If you are a photographer and if that’s your bread and butter, then you need to make yourself known as well. A swanky studio in a well-visited part of the city would have worked a few decades back for those of you specializing in personal and family photography. But now it’s all about how you make yourself known in this digital world beyond your geographical boundaries. Once you have a website and an Instagram profile ready, the next steps are all about establishing your personal brand. Let’s see how to do that.
1. What is your niche?
When you are trying to build your portfolio online, opt for quality over quantity. If you would love to be known for a certain genre of photography, for example, street photography, curate the best of your photographs in this genre as part of your online portfolio and profile.
It would help to have your logo, font type, and colors match the ones that are representative of your niche genre. Also, once you arrive at a suitable visual identity, keep it consistent and cohesive across all your online and offline profiles and portfolios.
You need to demonstrate your professional mettle in your niche area as well. Try to start and maintain a “tips and trends” blog on your website and try and promote that on social media. If you are good in front of the camera as well, you can create few video logs and host them on youtube. You can conduct online workshops in your niche genre for people looking to take up photography as a hobby.
Don’t shy away from participating in contests where you think your niche genre photographs stand a chance of winning an award. Use such contest wins to further promote your expertise and build a brand for yourself.
2. Why you?
As a photographer, you will definitely have your own style of photography. It could be either in the techniques you employ for shooting, or the subjects or objects you choose, or the editing style of your photos, or the way you piece a story through a few of your photographs. Try to see how you can promote your unique style.
Backlinking from other websites or social media profiles that have relevance to your style can work well to promote your brand through the association strategy. For example, if your unique style is to use a lot of light in your photographs, associating yourself with a seller or a manufacturer of lighting could help you to promote your brand.
Again, offering any kind of expert opinion about your unique style through a well-known media publication will work very well to promote your personal brand as a photographer. If you have friends or contacts in the media circle, this will work well. Else, look for alternate ways of doing this through online workshops.
Customer testimonials are the best strategy to brand yourself. If you get current customers who are ready to put in a good word for you publicly, ask them pointed questions so that the “why you” specific points come out clearly in their testimonials.
3. Who do you want as your customers?
Based on your niche genre, you can narrow down your customer persona. If your niche is wildlife photography, your customers will be travelers or wildlife enthusiasts. It could also be nature resort owners or travel companies that organize nature tours. Obviously, if you are into food photography, your customers will be those in the hospitality business, restaurants, and chefs. With online channels like Facebook, you can target your online ads to the appropriate segment of people you want as customers.
4. Where do you want to be seen?
Once you have identified your customers, the next step is to identify offline and online branding channels where you may think your customers will visit. It could be your nearest museum, a travel agency, an interior décor house, or a fashion boutique. It could also be taking out paid ads in travel and leisure magazines, lifestyle and in-flight magazines, etc,. Try to be present both offline as well as online based on your target audience. Join online groups and communities that associate themselves with your niche genre and style of photography and interact with other experts. You can also be present in other relevant online communities that are associated with your niche genre.
5. When do you want to be more visible?
Having the right kind of skills and the right attitude sometimes is just not enough. You also need to be present at the right moment. If your specialty is wedding photography, you should brand yourself well during the wedding season. Holidays are a good time to organize workshops on wildlife photography and brand yourself amongst those searching for holiday experiences. And if you have carved a niche for yourself in photographing festivals, ensure that you make your presence felt in the festive season.
As a photographer, while you spend ninety percent of your time doing something that you do well, you need to invest the remaining ten percent of the time branding yourself, so that the ninety percent will turn out to be fruitful. Online affordable art appreciation portals such as Jugaad Foto Bazaar can give you a leg up in branding yourself.