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Mike Savad

4 Years Ago

Marketing 101 By Mike Savad

Marketing on the internet - by Mike Savad
11-20-14
http://www.MikeSavad.com

Selling anything is hard. Knowing what the buyers want is always hard. Being good enough against people that have been doing it for years – is hard. Selling online is very hard because there is a lot of competition. Not just that, but with today's phone technology, cameras getting better, software that makes photos look like paintings, they are getting better as well.

Your competing against the customer who also can take pictures of anything and make it look like a painting. So your work will have to be better than theirs if you want people to pay attention to your work. This is a wake up call for many people, their work may not be any better than a customers, and often they won't sell a thing because of it.

I've been selling online for close to 10 years now, and I've built up quite a portfolio, and developed my own style. It took years to create a method where people would know who made it at just a glance. That said it often takes up to 3 months to sell that one image. It often has to “soak” for a while before people like it enough to buy it. Depending what it is, it could take years before it sells.

This is just a basic guide, if you want something more advanced you'll have to find another article, but not written by me, I only know the basics myself.

1. Know your market and make things people want.

That sounds easier than it really is, because when you start your shooting in the dark and have no idea what people want. However you know what you want. So many things that you would normally hang in your house, or things you would buy if you saw it in a store. There is a good chance that if you like it, they like it, but you have to really like it. Many people fall under the impression that all they have to do is make something and it will start selling. But this couldn't be farther from the truth.

You see, people won't just buy anything you place in front of them, they need a reason to want to buy it in the first place. So in reality you have to make things people want. But people usually don't know what they want, but they know they want it when they see it. So whatever it is you make it should be of high quality.

To sell a lot you generally need a lot, however many people are under the wrong impression that you have to become a factory to be successful. You will need a diverse variety of items to remain interesting to people. Because you don't know what will be popular, you make a bit of everything.

Some artists feel that they have to create something that is outside of their vision of how they want to make it. That they can't make it their usual way and instead have to make to how a customer wants it. However a customer doesn't really know how they want it, so you should make it in your own style. They are buying your style.

So how do you know what people want?

You experiment

Lets say you own a bakery, and your not sure what will sell well, what to do?

A. You can make a number of different cakes, chocolate, yellow, etc, pies, cookies and the usual deal.

B. You can look at the demographics of the area and see what kinds of people live there. The type of people may be high class, so they will be used to fancy things. There might be a large senior center near by so you can make nostalgic things. And so on.

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So you opened the new store, it looks nice on the inside, a clear sign on the outside, you posted notices and advertised you were there in local papers and such. People come in expecting to find a confectionery delight of some kind. You start off by making a large variety of cakes, from fancy petit fours, to black and white cookies. Standard cakes and the usual wares.

After the first week you'll go over your books to see what you sold. Was anything trending? Perhaps chocolate sold faster than anything else, yellow cakes sold now and then, and cherry pie did well.

The next week you increase your line up of chocolate. You increase the variety of chocolate cakes. A few will be you usual cake in different shapes. You'll make 2-3 more with different fillings and icing combinations. At the same time you'll add one more item to your yellow cake line, and maybe one more type of cake, something with fruit on it.

Pay attention to what sells the most, do customers come back? Do they order the same thing they did the last time? Do they try something new? Do many customers buy the same cake. Was it the coating? It was certainly the presentation of that cake. If many people buy that particular cake, that cake is now a part of your permanent line up.

To continue the experiment, try making that cake that sells well, and creating new shapes out of it. Or add fruit or a new filling. Maybe the secret to selling that cake is just the icing. Try that icing or type of icing on other cakes. The chocolate poured on icing, might work well as a white frosting or even pink. Experimentation is the key here. Some weeks you might not sell those ideas. So you put them aside and try another idea.

In other experiments you might find that the cakes that sell well, look different than other cakes in town. Fancy flowers, better tasting icing, artistically decorated cakes may be the key to separate you from the other stores.

