Well, it's time to send out my final email promo of the year, so I thought I would share a few tips on marketing yourself as a photographer. With the economy death-spiralling out of control, the temptation has to be to cut back on spending. But for those of you who have been putting a bit of money away during the good times (as we all should do), then now is the time to make your marketing count as your competition cuts back their marketing budget. Healthy companies can grow their market-share in a downturn as their rivals struggle, and photography is no different.
A good primer and list of how to approach clients for travel photography has just been posted by Boston-based photographer Lou Jones, so if you're new to all of this then start here.
If that makes sense, but you're hankering after something with a bit more detail, I can highly recommend the website and services of Leslie Burns Dell Aqua. Leslie is a California-based photography consultant, and specialises in helping photographers setup and fine-tune their marketing programmes.
I have attended a couple of her lectures and had a private consultation with her and her advice is excellent. Her blog is well worth subscribing to, and every month she produces a thought-provoking podcast and a free manual in PDF. Finally, if you want the whole thing I suggest you buy her book, available for print or download on Lulu. Reading this you will learn how to set your marketing objectives, idfentify your target clients and deploy a range of marketing tools to get your work in front of them - highly recommended.
Another very useful book, only available in dead-tree format, is Richard Weisgrau's The Real Business of Photography. The accounting chapter is somewhat US-focused, but the sections on marketing and negotiating are excellent and applicable in any market.
Finally, if you're wondering how to contact clients, then take a look at Bikini Lists (if you're Europe-based) and Agency Access (if you're North America-based). Both componaies provide lists of photo buyers accross a range of industries. Neither are a subsitute for doing your own research, but they are a useful supplement to it. My very first mailing with bikini lists paid for the full year's subscription fees with new work.
So, no excuses now for not knowing how to go about marketing yourself...