The ability to take great photos is not half the battle along the road to becoming a professional photographer. It doesn’t matter how good you are, the following is true:
You’ll never get enough business if people are unaware of your presence.
The logic is obvious, but doing something about it isn’t easy. There are lots of photographers around, vying for the same attention. How do you get your name to rise above?
Make Your Website Work
Instead of simply showcasing your photos on a website, make the site work for you by inviting interaction. Think about what it is that people planning a wedding or event need; they need help choosing local services and locations. Creating a free PDF guide is like subliminal advertising: you’re giving something away while making potential clients aware of your presence. Once you have email addresses, you can send one or two friendly follow-up messages without spamming.
Similarly, if you’re writing a photo blog, don’t forget to encourage participation with a “call to action” (CTA). This is generally something clickable that gets the reader more involved, whether it’s a newsletter subscription, a freebie, or a social media link.
Working for Free
Under most circumstances, don’t allow your photos to be published for the privilege of a photo credit, since few people typically take notice of the photographer’s byline. If you do voluntary work for charities, however, you’ll make yourself feel good and you’ll look like someone others would like to work with. Even if your photos aren’t noticed, that’s good for the CV.
If you can write, try getting articles published on well-known blogs as a guest writer. That way, the audience is already waiting, whereas on a new website you start out talking to yourself. Don’t be afraid to piggy-back the success of others — actually, it’s standard practice.
Set up a presence on social media websites and drive people to your page, but make sure you regularly update it. Always appear amicable and don’t involve yourself in arguments. Respond to any criticism professionally. You are selling yourself, after all!