Like marketing any business, a professional photographer’s main objective is to convince potential clients that what you deliver is the best and that you’re the most likable person to deliver the goods. Can you do it more effectively online?
Social media is evolving rapidly. Facebook is now just one of a half-dozen major players vying for peoples’ attention. If you’re a professional photographer and you’re only on Facebook and maybe flickr, it’s time for you and your photo business to get a social media makeover.
An excellent way to rise above the noise is to leverage social media and blogs to capture your brand image in a way that’s marketable. But you should also control how your images are seen and that if people are going to steal them (which they will) that at least your name and contact info will remain creatively intact.
Start By Watermarking Your Social Identity
You can scour the ends of the earth reprimanding people for posting your photos on social networks without attribution, but it’s going to happen on the World Wide Web. So rather than trying to control it, take precautions by protecting your images with watermarks and make the best of it by slapping on your URL so people know where to find you.
Two software plug-ins that make watermarking easy are LR/Mogrify 2 (Free) for Adobe Lightroom and BorderFX (Free) for Apple Aperture. For inspiration, take a look at the new Getty Images watermarking format.
Pinterest for Photographers
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool and one of the fastest growing social networks right now with over four million daily users. It’s the digital equivalent of an inspiration board, which many photographers already use in their studios. People pin photographs and wanted items onto “boards”. Boards are user-defined groups of “pins” that fit a category or topic.
- Pinterest is not only an excellent source of photographic inspiration, but it is being used as a creative platform for marketing.
- Post before they do: If your best work is going to go viral, shouldn’t you be the source? To see if your work has already been pinned. Plug this URL into your browsers address bar: http://pinterest.com/source/you.com, then just replace “you.com” with your domain name.
- Create themes important to your clients: Many brides use Pinterest to plan their weddings and choose photographers, so smart photographers create boards for flowers, hairstyles, centerpieces and anything else a bride might subscribe to. Within those boards, they also include their own watermarked photographs.
- Don’t forget inbound links: The goal of marketing on Pinterest is not just viral transmission, but also getting people back to you. Include your name, business contact information and website link in your bio.
- Encourage people to click: Many Pinterest users skip clicking back to the source. To get more traffic back to your website, include a link in the description of your photos. Sometimes you just need to tell