Travel insights from Steve Hirshan, senior vice president of sales at Avoya Travel and contributor to Travel Professional News
Here’s the one question customers usually ask themselves that can make or break your sale: “Am I willing to invest my time and trust with this person?”
How do you ensure you get the ‘yes’? By ensuring you’re selling yourself to your clients. As a travel advisor, your experience and knowledge help you design unforgettable travel experiences for your clients – this value that you bring is what you want to be selling. By ‘selling the product’ first and not yourself, you run the risk of your clients saying to themselves, “I can buy this online.”
Compare this to the large-scale travel websites today that focus on selling the product first. Following this strategy is sure to guarantee that your authenticity, uniqueness and human side get lost in the mass market of potential sources for booking travel.
Here are four tips on how to best showcase your value as a travel professional to your clients (and how to win over new ones).
Showcase Your Expertise
Don’t just focus on selling the deal, sell your knowledge and expertise. Being a jack-of-all-trades (but a master of none) isn’t going to help you stand out in the marketplace, so be sure to focus on a niche to specialize in and communicate that expertise to your clients. To get started, choose a few destinations, products or types of travel experiences and make those your specialty. Incorporating a niche may seem like you’re narrowing your prospects, however, it can create more business than you think by winning over prospective clients’ trust.
Focus On Personalization And The Human Touch
In today’s digital world, personalization is a must, and that doesn’t exclude the travel industry. Travelers are seeking out that personal touch more than ever, which is your opportunity to step up and fill those shoes.
Large-scale online travel agencies often make travelers feel unimportant and unknown, and clients can be made to wait on hold when complications arise. Travelers want to be assured they can talk to a real person, not a machine or call center agent – someone who gives that personal support even while clients are traveling.
You’ll also want to take the time to get to know your clients’ interests. Travelers are seeking out personalized trips partial to their interests and hobbies. You may have a customer looking at going paddle boarding, exploring coffee houses, different cuisines or cliff diving on the other side of the globe. Whatever their interest is, creating a personalized itinerary that reflects the traveler is key to success.
Sell Your Services
When it comes to the value you can bring to a booking, people usually think of the assistance you can provide when things go wrong, the time you can save clients by sifting through a myriad of travel options and the details you can tend to on their behalf that make trips go more smoothly (especially during these last two years).
Travelers are not coming to you for something they can easily book online themselves. They want to see the value of using you. Add different complexities to remind your customer that only you can plan a vacation like this – unique recommendations, unforgettable excursions, first-hand experience – the possibilities are endless.
Define Your Elevator Pitch
If you had only 30 seconds to sell yourself (and the value you provide), the same amount of time it would take you to ascend five floors in an elevator, would you be able to convince someone to book their travel through you? A good elevator pitch will help you establish yourself as someone with the ability to create great vacations for your clients; not just a representative for various travel companies, but the go-to source for all things travel.
Take the time to define what makes your agency different than the large-scale OTAs or other travel advisors out there. Is it an interesting backstory or a focus on a specific travel expertise? Make sure you know who you are and what you’re able to share with your clients. If you’re not clearly defining your value, your clients won’t be able to see it either.
Recently, I was quoted in a great article in Travel Market Report by Cheryl Rosen on “How to Become a Travel Agent: A Guide for the Perplexed.” My contribution mainly related to the importance of having a business plan, certain disclosures that every travel advisor (using ASTA’s new terminology) sho
There has never been a better time to enter the travel industry than right now. As travel comes back to life after the complete shut down during the COVID pandemic, there is a shortage of travel agents to help consumers who have strong pent-up desires to start traveling again. As destinations open u
It’s true. I have the gift for gab. But come on, that tends to be a trait of many women. And I feel that I can take liberty calling out this stereotype, because I am a woman. People often think that because I am gregarious that I find it easy to build strong relationships with business partners. In
In the age of social media, a clear understanding of your rights as a photographer is crucial to receiving the credit you deserve. But with so much information out there, you might find yourself asking:
What laws are in place to protect photographers like me?
