Sports photography may not seem like a normal job, but a lot of it works the same way as any other job. You have to go out there and find work! It’s typically not going to come and find you. No matter how shiny your brand-new website is.
I’ve often found myself thinking of ways to market my work, and what I do, and sometimes feeling like there’s no good way. It seems as if sports photography is so different from any other job in the world, that there is no logical way to market it… But in reality, it’s just another business like anything else. And because of this, you can use a lot of the same marketing techniques to land more business.
There are a lot of ways to be pro-active, but one thing to keep in mind is that you must also be productive. Working simply to work will not guarantee anything unless you are working productively. A lot of people never really figure this out in life. Work with a solid plan and you will be more successful. Determination and effort can get you so far, but you must put them in the right direction.
The first thing anyone should do with a business is to come up with a solid business plan. Figure out what your strong points are and build the business plan around them. It’s also extremely important that you focus on something you actually WANT to do. Don’t shoot sports portraits if that bores you. Shoot what you love to shoot and are best at, and build your business around that. With enough time and the right efforts, you will make a great living doing what you love.
Once you have a good plan for what you want to shoot it’s time to start marketing. This is another aspect that any business book can help you with. Cold-calling clients may seem like an ineffective way to market photography, but it’s actually a great way to make new clients and is more personal than cold e-mailing. It may make you nervous at first, but make a few calls and it will quickly become easy and less awkward.
Another way to be productive, is to send out updates to any clients you already have, and to prospective clients. When they see what you are up to, and that you are landing jobs, it makes you look even better. Don’t barrage clients with e-mails, but checking in every now and then with land you work more regularly. Just seeing your name in their inbox might remind them of some photo needs they have.
Having a great website may not land you work, but it will help seal the deal. This is an aspect that you need to spend some time on. With everyone doing things digitally, a website is the modern version of a portfolio that is easy to show off. Here’s a software program we reviewed a while back that can help you get a site up and running: PhotoCrati.
Being productive means working towards your goals of making it as a photographer. There are a million ways to do this, but you can’t be afraid to try. Look into business strategies that are used outside of the photography world, because photography is just another type of business so it can’t hurt to try. Think outside the box with marketing and you’ll find your niche. Think indirectly as well, maybe a watch company would love a photo of a skier going fast because they could run a slogan about alway’s rushing to be on time. The market is bigger than you realize, but you have to go out and find the clients!