These experiments should never stop, keep adding a few new things to the line up of your store until you have constant sellers. From there you can tweak it and refine it more. But it will be rough the first few months or even years of running the place.


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Back to art

You experiment with art as well, you do the same thing. You create a number of different things, but creating a series out of them. 3 lighthouses, 3 landscapes, 3 of different things. For the first month, maybe even the year, you may not sell anything. Its a hard road to sell things and it takes time. You first have to build up a gallery, and you have to develop a style first.

The above shows past experiments using a certain style. In this case spirals. I never know the taste of a person, I try to just make cool looking things, while maintaining a certain look.

What is a Style?

A style is the personality you give your image. Its how you create the image, its your vision. Its how you use the camera, how you use a brush. How you use color, etc. You usually can't seek out a style, you develop it over years. You may not even notice you had one until people started identifying your work with just a glance.

Finding your Niche

Lets say after a year, you find things are starting to sell. Pay close attention to your sales, how fast it sold, how large it was, and what it was. My rule is, if sells large, or is really fast, I'll make another one. If it sells 3 or more times, I'll make another one.

This is the NICHE. It's the item that sells well for you, in the style you created, and people like it. So if you have 12 roses in your gallery and you sell 9 of them, and they are all either orange or white – make more of those two colors.

Then look for more niches. Maybe other kinds of flowers. Try a few of each kind and see if it sticks. However you may end up with a false positive in which it sells well because of the season. Maybe it was the year of the rose or something.

Again its about experimentation.

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Don't be afraid of trying weird things, sometimes one idea might stick well. Once you have one that works, make more, and narrow it down to what people really like.


2. Quality

It amazes me what people consider good quality, and while quality can be subjective, it all starts with you. I often help people with their images. And when someone asks to get a critique, and I post an image, often I get a response: Why did you post that? That's my worst image. Which just leaves me scratching my head. Because why in the world did you post an image that was bad?

You don't post your worst ones, and if you know its bad, why would anyone buy it? You don't know what image people will land on first. When doing a search for something they may stumble onto that image. Then they may use that image as a gauge to rate the rest of your stock. You may have some really nice pieces in there, but people will move on. Its like eating some burned food at a restaurant, it may only take once before you don't go back there again.

Only send your best. And while your best will change over the years, you could always go back and tweak stuff. But as long as you know you sent your best at that time, it should be fine.

Basic quality - Guidelines must be followed, or the print itself will look terrible. Your image should be free of defects, otherwise those flaws will end up on the buyers walls. If you view your image at a 100% (that means fill the image on your screen so your seeing it up close, it needs to be clear. Blocky, grainy, blurry, just poorly made – won't cut it. The final quality is a reflection onto yourself.

If its a painting, you should be able to see canvas and brush strokes. If it looks soft, it probably won't be printed.

Normal quality – If you are a photographer you shouldn't have the following things in your image: blank white sky, crooked horizons, buildings that tilt too much, bad crops, busy snap shot like images, it should look uncluttered.

Naturally we will always hear something from that one guy: “but I sold one that had all those things”. And anything is possible, however that was one sale and its usually not repeated. And if that's the only image you ever sold, it may be time to examine your quality on your other images. Color cast issues, boring vacation shots and the like, it may be time to cull those out.

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3. Descriptions, Title, Keywords
In today's world of fast attention spans, where people want to find what they are looking for right this very second, you need something to catch people's attention. A good picture should sell itself, but they may never see it if they only judge it by the title.

Title - Many people glaze over this. Thinking up a catchy title is a creative task that some people can't do. Its the first or second thing a buyer will look at. The title should reflect what is in the scene, because people will judge the work based on the title. Especially important if the work is hard to understand. If people read nothing else, the title should be written well. Don't name your things untitled 1,2,3, it shows a lack of respect to the art you made and to the buyer trying to understand it.