What do I do if someone uses my photo without permission?
How long do photographers have ownership of their images?
Copyright law in the United States prohibits the unauthorized copying of a “work of authorship.” In 1988, the following amendment was added to address visual works including photography:
“Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works” include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans. Such works shall include works of artistic craftsmanship insofar as their form but not their mechanical or utilitarian aspects are concerned; the design of a useful article, as defined in this section, shall be considered a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”
Phew. That’s a mouthful of legalese! So what does it mean in English? Basically, copyright law says that when you take a photograph, you become the copyright owner of the image created. This means you hold exclusive rights to:
Reproduce the photograph
Display the image in a public space
Distribute the photo
Create derivatives of the image
Seems straightforward, no? But what’s considered a “derivative?”
A “new version” of a work that is already copyrighted falls under the term of a “derivative” work. Special re-edits of movies, art reproductions, and literary translations all qualify as derivatives. A film based on a book or play is another common example.
In the realm of photography, any time someone creates a photograph that is a copy or “substantially similar” to another copyrighted work, they are potentially infringing upon the original owner’s rights.
By comparing and evaluating a derivative work to the original, a court of law can determine if any copyright laws have been violated. In other words, a photographer who went to great lengths to recreate an original work’s composition, lighting, and other creative elements would be more likely to be found guilty of copyright infringement than a photographer who simply takes pictures of subjects that already exist in other photos (i.e., monuments, nature). This means many different photographers can take photos of, say, the Golden Gate Bridge without infringing on each other’s artistic rights.
In addition to looking out for your own rights, you as a photographer need to be aware of ways you may unknowingly infringe upon another artist’s rights. The last thing you want to do is misuse another creative’s work!
Take for example Mercedes Benz’s 2018 ad campaign featuring the company’s new vehicle “barreling through Detroit’s boho Eastern Market district past commercial buildings painted with vibrant murals.” Cool concept, no doubt. But the artists who created those murals that contributed so much color and atmosphere to the campaign were never asked permission to use their work, let alone credited:
“While Mercedes sought municipal permission to make beautiful shots of its vehicles on public city streets, it did not seek the muralists’ permission to make and post images of their works on Instagram. Copyright infringement? Mercedes thought not. The muralists—James Lewis, Jeff Soto, Maxx Gramajo, and Daniel Bombardier—thought otherwise.”
It shows the importance of being aware of how others’ work appears in your photographs
It serves as an example of how your work may be misused
The exception to copyright law is when the reproduction of a photograph or visual work is deemed “fair use.” The next section digs deeper into this term.
Fair use is an exception when it comes to copyright law. Journalism, critiques, research, and teaching materials are examples of specific types of writing that allow the reproduction of copyright-protected works without the permission of the “author”.
For example, if you exhibit your photography in a gallery, an art publication generally does not need permission to reproduce your image if they’re using it as part of a critique. Or, conversely, a newspaper may publish photographs of works and use them as part of an article. Both of these are examples of copyrighted work being used under “fair use” guidelines.
When considering whether a reproduction of a work is fair use, the U.S. Copyright Act says “the factors to be considered shall include whether:
The use is of commercial nature or if it is for nonprofit education purposes
The copyrighted work is highly creative or if it is fact-based
Part of the entire original work was reproduced or just a part of it
The reproduction reduces the value of the original work or has no effect
One important thing to keep in mind is that social media marketing’s use of images very rarely falls under “fair use.” If your photographic work is being used without your permission, check out the resources from PPA below for help determining if you need to take further action.
Remember: If a company uses one of your images in their marketing—on social media or otherwise—without your approval, they are violating your rights as a creator. So, what do you do if you suspect your work of being used without your permission? PPA has resources to help you understand copyright law, and even a Copyright Infringement Tool to leave no question in your mind whether or not your rights as a creator have been violated.
SmugMug users of the Pro level plan can now more easily share photos with their clients. Simply select, click, and share. Keep reading to learn more.
