This was a guest post by Richard McMunn/How2become
A photographer’s portfolio is their livelihood and these days, thanks to social media, it’s never been easier to let the world see your work. Of course, that also means that every other photographer you’re competing with also has the potential to show off his or her portfolio. This means that if you want a competitive edge you might have to stop thinking like a photographer for a moment and imagine yourself as a marketer.
Dedicating a couple of hours to social media every week will either help you realise your dreams of becoming a professional photographer or give your business the boost it needs to grow to the next level. Time is usually the only investment it takes – you don’t need to spend money to have accounts with any of the social media platforms, making it a really cost-effective way to market your business.
The Photographer’s Perfect Platform
One of the first things you’ll have to think about is which social media platform you want to dedicate your time to. Sites like Instagram, tumblr and Pinterest are all quite visual, which makes them a natural fit for photographers. Pinterest in particular is useful because many of its members are already accustomed to using the site as a sort of online store. You can easily organise your different photographs by theme and easily attach links that allow people to purchase prints. It’s worth reminding people in all of your profile that you are a professional photographer and these images aren’t to be used without your permission. A firm but friendly approach will usually be sufficient, although you may want to ensure any photographs you post are watermarked before you share them with the world to protect your images.
Your Words Can Be Just as Powerful as Your Photos
While social platforms that specialise in images such as tumblr or Instagram are a great way to share your photos, you shouldn’t underestimate the power your words can have. If there are always stories behind your photographs you could consider starting a blog. As well as being able to give an insight into your work that would allow readers to establish a deeper emotional connection with your photos, you could also use a blog to share professional tips with readers, establishing it as a useful resource. This will increase your readership, which will in turn help spread the word about your business.
It’s Called Social Media for a Reason
It’s important that you remember what the ‘social’ in social media is for and engage in conversation with people about your work, helping them build an emotional connection with your photographs. Remember that followers on Twitter don’t just want endless photographs, no matter how great they are – they also want to see your personality, because it is this, as well as your photographs, that set you apart from other photographers.
Set Yourself a Goal
Your ultimate purpose for investing time and energy into social media is in most circumstances going to be to generate sales or commissions. It can be hard knowing what to expect from social media, but it’s imperative that you set targets as soon as possible to help you work towards them. Remember that while initially simply trying to achieve a certain number of followers or page views might be acceptable, ultimately any social activity is going to have to be converted into cash.
About Richard McMunn: Richard is the author of this post and owner of How2become.com, the UK’s leading training and recruitment specialist for careers. The focus is on providing applicants with the knowledge they need to pass any selection processes. The site currently offers over 140 different titles. You can also engage with How2become on Facebook
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