How to maintain an online presence as a photographer…
As a photographer there has never been a more important time than now to maintain an online presence in the entire history of the Internet. Having a website to send potential clients to in an instant to view your work is priceless. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites are also a great tool to help you get your name out there and show the world what you are capable of behind the lens. Not only that but keeping a regularly updated blog helps as well. I am sure that there are a lot of photographers out there looking to take their work to the next level and a website full of original content is a great way to do just that. Hit the link and lets run through some important need to know info when it comes to maintaining an online presence.
As I mentioned, you really do need a website to stay current these days in the world of photography. A website should be an online portfolio containing the work that you are most proud of and feel that represents you as a photographer. It should also contain contact information, some sort of bio/artist statement, and any work that you may have had published. Not to mention it should also be easy to navigate for any potential customers that might take a look. Once you have one built, it is incredibly easy to send someone to your website. Every person these days has a computer and a lot of websites also have mobile versions as well for smart phones so essentially your site can be viewed anytime and anywhere. Basically, you don’t even need business cards anymore. Sure, they are great to have and I recommend keeping some around. But as far as getting your name out to people having a site makes it so easy to simply tell them the name of your site which means you don’t necessarily have to be worried about having a card on you at all times. There are a lot of options for creating a website for free or simply using a site like flickr to share your work. Some sites like Clickbooq and Bludomain are more advanced and cost money but trust me, when you have a reliable site that is easy to update money seems irrelevant. My bit of advice is to do a lot of research before actually committing to a company to get a website going. Also if you don’t know much about coding, and html there are template sites that make life much easier. Just hunt around and see what fits your needs and budget and go from there.
A blog is the next thing that I want to talk about. This is your way of communicating with your clients, keeping them up to date and letting them know what kind of projects you have been working on. Not only that but a blog should really be providing the customer with a little bit of an inside look at your personality. It’s a great way to give out teasers for upcoming projects, do some behind the scenes features, talk about what’s on your mind and also just keep the potential client coming back for more. You are not always going to be constantly updating your website with new photos (sure, that’s the goal but realistically your regular updates will be to your blog so you want to try and keep it fairly fresh). Also, when you do update your site that is just another reason to write a blog post and any time you have a reason to do that you should. Your goal would be to have people want to bookmark your site, and check back often. The more eyes you get on your work, the more likely you are to land a job whether it’s a one time shot or a full time position you never know and the best thing you can do is be prepared. Check out free sites like WordPress and Blogging.com or just do a simple google search for free blogs and see which one catches your attention.
Social media sites are everywhere these days and people have become so used to social media platforms that actually calling someone on the phone is third on the list right after tweeting at them and then texting them. Seriously, think about it and you yourself will probably be guilty of it to some extent. I am not saying that social media is bad; it’s just something that we have all been adapting to over the years. It was wasn’t that long ago when people were saying, “Have you heard of this thing called Twitter? And what the hell is a tweet? And why do I care what you just ate?” and now it’s one of the most popular social networking services ever created and around 140 million users are tweeting all day, every day. And Instagram is the next biggest thing in comparison and it’s essentially just tweeting with pictures. Either way, you want to have some kind of contact with the rest of the world through these outlets. You want to be able to write up a new blog post, and then tweet about it, which can then be linked to your Facebook allowing you to drive potential clients right to your site, which is where you want them to go. So it is worth it to be an active part of these social sites for the sake of your work alone. If you have amazing work but nowhere for it to go it brings on the age-old question of if a tree falls in a forest but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? There are so many talented photographers out there but they have no platform to show their work and plenty of people out there just need that one break to get started. If that is the case, take it into your own hands, get your website going, blog about it, tweet about it and spread the word about it on a regular basis and before long, if your work is good enough you will see results and people will take notice.
The entire goal of this week’s column was to really just state the obvious in a way that is easy to understand and hopefully somewhat motivational. I find myself saying this quite often but remember that everyone has their own way of doing things so take from it what you will. This entire TTL project was designed with the goal of simply getting people pumped on photography and helping steer up and coming photographers in the right direction and I can only hope that some of you out there are really taking advantage of each unique feature. Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the nineteenth edition of Through the Lens. As always feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will hit you back as soon as I can. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jeremypavia.
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