SmugMug Pros, you’re in for a treat. Your clients can now pick their own photos from a gallery of your choice, and download them for free. No back-and-forth, no complex coupons or discounts to navigate. Just choose the number of downloads, generate a link, share it, and get back to your photography.
Portrait photographers: If you include a limited number of photos with your sitting fee, this feature will be a lifesaver.
Can’t my clients already download photos?
If you have it enabled, then yes — but so can everyone else with access to that gallery! Client downloads make it possible to craft single-use links that specify a number of downloadable photos, meaning you don’t have to manage any passwords, permissions, or promotions to get those photos into your clients’ hands.
How do I share client downloads?
In any gallery, open the overflow menu in the upper right and click “Create Client Download”. You can set a limit for how many photos your client can select and download, or let them download the whole gallery.
Then just copy the link and share it with your client. It’s really that simple. For example, you could offer clients 20 downloads of their favorite photos from a recent shoot as part of your fee:
Each client download link is meant for an individual client. Once they finalize their selection, they won’t be able to choose and download different photos. But you can create plenty of client download links per gallery, so everyone can choose and download their favorites.
Your client can visit the client download page from multiple devices, making it easy to download the photos where they need them. All the downloaded photos are full-resolution and without watermarks.
Give it a try yourself to see what your clients will see! And as always, you’ll find additional screenshots and info on our help page.
I take a lot of travel photos (it comes naturally, being a travel blogger!) and I’m always thinking of ways that those photos can make me money. I love the photos I’ve taken, so surely other people would too?
Here I’ve put together a big list of websites where you can sell your travel photos online, some are big companies you’ll have heard of – others are smaller companies – that might make a better choice if you’re taking this on as a side project for extra ‘pocket-money’. Either way – these are all great places to sell your photos online – so get reading!
Sell your images through iStock Photo and you’ll earn a royalty rate of 15% for each download. There is also an option to become an exclusive contributor and earn up to 45% instead, which is pretty impressive. These website has a good community feel to it – there are lots of forums and group discussion, which really helps when you’re trying to figure out which of your photos will sell online better than others.
Learn how to sell photos online as fine art, and get your own eCommerce website with must-have features to increase your art sales. This is a robust website platform for professional photographers focused on selling their images as art prints. They provide first-class educational resources, and a step-by-step Success Plan to ensure that you follow best-practices. You can print and fulfill your own orders, choose your own lab, or use one of their labs for automated print fulfillment (“print on demand”). There is also a members-only forum where all customers share ideas, sales strategies, and receive guidance from industry experts.
If you work in travel, and want to make extra money from your photos – TourPhotos is a professional photography platform dedicated to tourism and activity companies. It will help you manage and deliver your tour photos (the photographs from your activities, excursions and attractions) to your customers. You will be able to choose whether to sell or make your photos available for free (SELL plan or GIVE plan). TourPhotos charges between 19% and 25% commission on your sales with zero fixed fees (if you decide to sell photos) or a 19$/49$ (pro/business) monthly fee if you decide to share your photos for free. With its endless features and tools, TourPhotos guarantees you, your photographers and your final customers an extremely user-friendly, customisable and professional experience.
This website is a lot like an online gallery or portfolio – with the added benefit of being able to sell your photos online via the tool too. It’s great as it has two purposes. The first (of course) to sell your photos, the second – to make them look awesome. And you’re more likely to sell more photos online, the more professional and awesome you’ve got them displayed. You can set your own pricing and you get to keep 85% of the markup – but that’s not all, as well as selling digital downloads, you have the option of selling prints and greetings cards too, which is good for those of us who want more selling options.
On Alamy photographers earn a whopping 60% royalty fee on any images they sell, so it’s easy to see why this website is such a popular choice when it comes to selling photos online. It’s one of the world’s largest stock photo libraries – so you’l have a fair bit of competition, but maybe that’s a good thing and will help you step up your game!
This is one of the smaller websites on the list, but still offers a great reach for beginners – so would make a fantastic option for anyone wanting to dip their toe into the world of selling photos online. The royalty isn’t too bad either – you’ll get 50% of the price of each photos you sell.
