The power of marketing/advertising is really expensive and can be a bit overwhelming for photographers starting out. There is no doubt about it though that it is one of the major keys to success in the business. Whether you like it or not you will have to learn how to market yourself if you want to succeed in this business. You have to put yourself in front of the eyes of the people you would like to work with.
Traditional forms of marketing are not cheap but in today’s world, there are ways around having to pay high prices to market yourself as a photographer. You can market your services successfully without spending a fortune. Here are some ways that will help you market your business at no cost.
One of the best ways to market yourself in a way of not being pushy or trying to win a client over is to simply blog. You have to be strategic about it though. A quality blog will be you sharing your own personal experience from a shoot or sharing your insights on a particular topic. This type of content should provide a narrative and enable the reader to get to know you and want to click on your website to see more.
Remember The content that you write about should be relevant to your particular niche or industry. You should also research keywords to place in your blog metadata so that it will help you rank higher in search engines so you can be found.
Social media is a powerhouse when it comes to free marketing for your business. In today’s digital age your photography business has to be on some form of social media. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or whatever social channel you chose. This is one of the best opportunities to display your strengths as a photographer. Just choose a platform where your audience is most active and create a marketing strategy that will drive your audience to become clients.
Referrals are a proven strategy that works. You are a great photographer and provide a positive experience for your client. Do not be afraid to ask for referrals from them. They should be happy to refer you to someone else given that they have had a positive experience with you. If your business is on google or yelp, you can ask for a review as well. This will not only help your rankings online and around town. You are just spreading the word about your value.
Here is an example that you can say to a client for a referral or review online.
“It was a pleasure working with you. I am happy that you love your final images. There are many other clients out there who struggle to find quality content that fits their vision and is cost-effective in producing. If you ever run into anyone you feel could use my services. I would be happy to review their needs and come up with a plan that will be equally as successful as our collaboration has been.”
Today we have techniques that not only are available at our fingertips. We are able to leverage resources at a low barrier to entry. Any image-based business can create a marketing campaign with no or limited budget. So, what’s stopping you from doing the same for your photography business?
It is hard for a photographer to turn their passion into a profession. With cameras becoming more accessible than ether thanks to smartphones. Everyone calls themselves a photographer. Also, since we are in the digital age, we are flooded with millions of photos posted online. You may argue that this has watered down the value of a photographer’s skill set.
What should we do about this situation then? Do we continue photography as a hobby and just not make any money from it? I think not. Smartphones will never take over the photography industry and there is still room for success. We just have to do a little pivoting. Skilled Photographers can still make a significant about of money if we know how to make it work.
I’m going to share with you a few ways you can earn money and turn your passion into a fine-tuned career.
SELLING YOUR IMAGES
You can make some money by selling your content. There are several stock photography sites like Shutterstock where you can earn some money. The key to this is to create and upload images that are less popular to gain some momentum.
Another way to earn money would be to write and sell an e-book on your knowledge as a photographer. This is a great way. You have to make sure that your subject matter is different than what’s already out there. Your own how-to guides can give your readers an insight into how you particularly do things. That would be a great start.
You can also have an exhibition at an art gallery. This is a great way to have your work viewed and sold at a good price to art enthusiast.
There are many people out there who are simply just seeking knowledge about photography. If you are professional photography ( I’m sure you are) You can earn a substantial amount of money by just teaching others. Many photographers have workshops and sell video training to generate some income. A great way to start would be to teach one person and then grow an audience. You will see how your knowledge will help generate income for you.
RENTING OUT EQUIPMENT
Let’s face it, photography equipment is expensive. Not everyone who is interested in equipment can afford the high-end gear. You have the camera, lighting, C- stands, diffusers, etc. You can rent it out to others who are seeking to learn photography. You can charge for the day and those who love photography would love to rent from you.
If you have a photo studio. This is a huge plus for you to earn a substantial amount of money. You can rent your studio out to other photographers who don’t have a studio to take photos of their clients.
Advertising is another great way of making money as a photographer. This can be hard in the beginning because you have to leverage the power of social media to get others to see your content. This is a numbers game. The more people who see your images, the greater the chance of them buying them.
Starting your own photography blog can be another successful source of revenue for you as a photographer. You can share your tips and tricks that you have learned throughout your career. You can also do reviews on equipment and software. YouTube would be a great option. It would essentially your blog content but in video form.
Was this information helpful? Well, let’s get to work. Let’s start to make this money. You will face some challenges at first but once you get in the game, you will be rolling in the dough.
