MARKETING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: YOUR GUIDE TO FINDING BUYERS & COLLECTORS
Imagine having a steady stream of buyers for your work, allowing you to focus on and enjoy your passion for photography. Imagine not having to be the “starving artist” or wondering whether this is a viable option for you.
It is possible.
We need money to keep the lights on and buy supplies, but it’s not everything. Money buys you another season to create. It gives you time, which gives you options.
You can join the ranks of what I call the New Renaissance, those who were able to change the world by being both creative and entrepreneurial.
It’s a challenge, of course, to be both marketer and artist, but one worth embracing.
Unfortunately, if you are like many artists and photographers, the reality is that you are not selling enough or any of your work.
You might have a small fan base but no real list of potential buyers or collectors.
There is a big chance that you are wondering whether you can turn your passion into a viable career.
Anyone who’s chosen to live a creative lifestyle — not just artists and photographers — knows what it means to worry. Rather than relax in the safety of a monthly paycheck, most of us have to find a way to put food on the table, without sacrificing our proverbial souls.
The problem is that a lot of people assume that being a creative is all about creating and making your art.
Too many artists accept the flawed maxim that art and commerce don’t mix. They adopt the antiquated “starving artist” paradigm, which is a lie that only perpetuates self-limiting beliefs.
I see so many artists who refuse to take a business class, refuse to learn about financial planning, and think that they are a better artist for it.
But it’s pretty hard to be creative when your stomach is growling.
Many assume that if you are with a gallery, the gallery takes on everything for you. But that’s not true. A gallery isn’t able to do everything. It’s unfair for an artist to assume that, but I do think even the more established artist, they have to do other things and manage their day-to-day life on their own.
I’ve heard many artists say that selling or displaying their work on the Internet cheapens it. They scorn the need to blog or tweet or build an email list. They want to avoid appearing sleazy or “self-promotional.”
But the truth is artists have always had to worry about how to get their work to spread. That’s part of the job. And the good ones embrace this.
You really, really need to be found online. Even if you don’t sell your work directly, people will research you, your art, or your show before they decide to purchase.
Even those creatives who DO decide to show their work online aren’t doing enough to build their audience.
Most artists and photographers spend most of their time on their work and not enough on marketing their work. They think that merely having a website or virtual gallery will do the job.
Unfortunately, many don’t have the technical or marketing skills to create an effective lead generation campaign.
Most don’t realise that it’s crucial to build an audience and share your journey before many will buy.
I believe that to be able to sustain a creative life should be rewarded. Doesn’t your best work deserve to be heard and seen and even compensated?
Marketing isn’t evil. At least, it doesn’t have to be.
This book shows you how to reach an audience of potential buyers and collectors. I’ll show you how to get their attention in a compelling way that intrigues your target audience. It explains the essential tools available online that will help you build your brand and grow your business.
I am a professional landscape photographer based in Australia. Since leaving my full time day job seven years ago I have learned many hard lessons.
Being a full time photographer or artist is tough, it takes a lot of patience and persistence. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars learning hard lessons about marketing, advertising and working with galleries, both here in Australia and in NYC.
It is tough. It is also rewarding.
One of the things that baffled me for over five years was making advertising online work for me. I have wasted thousands of dollars on Google and Facebook.
But today I don’t see that money as waste but as an investment. Because I have learned how to make Facebook work for me, my artist friends and now my artist and photographer clients.
Once I figured it out for my own business John Lechner Art, I took on a good friend of mine, Australian wildlife artist Natalie Jane Parker and applied my learning to running her art print business.
Less than 18 months in and we are on track to having a six figure print and gift products business, this is separate and additional to Nat’s original sales. Natalie’s Facebook following is approaching 10,000 and her email list will pass 10,000 before the end of 2020.
We are ready for growing a six figure art business into something that could perhaps reach seven figures in a few years, selling prints and gift products.
I love seeing artists and photographers being rewarded for their work. So I decided to share the strategies I have taken years to learn so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes I have made and can start attracting more buyers and collectors now.
I have learned over the years that it is possible to generate a long list of potential buyers and collectors for artists and photographers.
Initially I did this for my own photography work. Then I started helping a friend who does beautiful wildlife paintings. The results were amazing and allowed her to focus on creating more wonderful art, knowing that she had a reliable list of buyers for her work.