A good title is the same as a catchy newspaper heading. When you see a story that catches your eye – “Man born without a head”, you may want to just see what that is about. If the title was “medical mystery” or “headless man” or something like that, you may pass it.

The title should be interesting and perhaps funny. While its nice to have an informative title:

Keys on table I think it would look better if you called it:

“honey have you seen my keys?”. This way you can add humor to it, and it might spark an idea for the person who is always losing their keys and now they will always have them... on their wall.

Description - Shown above, once you have a title you can add a description. However don't just point out the obvious. Using the above title the description I've seen many make would be like – this is a picture that has keys on a table. While it's important to have keywords in your description so google can find you easier, the description is more for the buyer. Tell us why you made the image. If you can't come up with a good description, it will be that much harder to market it later on.

Keywords - Keywords are boring, not many get into them, only adding a few if any at all. But if you want to sell online you need to have words for google and the rest to find. Internally you can't be found If you don't have them. Add as many words that fit the subject as you can without spamming. Don't add odd phrases, Hashtag things you saw on twitter (such as #imageoftheDay or something like that, you'll only waste space for real words. Always include your name, and any odd title you have for your store. Don't include the town you live in, it only confuses people and no one cares.

Add unique words when you can. It's not just a chair, it's Adirondack chair. It's not just a church, it's a protestant church. Locations is very important. Tell people what town, state, county your in. Put that in the description as well. However only add that if it's relevant. A skyline, beach house, mountainscape, you would mention where. But if its a flower, don't bother.

If you do have a flower, mention its color, nick names, latin names, how many (single, one, two, three, etc), types of flowers, if you know a birth month add that. Roses for valentines, etc.

If it's a person, mention they are blond, young, blue eyes, african american, nubian, face, curls, anything unique about the image, tell us about it.

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4. Your avatar

Your avatar is your brand.

Make sure you have a good looking picture of yourself. The avatar is one of the first things a person see's, and just like in real life, they make a snap judgment about you when they look at the image. On a subliminal level you want to appeal to people's senses, you want to show them you are a professional, that you care about how you look, so therefore, your images will also look just as good.

You don't want a crummy, blurry, crooked image of yourself. Nothing cut out of an old yearbook, or a wedding you had 45 years ago. Nothing of you dressed up as something at costume party. No selfies in front of a dirty mirror. You don't want to appear side ways, blurry, upside down.

Your image can be comical if you want. But overall it should be professional looking.

Having a bad looking picture of yourself may make others not click on it. Some could think that your images must look bad because your self portrait looks bad. And they may very well be right.

Good you have a good picture of yourself, now place that image on every site your currently on. Every social site, blog, forum, POD, just everywhere. Be consistent. If someone finds you on one site, they will know its you because they recognize your image. Don't change the avatar every week, don't use a different one on every site, and if you do change it, don't change it too much. You want to be recognizable.


5. Your Biography


Your biography should be short, simple and to the point. It should outline what you make. And who would want the thing you make. Don't be long winded here, you don't want to bore your customers. I think it's a good idea to write in the first person. Writing it in the 3rd person, people tend to be pretentious. Many will show off asinine awards from small shows, country fairs and other places no one has ever heard of or care about. It won't make you sound better, just tell them what you have.

Also avoid the following:

Medical status – No one wants to know about your operations, cancer, or that your dying.

Your homeless and have no money, you need money, please by my work, I have no MONEY!!! You won't get pity sales, they will leave when they get to that line.

Just starting out – NEVER tell them your a beginner. This also goes for being self taught. People will look at you in a different way. It would be no different if your doctor came out and said he was a beginner or he was self taught. Let people assume you've been doing this for years.

Never mention that you don't have any idea if what you make is art or not. And that you hope people will like it. Let them decide. It sounds sad though if you don't know if its art.