Dreamstime is a microstock agency, and one of the best there is. Aside from being easy to use, it is well thought of and reputable too – which is just as important when making the decision of where to sell your photos online. Before you start selling, you’ll need to get your images approved by their editors (which can be a long process) but once you’ve been approved and you’ve got the hang of it, a rate of 25-50% royalty is yours for the taking.
This is perhaps one of the more well known options on this list, and if you like the idea of selling your work (but at the same time want to retain complete control and pocket more of the profit – who doesn’t want those things?) you could consider setting up a professional photography website with built-in ecommerce from PhotoShelter. The PhotoShelter system is modern, and will make your images look beautiful.
To start selling with Crestock, simply sign up to their website, follow through the easy registration process… and you’re good to go! They’ll give you 30% royalty, so once the images have been approved by staff you may be able to start selling images within the week!
I like Fotolia for its convenience, fair royalties and expansive market reach. Sign up and present your work to more than four million image buyers around the world, around the clock and you’ll notice your images start selling quickly and seamlessly. Each time one of your photos sell, you earn a royalty of between 20% and 63% of your sale, which is immediately added to your Fotolia account – which takes away any money hassles.
Shutterstock is a highly ranking website which means it likely gets a lot of online traffic – perfect for making sure you sell your photos! Shutterstock also have an approval process in place – and you’ll have to submit ten initial images for approval before you can proceed with any others. But no fear! There are many online forums on their website where you can pick up hints and tips for getting this right first time. With Shutterstock you’ll earn between $0.25 and $28 each time an image of yours sells, depending on the licence.
With this site, their royalty structure is based on your contributor level, which is quite unique. It basically means, the more images you upload, the more you can earn – good news for anyone who plans to commit to this full-time. The amount you receive could rise from 30% up to 60% if you are particularly active on the site – so get started quickly and build up your reputation.
Zenfolio allows you to create a portfolio site of your work, a little like Smug Mug mentioned above. You can upload photos, create galleries, password protect galleries, and make your photos available for purchase – a great option for wedding and event photographers where you might make several sales off the back of one event. There is a 14-day free trial available if you want to give it a spin first.
This is a more quirky one, but I wanted to include it! If your images are more VSCO and Instagram friendly – than studio lighting and fake smiles, you may find the audience on Red Bubble more interested in what you have to sell. They don’t just sell images, it’s all about the products too – so you could sell canvases with your images on, for example.
This is a bargain stock photo website, so the amount you’ll make will be less per image – but if people buy in bulk, it may end up equalising anyway. With a less strict submission process that other big names on this list, it may be a good option for anyone wanting to test the water.
Like any other business, your photography business requires good marketing and a strategy to help increase its revenue. Here are five simple ideas you can try out…
One of the most important lessons I learned early in my photography career was that to be a commercially-successful photographer, you cannot just be a good photographer. You need to view your photography as a business.
That means being proactive in promoting your work and marketing yourself to potential clients, which is even more critical these days when there is so much competition out there. To help your business grow, you need to start thinking like both a photographer and a marketing manager. These five ideas will help you get into that frame of mind.
1 Write a marketing plan
All photographers are guilty of the ‘scattergun’ marketing approach. This means the type of marketing strategy that involves the odd social media post, Google ad or a sporadic email to a client. Not many photographers take the time to think and plan their marketing strategy. But planning one presents a real opportunity.
Start by thinking about your photography business overall. Write down what you are hoping to achieve short term and long term. For example, ask yourself, are there any particular customers who you would like approach? Or do you want to start selling photography-related products like calendars and prints? Once you have an idea about your business goals, you can begin devising a marketing plan.
Create a marketing strategy for your photography business and set a range of goals on what you want to achieve in the short-term and long-term.
Think of all the different marketing avenues that you can follow, such as social media, email and networking, and create a strategy for each one. It is not enough to think, “I’ll post a photo on Instagram”. You need to know why you are doing it and what you will be doing. For example, you might choose to use Instagram to showcase photos you want to sell as prints, whereas in an email to your client list, you might like to talk about a shoot you have recently finished. The important thing is to treat each marketing channel separately and create a bespoke plan for each one that ties into your overall strategy.
