make it using any number of soft- ‘worth my while.’ ware programs. Almost However, I find that every computer sold to- my ‘limited edition’ day comes with a pro- greeting cards and gram that can read calendars have great ebooks – Adobe Reader marketing value. I software is available free make calendars for of charge from their web- non-profit organiza- site www.adobe.com tions and give it to As ‘attention-getters’ these images continue to them to do whatever If you choose to publish serve me well, but images of colorful, wildflow- they choose. Most of ers are plentiful in the stock photography market. an ebook to sell, you can the times, they dis- Consequently, the only ‘value’ is either personal then set up a shopping for the photographer and/or useful as marketing tribute a few among cart system on your web- tools. I enlarge them and display them. their employees and site and sell your ebook clients. Initially, I online. Depending on the size of the ebook, started this marketing activity thinking that the you could make it available to download from organization would want to mass produce the your website. If the ebook files are too large, calendars (as fund-raisers, packet fillers, etc.). you can burn it onto a CD-ROM and ship it to What I find is that they are very effective be- customers for an additional fee. And, of cause the people that do get them hold on to course, you can print your ebook into a hard them (and my contact information). Sometimes copy and sell it traditionally. the organizations call me to ‘inquire’ if I plan to ‘donate’ calendars for the year. Strategy Tip #11 Greeting cards and calendars: Greeting card Lessons Learned: People love their companies and calendar companies are large pets. consumers of photography. Unfortunately for A marketing strategy that I use to in- crease the exposure of my photography start with Hallmark or American Greetings. business involves modified ‘street- Start with a regional approach. Calendar pub- shooting.’ For me, this form of photog- lishers are somewhat more receptive to photo raphy has me, as the photographer, submissions from emerging photographers. walking down the street or sitting in a Calendar submission requires thematic submis- heavily populated area and taking pho- sions. For example, calendar companies look tos of people with pets. I ask if I can for 12 cat pictures, 12 landscape pictures, and take their picture. My experience con- 12 cars. The more original you can make the tinues to be approximately 99.9% say theme, the more likely you are to see your yes – those that don’t usually cannot work accepted for publication. get their pet to be still. If they ask me what I intend to do with the photo, I tell Are you struggling to implement your them that I am a photographer that I am marketing? publishing a photography book on ‘pets When it comes to your marketing ef- forts, do the following questions stay and their people.’ They sometimes ask on your mind? me to notify them when I publish the 1. What should I do in the first book. About 4 out of 10 people ask me place? how they can get a copy of the photo. I 2. How do I handle resistance? use a photography fulfillment company 3. How do I come up with good called Printroom.com. Using their ser- ideas? vice, I can give my business card and 4. How do I create a workable plan? tell inquiring pet owners to visit my 5. How do I fit mar- keting into my website to get a copy. I upload the im- schedule? ages to my Printroom.com web space, set the prices for photos and that’s it. Try this great market- The customer/pet owner visits the site ing resource. I highly and if they like the photo of their pets recommend it. It’s they buy. I generally set my photo easy as 1-2-3! prices low – I use this marketing strat- egy simply to keep my photography and my photography business on people’s minds. However, the re- sponse from pet owners was so overwhelming that I added Pet Portraits to my photography niches. And trust me, people love their pets. Make their pets look good and you have a customer for life. My Pet Portrait regular cus- tomers have more portraits taken of their pets than families have portraits taken of their children Product photography is a niche that can be profitable. A and families. store owner in California had trouble selling leather ski jackets. She had me shoot this jacket which she then used When it comes to submitting images to in an online store. She was able to market the jacket to greeting card companies, you shouldn’t cold weather customers. Strategy Tip #12 has a ‘great’ sunset photo and a ‘great’ wild Get into the stock photography market. The flower close-up photo and thinks their photos stock photography market is experiencing should be published somewhere. However, the some of the most turbulent and dramatic number of sunset photos and close-up of wild change since the beginning of the stock pho- flowers that are published is pretty small. tography industry. Some long-time stock pho- tographers don’t like and are fighting the Developing a niche may be the best way to change. Others are adjusting to the changes find a buyer for your photography. Specialize and profiting from their flexibility. or be as specific as possible. Finding your niche doesn’t mean that those are the only pho- Stock photography is a photography niche tos you can take. But it does mean that when it worth investigating. Once in the world of stock comes to selling your photos, this subject is photography, you will need to find and de- what you are known for and where you con- velop a ‘specialty’ photography niche. One of centrate your marketing efforts. the most significant ingredients for success