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Photographer
Becky-Marie
Posts: 265
Miami, Florida, US


I'm a struggling photographer and I find it very difficult getting traffic to my website, to my fb fanpage, tumblr, and even here, on MM. I do my fair share of TFP on here, and even got a tear sheet in December that I thought would bring in some traffic, but I haven't seen any real pick-up. What are your tips on being successful as a photographer in the industry? I also try and post here when I have the time.

Oh, and I do plan on going to local fashion shows/etc to network more. But I just don't see how much that would really help. I also thought of starting a blog on my website, but I can't help but think why would people care about the writings/ramblings of someone they don't know. Help please? hmm
Jan 12 13 07:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,071
Alexandria, Virginia, US


marketing 101  -  nobody is going to come to you -

you have to reach out to them -

let them know about your web presence and give them a reason to want to spend their time to look at your work

I've heard it said that it is important to spend more time writing about your work than anything else - I don't know if that is universally true, but my writing and blogging, and a recent feature and interview in ArtsNFashion magazine, have vastly increased my reach and the level of interest in my work.....
Jan 12 13 07:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 6,104
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Becky-Marie wrote:
I'm a struggling photographer and I find it very difficult getting traffic to my website, to my fb fanpage

Try investing a few dollars worth on FB using tailor targeted audience FB interface. It is very similar to Google Ads. You can choose your target audience and select keywords and interests your audience would usually want to look at.

.

Jan 12 13 07:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jean Renard Photography
Posts: 2,044
Los Angeles, California, US


Social media is next to useless for real work, you want to go to the ad agencies and other art buyers who can pay you for your time and image use. Then get a rep as soon as you can.
Jan 12 13 07:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,955
Albany, New York, US


Becky-Marie wrote:
I'm a struggling photographer and I find it very difficult getting traffic to my website, to my fb fanpage, tumblr, and even here, on MM. I do my fair share of TFP on here, and even got a tear sheet in December that I thought would bring in some traffic, but I haven't seen any real pick-up. What are your tips on being successful as a photographer in the industry? I also try and post here when I have the time.

Answer: Social Media is a complete waste of time. Don't spend or invest any more money or time than that which you can't afford to lose already.

Don't believe me. This book will completely lay it out for you.

http://www.amazon.com/Social-Media-Bull … s+bullshit

Jan 12 13 07:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,153
Portland, Oregon, US


Becky-Marie wrote:
I'm a struggling photographer and I find it very difficult getting traffic to my website, to my fb fanpage, tumblr, and even here, on MM. I do my fair share of TFP on here, and even got a tear sheet in December that I thought would bring in some traffic, but I haven't seen any real pick-up. What are your tips on being successful as a photographer in the industry? I also try and post here when I have the time.

Oh, and I do plan on going to local fashion shows/etc to network more. But I just don't see how much that would really help. I also thought of starting a blog on my website, but I can't help but think why would people care about the writings/ramblings of someone they don't know. Help please? hmm

I'm maybe 800 miles away from you -- do you really want to market to me? 

Get yourself a marketing plan.  Ask yourself:

...  What is my objective?
...  Who is my target audience?
...  What do I want from that audience?
...  Where does that audience hang out?
...  Can I hang out there, too?
...  What do I offer to that audience -- hopefully, something they want?
...  Who are my competitors?
...  What are my competitors doing?
...  What do my competitors charge?
...  Am I trying to be profitable?
...  If so, what is my break-even rate?
...  How can I reduce my costs (and therefore reduce my break-even rate)?
...  etc.


Here's things that I've done:

...  I have my own web site, and I get several hundred visitors a day there.

...  I accept voluntary donations through my web site.  It's nowhere near enough to support me, but it is more than enough to support my photography (e.g. ISP, web host, llamaing fees, business license, tax, etc.).  Having my photography be self-sufficient is my objective.

...  Be visible in your target community -- I used to contribute to several newsgroups.  I've compiled a distribution list of "patrons", and I send out a notice whenever I update my web site.

...  Network locally.  I have another distribution list of local photographers.  "Network" isn't passive; it is an active verb.  For example, I distribute a weekly summary of traveling llama information; I host an annual get together; we share references, group projects, locations, resources, group shows, etc.  A local photographic community won't happen unless a) people put an effort into it, and b) people find value in having it.

