1. Marketing

Becoming Your Own Publicity Machine

Intro by Skip Cohen

I’m amazed at how many artists read articles in the local paper and online about their competitors and think that the publicity is all about luck and timing. Publicity, while now and then might be completely accidental, for the most part, is the result of hard work and networking. And, unless you have the money to hire a full-time publicist, for most photographers the burden to get exposure is on you!

Start by building relationships with the opinion leaders in your community, especially the publishers/writers at the local paper and community website. Just work to maintain a keeping-in-touch relationship.

Be active in your community, especially with non-profit events. Share images you capture at these events with the local paper and the event coordinators. All you’re looking for is a by-line – the articles will come in time.

When you do have something to crow about write a short press release and send it to the publication. Here’s an example of one I shared at ShutterFest recently.

For Immediate Release

Your city, Today’s Date

Area Photographer Attends International Photographic Event

In (his/her) continued efforts to expand the broad selection of cutting edge photographic services, (your name) recently attended ShutterFest in St. Louis

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be a professional photographer or, to have images created by a professional. Digital technology is changing all the time and I want to make sure I’m offering my clients the very best!” said (Your Name).

(Your Name) is the founder of (your studio) and is located at (address). The studio offers a full range of (commercial portrait, wedding, children’s, etc.) services.   Or, _________ plans on continuing as a freelance photographer…etc.

For more information contact: Your name, phone and email address

Include a photograph of you and somebody at the convention interacting.

You’ve got to be the one to make it all happen and it takes time. Don’t be disappointed if your first few releases never get shared – just keep filling the pipeline with newsworthy stories about things you’re doing, non-profits you’re supporting and new activities you’re involved in. And, don’t forget to publish your press releases on your own blog!

By Bob Costes

You need to stay in front of the people in your community. One of the ways to keep out there is by sending out press releases. You know I’m a fan of this piece of the marketing puzzle and I want to make you one also. Here’s another article that appeared in Sedona’s local entertainment newspaper/magazine to show you that it works.

This particular article is about some success in imaging competition. I am a huge fan of entering competition at the local, state, region and National levels especially when you have access to viewing the competitions and getting critiques of your work. It pushes you to take your work to the next level. And that’s a huge benefit for you and your clients. Learn more about image competition at PPA.

When we pursue this press release avenue it is a win/win/win situation. It’s a win for the newspaper or magazine because they get well-written content that doesn’t cost them a lot of time or money to use. It’s a win for your community because they get to learn about you and your skills. And, it’s a win for you because you are kept the front of mind in your community in a positive way that you really can’t pay for.