If you’re developing a new photography project, it can only prosper if you have an audience, followers, and customers. You have to find the right buttons to push. Obviously you need a viable product to sell or you won’t be able to keep your audience’s attention.
A comedian wouldn’t derive great satisfaction from an empty room. If you’ve finally sat down to write that book, you have to know who your audience is going to be and how to approach them. And, in particular, once that book is in print, you will have to find a way to sell it. If you’re into photography and everyone keeps telling you that your work is terrific, find a way to share it outside your intimate group of friends. Begin by posting your images on the many photo sharing websites (e.g. Flickr, 500px, SmugMug) to create an interest and a following. You may not be ready for the National Gallery, but your work may appeal to the discerning private art collector.
In today’s world where the internet and social media play a major role in how we do business, I’d venture to say that connecting with the right people, websites, and businesses online is of absolute importance. I’d even go as far as saying it’s the first step toward getting your voice heard. Create Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest pages that show off your artwork. Check in with them regularly and rotate your text or images frequently in order to keep your visitors interested.
Building your own website is also essential. There are an infinite number of website creators, varying in price and market. Approach friends or colleagues in your field who already have an up and running website, and find out who they used and if they are pleased. If you’re not an expert at website creation, find a provider who will offer you a selection of templates to choose from, and if you need help, will answer your cries. Of course, an obvious, but possibly pricey option: hire someone to create your website to your specifications.
Dedicate as much time as necessary to generate something suitable for your needs. Make it worthwhile. It must be visually and textually appealing. With respect to photography websites, less is best. Too much information will confuse the visitor. Divide your images into categories and give each category its own page. I’d go for about 10 photographs per category–not more. Once you have it up and running, tell the world you are there and waiting for them to drop by. Start by linking your website to the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, and Pinterest accounts you already created. And don’t forget verbal publicity; tell your friends to tell their friends. Take out ads on Google and Facebook, or even the classifieds.
Make business cards with all of the necessary info, including your new URL. At the same time, create a virtual business card and include it with your signature whenever you send out an email, even if it is unrelated to your business—instant free publicity!
Make labels and stickers to put on your products, i.e., on the back of one of your framed photos, on the box of your new notecards, etc. Have the same information and style on your stickers as you have on your business cards.
Join an art cooperative and have your work displayed on a regular basis. Make donations of your art to fundraising events, libraries, schools, etc. Provide them with a handful of your business cards to display with your product. Enter as many competitions as financially sustainable. Ask the corner café if you can hang your artwork on their walls and offer them a percentage. And, of course, join a few local photography clubs. Participate in their competitions, make contacts, and share tips.
It’s an enormous task, but in the end it could and should prove beneficial. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The chances of you turning into an overnight success are slim, but by approaching your task with enthusiasm and credibility, you are taking the first step toward recognition.
It’s all about visibility. Go out and woo them!
About the Author:
Irene Martinelli is a digital photographer who expresses herself with simple lines, bold colors and free flowing forms (www.fotographicallyyours.com). “Through the art of photography I feel at peace with myself, expressing my emotions without the deception of words.”
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