My Instagram profile showcases a curated selection of my images and highlights some of the clients I work with.
For a deeper dive into channel-specific social media marketing, check out the dedicated guides found on your Picfair Dashboard here.
One of the best ways to market your business is to continually keep your contacts and clients informed with news and updates about you and your work. For example, when you finish a new shoot, you could create an album on Picfair with your best images and send an email to your contacts and customers to tell them about it. A proactive approach like this could mean you end up with more sales than you were expecting!
Emails don’t need to be regular. You should make sure everything you send out adds value to your photography business. Make a list of ideas, upcoming shoots, or anything else that is relevant. Then make a note in your diary and who you want to email so that you are ready when the time comes to get in touch.
Popular holidays such as Halloween and Christmas are also a great reason to get in touch with your customers and showcase your themed images.
Send your customers themed holiday emails that showcase your work. Image buyers regularly purchase holiday-themed images. And a friendly email is an ideal way to remind your customers about your photography.
You may also find that emails tailored to particular clients or potential customers will be more successful than blanket emails and better appreciated by the recipient. This is another reason why it is essential to make a proper plan of who you are emailing and why.
Create a calendar for your emails so you can plan well in advance and make sure what you’re going to send out adds value each time.
Create a calendar for your emails so you can plan well in advance and make sure what you’re going to send out adds value.
3 Don’t neglect print marketing
If you are old enough, you may remember how great it felt when you received a postcard from a relative from their vacation. In today’s digital world, we have somewhat lost the practice of sending out physical correspondence. But you should not underestimate the power of sending out something related to your photography business in print. It will stand out much more than an email and help the recipient keep you in mind every time they see it.
Start by getting some quality, professional-looking business cards printed. Business cards will always be handy to have on you to give people that you meet. And if you’re on a shoot where you could encounter potential customers, like at an event, you’ll have something you can give them.
I often send my best clients and customers something in print, like a set of postcards, desk calendars, or even a small print of one of my photos. I almost always receive an email back with a thank you for the item. Just make sure you enclose your business card with what you’re sending out too!
You can also go further and create something even more significant in print! Here’s a personal magazine of my photography that I’ve made to send to my clients and potential customers.
4 Keep your contact information up to date
I often write travel articles for some of the UK’s biggest brands, and recently I was working on a project where I needed travel writers. It was astonishing how difficult it was to find contact information for some people, so I gave up. Those writers missed out on the project I was working on simply because I couldn’t find contact information for them. Keeping your contact information up to date is one of the quickest and easiest marketing fixes you can make. The best way to do this is to set yourself a reminder once a month, along with a checklist of places to review your contact information.
Keep a list of the places you have your contact information, and keep this up to date. Some of the places where you may keep your contact information may include your Picfair Store, external blog or website, social media profiles, email signatures and any organisations or trade bodies where you are a member.
As well as your necessary contact details, you may also want to update other relevant information related to your photography business. For example, you may have just won a photography competition, or learned a new type of skill (like aerial photography) or even moved location. Make sure your information tells people about it. Otherwise, you could potentially be missing out on work.
If you’ve recently up-skilled or added a new type of photography to your offering – make sure you add this to your contact information. Image by Gabriel Codarcea.
5 Engage with other photographers
One of the downsides of photography is that it can be a lonely profession or hobby, which was the case even before the pandemic. However, it’s essential to know that there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to connect with other photographers. Often in associations, camera clubs or even community groups based on the photography subjects you enjoy.
You may think, “How will that help my photography business?”. The answer is that you never know when someone might recommend you for work or know someone who requires your services. Expanding your photographer network will help you get your name out there and lead you to new customers.
At the very least, you should join some private groups on social media (like Facebook groups). These groups also allow you to interact and share ideas with likeminded individuals. Who might inspire you or give you some ideas on how you can improve your images.
