Photographers are a unique breed of artist that shows viewers the world through their eyes. They have the power to make ordinary, everyday things beautiful or mysterious. They have the skills to reveal a person’s hidden traits and best features with the click of a button.
Creating a career out of those gifts, however, can be difficult.
If you’re a photographer wondering how to turn your talent into income, here are some practical ways to monetize your unique skills through social media.
Market Photography Services
The most straightforward way to use social media as a monetization tool is to market your photography services. In this instance, your social media platforms will become a lead generation tool for booking photo sessions.
Use social media to showcase your work, like a live portfolio. You can also incorporate video marketing to show what happens behind the scenes, both in editing and during a shoot. Use your platforms to build hype and book upcoming specialty shoots, like flower bath photos or holiday tree farm photos.
If this is your primary monetization strategy, consider linking an online booking and billing program through your main profile link. This extra layer of automation will help keep your administrative work manageable. You can also use a multi-link tool from Sked Social company for additional linking options in Instagram.
Become an Influencer
The word influencer has some negative connotations that unfortunately deter talented photographers from exploring this monetization strategy. However, becoming an influencer is a fantastic way to partner with brands and use your photography skills to generate money through paid posts.
If working with specific brands doesn’t appeal to you, consider signing up for an affiliate marketing program. Then, use your photography to funnel your audience through to products you’ve highlighted in your posts. If you go this route, be sure to follow the FTC disclosure guidelines.
Offer Social Media Influencer Packages
Becoming an influencer isn’t for everyone. As a photographer, you might feel better behind the lens, helping others achieve their influencer goals.
Monetize your skills by working with influencers to provide photo content for their social media. You can book recurring sessions with your clients so that they always have fresh content.
Create Stock Photos
Another effective way to monetize your unique photography skills is to sell stock photos. This strategy is similar to partnering with brands or influencers but takes a more generalized approach.
Rather than creating unique content for a customer, you can take photos that could be used for anyone’s content. Use a third-party service like Getty Images or Shutterstock to facilitate the storage and sale of your images, or do so through your own website. You can use social media to showcase pieces from your collection and market your images.
Selling Prints and Products
Another monetization option is selling prints and products featuring your photos via social media. Again, using social media as your marketing platform with links through to relevant products is the key here.
When it comes to selling your photos as products, the options are endless. You could put together coffee table books, calendars, journal covers, or simple prints.
Social Media Tips for Photographers
Navigating social media from a monetization standpoint can be tricky. Here are some effective social media tips for photographers
Clarify Your Niche
Start by clarifying your niche as a photographer. The two main questions to ask yourself are, “what do I want to take pictures of?” and “who am I showing the photos to?”
While your imagery might appeal to a broad audience, it’s important to approach your monetization efforts with a customer demographic in mind. For example, everyone might like your stock photos, but only brands will be willing to buy them.
Own Your Aesthetic
Having a consistent aesthetic is everything on social media. As your audience scrolls through Instagram, they should recognize your photos by their coloration, tone, mood, and themes— even before they see your name. Consider your aesthetic as your signature style.
Learn Basic Hashtag Strategies
Understanding how to use hashtags goes a long way when building an engaged audience. As of 2021, you’re allowed 30 hashtags per Instagram post; don’t be afraid to use them. Try a combination of high-traffic hashtags (one million-plus), medium hashtags (in the hundreds of thousands), and micro hashtags (under ten thousand).
Track Your Photos
Finally, track your photos. If a brand is reusing your images without credit or permission, you have a right to pursue financial compensation. Don’t let others profit off your hard work.
To monetize your unique skills as a photographer through social media, you can use any of these effective strategies. Find what works for you and reap the benefits of your talents.