...  I've done things like volunteer at local community theaters (putting pictures of the cast

Jan 12 13 08:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio MD - Casting
Posts: 1,209
New York, New York, US


Becky-Marie wrote:
I'm a struggling photographer and I find it very difficult getting traffic to my website, to my fb fanpage, tumblr, and even here, on MM. I do my fair share of TFP on here, and even got a tear sheet in December that I thought would bring in some traffic, but I haven't seen any real pick-up. What are your tips on being successful as a photographer in the industry? I also try and post here when I have the time.

Oh, and I do plan on going to local fashion shows/etc to network more. But I just don't see how much that would really help. I also thought of starting a blog on my website, but I can't help but think why would people care about the writings/ramblings of someone they don't know. Help please? hmm

There was a time when I was REALLY focused on my site stats and my number of followers. Although I still know my # of people following me on social media and I work to get more, I haven't looked at my site stats in over a year (Actually - this all made me curious so I just looked... I get a small 4500 unique visitors per month I guess)

Networking is what really matters. I have 50k followers on Tumblr and it's helpful because I can get a large pool of people to see my images, but what REALLY matters is your network. I rarely get a job from someone on the other side of the world following me on tumblr. My stylists bring me jobs. The agencies I work with refer me. Editors refer me. Clients refer me. Vendors refer me. You get all of these from doing work and meeting people. Networking is all that matters.

Also - having some tear sheets doesn't magically change everything. It's about being consistent. I usually have a goal of getting 100 pages of tears and I make it happen. I get people involved. I get my name out there and I connect with people who help me get my name out there. My team talks about me after the shoot and I make sure I work with models who are significant enough and have their own following to help me as well.

You can get 100k people coming to your FB , IG, tumblr, twitter
• and that is awesome if they're all buyers
• and it's awesome if you have a product that 10k will want to buy
• and it's awesome if you are competing against another
• and it's awesome if a few of them start promoting you to their friends
photographer with comparable work and experience who has less of a social media presence
• but if your work is shit, you will turn off the important buyers (I didn't look at your work yet so I am not commenting on you)
• but If it's just a bunch of people looking to be followed back, it's worthless
• but If it's just a bunch of people who can't buy from you, it's pointless

A good way to think about it: If you did 1 REALLY good job each month, you'll probably be set. That means you only need 12 clients per year. If you know your clients, then you can focus your energy. That means you don't need a million people visiting your site - you need to have 12 people visit who are in the position to buy your work.

Also, remember that your clients are not all going to be in fashion. I was getting some fashion clients when I thought I was only able to do fashion but my work REALLY picked up when I diversified my work. I'm geared toward making art for Fine Art Collectors, Musicians and Labels, and Fashion. Each month I get a great fashion client, a great musician and a great art buy... I'm sure you can figure out how that makes my life easier! I basically don't do anything but create now - either for pay or for play.

Finally, go to some business development meetings with other young professionals in your community where you'll be able to learn some things and meet other people looking to grow their businesses. You'll be surprised by the quality of people you'll meet! I met one of my fashion clients at a business development meeting where she was doing a talk - she didn't hire me right away, it took a year to get her business, but I wouldn't have had that opportunity if I wasn't digging around the business world trying to sharpen my own skills!

Despite what other people may say, social media DOES help, but understanding what business is really about is most helpful (finding a problem, creating a solution, getting in front of buyers and distributors)

I hope that helps!!! In the meantime! Feel free to follow me!
http://instagram.com/michaeldonovanagram
https://twitter.com/MichaelDonovan
http://michaeldonovan.tumblr.com/ big_smile

Jan 12 13 10:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Becky-Marie
Posts: 265
Miami, Florida, US


Mi Do wrote:
There was a time when I was REALLY focused on my site stats and my number of followers. Although I still know my # of people following me on social media and I work to get more, I haven't looked at my site stats in over a year (Actually - this all made me curious so I just looked... I get a small 4500 unique visitors per month I guess)

Networking is what really matters. I have 50k followers on Tumblr and it's helpful because I can get a large pool of people to see my images, but what REALLY matters is your network. I rarely get a job from someone on the other side of the world following me on tumblr. My stylists bring me jobs. The agencies I work with refer me. Editors refer me. Clients refer me. Vendors refer me. You get all of these from doing work and meeting people. Networking is all that matters.

