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Last week I got hired by an agency owner. Turns out a branding agency referred me, although I had not worked with them. However a motion graphics shop had referred my work to that branding agency, although I had never worked with them either. We were joking about this on the job–you know what the agency owner told me? “That’s how I got your name, but your website showed me that you can get my job done.”
We all have a website that showcases our work. Extra points for an active blog that gives your target audience a behind the scenes peek at how you work. A vibrant social media presence has never hurt anyone either; so that’s the content side of your business
Content is only half of the equation. Without an audience, it won’t make a difference – actually that’s not correct – without the right audience it won’t make a difference. So how do you get your name out there? (Mutual friends that introduce you to a Motion Graphics shop, who pass you along to a branding agency, whose owner recommends you to an ad agency is not really a viable business model, in case you were wondering.)
Finding your target audience is a lot easier today, since everybody is online; which also makes it a lot harder, since all of your competition is online as well. How do you then go about getting your brand out there? One great place are LinkedIn groups.
Start a discussion in a LinkedIn group of – and here’s the secret – of people who are potentially looking for your work. I won’t post a discussion in a group devoted to plumbing. That would be a waste of time and would basically be the same as the ad agency owner calling me to fix her leaking water heater. No. She calls me, because I can meet her need for a photographer. Come up with a topic that interests your clients – again it does me no good to start a discussion on water heaters in a group of photo buyers.
Earlier this year I started a discussion asking if personal work mattered to photo editors. It got some great response from members of the group. Do this consistently and you’ll be on their mind, if they are looking for a photographer.