This led to other artists in the Art Storefronts community asking me to help them. As word spread of the results we were achieving I found myself spending more time helping artists and photographers and watching them enjoy the benefits of a productive, lucrative creative lifestyle. So I decided to share the process here for you to use.
4 Steps for More Potential Buyers and Collectors
The fastest, easiest and most cost effective way to attract potential buyers is online and that is what we will be focusing on here. But it’s not just a matter of having a website or storefront. If you want to attract buyers, communicate with them and sell your work, you need to ensure your technology is in harmony.
You see, it’s crucial to make it as easy as possible for your audience to find you, see your work and buy from you when they are ready. If your technology is not working properly, or the journey for them doesn’t flow smoothly, you create friction and frustration. You’ll lose potential buyers and fans.
That means your website, your email database (I prefer Mailchimp for this), your payment systems and your social media accounts must be all set up correctly and logically to make things as easy as possible.
The easiest way to find out who likes your work is to conduct a giveaway, or a series of them. A giveaway allows people to win a free print of one of your works.
The cost to you is negligible but the benefit is substantial. The giveaway requires people to register / apply, meaning you now have their name and email address and can continue to market to them or nurture them in the future. We know that they like your work because they took the time to enter the giveaway.
Whether you are a fan of Facebook or not, there is no denying that it is an incredibly popular social network and extremely effective marketing tool. The average Facebook users spends a considerable amount of time on the site each week and is highly engaged by relevant content.
Furthermore, as an advertising medium, Facebook allows you to target your ideal audience very cost-effectively.
It is the perfect medium to showcase your work and attract and build your audience.
I have found over dozens and dozens of campaigns that Facebook is a fantastic place to display your work, invite people to enter the giveaway and build a sizable audience. And best of all, it can be done for pennies on the dollar.
This is NOT about just posting content to your Facebook Page or paying to “boost” posts on your Page.
That doesn’t work.
It’s about creating Facebook advertisements that say the right things and are targeted to the right audience. Get this wrong and you will see your ad budget evaporate quickly with no real results.
The key is in the targeting.
Who are the right people for your work? What are their interests? Where would they live? Why is your work attractive to them?
Once you have attracted an audience you need to nurture them. Merely having their name and address on your list isn’t going to sell your work.
Potential buyers are interested in your story. They are often fascinated by your inspiration.
You need to bring them on your journey. Show your personality.
Keep them up to date with your latest adventures, travels, experiments and work. The more they “get to know you” the more likely they are to invest in your work.
The easiest ways to do this are by email and following you on Facebook. Personally, I focus on email, and that’s why we wanted their name and address.
Regular emails telling the story of your work allow you to keep reminding your audience that you exist. It reminds them to check out your website or online gallery. It allows you to see your latest work and invite them to view and purchase.
Fortunately email is easy to send and costs next to nothing.
If you follow these 4 steps….
- Ensuring your technology is in harmony
- Creating giveaways for your work
- Advertising your giveaways to the right audience on Facebook
- Nurturing your audience by email
….I know you will be able to build a sizable audience of potential buyers and investors.
Yes, it requires some effort and, yes, you need to do this consistently to get the best results.
But if you do, you will create the right environment to enjoy that lucrative creative lifestyle we all crave.
The key is knowing how to find the right audience on Facebook. It’s not as simple as creating an ad or boosting a post.
Plus many people who aren’t “tech-savvy” or familiar with Facebook advertising find it too technical to set up their ads and co-ordinate their technology properly.
Many just want it done for them so they can generate the leads and focus on their art.
And that’s where I can help you
- I’ll create your Facebook ads,
- I’ll set-up the right Facebook audience,
- I’ll coordinate your technology,
- I’ll keep fine-tuning your marketing until you are generating a steady flow of cost-effective leads.
- I’ll train you so that you can do this yourself in the future.
All you need to do is focus on your work and nurture your new audience (and I’ll show you how to do that too).
If you’re interested in working with me please book an Artist Suitability Call.
We’ll discuss your goals, the number of leads you need, processes and timelines and whether this will be a good fit.
I only work with artists and photographers who I know I can help. So if this isn’t a good fit for you then I’ll let you know straight away. But if it is a good fit, we can set up a time to get started building your audience.