You’ve got a terrific website and great SEO. You’re on Linked In, Plaxo Plus and Facebook. You Twitter every day and belong to all of the professional organizations. Is it enough ? Every smart photographer looks for that competitive edge,that something extra that will take their studio to a new level of visibility and recognition. What’s the answer?
What about photography competitions? It’s a guarantee you’ll get visibility. You don’t even have to win. Entering gives you something to Tweet about, something to post on Facebook, something to blog about. It’s news.
What if you win? Even better. You have a brilliant marketing tool. Create an email with your winning image and blast it out to your clients. Add your new “best in show” or “first place” title on to all of your marketing messages. Winning something usu ally results in an interview for a photography newsletter or industry magazine. If no one contacts you, then contact them! Call your local paper and offer to give them an “exclusive” about your award. Local morning TV shows are another great avenue for publicity. They love winners and are always looking for interesting people to feature.
If you’re just beginning in the business, competitions are a great way to gain immediate recognition. Whether you win, place or show, you’ll be out there meeting your peers and getting a better understanding of how the photo competitions work. If you’re an old hand, then it’s important to stay plugged in and not rest on your laurels. There’s a new kid waiting to take your place every day, so keep you hand in the game!
Not only are photo competitions an excellent marketing opportunity, they’re a great way to renew your artistic spirit. When you aren’t shooting specifically for a client, you can get back to the reason you picked up a camera in the first place, love of photography! Shooting images purely for your own satisfaction generally takes a back seat when you are scrambling to keep your business healthy. You have to have a reason to get back to shooting simply for the fun of it. Photographic competitions serve that purpose. If you get on a schedule of entering competitions you’ll actually be fine-tuning your craft on a regular basis. Think about competing like exercise. The more you do it the better you get. You are keeping your talent “in shape” and keeping that competitive edge!