Photography is one of the most creative careers a person can have but to be successful you also have to know how to market your skills. It’s the business side of the equation that can make or break a professional photographer.

Create an online photography portfolio

Today, the majority of consumers begin their search for products and services online, and photography is no exception. Photographers who don’t have a professional looking online photography portfolio are missing an opportunity to showcase their work for a worldwide audience. Just as importantly, an online photography portfolio adds legitimacy to your business.

With the right platform, creating an online photography portfolio is remarkably easy and affordable. Simply select a theme that compliments your photography style, choose a page layout and begin adding photos with drag and drop tools. You can even use existing programs like Adobe® Lightroom® to update the portfolio.

Go a step further with a platform that provides additional features to support your marketing endeavors and business goals. The ability to sell your work directly through your portfolio is a huge plus. Client proofing portals and private pages are also highly beneficial for streamlining your workflow, and it gives clients a way to share their photos with others. Even in our digital age, word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing.

All of your marketing should point back to your online photography portfolio. For more on that, keep reading.

Canvas social media

Basically, all business owners can benefit from leveraging free social media platforms, especially professionals with highly visual services like photographers. Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are the perfect way for professional photographers to show off their skills, build brand awareness, create a loyal fanbase, and drive sales both online and offline.

Instagram and Pinterest are all about visual mediums. But for your photos to get discovered you need to take the time to tag them and add descriptions that make your work easy to find through search. You’ll also want to include a link back to your online photography portfolio where people can purchase prints.

Facebook offers another unique benefit. For as little as a penny a click, you can create ads that are highly targeted. You can choose exactly who you want to see the ads based on location, age, interest, income level and more. It offers an amazing ROI for your marketing campaign.

No matter what social media platform you use, it’s important to understand you can’t just upload posts and expect to gain a following. Engaging users is one of the social media marketing essentials. Encourage users to interact and use social media platforms as a way to initiate conversations that turn into relationships.

Participate in exhibition shows

Having an online photography portfolio and social media accounts will introduce your work to the world at large, but interacting with people in-person is a powerful form of marketing that’s more engaging than online strategies. People are also more likely to connect with your work when they see it up close in real life.

Exhibition shows are a great way for professional photographers to build recognition and sell their work. While your photography will be the showcase, you will need to put thought into your exhibit stand design so that it draws attention. This is especially true if the exhibit features a number of photographers that are all competing for traffic.

In addition to setting up a visually enticing display, make sure you have a supply of business cards or postcards on hand. The cards should include an example of your work for visual reference, your contact information and the web address for your online photography portfolio. Include one of these cards with every purchase to encourage people to become repeat buyers.

Before the exhibit, it’s a good idea to add the event information to your online photography portfolio and market the event through social media.

Taking the three steps above will get your marketing campaign off to a solid start. Once everything is up and running, connect all of your marketing channels to reinforce your efforts