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What Is The Quick Trick To Marketing Ourselves?

What is the trick to Marketing? Quick answer: Relationships. 

How to do this: Try everything, see what sticks, but only base some of your future marketing on what you learned in the past. I know this is tricky; we must try it all, keep experimenting, and DO NOT LIMIT OURSELVES only to what has worked in the past.

Is It Important For A Photographer To Assist?

Do you think it’s important for a photographer to spend time assisting professional photographers before launching their own career? And if so, what kind of photographer should someone assist?

This really depends on the photographer and what they need to learn. Some photographers never assist and end up wildly successful. However, assisting can be extremely informative and build your confidence. If a photographer needs to learn what an editorial or commercial advertising job is like, then they can assist any type of photographer in that market. If they need to learn more about the technicalities of cars or people projects, then they should assist a photographer who does that kind of work. Figure out what you need to learn and assist in that. Or jump right in to build your own education. There is no absolute right answer here. 

Take Advantage Of The Spare Time Between Jobs

Take advantage of the spare time between jobs by getting all your prep work done. Be ready to pounce. Remember to distinguish off-shoot days from extra time, creating lower quality, frantic, and last-minute production stress. Get your checklist in order with all the necessary pieces like bid forms, dig tech and crew, retouchers, location scouts, stylists, producers, and TEMP REP (if needed).

Palm Springs Photo Festival Portfolio Review

I plan to visit the Palm Springs Photo Festival for a portfolio review – please share some insights on what kind of portfolios are still going on – the good old print or digital portfolios. Or mini photo books as leave-behind prints for marketing materials?

Recently, I had the privilege of seeing a room of well-branded reps and how we all had different methods of showing off our talent’s work to potential clients. We each had a unique mix of screens, iPads, and printed portfolios on our own stylized table setup. We all had our own “take home” swag that resembled the feel of our rep agencies. What stands out to me most about this portfolio show was how we mostly had it all in our own memorable style – printed materials/books and motion screens, which sums up the state of our industry.

Communicate WIth Your Client To Aid In Negotiation


Get the most information in the shortest amount of time with a good old-fashioned client Phone Call. Use the phone time wisely to get those “awkward to ask” questions about budget, first choice, competition, and lowest bid topics. It’s that one-to-one camaraderie with off-the-cuff, less self-aware personalized touch moments. 

Negotiating over the phone is more effective than doing it in person or via Zoom. In our experience, more information is shared once people warm up and get to know each other on the phone. We’re unsure why this is the case, but perhaps people may be less aware of themselves on the phone, making them more likely to share information. We recommend trying an old-fashioned chat for negotiations.

Following Up With Potential Clients Who Open Your Newsletter


How do I follow up with someone who appears to have opened my newsletter repeatedly, but I don’t have any relationship with them, and their agency doesn’t appear to do work that aligns with mine? This makes it hard even to know what to send as a follow-up. It’s hard to know how to open the conversation without the incredibly creepy “I see you’ve been opening my newsletter a lot this week.”



Our long-term marketing efforts are the goal, as we know how creatives move around rapidly from one client to another. While you have the correct landing info for the ones who open your promos – USE IT! Get on LinkedIn, Instagram, or their personal website, or email them and connect so you can take advantage of this rare (and expensive) opportunity. 

Who To Connect With When Approaching A Big Ad Agency


When approaching a big ad agency, who should I connect with? I usually hit up a mid-level art director, but should I be approaching producers? I tend to send expensive DM pieces, so I can’t ship to everyone!


The decision-makers at big ad agencies include the Creative Director, Art Director, and Producers. All three are involved with different roles, but the AD usually chooses which photographer will be the “recommend” to the client for the final decision. My method is to contact all of them and see who responds, giving me better odds of a more personalized, well-received marketing piece.

Connecting With A Client Is The Best Sales Pitch

The BEST SALES PITCH I can recommend is to humanize what we call “sales” by listening. So simple and yet the most powerful way to negotiate, stay in front of clients, or sell ourselves. Take the first hello moment on a Zoom call, notice something about them, and ask a question. Connect by listening to get your foot in the doors. 

The best sales pitch is to humanize the clients and be real, honest, and listen to them. Humanizing the clients means to understand them, empathize with them, and treat them as individuals, not just as potential customers. Being real and honest means to not make false promises or exaggerate the product’s capabilities. Listening to the clients is crucial as people want to be heard and understood. It doesn’t take very long to notice something about them and ask them a question, which can help build a rapport and establish a relationship. The best sales pitch is to recommend the product or service that meets the client’s needs and wants, not just to sell something for the sake of making a sale. The key is to build trust and credibility with the clients, which can lead to long-term relationships and referrals.

Initiating Contact With New Clients


There are so many new clients I want to work with, but I’m not sure how to initiate contact with them. Do you have any tips on getting in with new potential clients?


Our industry offers a mixed bag of ways to connect with clients, from SEO to Instagram engagement and everything in the middle. My question back to you is, what are you good at? Can you take a client to lunch or enjoy an in-person (maybe Zoom) meeting? Sell yourself by completing the steps that sell you the best. Have new images – put them out in an email promo – cross-pollinate!

How Do We Hone Our Most Effective Marketing Strategies?

Set aside time for one of our most effective marketing strategies – connection. Specific key clients choosing who to hire are the creatives – the art director and the creative director. Hit them up, and make a dent at least enough for them to consider you when the time is right. They cannot choose what they do not know.

The marketing process for the photography industry can take many forms but can be simplified based on the time available. If there is ample time, we advise you to connect with the creatives such as the creative director and art director, who are usually the ones choosing the photographer. It is important to dedicate time to researching and engaging with these key decision-makers on LinkedIn and Instagram. This type of marketing takes more focus and time but can be well worth it in the end.