Also - having some tear sheets doesn't magically change everything. It's about being consistent. I usually have a goal of getting 100 pages of tears and I make it happen. I get people involved. I get my name out there and I connect with people who help me get my name out there. My team talks about me after the shoot and I make sure I work with models who are significant enough and have their own following to help me as well.

You can get 100k people coming to your FB , IG, tumblr, twitter
• and that is awesome if they're all buyers
• and it's awesome if you have a product that 10k will want to buy
• and it's awesome if you are competing against another
• and it's awesome if a few of them start promoting you to their friends
photographer with comparable work and experience who has less of a social media presence
• but if your work is shit, you will turn off the important buyers (I didn't look at your work yet so I am not commenting on you)
• but If it's just a bunch of people looking to be followed back, it's worthless
• but If it's just a bunch of people who can't buy from you, it's pointless

A good way to think about it: If you did 1 REALLY good job each month, you'll probably be set. That means you only need 12 clients per year. If you know your clients, then you can focus your energy. That means you don't need a million people visiting your site - you need to have 12 people visit who are in the position to buy your work.

Also, remember that your clients are not all going to be in fashion. I was getting some fashion clients when I thought I was only able to do fashion but my work REALLY picked up when I diversified my work. I'm geared toward making art for Fine Art Collectors, Musicians and Labels, and Fashion. Each month I get a great fashion client, a great musician and a great art buy... I'm sure you can figure out how that makes my life easier! I basically don't do anything but create now - either for pay or for play.

Finally, go to some business development meetings with other young professionals in your community where you'll be able to learn some things and meet other people looking to grow their businesses. You'll be surprised by the quality of people you'll meet! I met one of my fashion clients at a business development meeting where she was doing a talk - she didn't hire me right away, it took a year to get her business, but I wouldn't have had that opportunity if I wasn't digging around the business world trying to sharpen my own skills!

Despite what other people may say, social media DOES help, but understanding what business is really about is most helpful (finding a problem, creating a solution, getting in front of buyers and distributors)

I hope that helps!!! In the meantime! Feel free to follow me!
http://instagram.com/michaeldonovanagram
https://twitter.com/MichaelDonovan
http://michaeldonovan.tumblr.com/ big_smile

This is incredibly helpful, thank you guys so much!

Jan 13 13 12:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
faltered
Posts: 285
Los Angeles, California, US


Everyone has given good advice in my opinion. I totally agree with Jean Renard, social media advertising is virtually worthless. It doesn't hurt to have a presence on social media but I wouldn't throw advertising dollars at it. With a large tumblr base of followers your photos can get rebloged tens of thousands of times and you never know, with that kind of reach an editor might stumble across something they like and track you down if the credits haven't been stripped out. But having thousands of facebook or tumblr followers that are 15 years old (which is about the average on Tumblr, even though those fashion bloggers have amazing style sense) isn't going to help you book jobs.

Again like Jean Renard said you need to get in front of photo editors, booking editors, creative directors, fashion editors and other decision makers at the magazines that you identify with most. You also need to come up with a long list of major fashion brands that you could see yourself shooting for and then research to find out who their Agency of Record is (this would be their advertising agency). Find out which office from the agency handles that account and who the Art Buyer is for the account. Google is a great way to do that because if you google something like "Ogilvy & Mather Gap Inc Art Buyer" (Ogilvy is the ad ageny for Gap) and many times there will be a linkedin listing that comes up with the art buyers name or at least enough info for you to track down who is. Come up with a list like this and then print some promo cards which many photographers mail out every few months and send the art buyer a promo card so they start seeing your name. Keep in mind they get many a day but after you've sent them a promo or two call or email and ask for a portfolio review at the agency. If you get a meeting you will get to bring your printed portfolio in and members of the creative team of the agency will come through and take a look at your portfolio. Usually you get like 30 minutes in a conference room and you bring in coffee and pastries etc. for the people that come through to enjoy. You can also throw your money away on a service like Agency Access that will let you spam these people. Also be relentless trying to get meetings with magazine editors to show your portfolio (mail them promos as well). One way social media can be very helpful is if you can identify some influential fashion bloggers and try to contribute to their blog by providing photos they can use. These top blogs are definitely read daily by the decision makers at the magazines. Get trade papers like Apparel News and when they feature up and coming designers send them a promo because those designers are going to need lookbooks and campaigns shot. Read blogs like aphotoeditor.com  and one that might be worth joining is pdnonline.com because in the paid section they have a "people on the move" section which reports creatives that have left or joined ad agencies and what accounts they manage as well as a "who's shooting what" section which highlights recent campaigns that were shot and who the photographer was, the agency, the creatives etc... I actually was featured in the "who's shooting what" section about 2 weeks ago and I did get contacted by a few agencies asking me to ship my book in.  But don't focus on your facebook fans (i dont' have a facebook page) because those are not the creatives that hire photographers.  One other thing I would suggest is checking out orginizations like Lebook, they have a Q&A panel with top creatives who answer questions about where they are finding photographers and what sources they are using. word of mouth and referrals from other edtitors and credits from published work are by far and away the main sources.
Jan 13 13 01:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Becky-Marie
Posts: 265
Miami, Florida, US