in this market is to specialize. For example, if This sort of target marketing approach will you shoot sports, landscape, travel or architec- produce a much higher quality of buyer. It’s ture photography, it will be easier to sell stock also easy to sell to a tightly targeted market photos than if you were a generalist. rather than a broad market. You’ll likely be more successful if you target a specific type of Being good at photographing people is a photography to a specific buyer. The more spe- must, also. The majority of stock photographs cific and targeted you are in your approach, the sold in the United States contain pictures of more likely it is you’ll have success over oth- people. Another important element in stock ers who are tying to sell a broad range of pho- photography successfully is to know the types tos. of photographs agencies look for. Do this by looking through magazines to see the types of images that sell. To be truly successful at stock photography, you must determine what your ‘photographic strength/areas’ are. Rohn Engh, author of “Sell & Re- Sell Your Photos,” provides the easy-to-understand steps to take Research has shown me that to identify your photographic a good stock photography strengths. It is also a great way to niche for me is children. get to know yourself better! Identify, refine and continuously develop your own niche. One of the best ways to improve your chances of sell- ing or publishing your photography is to de- velop your own niche. Just about every professional photographer Research showed me that images of children interacting Strategy Tip #13 with adults, in educational settings, has value in stock. Working with local businesses. Every business has a need for photography of some kind. They might need pictures for their website, catalog, advertisements, products or their building. They need pictures of em- ployees for annual reports or business flyers. If you are interested in this type of work, create a portfolio and call on local businesses. Making cold calls is scary for some people (including me). However, with practice, you might be amazed at how productive it can be. All you are actually doing is introducing your- self to the person who needs your photography. If you want to sell to businesses, you must turn your photos to products. It’s best to start with companies that are familiar. For example, if you always go to the same mechanic, chances are the mechanic will recog- nize you. You then only need to say to them, “By the way, how would you like me to make some custom calendars that you could give to your best customers?” Developing this kind of relationship with businesses is a very non-threatening and low key approach to sell- ing. Do that with every business that you do business with regularly, and you’ll start to quickly generate new business. Publish custom products. Think of other products that you could custom publish for local businesses. Pho- tography books are a good high-valued product. Es- tablishing a working relationship with local designers, typesetters, and printers generates targeted referrals. You can generate multiple income streams by creating custom products such as photography books. Strategy Tip #14 Start and operate an online photo service. In addi- tion to having a photography website to sell photo- graphs online, you can also use an online photo ser- vice to sell your photos. With a photo service such as Printroom.com, dotPhoto.com or Shutterfly.com you set your own prices and payment terms. You upload your logo and add it to your site as well custom- ize the experience for buyers. This option makes your photos pub- licly searchable and to market them, you send email invitations to your researched and targeted list. Often, the bright and innocent smiles of the children make the clearest statements - life is great! Strategy Tip #15 site is critical for success. Photography Website Basics No matter what type of photography consumes Photography Website Basics #1 your “passion,” a focused and strong online Website Purpose: Determine what the primary presence can build your photography business goal of your website is: like no other marketing tool. A photography • to display your work website, when planned in advance, can dra- • to advertise your services matically increase a photographer’s potential • to market yourself and your photography client base. • to sell, etc. Your success with a website relies heavily on Believe it or not, websites are not simply ad- understanding website basics and determining vertising tools – they are sales closing tools as what it is that you want your photography well as effective self-promotion tools. Your website to do – website purpose. website should be designed and used to assist you in getting and closing of a sale. A photography website has the potential to be a virtual office, a point of sale, an exhibition Photography Website Point of Confusion: A space, as well as a center of communication point of confusion for many photographers that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a about the internet is understanding that a pho- week. tography website must appeal to humans to be successful. And, it must also appeal to the There are basics for any type of website. And, search engines to be successful. On the inter- there are basics for a successful photography net, text (keywords, meta tags, etc.) is neces- website. sary for the search engines to find and rank your website. People find your website at the Basic Website Elements (the following are search engines. A photographer’s world is im- basic for all websites regardless of type) ages, not text. Although the confusion is un- 1. A clean and attractive front page derstandable, it isn’t difficult to overcome and 2. Simple navigation master. 