Engaging with like-minded photographers will help you expand your network and could lead you to potential new opportunities. Image by Dan Martland.
If you want to make your photography business more profitable, then a well-planned and executed marketing strategy is necessary.
Remember, marketing your photography business is no different from any other business. And the sooner you get to work on your strategy, the sooner you’ll start seeing the benefits.
James Maher is a New York Photographer, a huge Knicks fan, and a lifelong New Yorker who got his driver’s license at 30 years old — as any true Manhattanite should. Maher never took the conventional route. His love of photography started with using Photoshop to make fake driver license IDs at the University of Madison with his college roommates.
Over time, he grew his business to offer an eclectic mix of products and services — including photography print sales, a portrait business, conducting workshops, creating online content, and authoring three books. Despite having a diverse business, COVID-19 still shut down his business along with the rest of New York.
He knew he had to transition some of his business online, so he took some time to look at short-term revenue options that could set him up for long-term growth. He began brainstorming how he could re-create traditional in-person experiences into new online opportunities.
In order to do so, he followed 5 essential steps to grow his email list and pivot his business to an online format.
The 5 essential steps to growing your list
Step 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a process of optimizing your website to get organic (or unpaid) traffic. Maher drives traffic by regularly providing unique, engaging, and free content on his site for people interested in learning about photography.
For example, he gives away a free New York travel photography guide on his website. This free guide is an essential part of Maher’s SEO and content marketing strategy.
“Email and SEO together are the two backbones of my business. It is a vital way to reach my fans. I don’t think I could have as diverse of a business without it,” said Maher.
He also guest blogs on other photography websites that link back to a sign up form on his website to help drive traffic.
Step 2: Unique sign up forms
Each piece of content on Maher’s website is downloadable when a user enters their email address. Maher uses different signup forms for the various pages of his website that hosts unique content. The sign up forms connect directly to a list in Maher’s AWeber account.
Step 3: Automated email series
Depending on the content users download, Maher sends more in-depth information in an automated email series, which allows him to share information and tips, build relationships with new subscribers, and promote paid products.
Although each audience member will receive multiple emails in the sequence, Maher reminds them at the top of each email of the content they may have missed or that will be coming in a future email.
Each email includes thought-provoking images and step-by-step instructions for other photographers.
“My email list was always vital and incredibly important to my business, but it’s even more important now because I have started to transition to more online content,” says Maher.
Step 4: Let analytics be your content compass
AWeber’s analytics help guide Maher determine the type of content he sends and when. “It gives me a lot of information about how my information is perceived, and if the content is engaging,” says Maher.
Maher reviews regularly both the open and the click-through rate on the content that he sends. Sending engaging content has allowed him to attract new audiences to his email list.
Step 5: Expand your reach
Maher uses his downtime to set himself up for long-term success by creating content and online products to grow his email list.
His latest online product, “Editing and Putting Together a Portfolio in Street Photography,” drove revenue and allowed him to promote some of his other services like individual portfolio reviews.
While social distancing is still in place in New York City, Maher takes time to introduce himself to as many new groups of people as possible. For example, he gives photography zoom presentations to groups and camera clubs around the country. Most people who attend the presentation visit his website and join his email list.
Promote to your own email list
Maher also promotes the new online course to his email audience.
During this time, when many members of his audience have reduced income, Maher has adjusted his payment model to “pay what you can.”
The suggested price for the online class is $25. The average payment turned out to be about $25 because some people were getting it for free or $5, but some people paid $50 or $100.
“I’m going to do that going forward for more of my products now. It provides me some income and builds my emails list, so it is a win-win for everyone.” says Maher.
Take advantage of lower advertising rates to promote on social media
The rates for advertising are much lower than usual due to COVID-19, so it is a great time to promote posts on social media to stand out from the crowd.
Maher uses Facebook ads to target local photographers in the Northeast. They see the ad, download the photography travel guide, and are added to his AWeber list.
AWeber then sends an automated email sequence that lets them get to know Maher, learn photography tips, and get a sense of the type of content they will receive from going forward.
