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Photo Marketing 101: Growing Your Brand

Welcome back to Photo Marketing 101, our semi-weekly blog series on marketing yourself as a photographer. In our last post, we discussed some basic ways to use Twitter and Facebook to promote yourself and your work.

Over the next couple of posts I will start to introduce some marketing and advertising ideas that photographers can use to spread the work, and grow a brand. Some will require some investment from you up front, others will not.

One of the big decisions that many of you will have to make is whether or not to spend money on marketing, and when to do it. We’re getting closer to the point where testing some more direct forms of advertising might be a worthwhile endeavor. That will require you to take some chances, and spend some money.

But this week, we keep it free. Here goes:


We’ve previously covered the notion that you need to have a website to promote and sell your work. And if you do, you should also be blogging as well. A blog provides the perfect platform to connect your social media presence to your website, and write about photography in a way that makes you accessible, while displaying your expertise. You can get started on any number of blogging platforms; Squarespace, Wordpress, Blogger, or Tumblr. Blog about your work, about your life, about photography in general. It will open up a whole new way of communicating with potential customers.


Enter them. Photo contests are all around us. There are online contests hosted by a variety of companies and organizations. Many are open to the public. Some are free, others have a fee to enter. My advice is to enter as many contests as you can handle. Winning a prize in a contest is a great way to get noticed, and can be used to promote your work on your website. NYIP frequently posts about photo contest opportunities, but you should research on your own to find the ones that makes the most sense to you.

Become a Media Source

When your name is referenced in an article, those people who read it will immediately know that you are an authority on the subject. When this happens online, you’ll often get a link back to your website which will help your search engine rankings and drive traffic to the site. The trick is getting in touch with reporters at the right time. HARO is an email list designed to do just that, connect journalists with sources for their work. It’s completely free to sign up and start receiving the emails. When the emails come in, they will present you with a long last of needs posted by journalists all over the country. See one you think you could contribute to? There is an email provided to get in contact with the writer. Sign up today.

In the next edition of this series, we will cover some opportunities which may require spending money up front to make them work.

Homework: Your homework this week is to pick one of the 3 ideas discussed above and do it. Then use the comments below to tell us all about it.  Share the URL of your blog, let us know what contests you’ve entered, or tell us you signed up for HARO. Better yet, do all THREE!

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Reader Comments (5)

Thanks for the great tips! I have a website, and have a blog on my website. The HARO tip was especially good! I signed up today!
July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Starks
I have two blogs that I started, but I know it had to be strictly about my photography. Thanks for the article. I will incorporate more of my thoughts into it, so that people can relate to me.
July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
Very interesting post, especially about getting a website and blog. Have you any advice for (my Son) a seventeen year old in his last year at school in the UK thinking about further education in the photographic industry?
July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Thompso
Thanks for sharing the info for photo marketing. I have read it for the first time and it's very interesting niche. I have bookmarked this link for my future reference. Great post!
July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAtlanta SEO
hey Zach, some great tips buddy. Ive recently moved from australia to Norway where I was established and never needed a website cos of referral work that I always seemed to get. But now I have had to go all the way back to square one as an 'unknown'!! I have been looking for ways to do this and I have taken your advice and made a site and blog on my mac! Love to get yours and peoples ideas on it! Took me ages as I have completely ZERO experience, so it was just all trial and error (a lot more error!!). Gonna see if I can attack Facebook next!!! :) cheers for the tips, really appreciate em.
July 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter
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