Step 1: Profile Your Audience
The first step is to focus on your desired audience. Determine first whether you want to network with other pros, connect with like-minded amateurs, sell to consumers or promote your work for future assignments. This will help guide which sites and tools you want to add to your bag.
Step 2: Have a Clean, User-Friendly Website
Thankfully, there’s no need to learn HTML to build a quality website. Companies like Smugmug, Squarespace, Zenfolio, and newcomers Format and Pixpa are designed for the creative client. While each has unique components, they all offer portfolios, social integration tools, payment carts and client areas. Before choosing which web builder to use, compare the plugins and determine what’s best for your needs.
Step 3: Expand Your Digital Presence
Search engine optimization (SEO) and backlinks are important, but what other tools will get your images seen? When it comes to social, it’s as important to build your digital community as it is to constantly expand your image feed. Instagram, with its picture-friendly format, should be curated in the same way that you would create your portfolio. Edit your images to create a cohesive aesthetic. You can also enhance your visibility by using pertinent hashtags, joining photo hubs that repost member images (consider watermarking) and following other photographers. Spruce up your bio section by choosing a searchable name. Add your website, contact information and call-to-action, like a gallery show or book signing.
Step 4: Distribute Your Work
If you’re interested in increasing your assignments, you may want to consider Blink or Snapwire. Photo editors and marketing agencies turn to these sites when looking for someone in a specific location or to have an image or place shot on demand. Rather than having to seek out work, art buyers come to these platforms looking for your talent. If you have a lot of stock to sell, consider Shutterstock, Adobe Stock or Alamy, where the percentage share for the shooter is higher than at other agencies.
For those who focus on art photography, sites like Saatchi Art, Jose Art Gallery and Singulart sell, curate and promote their artists. Having a united body of work when applying or uploading to the site will separate you from others seeking to sell in the digital marketplace.
Increased online connections can also be achieved by joining photo organizations that feature member profiles and allow for increased access in both digital and physical realms. To top it all off, new sites are emerging constantly, and being strategic about which ones include promotion, have the audience you want to attract and employ terms you can live with are important elements to consider before posting. Planning your self-promotion will leave you more time on location and less time at the computer.