“I’m testing and tweaking the Facebook ad a bit now given that people aren’t really traveling to New York with COVID-19 going on. But I’m finding that it’s still doing very well at converting photographers, particularly with the cheaper ad pricing. If you provide them with good, interesting content, you can grow your list,” says Maher.
Short term cash needs can translate into long term growth
Maher has shifted his business’s focus toward creating online experiences that provide short-term revenue that keeps his business going. He created online classes about photo editing and online photography portfolio reviews. He even started working with photographers to help them create portfolio websites.
Every post, promotion, or email drives people to his sign up forms with the end goal of growing his email list.
The creation of each online product is just the first phase of its product life. “Each online product will eventually integrate into a bigger package in the long term. I’ve been building this business for about 17 years, and I had the formula down — but COVID-19 broke the formula,” says Maher.
“The silver lining is COVID-19 gave me the time to execute on ideas I always had in the back of my head. I believe my business is going to come out of COVID-19 stronger and more prepared for the future.”
Connect with your audience and start growing your email list today!
With AWeber, you’ll get everything you need to grow your own business online — including sign up forms, newsletters, landing pages, and access to our award-winning customer solutions team.
In today’s highly competitive market for photography, it is not an easy task to build your brand and have people notice you. Now days, you need to stand out from the rest of the crowd and bring people in. If you’ve wondered how to market your photography, look no further. In this article, I am going to over my top 3 ways to market not only my pictures, but my business as a whole.
If you are looking to save money and also grow your sales skills, try going business to business or calling local stores to ask if you can display your work or leave flyers or business cards with them. I have found out that the majority of businesses welcomed it! I started by going to three of the busiest towns in my area and spoke personally to every business I could. After introducing myself, I let them know that I was looking to possibly leave some business cards and flyers, in hopes of gaining new clients. If they showed interest, I would continue by telling them more about my business model. By doing this, if any customers had questions, they might be able to answer a simple yes or no question, which will lead to them taking your card or flyer.
As time went on, I found myself extending my range of towns, and going even further to neighboring communities. I also included areas that were not very high traffic, because you never know who will be looking to have work done. Once I had a blog/website, I would offer to put their business on my page and help promote them as well!
This leads me into my next part of marketing, which is having a visual website of some sort. When I first started out, I had a blog from Blogspot. It was something that I was able to post my work, and considering it is a free service, it was great for just starting off. Just recently I was able to get an actual website, and I would definitely suggest this. Having the versatility of different layouts you can have to display your work they way you want is a huge plus.
The way you create your website is key to marketing your business. When someone visits your webpage, they want to know automatically were they are at, and what the page is about. For example, on my website I have the title at the top in a bold font, with my tagline, logo, picture of me with my contact information and my gallery at the top. I place this at this top because the customer can automatically get a sense about what they are going to be looking at, and the quality of work that I do.
Sending out a marketing email is a tactic that brings in a lot of customers for me. This is something that you can put a lot of information into and add your own little touches for a personal design. When a client opens a marketing blast, you want them to be drawn into something at the very top of the page, in order to get them to scroll down more. In my marketing blast emails, I have a headline at the top of the email that says either HUGE SALE, or BOOKING SPECIAL in bold colors and a font that really pops, because if you can catch their attention with the title and headline, then they will want to scroll more to see what it is all about.
Lastly, I have found that Facebook Ads are extremely helpful! At first I was not sure how I felt about paying for Facebook advertisements, but taking what I have learned from my email blasts and applying that to the Facebook ads really made it a game changer. The nice thing about Facebook ads is that you can create your own graphic and then hit boost post to really get it out to the public.
Once you have your ad graphically ready, you upload it to Facebook, and then you can choose your target audience. This is a huge part of getting the word out there, it will allow you to choose male or female, age groups, the location you want, and also add keywords that might be on users pages, such as pregnant, or senior pictures, even marriage. By doing this you can get the exact group of people you are looking to market to.
