The main reason that I’m taking my time about these early tasks is that I want to get my website ready before sending out my request for feedback to various people. The PDF that I send will have links back to the images on the website for the reviewers to see the images in a larger format on the web.
This issue of the website is doubly important since I cornered a marketing consultant friend and asked (more precisely, interrogated) her about marketing strategies for a small concern. Given that a large part of this module is about marketing, getting one’s work out to the market, becoming “known” etc. it seems to be an important element that isn’t really stressed in the module or not as far as I’ve seen to date.
She was approaching specifically from the point of view of her own company, she now runs a tour guide operation in Windsor after leaving her marketing role, but the key principles remain the same. There were only the two critical elements
- Get your website and social presence going, make it look professional and integrate everything
- Always respond to queries or contacts quickly and professionally
All very simple if you say it quickly but it is a precis of most of the information that I’ve found elsewhere.
So getting the website up was a critical early task but I’m well aware how much work needs to be done on it by the end of the module to complement my intended exhibition.
Firstly, there’s obviously a need for the images which will be in the PDF to be on the site which is simple enough. They’ll change over the next few months but that’s a start.
Next, I need to boost the SEO scores. Again, not too difficult. There are numerous online strategies for this and my background as an IT consultant comes in useful here.
Social media is a necessary evil which I’ll need to embrace if I’m to do this properly. I’ll need to resurrect my Facebook account, create an Instagram account and automatically populate the two from the website with new images as required.
A trivial but important method to publicise is the use of signatures in email so I’ve created a more professional looking one that links back to my site. There are a number of free programs that will create one for you but all of the free versions include an advert for their product or simply don’t work with Outlook.
The screenshot in this format looks like a business card – something else that I’ll need to have available at the exhibition.
In terms of the more traditional methods there’s a local newspaper which I’ll need to contact , either to pay for an advert in the What’s On section or see if I can get them to write a short article. Given the local interest and style of the paper it’s definitely a possibility.
The local council themselves ave a website with details of What’s On so I need to get into that.
Finally I need to ensure that I’m involved in the local community. My consultant friend is happy to work with the local Tourist Information Centre to offer guided walks at a much lower rate than she would normally charge, all in the name of being involved and getting further work. It’s no different for a photographer, by offering my services to the community I should raise my profile and have the opportunity for further, real, work if required.
All of this is a bit strange since I have no intention of becoming a professional photographer but do want to get my work out there so this marketing theme is feels a bit strange since there’s such an implicit commercial element to the whole process.