Sell Yourself…

You can be the best photographer in the world but if you live in a vacuum no one will hire you for that special brand of genius that is you!

Not to long ago the simple process of marketing your work went like this:

1. Find the local agencies and graphic design firms in your market.

2. Look up the phone number in  the yellow pages.

3. Pace around your desk and get your rap together and build up some nerve.

4. Dial those seven digits…when the receptionist answered the phone you asked to speak to an art director.

5. The A.D. picked up the phone, you introduce yourself and made an appointment to show your book…it was just that simple.

6. After you’ve thoroughly impressed the A.D. Call him until he gives you your first job.

Flash forward to today. The internet is everything. No one talks on the phone. Texting and emailing is the new way. People guard their phone numbers and email addresses as if they were gold. Voice mail is the new way to ignore you.

Marketing used to be in person sales calls and lots of direct mail. Crazy parties were the order of the day. A holiday was an excuse for photographers to have big parties and drop tons of cash. Those days are just fond memories now.

Creatives are over worked and the digital age has cut deadlines in half. Lots of work has to get done quicker than ever before. Someone has said that all the computer has allowed us to do is create a lot of bad work very quickly.

The only way to market yourself today is to use all the new media tools you can to get your presence known.

Most of us use the internet to do all of our sales. Direct mail is still a big part of a marketing plan.

I use the following tools:

My web site is powered by www.livebooks.com
http://www.rickgaylestudio.com/

My blog is powered by www.wordpress.com

I have a facebook fan page.

https://www.facebook.com/RickGayleStudio

I use Constant Contact for my email blasts.

http://www.constantcontact.com/index-evm.jsp

The beauty of all these tools are the stats!!!! Before these tools I’d send out direct mail campaigns and I’d never really know if people received them or just filed them in the trash.

The stats associated with these tools can tell you everything you’d want to know. Who opened the email. Who clicked through to where you wanted them to go…and of course those who don’t want to be hassled with you.  Your site stats can tell you how many visitors have seen your work, what key words they used and where your visitors are from.

There are many portfolio sites out there. I use www.behance.net.

The most important expense you will have is the graphic design needed to create your brand. Second in line for expense would be an S.E.O expert to get everything tied together along with all the necessary tags and keywords.

Aside from contacting local clients you may know try these links for a start with building a larger list of potential clients in the areas that interest you. www.adbase.com orwww.agencyaccess.com.

You should also sign up for the online resume and business networking site www.linkedin.com. It is also a great source for looking for new potential clients…this site is a must!!

As I mentioned before some creatives have agents…others rep themselves and still others rely on services like www.wonderfulmachine.com to supply some of the services a traditional agent performs.

Also D.I.Y publishing is very big these days. Producing your own book or portfolio in print is now very cost-effective as a marketing tool. check out www.blurb.com.

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