Discovering and identifying clients for photographers
Discovering and Identifying Clients for Photographers If you don’t know them, they will never know you.
Identify the work you do. What is it that you shoot? What is your passion in photography? Shooting what you love to shoot will be the most rewarding path.
Now Create a List of Who would Use Your Photography? Important to identify who may use the work you do. Then creating the list of potential clients is becoming more clear.
If you are a car shooter, what industries would use your work? If it is portraits, what industries or businesses use portraits? This is an overall listing of the types of clients that would use the type of photography you do. We need this list to move to more granular approaches.
Now gather local magazines, “Book of Lists”, the library, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of research to find SPECIFIC client possibilities Now we are getting into the nitty-gritty of it. Who in your area is doing work that your work would dovetail into nicely.
What if there are no clients in your area who would use the work you do? (Typical problem in smaller markets with some genres of photography) Finding an area of comfort in the region you are working in is next. How far away can a client be for you to feel comfortable marketing to them?
Develop a plan for getting to the “list” and putting your work in front of the clients you have discovered and identified. Everyone has a comfort zone of what it takes to ‘cold call’ and ‘drop off’ and ‘show’ the work. If it keeps you from doing those things, it isn’t a comfort zone, it is a prison.
Finding Resources to help you get the plan working. Facebook / Twitter Library / Research Art Annuals / Business Lists I am recommending Selina Maitreya’s Excellent Audio Program at this point. It will motivate and train you to see what needs to be done. See Lighting Essentials for more details.
Work with Agencies and ‘Reps’ to get your work out. Or have an intern do the calling for you. Important to NEVER stop the marketing and promotion. Classic problem is that you market and get busy, and then too busy to market so eventually the work dries up and you have to market some more.
Problem is that ‘Reps’ don’t generally take on beginners and startup photographers without a lot of incoming billing. An alternative is something like “Agency Access” which can help you market at many levels. From simply providing a targeted list to more hands-on marketing with you.
Finding a good consultant like Selina is also a very important path you can take. Most of them are wonderful with working with emerging photographers Investing in a consultant is a win/win situation. It forces you to get better, and in the short – and long run – it forces you to become engaged with what you do… photography.
Important tools for the photographer engaged in showing work to get assignments: ID / Drop Off Book / Website / “Leave Behinds” / Direct Mail There is much talk about how Social Media can be a ‘ticket’ to success. And maybe that is true to a point. But disregarding the established channels may be a huge mistake.
Thanks for spending some time with me on the Discussion of Finding and Identifying Clients for Commercial Photographers. This Slide Show accompanied a live discussion on Vokle, August 8, 2010 by Don Giannatti www.lighting-essentials.com