The Internet can be an intimidating place. There are millions of photographers out there, millions of successful artists with an abundance of great clients. Having this in mind may discourage you from pursuing your dreams. This frightened mindset, however, is wrong.
It’s very possible to succeed in a busy online world filled with endless news and updates. You have exactly what you need to boost the success of your business and thrive as a photographer. All you need are a few pieces of knowledge, a desire to improve, and lots of patience.
These tips are meant to serve as your social media guides, tools that will allow you to embrace every part of the ever-changing online world. They’ll help you believe in yourself, understand your business better, and improve as an artist in general. I hope they show you that your dreams – no matter how big – are not as far away as you imagine. The truth is that you can succeed – there are no doubts about that. The real question is: will you?
Reevaluate Your Goals
Before you build stronger relationships with clients, you must strengthen your business. Even professionals reevaluate their goals and accomplishments when they feel the need to improve. Treat your business like a close friend: someone you want to understand better, someone who deserves your full attention. Though the business-building process is unique to you, there are a few general and helpful questions every photographer can ask themselves:
Who am I as an artist? / What is my style?
What kind of clients do I want to work with?
What are my strengths and weaknesses as a photographer?
Once I reach my ultimate goal, what will I do?
Answering these questions will highlight your ultimate dreams, fears, and hopes for the future. These will bring you closer to shaping your business into something you’re even more proud to own.
Find Your Target Audience
Once you understand what you want to achieve with your business, you’re halfway there. As a confident business owner with an active online presence, you’ll attract loyal clients and recognition. However, it’s important that you find the best social platform through which you can successfully reach your target audience. If you’re a family photographer, trying to find clients on a portfolio-oriented social platform like DeviantART won’t work. Instagram and Facebook, on the other hand, would expose you to a variety of potential clients, most of whom are only one convenient message away.
The best way to find your target audience is to predict where it’s most active. In my opinion, Facebook and Instagram are ideal for finding clients who enjoy portrait and family photography. Don’t be afraid of joining a less business-oriented website such as Flickr, though, just to have fun and meet new artists. Potential exists everywhere! 🙂
Perfect Your Tone
Since people’s attitudes aren’t always obvious in the online world, it’s important to be as authentic as possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to share your personal life with strangers – what you can do is be yourself, and that’s something you’ve already mastered. Now, you just have to let your personality shine through your online activities. This will make you more relatable and likeable, giving your entire business a friendly appearance (which is exactly what it deserves). Here are a few fun things you can do:
- Post behind-the-scene photos from your shoots
- Share your favourite photographers’ work
- Have meaningful conversations with your followers by directly asking them questions
- Create a blog where you consistently share tips, host giveaways, or write about magical photo-taking moments
- Share your editing process by posting a simple before & after image. For example, the image below was edited using MCP’s Enlighten Lightroom Presets (Overlay: Pomegranate) and texture #23 from Play Overlays.
Value Consistency and Quality
Satisfying your fans with consistent, high-quality work will strengthen your relationship with them. Even if you have an extremely busy schedule, your feed can remain consistent and stable. Scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite will let you plan your posting times in advance, giving you lots of time to work on personal projects while still being active online. Keep in mind, though, that these tools will only let you post, not communicate. Because of this, try to dedicate a few hours per week to connecting with your followers and being fully present in your community.
Join, Learn, and Let Yourself Be Known
An indirect way to find clients is to have a strong portfolio on a popular art website. Communities like 500px and Flickr are ideal for this. The same communities are often on the lookout for photography writers and photo contributors: artists who share their knowledge in return for exposure. Exposure is great for building a stronger reputation and attracting people from around the world to your photographs.
With your online reputation, you could find freelance jobs to strengthen your skills and find new connections. Even if your client is miles away, there’s a chance they could provide you with the necessary experience to enhance your current business. Even if it’s a small job, it could lead you to invaluable opportunities.
Marketing yourself on social media isn’t impossible. Despite the fact that the Internet never stops overflowing with information, standing out as a photographer is a rational and achievable goal. And remember, being yourself and understanding your business will help you succeed in unimaginable ways. Relentlessly chase your dreams and never stop persisting.