Copyright death threats – We all know you don't want people taking your work, but it's best to keep it simple – Copyright to Mike Savad 2000-2014 – something like that. Giving them a contract statement with an ultimatum is a sure way to annoying a customer. You already are telling them you don't trust them at all.

Religion & Politics – Its best to keep things neutral. Mentioning god, faith, etc. or your favorite president is great if your with your own kind. But mentioning it too much is a turn off to many. No one wants to feel like they are being converted on your page, and many will just leave. You don't want to take that chance. If you think your god loves you, he will know this is just business and knows it doesn't belong there. I know there are many here that will argue that it's ok and totally harmless, but next time someone creates a bio that has a faith you don't like – devil worship or what have you – see what you think of that person then. Its the same with your own religious beliefs.

On that note, politics annoys people, even a favorite sports team. All of that should be kept hidden and out of view.

Your kids – I know many think its a great idea to talk about your family life. But very few care, parents have a tendency to ramble on about their achievements and it just clouds what your trying to say.

Where you grew up. Again very few will care. You might want to mention you grew up in the mountains and that's why you have so many images of them -then its ok.

Links – don't put any other links in your bio. This is not not the place to redirect people to your facebook pages. Don't ask for likes, or anything else. First off its tacky, don't ask for likes. Don't even ask for comments for that matter. But if you provide them with a link to facebook, do you know where they will go? New messages, a check on whats going on, and within 30 seconds, they will forget they were ever on your page.



Keep it simple:

Who you are
What you do
What you have
What style you use
Your a painter, photographer, welder, just tell them.

That's it. You don't want to make it a long read, your not writing a book, your not being interviewed. These simple things will be found by google so use keywords when you list the things you like making.

And if you do say you specialize in something, make sure you really do.

If you say, “I specialize in beach photography”, then you should have dozens of images of that. And not those three images you took on a vacation.

A specialty is something your good at, and have a lot of

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Vanity Name

6. With the basics covered, you now need a good name for your store. You don't want a listing of code that sites come with directing people to your store. Instead you want a simple and easy to remember name. In my case I use my name http://www.MikeSavad.com and that goes directly to my artist website. To make it easier I capitalized my names.

7. Now that you bought a name, spread your links. Join forums, add a sig line in your email. Make a blog, make a web page. No matter where you go leave your links behind. One way links, google likes these and it will raise you up in the search. Leave a trail, over the past 20 years I've been in countless forums. I always sign my name the same way, 3 dashes and my name. I didn't have my link with me, but the more often your name comes up, the better you'll be found. This is true if you have a name that others are also using. And since you do have a vanity name, get business cards printed as well.

8. Join Social media

Facebook - I'll be honest, I have no idea if this place is a good place or not to advertise. It's full of cat photo's and recipes. False likes, a few comments, and just a lot of distractions. As of this writing there are rumors that facebook will remove the ability to advertise images there. However you may find people blogging your work, and you may gain fans. But you'll probably just attract family you don't care about, or friends from work that just want to see what's up, but don't care about your work. However that said, you should join to have a presence there, and a link back to your store.

Google plus – same as facebook. I was banned from that place for a whole year, and I managed to get back on it just recently. To this day I don't know what I did that got me banned, so I'm not doing anything there at all now. I never erased my account however, that is still intact.

Pinterest – I'll be honest, I don't like this place, never did. Its a big clutter of images that are hard to find. If someone stumbles into the site, they will have a really hard time finding anything. And with all the distracting things that are not your picture, people will have their attentions swayed.

On the plus side its a good place to see all your images at once. You can make collections that you think your client will like and they can see it all in one place. So there are good things about the site. I don't like how people can upload images from their hard drive and I don't like the fact you can change the link after. Like the others, you should have a presence there. It's not like you can avoid not being there.

Twitter – This place is easy to find people that may like your stuff. Its more confusing to look at it because its mostly text. However I think that's a good thing, as pictures are far too distracting.