faltered wrote:
Everyone has given good advice in my opinion. I totally agree with Jean Renard, social media advertising is virtually worthless. It doesn't hurt to have a presence on social media but I wouldn't throw advertising dollars at it. With a large tumblr base of followers your photos can get rebloged tens of thousands of times and you never know, with that kind of reach an editor might stumble across something they like and track you down if the credits haven't been stripped out. But having thousands of facebook or tumblr followers that are 15 years old (which is about the average on Tumblr, even though those fashion bloggers have amazing style sense) isn't going to help you book jobs.

Again like Jean Renard said you need to get in front of photo editors, booking editors, creative directors, fashion editors and other decision makers at the magazines that you identify with most. You also need to come up with a long list of major fashion brands that you could see yourself shooting for and then research to find out who their Agency of Record is (this would be their advertising agency). Find out which office from the agency handles that account and who the Art Buyer is for the account. Google is a great way to do that because if you google something like "Ogilvy & Mather Gap Inc Art Buyer" (Ogilvy is the ad ageny for Gap) and many times there will be a linkedin listing that comes up with the art buyers name or at least enough info for you to track down who is. Come up with a list like this and then print some promo cards which many photographers mail out every few months and send the art buyer a promo card so they start seeing your name. Keep in mind they get many a day but after you've sent them a promo or two call or email and ask for a portfolio review at the agency. If you get a meeting you will get to bring your printed portfolio in and members of the creative team of the agency will come through and take a look at your portfolio. Usually you get like 30 minutes in a conference room and you bring in coffee and pastries etc. for the people that come through to enjoy. You can also throw your money away on a service like Agency Access that will let you spam these people. Also be relentless trying to get meetings with magazine editors to show your portfolio (mail them promos as well). One way social media can be very helpful is if you can identify some influential fashion bloggers and try to contribute to their blog by providing photos they can use. These top blogs are definitely read daily by the decision makers at the magazines. Get trade papers like Apparel News and when they feature up and coming designers send them a promo because those designers are going to need lookbooks and campaigns shot. Read blogs like aphotoeditor.com  and one that might be worth joining is pdnonline.com because in the paid section they have a "people on the move" section which reports creatives that have left or joined ad agencies and what accounts they manage as well as a "who's shooting what" section which highlights recent campaigns that were shot and who the photographer was, the agency, the creatives etc... I actually was featured in the "who's shooting what" section about 2 weeks ago and I did get contacted by a few agencies asking me to ship my book in.  But don't focus on your facebook fans (i dont' have a facebook page) because those are not the creatives that hire photographers.  One other thing I would suggest is checking out orginizations like Lebook, they have a Q&A panel with top creatives who answer questions about where they are finding photographers and what sources they are using. word of mouth and referrals from other edtitors and credits from published work are by far and away the main sources.

You're amazing, thank you soooo much! smile

Jan 16 13 09:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,329
Salem, Oregon, US


what kind of gigs are you trying to get? we make money doing events (corporate and weddings). the model stuff is just for grins and so we have something for show and tell when other photographers come visit our studio.

if you're trying to do fashion aren't you supposed to develop relationships with agencies so you can test their models? and get to know people in the biz?

regardless it's all about getting known. which for us happens the hard way. getting out in the world and letting people we meet know about us and doing good work and slowly building credibility and getting referrals, etc.

another option is spend a zillion dollars on advertising/marketing but i don't know if that always work. or do something to get buzz (one local photographer staged a "trashion" eco fashion show). or sleep with someone who can make connections for you.
Jan 16 13 10:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,955
Albany, New York, US


