How to market yourself as a photographer on social media
Many photographers on social media seek exposure, if not fame, to give their brands more space to grow. Valuable followers who are genuinely interested in your work will provide you with precious feedback, recommend your services to others, and make your job more interesting and diverse. However, it's easy to get discouraged by the sheer amount of photographers who are sharing their work on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and successfully so. Regardless of their fame, you can also succeed. You, too, can build a loyal following, which will enhance your brand and give you more job opportunities. Here are a few tips on how to market yourself as a photographer on social media, successfully.
First, let's focus on the benefits of social media. Simply put, social media is free marketing; platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter don't charge you for your presence and content sharing. Thus, if used properly, social media can serve as a useful tool to grow your brand. Communicating on social media is also very easy - comments and direct messages provide clients with an effortless opportunity to get in touch with you. Similarly, people who like your work can easily share it - platforms like Instagram allow users to send other peoples' profiles to their friends via Direct Message. With all of this in mind, you can turn your online presence into one that's admired and noticed by potential clients.
The most important marketing advice anyone could give you is this: never forget the importance of quality over quantity. Familiarizing yourself with all of the alluring platforms out there might tempt you to create as many accounts as possible. This, however, will result in many inactive accounts and unnecessary stress. Having fewer accounts that contain high quality work is better than having an abundance of accounts with unimpressive content. Find where your target audience is most active and start sharing your work there.
It's equally important to know who you are as an artist. Ask yourself these questions:
What kind of photographer are you?
Though placing limitations on yourself isn't creatively healthy, it's necessary to have an idea of your brand and the ideas you'd like your clients to have about it.
Who is your target audience?
Knowing what kind of clients you'd like to attract is essential when it comes to choosing which platform to be most active on.
What are your artistic goals?
The clearer your ideas are to you, the easier it'll be to achieve them.
What makes you special as a photographer?
Being aware of your creative strengths and weaknesses will allow you to find your unique style, giving you more confidence. (Others, as you know, can easily sense inner confidence,.)
Make sure your very first goals are achievable so that your hope won't disappear immediately; be realistic and ambitious simultaneously, and keep persisting. A strong idea of your brand will inevitably strengthen your brand.
Once you've chosen a great platform, post regularly. A couple of posts per day is a healthy balance between posting too little and spamming your followers. Being loyal as an online presence will attract loyal followers, who will be followed by equally loyal clients. Many platforms allow users to schedule their posts, so you needn't worry about being online constantly in order to succeed. Examples of this are Twitter and Schedugram for Instagram. Posting high quality content regularly will attract the attention of not only clients, but also companies. Hundreds of thousands of brands seek talented, dependable individuals to join their communities. Here's an example from my own life: there was an art community in which I posted regularly, despite having a small number of followers; I was pleasantly surprised when the community itself got in touch with me, asking me for permission to share my profile with their visitors. Because of this unexpected opportunity, I gained a lot of exposure, which in turn provided me with opportunities I greatly valued. If your work stands out - no matter how unknown you think you are - someone will notice it and express interest in your services. As a bonus, this will push you to challenge yourself and your creativity more in order to enhance your portfolio.
In addition to keeping your posts consistent, you need to create familiarity and warmth between yourself and your targeted audience. This doesn't mean creating an inauthentic, fake identity - on the contrary, being your genuine self will make you more relatable than simply being a cold online profile. It's easy to misinterpret words and facial expressions in the virtual world, so adding warmth to your content by interacting with your followers will make you an approachable and comfortable person. Start an interesting project, be it photographing strangers or taking photos every day for a year. This will not only boost your creativity, but it will also give your followers a chance to understand your style. If you often photograph families or weddings, start a blog - sharing your working process will make you feel like a friend to clients, which will make it more possible for you to get jobs.
Once you've realized your goals, found a platform, and begun to interact with all kinds of people, you will have started to market yourself as a photographer successfully. However, don't stop there. The marketing process is both beautiful and endless, a plant which you mustn't abandon. Allow yourself to be curious; seek new challenges and ways of shooting, try out new editing programs, collaborate with other photographers, tag people in your event photos for more exposure, and continuously find ways to improve. Your efforts will not be unappreciated - soon enough, you'll find yourself with more clients, a better portfolio and most importantly, stronger skills to strengthen your brand even more.
Keep creating and being curious. Good luck!
About the Author: Taya Iv is an admirer of books, nature, and photography; She spends her life loving (and writing about) all three. She hopes to inspire others to find beauty in everything - including themselves - and to make the most of what they have.