3. Easy-to-find contact info 4. Brief, clear product descriptions Website Image: Your website should reflect the same high-quality, professionalism of your Basic Photography Website Distinction other literature and your photography services. When it comes to photography websites, there Don’t just ‘throw up’ a website just to say that is a distinct difference between a successful you have a website. Determine which website photography website and an unsuccessful one. creation option is best for you. You can build It’s simple, really. your own website ( trust me, building first- • A successful photography website class, photography websites is currently easier makes money. than ever). Of course, you can have your web- • An unsuccessful photography web- site built by a website designer. But, most de- site doesn’t. signers build websites to look good—not to be successful for the website owner. Also, you A photography website should be much more have to wait on the web designer when you than an extension of your brochure. And once want to make changes. Building your website you have the photography website that reflects yourself will surprise you how easy it is and you and your photography, marketing the web- how fast you will learn about websites. Photography Website Basics #2 they are! Keep it professional – just your Display Options: Here are suggested display name. options for your site 2. What Are Your Qualifications? How Galleries: Photography websites provide the many years experience? What photography perfect settings for online photography galler- related education do you have? This is where ies. If you are a wedding photographer and po- you can list your photographic achievements tential customers want to see samples of your such as certificates, awards, won contests, etc. work – they can visit your website gallery. 3. Where Are You Located? What state, Likewise with portraits, seniors’ photography, county, city, etc. Of course, this information is sports photography, events photography or critical if you have a studio or other commer- even nude photography – galleries dramati- cial location (as a rule, photographers that have cally expand and increase your exposure 24 their studios in their homes don’t want to pro- hrs. a day, 7 days a week. vide specific location information online – they want to pre-screen visitors) Portfolios: Such websites offer almost unlim- 4. How Can You Be Contacted? Telephone ited opportunities for photographers to display number; FAX number; email address (and their portfolios. Whether your photography email link) niche is family portraits, stock photography, 5. What Times Can You Be Contacted? wedding photography, boudoir photography, 6. What Photography Services Do You etc., creating and publishing a first-rate online Provide and How Can You Make Me Look portfolio is very doable. Photographers that do Good? not have their portfolios online are simply los- ing out. Photography Website Basics #4 The following list includes components to Online Stock Libraries: You can send photo- consider including in your photography buyers emails with links to your libraries. Of website: course, you will only send emails after you have done the research of what types of photo- • Photo Galleries: Galleries are used to sort graphs to send and to whom to send them. and organize your photos depending on your content or subject. Your galleries may include Private Viewing: Your customers can access your portrait gallery, your stock photography your website photo gallery. You can simply gallery, your wedding portrait gallery, or event send them an email that contains the photo gal- galleries (from events that you photographed). lery link and a secret password for the access- This type of website sometimes offers opportu- ing of private portrait reviews (i.e. family por- nities for visitors to view and purchase images. traits, boudoir and glamour portraits, etc.) • Portfolio: A way to showcase who you Photography Website Basics #3 are, the type of photography work that you do, Contact Information: and what you do. Your portfolio or portfolios A word of caution and common sense here: It should only display your best work. Too many simply isn’t wise to provide all or most of your of us photographers (including me) put too personal information as your professional con- many photos in our portfolios. Many of us tact information. have a difficult time being objective about our 1. Who Are You? – Just provide your name. photography. Get qualified help on this – only Too many photographers (and other creative show your best work in your portfolio(s)! Pho- types) simply provide too much about who tography Website Tip: Just because websites allow limitless space, this does not mean you done with a “sitemap” which is a page that list should use all of it. Keep your portfolio edit the links to the pages in your site. tight and you will keep others interested in • Online Store/Fulfillment: A method to your online portfolio. Your photography web- allow your visitors to place an order and/or site should show off your best images, cleanly buy your photography work. There are differ- and without tacky gimmicks. ent methods available for allowing visitors to • Weekly Photo: Keeping your visitors make online purchases. Many web hosting coming back is key to the success of your web- companies offer the service. However, with a site and “weekly photos” is a fun way to keep little patience, you can set up your site so that them coming back. The weekly photo is also a payments come directly to you and you won’t way to keep your website “fresh.” have to pay commission fees. My preference is • Guestbook: The guestbook allows your automation. So, I choose services that allow visitors to post comments and feedback about visitors to view and purchase online. The ser- your website. vice completes the sale for me, takes their fee • Biography: Who are you? Tell your visi- and sends the difference to me. Doing it your- tors a little more information about who you self is fine until you begin to receive more are and where you’re going. This is the section business than you can handle by yourself where you can expand on ‘who you are.’ Keep (remember, you’re a photographer, your best in mind, however, attention to professional de- time is spent taking photos not packaging and tails always builds business credibility. mailing products. In the long run, automation “Weirdness” doesn’t contribute to a profes- is better, in my opinion). sional image, in any way. Too many photogra- phers advertise and promote their “weirdness” All of the listed components aren’t necessary to their disadvantage. Sure, your customer for every website. Although, all of the listed wants creative. But, they usually want it from a components can be included in a thought-out professional that doesn’t come off as too website that has a need for them to fulfill the “weird” to trust to do business with. website purpose, it isn’t necessary to use all of • Resume: If you’re looking for new oppor- them. Also, they can be added as the website is tunities, use of a resume page will work won- built bigger and better. ders for you. Not only will your clients be able to view all of your sample work or portfolios Photography Website Building Basic Steps on your website, they will also be able to sum- Creating your own functioning photography marize your experience and qualifications. website can seem like a daunting and confus- • Favorite Links: Post a section containing ing task. However, it does not have to be this some of your favorite websites. For example, way. Creating a website can (oddly enough) be share other websites that can be useful to your a fun and rewarding experience if you just fol- visitors. Thinks this step through. For the most low a few simple guidelines. part, you don’t want your visitor to ‘click’ away from your website. Define Your Photography Website: The first • FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions: thing that you should do when getting ready to Your visitors will be able to answer all their construct your first website is to define it. questions on their own without having to con- What do you want your web page to do? Do tact you. not just start constructing your page, really • Help Items: If you think your visitors will think about it. You should think about how you need assistance with areas of your website, you want it to look, what information you want to can offer a help link. Sometimes this can be provide to your perspective customer in order to persuade him to hire you or to buy from you will also speed up the download speed of your rather than going elsewhere. page so that the customer can view quickly without having to wait for large picture files to Be sure that you organize the page well, think appear on the screen. Most photo management of your Home Page like the Table of Contents software can accomplish this task for you. An- page in a book, it is there so that your custom- other source is the following website: ers know where to go in your site for their par- http://www.sitereportcard.com/imagereducer.p ticular needs, or just to familiarize themselves hp The process is very simple. with your photography and photography ser- vices. Lastly, when defining your site you Fonts and Background Colors: You should should do your research. Always visit other also put some serious thought into what color photographers’ websites (especially your local fonts you are going to use, and the background competition) to see how they have organized color as well. When in doubt, remember that a their sites, so you can make yours better, white background with black text has been whether it is just including more information successful for thousands of years! about your photography, or simply making a better designed site. Easy Navigation: Your website should also be easy to navigate, all your links should be obvi- Website Name: Now that you have given ous to the viewer, and should be self explana- some serious thought to how you want your tory or have information about where the link web site to look, and what you want to include will take them. Try to keep the number of links in it, you need to think of a name for it. There you have low, the viewer does not want to are various approaches to finding the right spend a lot of time waiting for links to name for your website. The first is to make the download, chances are, like you, he is pretty name logical, for instance, Nike’s web site is busy! Further, always link back to your home- nike.com. Another approach is to make the page in order to make navigating your web name memorable so that your customers can page easier for your potential customers. type it in without thought, the name does not have to be descriptive of the product you sell, The Paper Plan: Now, before you begin to for example Amazon.com sells books. Further, construct your website on a computer, you you should keep the name as short as possible should construct your website on paper. De- so that it is easy for your customers to type cide the number of pages you want to have in- into the url field. side of your site, and determine logical titles for them. Think of any pictures that you