How exactly do I find a Rep? I’ve had several of them reach out to me over the years but didn’t hear anything back after replying to them. I want to take my career to the next level and I feel like I need some kind of representation to do that. Is there anything you could recommend I do or is there someone you recommend I reach out to?
My general assessment of your described situation is that you are close, but your images or presentation need refinement to get you to that next level. Get feedback from clients and trusted consultants on how to perfect your portfolios (website + IG). If reps are in touch with you, you are near ready to be repped.
I am a commercial animal photographer in the early years of my commercial photography biz. I signed with a rep last year, and it has been nothing but crickets. I understand it takes time when signing with a Rep, but I would have expected at least 1 or 2 bids after a year. Are my expectations too high? Or should we see more movement?
Questions strategizing who is the right rep for you:
Are you on a rep platform exposing you to the correct clients suitable to your brand?
Is your portfolio up to par?
Are you giving your rep the marketing materials they (we) need to “sell” you?
Is your rep a person you like and trust? Will your clients feel the same?
Is your rep helping you reach your highest creative levels?
Is your brand enhanced with your rep’s roster and branding?
I want a rep to help me get larger brand clients. I’m working with good mid-level clients, but I’m at the cusp and ready to see which larger clients I can work with. What steps should I take to find the right rep to help me take my career to the next level?
Reps can open doors that may be tougher for a photographer to do themselves. The key is to find an agent who will see your talent as a potential income stream for both of you. Who are the reps who work with clients you can be working with? Do you match their branded style and fit within their roster? Do you have anyone in common who can recommend you to the rep? Have a short list, focus and engage, introduce yourself, and communicate on all platforms to see who is interested in your work.
When is the right time to get a rep, and what about an ‘a la carte’ rep option?
The time to get a full-time rep is when your work is at the level where you both gain financial success by teaming up. Until that point, “a la carte’ rep situations are plenty. It’s also a great way to know reps and see who can help you most in ways that cater to your work style.
During portfolio reviews, I’ve had multiple CDs + ADs tell me I need to get a rep. They see that I’ve been unable to get high-quality clients, and they’re telling me a rep would help get me in the door. Their advice sounds so backward from everything I’ve heard. I always hear how we are to seek out a rep when we are too busy with the admin/business and need their help.
I’m glad you asked this because it always sounded strange when I heard the popular theory on getting a rep when you can’t handle all your business alone. My experience has been repping photographers looking for help to open client doors. If you can potentially make more money with a rep on your side, and if the rep can make money with you, it sounds like a win-win!
1) I have a listing agent who reaches out to specific clients.
2) I can do online or in-person portfolio reviews.
Neither one is cheap, but I can commit to doing at least one of them this year, and would like to, as I’m trying to land at least one more corporate or ad client this year. I’m also hoping to expand my reach, and not always be hired locally/regionally.
SternRep’s Marketing Budget Formula is the overall breakdown of the available imagery placed in all potential places attracting the attention of potential clients.
We call this combo- InReach and OutReach; working in tandem. Our marketing budget covers our time and hiring help in all areas, used to gain insightful feedback on what works.
Step one – updating quick + easy landing spots (website, IG + BeHance) for clients to see/find the work.
Step two – consistent content creation show-pieces for LinkedIn posts, promos, portfolio pdf, IG Reels, articles/blogs for SEO, etc., all drawing traffic to landing spots.
Step one – personal and mass engaging on all platforms generated by the timely content we have to show.
Step two – setting up reviews/meetings/showings/calls taking the connection a step further.
Step three – follow-up across all mediums on a well-scheduled system.
I know an artist rep who pays for his photographer’s marketing. My rep is a company where I pay a monthly fee while still paying them the same 25% of each job. How do I know what percentage is accurate with this different type of representation company?
The rep/agent/marketing company configurations are more diverse due to the increase of photographers in our industry, each with different fee structures, making it challenging to compare. We have reps, marketing companies, and networking promotional directories removing the easy comparison of who does what and how much to pay. I’ve even opened a wing called Temp Rep due to the large number of photographers needing bidding representation. Which platform(s) best fit your client base awareness while fitting into your annual salary percentage allotted for marketing? My rule on this is -the expense should eventually pay for itself. The simple answer is to pay for what works for you.
I’m trying to get into the beauty photography business by going for smaller brands in my local area, but I’m finding it very hard to create leverage in this industry. I’ve tried email marketing, and sometimes their PR domains are blocked. Instagram messages think I want to “collab” with them. I’m unsure how to start networking with consumer package companies. What do you recommend I can do to be seen by commercial clients?
We all face similar challenges to get in front of potential clients, as described here, no matter which area of photography we focus on. Of course, it begins with a strongly branded portfolio showing you off quickly and succinctly. After that, it’s a potluck of strategic moves knowing which you are getting done and which need more attention.
Check out my Marketing Strategy Planner on “Downloads” –https://asksternrep.com/downloads/ where I map out all the potential ways I use to rep photographers to the appropriate clients. Pick a few favorites on my pyramid chart and see what works for you.
One benefit of having a rep bid on your job is this world of secret handshakes. It requires us to pick up on the right time to indirectly ask about pricing amounts + totals. I’m not sure why it goes down this way, but clients usually do not come out and tell us what needs to be changed to get the job. Reps get used to this negotiation system and can often find out information that is a bit hidden. I call it the “rep’s language.”