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Thread: Generating Business?

  1. #1
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    Generating Business?

    Hi there,
    So im trying to step into photography as a living, as I have covered many events freelance in my time and wanting to step it up a notch.

    So to begin with - I created my website (www.404shots.com - please tell me what you think!)
    And created a FB page - which is getting ok feedback.

    At this stage I have only covered a few events under this name - but have a few major events coming up that I will be covering, but it seems these events dont lead into what im wanting to do (private shoots for athletes, business, bands, portraits) - how do I get my name out for this? How do I get leads, and if i have to spend $$ on advertising, what would be the best type and placement?

    Im new to the area - and I know all good work comes from word of mouth - but how do you get started?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    It's all about the Light!
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    Read this thread... http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...l-Photographer

    It has a lot of the basics covered. Remember 80% of your effort will be business, not photography
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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  3. #3
    It's all about the Light!
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    Had a quick look at your site.

    DUMP the flash stuff!! YIKES - it slows things down and really impresses no one (Nothing personal - I say this to ALL flash based sites).
    You can get similar results with good HTML/CSS coding.

    iPad/iPhone don't support flash (without http://www.itnews.com.au/News/250715...flash-ban.aspx) - so you just lost millions of potential viewers.

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    I don't mind Flash, but drop the crazy transitions, page curls, sound effects and bouncing menus.. all a bit irritating, especially to someone spending a bit of time on the site. (Yes you can turn the sounds off, but that's an extra click I don't want to have to do).

    The galleries are obviously a work in progress, but have a look at how you're compressing the images, some, like the first band shot, are showing a lot of JPEG artefacts. I would keep all images the same size where possible as well.

    The opening sentence in your "About" makes no sense, unless you consider yourself to be an idea and a concept of a person. The word 'composed' doesn't really fit in that sense either. Photography, Video, Magazines, etc shouldn't have capitals. You have this throughout the site with a few seemingly random words. Maybe not a big deal, but looks unprofessional to my eye.

    You refer to the business as "it", and also say "we" in your services section. You could get away with it, but I would pick a tense and stick with it throughout the site.

    As for getting your name out there, first port of call is to get the website up to scratch with full, carefully chosen galleries. Make sure it's something you're going to be happy to run with for a while. Then start telling people, get back in touch with everyone you shot for under your own name and tell them about the launch of the business / new website.

    Business cards are a given, once you've 100% decided on your website and branding. Then just get to networking at / following up any shoot you do.

    Facebook is good for small bands and portraits of Joe Public, but if you want to offer portrait services I would seriously consider a separate website targeted at the public, as opposed to including it on a commercial website.

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    Thanks to both of you - needed some constructive critisism - am taking it on board and will be making changes

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    If you're doing separate sites for personal and corporate services, IMHO the flash is great for the personal site. Look into getting the gallery photos to load much faster, though!

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    As applies to all creative fields and not just photography - build a portfolio of the images that you want to take! Hire some models, put them in track gear and take photos. get a fake band together and take pictures. Make a stylish business promotional card and send it off to sports and music management companies, high profile gyms (approach personal trainers especially). Walk the walk and get your name out there.

    I actually love the flash site... it's full-on but it works and looks great on my screen. I've always liked the monotone colour schemes. However... PLEASE get rid of the sounds. That's what's really annoying. If you're intent on keeping the flash, I would include a mobile-specific version of the site so people can get redirected to an iphone friendly (ie, no flash) domain. I would also suggest you have a separate gallery for each type of photography so that people interested in various themes (ie, brides won't be looking at muscle men except for a perv) can find what they are after. I agree with achee, the gallery takes *forever* to load and the thumbnails need to be more prominent. The slidey menu thing is definitely not helping you there. Too much action on the page..
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    Is your site down??? In case you are working on your site, mke sure there is a temporary "catch all" page to let people know. Otherwise they won't come back.....
    Last edited by vk2gwk; 22-04-2011 at 8:48pm.

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    How do you get your name out there? Visit athlete managers offices, visit athletics centres, competition/meet organisers etc. Visit band venues, recording studios etc. YOU have to get your name out there by doing he work and being in the places your prospective clients will be. Research bands/athletes, know about them, know about their managers, if they have them. Knowledge is power.

    You have to make yourself known to the prospective clients, they won't come looking for you.
    Last edited by ricktas; 23-04-2011 at 8:48am.
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    thanks guys for the advice -
    some minor changes have been made to the site - and have had a few bookings come in - as well as being the official photographer for the A4DE! (massive dirtbiking event)

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    Congratulations on that job!

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    Before you do the A4de, find out which big name riders will be there. get good shots of them and offer them to all and sundry, mags, sponsors etc.
    Look after the guys that gave you the job, get a good relationship going so you do it again next year. They may recommend you to other event organisers.
    Sounds like you have a great opportunity there.
    good luck
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    Here's my 2 cents worth. At the moment your a nobody ( I mean that in the most nicest way). Or should I say your business is a nobody. So what do you do? The cheapest and most rewarding way of marketing is 'Cold Calling', knocking on doors. Going direct to the source. Cut out the middle man. Do the research and find out who is who in the zoo. This is the most proactive way of entering through doors that aren't open to you. You success will be based on your input to your business. Good Luck. Get business cards, there are plenty of people out there that would like your business but how do they remember you after you visit them. The further you invest into your business the further you can expand your marketing.
    Websites: I have a website (yes it is a Flash website) I also had a basic HTML website to begin with as well. I can only go off personal experience but my business grew an extra 32% because of this. How did I know this? I asked and then used a marketing company to do a survey on my business (this was the best investment I had made getting a marketing company to see how effective my business is). It does cost and it's not everyones choice to to how they are going. But to me it allowed me to to see where I was going and what improvements I needed. But, back to websites, everyone will tell you a different story, those that don't like Flash websites haven't seen Jasmin Stars site. Pure brilliance. Oh, and she is one of the 10 best pro photographers in the world. I had the privilege of talking to her at a AIPP event not so long ago in Brisbane and she stated that her business dramatically increased from her website. I know that if I had to choose a photographer or contact one it would be because their website was action packed and exciting. You don't go through a display home with just a basic layout with just what is required, it's full of decorations and appeal. It makes the client want it, THATS what flash is for.
    At the same time everyone is in their own right to have an opinion. I just think we are in such a saturated industry that you have to stand out from the crowed these days to get work.

    Good luck!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Photography is a science but capturing an image is art.
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    If your after corporate clients stick with FLASH. My wife is a marketing/communications consultant for some large companies. She just finished doing a thing called a catalyst event for one company and the contracted companies she met with all had FLASH websites. They just look and feel more professional, but I do agree some can be annoying. But stick with FLASH. I have and my business grew 32% in just over six months.
    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanny View Post
    ...stick with FLASH...
    The major problem with Flash in the modern world is that many existing sites don't work with touchscreen devices because there is no such thing as a rollover on a touchscreen, as one of various examples. I know that opinions vary on this, but very few people report a decent browsing experience with Flash on mobile devices either. Anyone who doesn't support mobile devices will be rapidly left behind and there is no certainty that Flash will ever be a good experience on phones or tablets - Adobe has been saying "any day now" for years.

    HTML 5, JavaScript, AJAX & SOAP are all great modern technologies and the only way I would be doing this kind of thing now.

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