There are 2 realms of photography in the world today and it is key that you know the differences. One realm is Commercial photography and the other is Consumer photography. The main difference between the two is the usage of the images created and this article will break it down.
Consumer photography is a photography services in this example such as wedding or portrait photography. This type of photography is when the client pays a session fee and buys prints from that session. The photographer still retains all copywrites to the images and the client would need to contact the photographer in order to reproduce the images. The prints/images are generally for personal usage.
A commercial photography client will likely pay for the items to create the photo. These photos tend to be a higher scale and budget and the shoots tend to be more complex. These images are used for the purposes of enabling the client to have visual representation for them to sell their product or services. The images created tend to be printed on various different mediums and will serve for advertising and marketing uses. This generally is calculated in a different pricing structure and the copyright will stay with the photographer. The client will pay the amount according to the production and usage of the images.
Let’s break down how the commercial photography structure works Here at WNO Photography
1. Creative Fee
The creative fee covers the photographers cost of doing business for the time spent on the particular project. This cost enables the client to use the photography business to execute the job. Other terms that you may become familiar with would be (Production Fee, Session Fee, Photography fee, or booking fee) It all essentially means the same thing. This fee is calculated based off the information that the client provides about the project. I have a list of questions that I use to help with assessing a project and coming up with a price for your project.
2. Pre and Postproduction fees
There are a lot of moving parts that go into commercial photography that goes unseen and pre and postproduction is one of them. This counts as the hidden hours of photography. Pre-production includes time spent researching the client’s needs and building that vision. Often times this can be overlooked but it is a crucial part of having a successful shoot. It includes planning and gathering all the parties and assets of the shoot to ensure that it goes smooth as planned which can save lots of time and money.
Postproduction involves all the digital file management, backing up of files retouching of files. This also includes the teardown of sets and delivery charges. All projects have their own specific needs.
Expenses on a production covers all the elements that go into effectively executing the shoot. Such as production equipment, talent, craft services, production assistants, location rental, permits and all things of that matter.
4. Licensing fees
Before going into licensing fees, I would like to talk more about copyright. There is a big misconception out there that by hiring a photographer to shoot a project that the client owns the copywrite to the images. That is not true. The U.S. Copyright Laws state that all rights remain with the creator of the images (the photographer). That does not change unless client does a full buy our or the photographer signs a work for hire agreement. That being said Licensing Fees cover the agreed upon usage of the images created for the project. This is a touchy subject because a lot of the times clients are not able to define the needs of usage in the beginning stages of the project. Once needs are stated pricing should go accordingly. Be sure to include that in the invoice to the client. When licensing work, it is best that practice to register it with the USPTO before delivering to the client. This will help protect the photographer from any possible infringements
Here are a few general questions that I ask clients to get a base idea of their project needs.
· What is the budget for this project?
Knowing how much you are willing to spend will help determine the scale of the project. Many clients may have a target cost. This will enable us to work together according to your price range.
· How long are you expecting to use these images?
Knowing how long you want to use the images helps with licensing. According to clients, marketing needs usage can vary.
· What channels are the images going to be distributed to?
There are many avenues that a company may want to distribute the images created and having an idea of where you want to use the images is a big help in the planning stages of a project
· Will usage be strictly for social channels only?
Social media is a powerhouse and some clients may want to only use social channels for their marketing needs. We have specific usage licensing for social channels
· Will there be casting for the talent?
Talent often plays a major part of the production and we work with talent agencies to get the right talent for your project.
· Where will the location of the image creation take place?
The location is the backdrop of the image and having an idea can help set the tone of the project and plan the elements that will go into it.
The Competitive Market Place
It is a competitive world out there especially with the ease of entry now with higher megapixel cameras at affordable prices. There are more hobbyist photographers out there than ever. More armatures are now able to get amazing results and are able to use technology to their advantage and call themselves professional. The reality is that many lack the knowledge of the business aspect and are undercharging. While working professionals are working on building long a term sustainable business. This is affecting market and explains the large gap in pricing. A lot of newcomers are getting commercial jobs as well and clients now tend to price shop more than ever when it comes to their projects. WNO Photography focuses on the value we provide to our clients.
Why Should You Hire Will Overby- WNO Photography for Your Project?
When you hire Will Overby- WNO Photography, you are hiring a photographer who values quality and precision. You are hiring a photographer who has been through years of training and a photographer that took his passion to the next level by obtaining his BFA Degree in Photography and Imaging from an established accredited school Art Center College Of Design. You are hiring someone who is committed to his craft and whose ultimate goal is to produce high-quality images that best represents your brand.
Thank you for stopping by an I look forward to hearing from you. Please contact us if you have any questions.