Focus Your Efforts.
Look for Practical Needs.
Equip Yourself Correctly.
Review your Web Site with a Critical Eye.
Customer testimonials are much more likely to be believed than whatever you can say to toot your own horn. Use customer testimonials on your home page and add one or two to all other pages.
People want to do business with photographers who they perceive as being experts, so add articles to your Web site and write about topics in your blog that reveal your expertise. You are much more likely to attract customers to your work, and buy more of it, when you share information that will help them in their lives, instead of overwhelming them with sales pitches.
Announce a limited-time offer that provides a discount if customers order a specific amount of photos, or book you well in advance of an event or occasion.
Learn from the Experts.
Generate photography content that is meaningful to your Facebook and Twitter followers. Instead of showing your latest photos, ask others to describe a recent photo they saw that they liked. Ask them to describe what they like to see in baby, wedding, portrait and landscape photos, for example.
Communicate as a human being, not as a businessperson. Respond to individuals’ messages with the use of their names and write and post content that humanizes your business. Tell people about you, your hopes and dreams, etc.
Establish separate personal and business Facebook and Twitter accounts, but link them.
Be willing to promote others and interesting content from other sources, especially on Twitter, which motivates more people to re-tweet that content to others, thus building your following. A good strategy is to divide your tweets: 33% personal, 33% tweets to promote your photography, 33% tweets of others’ work and 1% optional.
Promote a drawing, offering a few hours of your photography services for free, for example. Make one of the rules of the drawing that entrants must share your page with their friends.
Expand your Services to Include Video.
Test, test and test again!
As the title of this PhotographyTalk article implies, you’ve been selling some of your photographs, but you’d like to sell more. The following 7 photo-selling methods have proven to work for many photographers, so it’s time you gave them a try.
A typical mistake of many commercial enterprises is to try to be all things to all people. You may not be selling as many photos as you’d like simply because you’re making hit-and-miss attempts across the entire spectrum of selling opportunities. Take a step back, and a deep breath, and determine what type or genre of photography is your best, or has sold the best during the last month or year.
You’re more likely to reach your sales goals when you concentrate your efforts on just 1 or 2 photographic genres. If your customers seem to love your baby pictures, for example, then forget about those poor-selling landscapes for the time being and use that time to improve your baby photography techniques. Find your market niche and stay with it.
In conjunction with #1 above, consider concentrating your attention on the “practical” photography markets. Only a few photographers ever make a living displaying large prints of amazing landscapes in galleries. You’re apt to find (and more easily) more opportunities for real estate, corporate portraits and events and/or party photography, as examples. Probably not as exciting, but your goal is to sell more photos and the marketplace is more willing to pay photographers who are able to fulfill the practical needs of individuals and businesses.
Once you determine a type of photography that currently sells the best (or could), make sure you have the right equipment to capture the best images in that genre. Don't buy that telephoto lens for wildlife, when an investment in a better lighting set-up will help you shoot better baby pictures, and sell more of them.
A Web site is one of the best platforms to generate more photo sales, but only if it is a sales and marketing tool first and as a place to display your photos second. A beautiful, but “passive” portfolio may attract some business, but it must be balanced with strong marketing messages and techniques. Try any of the following ideas:
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to selling more of your photos; highly experienced photographers already know most, if not all, of the tricks of the trade…and many more than can be presented in this article. You’ll find many of those experts at the New York Institute of Photography. As the world’s largest and oldest photography school, it has been educating photographers at all skill levels since 1910.
Before experiencing more frustration and less success, request NYIP’s free course catalog at http://www.nyip.com/requestinfo/. Not only will you receive a link to the online version, but also receive a printed version in the mail and an email with course details and offers.
The school’s Complete Course in Professional Photography is a 6-unit, home-study course. It will improve your skills, make you more competitive and explain in-depth strategies and techniques for driving your revenues to never-imagined heights.
Social media is a force that can’t be denied. An active presence there is absolutely critical if you want to sell more of your photos. The “secret” of using social media for the marketer, the businessperson, the photographer is to create content, and then share it, that appears to be social in nature, but has a subtle selling message. A few examples will reveal the best tricks.
Don't limit yourself to just still photography. It’s very likely your DSLR camera also shoots 1080 Full-HD video. Many people want professional video of parties, events, etc. Many professional photographers have been reluctant to add video to their services, as they think of themselves as still photographers, and they aren’t trained in the specific skills. This mindset is changing, as more photographers learn the value of becoming a multi-media professional. Now is the time to invest some of your time and money in video education and move ahead of many of your competitors.
Not all these methods will apply to every photographer and every market niche, so test one or a few methods for a given period of time, and then test some others. A method may not work well on your Web site, but will on Facebook or Twitter. Some customers may respond to an email campaign better than a Facebook campaign. Find the methods that work best and use them again and again until you’ve rung every last bit of sales from them.
Image credit: khmel / 123RF Stock Photo
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