Another great part of using Facebook ads is that you can set your budget and how long you want to run the ad for. If you only have a budget for $20.00 that’s all you have to pay. It will tell you how many people it is expected to reach and spread out the post evenly across all of the days you want to run it for. You also have the option to add more money and extend the ad run-time, if you choose to. At the end of your ad run, you will get a detailed report of how many people saw your post, clicked on the ad, where they were from, male or female and age range, etc. so you can define your next post even more. See below for an example of one of my ads.
Whether you are going business to business and asking to leave your card or flyer at the front of their store, ramping up your website, or even starting to try out Facebook ads, there is always some way to market yourself. The best part is, with all of the technology we have at hand, it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Building a business is hard work, and it takes a lot of determination to make it a success, but if you believe in yourself and use multiple avenues for marketing, your success will become a reality very soon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Jakubowski My name is Ryan Jakubowski and I have been doing photography for the last 10+ years. It has grown from an interest into a strong passion of mine that I will never stop doing. I decided to start my business, J&C Photography, over 7 years ago and it continues to take off each year! I photograph a number of different events such as weddings, senior portraits, newborns and even the severe weather that comes across the state of Michigan. For me every shoot is something new, and brings with it its own experience, and that is what keeps bringing me back every time.
Most digital marketing journeys begin with many unanswered questions, mine was no different. I had to first wrap my head around what digital marketing is, how it works, and of course the profit potential.
Recent retirement, quickly reveled the need for additional income. Not wishing to continue to conform and comply with the natural flow, I had no desire to work for anyone. The natural question became apparent; What can I do?
Spiritual awareness revealed to me that being the unique individual that we all are, we were born to create. We are to use our unique gifts, talents, and ideals to provide for the collectiveness of the universe.
Further contemplation led me to my love for photography and art. After years of running an inherited family business and working for others within the workforce, I now finally have the opportunity to pursue my passion for photography.
With the question of what to do finally answered, how to make this a reality became my focus. How could I create a digital photography business? The how began with an intense investigation of the overall digital photography industry.
That investigation very quickly exposed, and initiated a huge need for support, direction and instruction. I lacked the technology as well as the knowledge.
Understanding that the driving force for any business is customers. All business must address customer needs and problems. Bottom line customer acquisition is the key. I had to find potential customers, to present my artistic creations.
Start Up Problems
As a budding entrepreneur you must address a unique set of problems relevant to your particular niche. Ironically, you must solve your start up problems in order to create an entity to address your customer needs.
There are many obstacles that must be addressed when starting any business. The main ones being:
Start Up Capital
The good news is; digital start ups are a little less daunting than traditional brick and mortar companies. And, a lot less expensive!
As I searched for the things needed to get up and going, I was bombarded with countless get rich sachems. Stay Clear! ….. Investigate Thoroughly!
“The strength of the effort determines the outcome”
After countless hours I found a company named The Six Figure Mentors. My affiliation with SFM is the cornerstone of my company. Uniquely, this company addressed not one but all of my start up concerns, issues, and problems.
Via this affiliation I was led to AWeber email marketing company which augmented my customer acquisition efforts initiated by SFM. Although a digital marketing plan can be created without the concept of email marketing, I found it in my best interest to add this concept to my marketing efforts. Email marketing has become the foundation to my marketing strategy.
The technical platforms, training/coaching, learning modules, mentorship, and support from both companies are second to none. This partnership is the solid foundation for my ever expanding digital world.
In addition, marketing their products provides the economic base needed to grow your business regardless to your particular product/service or niche. Their pre developed sales funnel gave me the beginning cash flow necessary to build on.
Do yourself a favor and check them out. Do your own investigation. Simply follow the links and banners on this page.
Please be aware and understand who you are. You must understand the Divine Creation you are. You must understand that you were created by the Divine(God) to create for the universe.
“Simply Become Who You Are”
Throughout my life experiences it seemed the happiness was only an illusion. It was not until I realized the true nature of my being that I could experience the state happiness I now experience.
So create that which you are intended to create. Give of your Gifts and Talents! “DO What You DO”