After mentoring a wide range of photographers during the last few years I have come up with a compilation of what I think it takes to become a successful photographer in today’s photography marketplace.
You can choose to mix-and-match, but for the most part all the items on this list are pretty much necessary.
• A talent-based body of work ready to sell, (this means a defined visual approach around a specific subject with enough samples to build trust in potential clients.)
• A database of appropriate contacts (and a smaller more researched group of contacts for in person visits)
• 4-5 different marketing/sales channels including direct sales, social media: Facebook, newsletter, other
• Marketing materials that are visually branded to move the visual message forward business cards, flyers, sign-up sheets
• Perseverance: Whatever you do, do it consistently
• Patience (allowing for a 2-4 year timeline before seeing consistent, quantifiable results)
Once you decide that being a successful photographer is the path you want to follow, of course the primary thing you MUST have is quality images, not just in your opinion.
• Ask for opinions from a variety of people, not only photographers, but other artists as well.
• OK. Now that you know your work is good, what do you want to do with it?
Make your best friend jealous?
• Start building a data-base (email list) for future use
• Site or no site? This is a no-brainer. If you want to do something “real” with your work, you have to have a website, not Pinterest or Instagram or anything other than a real site.
• To build or not to build? In a past life if you were a programmer, then go ahead and brush up on your HTML and build your own site. If not, then a template-based site may be the ticket. It’s what I use.
• Shopping cart or PayPal?
• Join a peer group, one that resonates with you and your work and will offer positive insight on you work.
• Work together to organize a group show at someone’s house…
• Subscribe to ALL the news letters you can that focus on the information you want.
Read, read, read, read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did you notice there was no mention of equipment? It all begins above the shoulders!
Plan the work, work the plan!