might Pictures, Images and Slow Loading Web- want to put on each page and where you are sites: One of the most annoying things for peo- going to put them in order to be most effective. ple surfing the web are pages that take a long You should plan out your hyperlinks now, as it time to download. A slow loading website will will make keeping track of them later a lot eas- not do you any good if instead of waiting for ier and save you time trying to figure out why the page to download the viewer closes his they are not working properly. Decide where browser and goes elsewhere. you want to put any buttons that you might create for hyperlinks as well. Lastly write out Pictures, images and graphics are slow to load any information content you will be putting on websites unless they have been internet onto your web page in Microsoft Word first so “optimized.” This simply means that the sizes you can detect any spelling errors you might of your pictures/images are made smaller. This have made. You can cut and paste parts later. The Practice Page: You should make a prac- gines, to categorize specific websites tice page first so that you can get a feel for and web pages. Also, write a brief de- whatever web building tools you are using and scription of your website and be sure to gain some experience using them before you include your main keywords in the de- start constructing a page which you will pub- scription. lish on the internet. Practice adding and delet- Find methods to add interesting content to ing text, pictures, and hyperlinks until you can your website. The behavior of the ma- do these actions with ease. jority of website visitors is that they will not return to a website unless the Building a website is simple and easy if you site’s “freshness” demands that they follow the above steps. The most important return. Likewise with your photography part of the construction process actually takes website, using “freshness” on your site place before you start your first page. Think of will give your clients a reason to revisit constructing your web site like taking a test your site. For example, try a survey, a back in school, those who prepared before the chat room, photo contests, etc. Use any test probably did better than those who just method you can think of to create went in without even opening their books. “freshness” (interest and interaction). This method requires a lot of mainte- So be sure to prepare before you start, think of nance but will boost your website’s the content you want to put in, think about popularity, rankings, recognition, repu- your links, think about your web site’s name, tation and customer loyalty. draw up an outline on paper before you start Make your website easy to use. Use easy to constructing the page. read fonts with non-animated back- Including a website in your marketing strate- grounds. Regardless of how great your gies can only help your photography experi- photography is, visitors will not wait ences. Remember, your photography website for your “great” website to download. efforts should be focused and thought out. Establish a dialogue with your customers. Photography marketing has to be focused on Respond to their requests quickly and what it is you want to do. Knowing the basics always plan for follow-up. Be personal of websites will help you to build a successful and personable. You’re dealing in a photography website. Photography marketing cold, impersonal medium, so try to should not be a guessing game. And, no matter warm things up. Remember, you are in how elaborate or simple your photography charge of what happens next. website is, it must benefit your photography Be sure to add your website address (url) to marketing results. everything you print, including busi- ness cards, letterhead, envelopes, mail- Strategy Tip #16 ing labels, logo labels, note cards, Promoting Your Photography Website photo prints labels, slide captions, esti- Just building it isn’t enough! Fortunately, mates, invoices, promotion pieces, there are many different methods to promote mailers, ads and in every outgoing your photography website both online and email. offline: Register with internet search engines, gen- eral directories and photography spe- What keywords will you use for your meta cific directories. tag page? Keywords are what are used Write both print and electronic press re- by both, web surfers and search en- leases to submit to the appropriate me- dia to announce your website. ness will greatly help you to “cover your ex- Exchange links with other photography spe- penses” and then some! cific websites that relate to your market- ing message. (For an in-depth and easy Strategy Tip #17 to grasp education about exchanging Still More Photography Marketing Ideas links click here.) There are many effective, low-cost strategies to Make your website content relate to your market your photography whether you want marketing message and use the site as a customers to shoot, customers to buy your portfolio. prints or customers to hire you for your photog- raphy skills. Being an amateur photographer Strategy Tip #17 doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be effi- Standard Marketing Still Works cient, dependable and good! Even if you’re As revolutionary as the internet is, the standard only interested in generating enough money to methods of marketing should also continued to cover the costs of your photography, conduct- be utilized: ing yourself as a professional brings credibility Classified Ads which brings a lot of photography business. Direct Mail Post Cards I do a lot of marketing. However, I don’t spend Yellow Pages a great deal of money. I do simple, but