A photographer’s social ability is an important tool in the success of his business. It is therefore important for photographers to consciously use their social life to attract customers. This is generally known as networking.
Networking is a low-cost way of marketing your business or brand, and if you dedicate your time and effort to it, you will see results soon enough.


What is Networking?

Networking is the process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

What this means, in essence, is that networking involves consciously relating with people to build relationships that will improve your business.

A photographer’s work involves taking photographs that capture special moments in people’s lives. Therefore, a photographer has a chain of potential customers who will appreciate and patronize his/her service.

As a photographer, there are several methods you can use to kick-off your networking journey. These include:


1. Networking at events

When you attend seminars, conferences, weddings, and other events, you meet people and therefore have access to their time and space for a short time. Wherever you meet people, you have a great opportunity to make new contacts.

Networking at an event does not always entail that you walk up to someone and start a conversation all about yourself. Do not give people room or reason to feel like you are simply trying to advertise yourself and you’re not interested in knowing him or her.

Attempt to make genuine conversation, networking is about building relationships, and you build relationships through friendship. Nobody wants a colleague who just wants to benefit.

A proper friend shows care and concern. When you approach someone at an event, smile and ask questions that will give the impression that you want to know about who they are.

As they tell you more about who they are and what they do, slowly reveal who you are and your brand, without boasting.

After the event, it’s also important to follow up with the contacts you have made because continuous conversation develops strong networks.


2. Networking on Social Media

You cannot overemphasize the importance of social media in today’s modern world. However, to benefit from social media in a professional environment, you need to have a developed strategy to implement.

There are many social media platforms for you to take advantage of and show off your work. However, overdoing it can also be harmful and strenuous to your brand.

It’s best to start with one social media platform, grow your following on that one; then move to another. In that way, you can concentrate your energy on learning all you need to know about each social media channel.

Secondly, it is noteworthy that “social media promotion is a marathon, not a sprint.” This means is that you need to put in the time to grow your social media following. It’s not realistic or helpful to expect to have a huge following in a short amount of time. Remember that networking is a gradual process.

Networking on social media can be in the form of generating conversation based on your posts. Or participating in conversations relating to your field on social media groups.

You may also share and comment on the works of other photographers which could encourage them to share your work as well or interact with you.

Remember that networking is all about creating helpful friendships, it is therefore important to be friendly while presenting yourself and your work attractively.

Paid promotion which involves boosting posts, running ads and online campaigns may also help to bring you to the forefront of your audience’s attention on social media and lead to more interaction.


3. Networking through blogging

Photo blogging could work for you if you are a photographer who loves the literary arts of writing. Do you have a story behind your pictures? Or perhaps you have some message to pass across; blogging can be a great way to share your creativity while connecting with people.

Having a group of people who actively follow your blog would lead to great benefits for your business and help you build your network. However, it’s important to be consistent in your blog posts and keep your posts relevant with quality photographs.

Never attempt to copy someone else’s style of writing on their blog. You may learn but don’t copy, it prevents you from being original. This will prevent your blog from standing out.

You can create a blog for free on blogger.com, and promote the blog by sharing your content on social media, commenting on other photography blogs and reaching out to people in your network.


4. Networking on online photography communities

Stock photography websites like tristetix.com provide good platforms for networking.

A photographer community presents an avenue for photographers to share their photographs, learn, grow and interact with each other here


The most important thing to remember about networking is that you have to make a genuine effort to meet people and get to know them.
Simply showing up isn’t enough.

Your focus shouldn’t just be on how people can help or benefit you but also on what you have to offer, the difference that your brand brings and how you can contribute to their lives.
This way your networking efforts brings benefits to you and your brand; as well as those in your network.