Need some advice on marketing

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by bdavis, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hey everyone, I've been shooting for a little while and have a good set of gear at my disposal and I was thinking about turning my hobby into a side business, then maybe opening a studio some day.

    Right now, I'm needing some help/advice on how to get my name out and building a client base/portfolio. I was also hoping to find out some cheap, but effective marketing techniques to get the ball rolling. Any help you offer will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Leafletting and word of mouth are your biggest assets right now.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Business cards and a dedicated webpage are often a good start. Cards should be a must, the webpage can be anyplace that shows your portfolio, but having a webpage that says www.yournamephotography.com sounds better than a smugmug, deviantart and so on.

    You can try quick marketing through craiglist and such to get a portfolio going if you don't have one already. Not the best for making money though.

    Talk to friends and family and see if they are looking for a photographer for smaller events. I just shot a co-workers son's confirmation this Saturday, was my first venture into being paid for a gig lol.

    You can try assisting a pro doing weddings and/or other events. While not always paid, its a great way to get awesome experience, and get your name known.

    Just some random thoughts :)
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,238
    Likes Received:
    5,008
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First thing....Get your images off DeviantART and somewhere with a more mainstream, warm and fuzzy name, like Smugmug.
     
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Cards, cards, cards. Have a good business card that's professionally printed and stands-out. Anything other than the standard 2x3" size is good. Never go over that, because while it might not fit in someone's wallet, it always fits in the nearest trash bin. Then give those cards to everyone you meet.

    I agree with the above about DeviantArt. Even Flickr is better, and Flickr has a far less scary ToS. Your own website and domain is always better though, and for that you might want to consider SquareSpace. I've heard lots of good things about them.
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    Come up with a solid business plan. Every single detail will need to be investigated by you. At this point we can only make lame guesses. Maybe spill some details like budget and target audience and we can help further.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    @KmH - I know I need to get images off of those sites, but currently, that's the only online presence available to me. I can't get email at my home so I have to do it at work and if I were to build a site, then I would have to manage it at work, but its frowned upon.


    @musicaleCA - I'm a graphic designer and have already have some high-quality business cards printed up from a printer friend of mind. Though I'm not sure what you mean by "anything other than the standard 2"x3" is good, but dont go over that". I'm working on getting a custom domain and designing a site, but I need stuff to put on it first :)


    @craig - Currently the areas I want to work in are glamour, fashion, general portraits, and perhaps some band promotion. As for budget, its not really low but then again its not super high either. I'm somewhere in the middle. I make a good amount of money for my age, but I have bills and other expenses that need to be taken care of first. However I did manage to spend over $4,500 on photo stuff since December if that helps any. My ultimate goal right now is to get my name out and build a steady client base/portfolio which can help me continue to get more work. Eventually down the road, I would like to open up my own studio or something along that line.
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
  9. Jim Gratiot

    Jim Gratiot TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    Hey Brian,

    Not to state the obvious, but if you truly want to build a successful business, don't just read photography books. Spend an equal amount of time reading business/marketing books as well.
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, by card sizes, I meant that a different size stands-out from the crowd. Mine are 2x4", folded in the centre so it fits like a 2x2". Almost guaranteed to stick out more than any 2x3" (the professional print job helps, of course). Going over the 2x3" size is suicide though, since people might just chuck the card rather than finding a place to put it other than their wallet. But you seem to have this aspect well in hand anyway.
     
  11. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'll tell what I do, not telling you what to do. (I'm bordeline ready to ditch this site because every reply I make has a snappy re-reply of "wah, wah").

    I was initially hung up (several years ago), on having business literature and catchy graphic logo's and a great webiste. I could never settle on anything and only now (several years later), I am finally getting happy on layouts and designs of my business for marketing reasons. What I realized is, no matter how catchy or colorful or attracting I could make my marketing material, I would never sell a print unless I got out from behind the computer and actually took photo's. I shoot sporting events, I just started turning up at events and worked freelance. It does not take long for anybody to ask if the prints are for sale. So, I went to Office Max, got some avery cards and put my name and number on the card. I opened a professional account with printroom and I still do that today (several years later).

    If I was you, I would be turning up to as many gigs as you can and start taking photo's. You will be approached eventually. This will lead to other work on different genre's (if your good enough!)

    ...and by the way, you answered your own question and in my opinion, it is the only way to generate interest in you.

    Handing out business cards and having personal websites will get people interested in you, but they will ultimately want to see results.

    I use printroom, I know there are others but I dont use them and cannot comment. I upload my images after editing and printroom handle the rest as far as sales. I get a check every month. If you have the time to look at this website and interact here and you have an email somewhere (otherwise you wouldn't be on here), you have the resources to open an online gallery/sales account, other than deviantart.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

marketing my business