effec- Brochures tive, activities that bring steady business. I Flyers share all of the strategies that work for me on Billboards my website: www.MarketPhotography.com Door Hangers Please feel free to visit regularly. If you want to Catalogues keep up with the latest photography marketing Seminars tips, you must subscribe to our free amateur Gift Certificates photography ezine, “Best Amateur Photogra- Coupons phy Tips Digest.” If you found the tips in this Celebrity Endorsements book helpful, you’ll love the “Best Amateur Word of Mouth Photography Tips Digest!” Creative Business Cards Video Brochure I share successful marketing activities that I Newsletters use. For example, are you (like me) too shy to Novelty Items go up to complete strangers and asking them if Press Release you can take their picture? Well, I’m still rela- tively shy. But, I use a “stress-less” method to Regardless of your area of photography, today get complete strangers to become my best pho- you must deal with a significant change in the tography customers. Click here to read about it. photography world. Plain and simple: you can It will work for you, too! In this free ezine, I no longer be ‘just a photographer.’ The future share low-cost but highly effective marketing belongs to the owners of photography busi- strategies—such as Photography Calendars. nesses. Whatever the plan for marketing and self-promotion you write, you must deal with Photography Calendars as Marketing Tools the business side. Marketing and self- One method that I’ve found very successful is a promotion are part of the business side. Even if very “useful gift” – a calendar. With the proper you are just seeking enough revenue to pay for software, computer and printer, you can pro- your photography passion, seeing it as a busi- duce calendars, yourself. As a rule, calendars are kept longer and displayed in a prominent ting customers to ‘keep’ the ‘gifts’ for a long space. Depending on the photo that I include on time. the calendar, I personalize the calendar. On the following pages are examples of calendars that The next example is similar in the marketing I regularly use successfully. message. The added elements to this calendar that strongly encourage the customer to hold on Depending on the photo, I print theme and/or to the calendar. For example, there is space for color-coordinated greeting cards that match the the toddler’s ‘first words’ and ‘first steps’ date. calendar theme. Keep in mind that these aren’t Of course, the documenting of such events items that I sell. These are items that I give to makes the calendar a family keepsake. my current photography customers and my po- tential photography customers. Some of the cal- As simple as this method is to produce, it con- tinues to prove very productive for me. I continue to get calls months to years after I’ve given the calen- dars. I once gave a calendar to a mother that worked in a large agency. The calendar was popular. I got customers because of the cal- endar. I gave each of the new cus- tomers a calendar. Long story short: at this particular agency, my calendars have become a “collectable!” Also, at the same agency, greeting cards featuring my photography were very popu- lar. The exposure continues to be good! There are many methods to show endars have more ‘keeping value’ than others. your photography work. Using a little imagina- On the second calendar example, the context is tion and visiting various resources will spark obvious – child and grandfather. I make sure creative ideas to help you show your work. that the calendars have the twelve months on From calendars, mugs, gifts, photo books, pho- them. This ensures that they will be kept longer tography websites, online photo galleries, etc. (than a brochure or flyer). the choices are limited only to your imagina- tion. I always include my contact information on the calendars – my website address, in this case. Stimulate your imagination—subscribe to the “Best Amateur Photography Tips Digest” The second example is a good snap shot printed today! on a calendar. The context is obvious – child and grandfather. The calendars, both, include all twelve months – which helps to ensure that it is kept for, at least the year. The uniqueness of these ‘gifts’ is a very strong element in get- Final Strategy Tips – For now Create The Perception Of Effortless- Whether you’re selling wedding or portrait ness photography, stock photography, or commer- Every customer’s dream photography cial photography, there are factors that your session is the one that eases her fear potential customers need to know before they and meets her challenges. Your market- make the big decision to work with you! Re- ing should be addressing this issue. view your marketing plan and self-promotion There is always something their current materials with these final strategy tips in mind photographer has done to frustrate the and make sure that your photography business customer or made a portrait purchase message is represented. difficult. This could be your way to ‘earn their trust.’ What Are Your Photography Cus- tomers Actually Looking For? Be Flexible Your marketing strategies and self- This means you will be easy to work promotion materials must reflect what with and solve problems, not make potential customers need to know about more than your customers already you and your photography. This knowl- have. Whether it is a family or a execu- edge about you is necessary because all tive portrait shoot, no customer needs of your potential customers you are more problems. Flexibility does not selling to probably already have pho- mean dropping your price to get the tographers they work with. job. Photographic Ability Work Within Deadlines And Budg- When you have a hidden technical ca- ets pability, it should be brought out to Do your research. Know how much a give you a competitive edge. If you’ve job will cost you and figure in worst got – flaunt it! case scenarios. When explaining a job to a customer, he may recognize the Give The Clients What They Want value of the end product. But, he may Overdeliver on customer service to all not recognize the timelines and differ- of your customers (regular and poten- ent steps in the processing and packag- tial). Most potential clients want con- ing of the end product. They can see vincing assurance that they can depend the obvious. Talk about what they can’t on the job getting done the way they see – time and money management. want it done. Focus on the needs of your customers. Can They Trust You? Being able to fully trust you and know Make Them Look Good your work together is kept confidential Be very aware of how sensitive cus- is very important to your customer. Al- tomers are to how the photos will make ways make sure you consult with cus- them look! This awareness is a poten- tomers before using her image or prod- tial competitive edge and added value uct in any of your marketing strategies. to your photography business. Help your customer to become and look like a hero. T he major purpose of this book is to pro- vide information to you that is valuable and effective. Another purpose is to provide spending too much time trying to get things to work properly (without tech support). True story: I once subscribed to a low-cost web host- resources for your photography business activi- ing service. When I first subscribed, they were a ties. small company that appreciated their customers. In the span of two years they had explosive At Marketing for Photographers and Photogra- growth. Their first-class customer service phy you will find constantly updated resources turned into vulgar arrogance – as if they were for your photography business and passion. The now doing their subscribers a favor by taking website is designed and maintained to provide our money to host our website. One day I called information similar to what is contained in this their customer service department to tell them book. Visit regularly and make sure that you how bad I had been treated by their tech sup- take advantage of the available resources. port. During the course of the conversation, the customer service rep cursed me and then hung Almost always, the resources are free. up on me! I gave up on “low-cost” web host- ing—until I found BlueVoda.com. Sometimes free is what you get. You get what ‘you pay’ for. What I continue to find on the Expensive – Means just that: pay a lot of internet, however is changing that dynamic. money for questionable value. Some of us make purchases based on the ‘status’ of paying ‘top To me, resources have four price categories: dollar.’ Some of us buy our cars, clothes, free, low-cost, expensive, and cost-effective. watches, sun glasses and contact lenses, in that manner. Free – Means that you do not pay money for the resource. There are many free resources for Cost Effective – For me, cost effective means photographers on the internet. Although you do the amount of money (and time) that I pay for a not pay money, with ‘free,’ you must invest resource (tools, service, etc.) brings me a return time. Some resources that fall into the ‘free’ that is in multiples of the initial costs of the re- category I have found to be very valuable. For sources. In other words, does it make my life example, I learned how to build and operate easier and/or does it generate good to great websites (photography websites and non- money for me. photography websites) with free websites. There also are companies that give-away vol- I have found and personally use two web host- umes of their information for ‘free.’ For exam- ing services that are perfect for my style. I don’t ple, I got a very thorough education about like ‘geek-speak.’ I don’t want to keep up with building a successful internet (not just a suc- the latest technology advancements. I want cessful website) business from ‘free’ literature. every tool that I will ever need (whether I use Sometimes, ‘free’ can be very, very valuable. them, or not) included for the same price – no upgrades! I want to be able to manage and Low-cost – Means that, comparatively speak- change my own website without having to be a ing, you do not pay a ‘prevailing’ price for the ‘techno-wizard!’ And, I want a 100% satisfac- resource. For me, low-cost eventually becomes tion guarantee. expensive. I had websites hosted on ‘low-cost’ websites. And the quality was evident. A couple For my individual website hosting, I use and of them had poor technical support. Still others highly recommend BlueVoda.com had absolutely no technical support. With ‘low- cost’ you save money but often pay for it by I learned (by doing in easy-to-follow-step-by- easy-step instructions) how the internet works presence in the photography world – and beyond! and how to build a successful internet business from a company that I give my highest recom- This may sound self serving, but it’s true – I mendation SiteSell.com. wish that I had the information contained in this report before I decided to ‘try my hand’ at a pho- I learned how to boost my photography business tography business. I now have this information by following the steps in this book. I learned how that has helped me to establish a successful pho- to successfully operate my photography website; tography business. I got it because other success- how to get my website to rank high and be