Monday, September 25, 2006

Marketing Your Photos

By Misti Sandefur

So, you've built your portfolio by selling your photos to magazines, newspapers and etc, now, through this article, you will discover how you can continue to build your portfolio and earn even more money in the process.

You should begin by creating a Web site to present some of your work, information about you, your portfolio and your resume. It isn't hard to build a small Web site, and there is software out there to make it a whole lot easier for you, but if you don't want to build the site yourself, you can always pay someone with Web site building experience to do it for you; it will pay off.

If you decide to build the Web site yourself, display some of your photos on your Web site, and place them in a gallery, separated by subjects. In addition, you can also add a shopping cart to your Web site to allow visitors to buy photos this way too. In order to sell your photos on your Web site, you not only need a shopping cart, but also you will need a way to accept credit card payments, and Paypal (http://www.paypal.com) can help you do that. Paypal also provides a way to add payment buttons.

To get ideas for other things you can add to your Web site, view Web sites of other photographers. Don't copy their site content or design because this would be copyright infragment, but you can view the sites for examples of things other photographers add. To find other photographer's Web sites do a search on Google for "photographer websites."

Once your Web site is live, start marketing yourself -- and in the process -- send your potential clients to your Web site. When you market yourself and your photos, send a query letter with a promotional package to each place. Your promotional package should include such things like your bio, your business card and a brochure that includes some of your photos. Before you seal the envelope, make sure to include a SASE (self addressed, stamped envelope), because you may not get a reply without one.

Greeting card companies buy photos for their greeting cards. Search the Internet for greeting card companies, find the contact information for the person you need to contact, and then send a query letter with your promotional package to each company.

Dress up and do face-to-face meetings in your local community with galleries and businesses. Many businesses need photos for their brochures and other promotional materials. However, when you present yourself to businesses, be prepared to educate them on how your photography skills will be beneficial to them. Plus, when doing face-to-face meetings, take along business cards to hand out, and carry your binder of photos with you in case they want to see some of the photos you currently have.

Events are another way to make money with your photos. You can run an ad in local newspapers advertising your photography services for weddings, baby showers, parties and etc. Plus, if you have a good camera, a tripod, backdrops, photo printer and good photo software you can also advertise to take pictures of children, families and etc. Rent a space in your local community to set up at, then establish your prices and have people who want their photos taken to make an appointment with you. This can bring in good money if you're good with people, picture taking and photo software.

Finally, set up a booth at a local mall or events. Displaying your photos at booths will allow consumers to get "up close and personal" with the product, and it allows you to interact with the consumers by answering their questions or even taking special orders.

When trying to decide on your prices, study your competition and try to beat their prices, but don't undercut yourself. You want to make sure you charge enough to cover your overhead. After all, you want to be successful and make money--not lose money!

Earlier on, I mentioned promotional packages for promoting yourself, now I would like to give you a small list of things to include in your promotional package. What you include in your package can be very important in making a sale, and your materials need to be effective to grab your potential client's attention.
  • Business card.
  • Samples of your work.
  • Price list, if you have one.
  • Brochure.
  • Attention-grabbing query or sales letter.
  • Resume.

When marketing your photos, you can market them using all the methods given above, or you can choose only the methods you feel comfortable pursuing; the choice is yours. However, before you really get into the marketing process, you do need to get set up first, then, after your set up, let the marketing begin! Following are the things you need to do to get set up...

1.Organize all the photos you have into groups.
2. Put together your query or sales letter.
3. Create your promotional package.
4. Create a price list for your photos and any services you will be offering to the public.
5. Create a marketing plan.
6. Create a Web site and submit it to search engines.
7. Study your market and your competition.

If you've followed the seven tips above, then you should be ready to put your marketing plan into action. Good luck and happy snapping!

1 comment:

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