Becky-Marie wrote:
You're amazing, thank you soooo much! smile

This article by that same book author may also be of interest to you:

http://pandodaily.com/2013/05/13/social … ign=Buffer

May 13 13 01:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Elmwood
Posts: 32
Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom


before spending any money on FB advertising, google exactly that for a whole list of world wide pissed off people
I did try it, got nothing, zero, nil, nada absolutely no views, but they do take your money
May 13 13 01:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,153
Portland, Oregon, US


Becky-Marie wrote:
I'm a struggling photographer and I find it very difficult getting traffic to my website, to my fb fanpage, tumblr, and even here, on MM. I do my fair share of TFP on here, and even got a tear sheet in December that I thought would bring in some traffic, but I haven't seen any real pick-up. What are your tips on being successful as a photographer in the industry? I also try and post here when I have the time.

Oh, and I do plan on going to local fashion shows/etc to network more. But I just don't see how much that would really help. I also thought of starting a blog on my website, but I can't help but think why would people care about the writings/ramblings of someone they don't know. Help please? hmm

I'm 700 miles away from you, and within 25 miles from where I sit, there are a few hundred photographers & models who can do pretty much any job I want.  How does networking with me help you?  If I visit your web site, how do you benefit?

Some random thoughts / random order:

...  I'm old school -- social media is for friends & family, and networking using social media is suspect.  If Suzi is professional, why is she using Facebook and not something more professional?  I don't use social media at all when looking for professional people.

...  A web site, an e-mail address, a MM profile, etc. are good second tier tools.  With these, a person can follow up, check out your work, contact you on their schedule, etc.

...  Network locally.

...  But I think the best way to network is to do it face-to-face.  Have a conversation, and leave a business card behind.

...  With whom should you network:
     ---  Potential clients,
     ---  Local models & photographers (good source for references & recommendations),
and don't bother networking with people who aren't going to help you or potentially hire you.

...  Be visible. 

Good luck.

May 13 13 02:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SCT Photo
Posts: 37
Long Beach, California, US


Fotografica Gregor wrote:
marketing 101  -  nobody is going to come to you -

Not exactly true. There is this thing called a "search engine" and if you code your website properly with keywords and other information then people will come to you. If you're not tech savvy, then you can always pay someone to do so.

May 13 13 06:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glumpy
Posts: 516
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Well I'm amazed.

For years I have been questioning the value of all this face ache " Likes" Crap and asking people what it's tangible ( and non tangible) worth was and all I got was berated and ridiculed for even daring to question it.

Now it seems the reality is coming out and I was right all along. What a Surprise!  NOT!

No one ever has been able to answer a few simple qualifying questions that are basic marketing effectiveness gauges, all I got was that people had xxx thousand likes and that was a great thing. As I asked many people, if I have a business with the exact same assets as you but you have 100,000 likes on your facewaste page and I don't have one at all, How much more is your business going to be worth if we put them both up for sale and/ or have them appraised by a business sales broker?

Never was ale to get an answer to that one either.

I have had people tell me about how they built their business solely on face ache. When you get to the real details, Their " Business" is nothing more than earning about a dollar an hour return on all the time they were stuffing around doing updates and crap doing their hobby on the weekends. I'm sure there are some exceptions but that's hardly anything to justify all the other wasted time.

Of course they over look the fact you could build your business entirely on ads in the classified section of the local paper, putting flyers under car windows or selling your services door to door. If you only do one thing, then of course that's where all your work is going to come from. Whole lot different to it being an effective and efficient advertising and promotional strategy.

One thing I have always held with face waste over real marketing is that the moment Face Waste falls from popularity, all that effort is gone.  With real marketing, once you get your name out there, you -could- stop marketing and still be getting residual clients for years.
Can't see that happening with the social media.

The first thing to do in promoting a business is get online or to your local Library and educate yourself in just the basics of it. No use doing anything till you understand what you are really trying to achieve and how to best go about getting that result.

I guarantee 99% of photographers who advertise don't even track where their work is coming from. They wouldn't know if their leads were coming from faceache or the number someone scratched on the public Dunny wall. A person needs to know how to measure and track for a start but unless they know the basics, they will be doing stupid things like doing 1000 Shoots on some web discount voucher site and then complaining they are going broke because they have to do all these non profitable shoots.

Sales, advertising and marketing is THE most important thing a shooter ( Or anyone in business) can know.
May 13 13 08:35 pm  Link  Quote 
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