popu- ful photographers gave it to me. I feel that I’m lar; how to write, publish and distribute this obligated to give it to you. You can help by shar- book you’re reading; how to put knowledge that ing this report with your friends and/or fellow I’ve known all of my life to work for me; and photographers. how to master the internet on my terms—from SiteSell.com. If owning your own internet busi- Choose two or three of the Strategy Tips in this ness is for you, take a look and see if it’s for you, book. or not. Take Action. BlueVoda.com provides most of the web hosting tools and services as SiteSell.com. However, al- Be consistent. though BlueVoda.com provides great tutorial videos on how to use all of their tools, they don’t Be persistent. begin to match the overall “internet know-how” that SiteSell.com provides. You won’t go wrong The information contained in this report is valu- with either company for web hosting services. able and effective. However, the most significant Here’s my comparison: BlueVoda.comis a great component of success for a photography business college education. SiteSell.com is the “best” col- is quality photography. Develop your photogra- lege education available. Keep in mind, I use phy business. But, don’t ignore what it is that both web hosting companies. your business is about – photography. At Marketing for Photographers and Photogra- “To thine ownself be true.” phy every effort is made to provide the best re- sources available. Of course, things change at a This is Volume 2 of “Freeze, I Have A Camera break-neck speed on the internet. Sometimes And I’m Not Afraid To Use It.” Volume 3 is be- what was offered for ‘free’ last week now has a ing researched and compiled. Visit us and let us price – and visa versa resources offered for sale know what you would like to see in Volume 3. one week is given for ‘free’ the next. Every at- tempt is made to stay current. Do yourself a fa- vor – stay in touch. What Do You Know? I know a little about photography. When I first Visit our Photography Resources page for pho- purchased a web hosting package from Site- tography websites, stock photography resources, Sell.com, I wanted a successful website. What I marketing plans, photography software, online got was the “know-how” to profit from building galleries, etc. Visit us – you’ll be glad that you and owning my own internet businesses. I now do! own a series of photography related websites. No, it didn’t happen overnight and no, I didn’t quit I hope you found the information in this book my ‘day job’ in three weeks! You owe it to your- useful. Please, feel free to pass it on to a friend or self to take a look at their great resources. aspiring photographer seeking to increase their My passion is photography. I learned Hey, who’s the how to make a successful business with dweeb with the my passion for photography. For me, camera? the “passion” is photography. What’s your “passion?” Is it in you, too? SiteSell.com “The Action Plan ToolKit” - The Action Plan ToolKit is a complete online program Here's everything you get with the Action Plan ToolKit: 1. Complete Written Guide- lines with easy step-by-step in- structions for each of the Five The Web Site Toolkit is for you if... Modules (in pdf format). About You've always wanted a web site but just didn't know where 100 pages total. to start. You want to know what exactly should go on your web site 2. Complete Audio Tutorial of and how to get the web site design and up on the web. You want to all Five Modules (from 48 to 70 use your web site to educate your potential clients about your busi- mins each). In both mp3 and ness and make the most positive impression possible. You also want Real Audio online formats. your web site to help you attract more clients and increase your in- 3. A Troubleshooting Guide come. with answers to every question or you might have. You already have a web site but you aren't 4. The Action Plan ToolKit satisfied with it. It's not getting you the results Online Forum where you can you want and you need to make it better. You ask questions, connect with oth- may have some good content on your site but ers using the ToolKit you want to know what you're missing so that 5. "How to Overcome your you can improve it. You also want your web site Resistance to Marketing to help you attract more clients and increase your Yourself and Your Services." income. (was $39) What exactly is the Web Site Toolkit and how will it help me? 6. A Book list of the very best The Web Site Toolkit is a comprehensive program that gives books to support you in develop- you everything you need to build a high quality professional ing effective marketing action plans. service business web site that gets results. 7. A list of about a dozen re- sources on the web which pro- vide additional support for these ideas. Please give a copy of this free book to a friend This report if free. Do not pay for it. Impress your friends, colleagues and customers by giving them a copy. This report must NOT be sold. Every effort was made to find and eliminate all obvious errors in this report. However, I am human. I make mistakes. If you spot any, please let me know so that they can be corrected. The strategies and techniques contained in this report can be used to generate an enormous num- ber of photography customers to your photography business. Of course, what you do with these strategies is up to you. Because we don’t know each other, I don’t know your skills and don’t know how persistent and committed you’ll be. I cannot make any guarantees. My lawyer made me tell you this. Kalem Aquil - CEO MarketPhotography.com Copyright © Kalem Aquil All rights reserved.