With a couple clicks virtually anyone can start a "professional page" but how do you turn that into leads, clients and assignments?
The first step goes back to the basics of any business ask yourselves the questions that you would ask any young entrepreneur starting out
1-Who/What is your target market?
2-How are you reaching your target market?
3-What are you reaching your target market with?
4-Who is your competition?
5-How are you setting yourself apart?
Once you start thinking about these questions start putting a specific portfolio together specifically targeting that niche. you may end up with several different portfolios.
Remember that quality is better than quantity you may have 5000+ likes on facebook, but if your network is full of people that do TFP (time for Print... AKA free work) the only people you are reaching are people who will probably never spend a dime on your product.
Now that doesn't mean TFP is always bad, this is your opportunity to build your portfolio,
What does that practically look like?
When Alana (my wife and Resident MUA) and I moved to the French Riviera right off the bat we decided to target the English speakers and specifically the entrepreneurs.
Most photographers, models and MUAs pages are full of nude and lingerie shots. Those are great to collect likes on social media, but let's talk business,
WHO IS GOING TO HIRE AND PAY YOU TO DO THAT KIND OF SHOT?
We have actually worked for Lingerie Brands despite our self imposed ban of not posting and sharing those kinds of images. So how did we pull that off?
We took the virtual part out of the "social network" REAL LIFE INTERPERSONAL NETWORKING
Printing our portfolios, Driving 6 hours sometime To go meet the CMO of a brand to show our work around a table
Surround yourself with successful people
As creative people we crave attention, but sometimes inviting others into the spotlight is the boost our career needs. As a commercial photographer I get to work for company owners. Many started from scratch and LOVE to tell the story of how they got where they are. This has been part of my on going apprenticeship in running a business.
“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
Pass it on!
Once we started getting noticed, we want those around us to benefit from the success too. Our hairstylists, our models, our gallerie curators, our stylists, and of course.... OUR CLIENTS.
This contributes to people considering you to be the one stop shop for the industry. You may spend extra time referring other people, with no contracts for yourself... But we are part of that great service industry, and in the age of DATA, your DATABASE is a gold mine that will keep people coming to you. And let's not forget the more people you get coming to you asking if you can refer a Hair stylist, a studio, a model.... the more effective your SEO will be and the Higher chances you get of getting hits off Google.