Finding clients is somewhat of a secret in the photography world. It can be a simple but not often talked about and yet it's a painstaking task. In this weeks article we are going to talk about, how to find clients for your photography. In a recent post I shared some tips on how to price photography work. Thats fine and dandy, but how do you find clients that will buy your work? This is probably the most time consuming thing a photographer just starting out will face. If you are a local photographer start out by identifying local media outlets, like magazines, newspapers, press companies, web designers, etc. Many companies and individuals need imagery right in your hometown. I went downtown with a stack of business cards and stopped at most every place I thought would need images or image services. Just introducing yourself and asking if they buy images or display artwork. This is a start. Most likely you will strike out, but if your name is out there, and they run into you or see your brand online it will appear you are present throughout the community. Many buyers will look at your work several times before buying an image. Your job is to get your work in front of them several times, using several different methods.
Another tip is to visit a library or book store. If you are a animal photographer, head over to the animal books and calendars. Flip to the last page or the back of the calendar and take note of the publisher. Spending just a few minutes you'll come up with a list of potential clients. From there you will need to research online on how to contact them and submit images. If they have an email address, send them an email explaining who you are and what you do accompanied by a link to your online portfolio. Keep it short and sweet. Most often you'll get no reply, but sometimes you'll get put on a list. When the company needs images they will send out a call for images to all the artists on the list. Here you'll have a chance to sell the company images. Another option that is similar to the one above is the 2014 Photographer's Market book. This provides a list of publishers and buyers that you can contact based on your genre of photography. Some have guidelines, others have a simple email address to submit a portfolio. Again, the most likely thing to happen is that you will be put on a list, once the company needs images, they will contact you.
Have a good website and online presence. If people search for a specific type of photography on google, and you perform such duties, it's your job to get your website in the search results. You can hire this out, or research how to do it on your own. Your main goal is that if someone is looking and you can provide it, you need to present your work to them anyway possible. Using social media to connect with buyers is a great way to present your work. If done correctly google search can provide a lot of buyers at your virtual doorstep ready to make a purchase. Your job is to have a good presence and website so your first impression is a good one.
Other than the above tips, just look around and pay close attention to where images are and how they are used. If you see an ad in a magazine find out who made it. If you see a billboard, who is advertising? Images are used all around us. Images that were bought by a marketer, editor, designer, etc. Your job is to get your work in front of those buyers. It takes a lot of research, either online or people you know in the community. Once you have a buyer make sure you provide the best service possible. Because in all honesty, all you need is a handful of good clients. Clients that are willing to use your services on a consistent basis. You don't need 100 clients, you don't need 20. If you can get 5 or 6 good consistant clients than you will be doing good.