Finding followers is easy, getting them to follow back is harder. If they follow you, they will see your tweet. Twitter has a ratio, it's something like: follow 2000 people, and then 2000 people have to follow you back. After that it's a 10% ratio, so your always trying to balance the dead beats out that don't follow you and replace them with better stock.

Adding images - On the outside, adding pictures to your stream seems like a good idea. After all people can look at your work, and you want them to look at your work. However in my opinion this is a huge mistake.

In today's day and age where people are used to looking at an image, very few will click on one to see it up close. And they will do the same with the twitter feed as well. They will glance and move on. And to make it worse, the link, depending on its length will count for your 140 character limit. By the time you post it, there may not be room for a description let alone hashtags. Without hashtags you may never be found.

Hashtags are the blood to twitter. They are the keywords people will use to find your things and group things up so you can see “like” things. Simply add # in front of a word, that has no spaces and it becomes a keyword tag. Don't add this to your keywords in your store however. Hashtags are used in all the sites I mentioned above (though pinterest is going back and forth using them).

Keep hashtags neat in the line avoid #putting this into #eachLine because its really #distracting each of these tags become blue and it makes it hard to read the line. Try to keep it all in the back. Removing the ad these sites put onto the back.

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For example:

'Chicken - Chick Flick' - http://mikesavad.com/featured/chicken-chick-flick-mike-savad.html #savad #poultry #chicken #TVnight #Movies #birds #animal #DateNight #married #couple

I added everything to the end. There are places that say you should only have 3-4 tags, but I like to place many in.

An interesting note: Bots will see hashtagged words. And if the bot likes your word it will send your tweet to twitter feeders found on other people's web pages. #dentist, might end up on a dentist page some place. So when you name things be very direct to who will end up with this image.

Use hashtags as a hint to what else the image is about, make people curious by combining words that don't normally go together. #chickens #datenight #poultryFarmer

As mentioned, joining twitter isn't enough, you need to find followers. For example that chicken image above, I would enter into the search Chickens. Then second link down on the left, click people, and now it will only show people that like chickens. However it may simply find people who like eating chicken, so you may have to narrow it down to “poultry farmers”. I'll click on about 30 of them before moving on. I don't even read what they are, or their ratio of followers, I don't care. About half will follow you back. There are twitter follower cleaners around, some of them are more confusing than others.

Keep doing this trying to find people, that relate to the things you sell. Skip over the ones where they are locked, they aren't worth the hassle. Try to do 500 follows a week, then wait a week or two. Go to the link below to remove the ones that aren't following back. The site below is a little tricky to use as you have to check them off and erase them manually, but the people that own the site will usually answer all your questions. Or you can pay for the service and they will do it for you.

http://manageflitter.com/unfollow


Don't heavily spam twitter. There are many places that will allow you to feed timed things in, but I don't like doing it this way. You also want to avoid pushing it too hard or people will drop you. 3-5 a day, or 10 a day spaced far apart will suffice. If you flood it, people will drop you.


9. Write blogs.

For example, this is a blog, it will also end up in the forum. People will comment on it. Everything you see here is a keyword. And google likes content. Forum posts, blogs, etc all get red carpet treatment from google. Make sure to mention your site a few times, add pictures, titles and such. You can be a guest writer on another site. Or be interviewed, any place you can leave a link is what you want.

Often I'll leave comments in you tube, news reports, etc, I connect with facebook, people click, go there and see my page that way. It doesn't pay to be anonymous online, it won't help you sell better.

10. Tell people outside. - It helps greatly if your outgoing, print up business cards, tell people who you are and what you do. Talk highly of yourself, but don't go over board. I am not a people person and really just mess up this route, but you might be better at it than I am. Some people carry a portfolio, a tablet with your work wouldn't be a bad idea. Some people place their images in bars to be seen or bought. Your only limited by your own energy, time and creativity.
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Jeffery Johnson

4 Years Ago

Nice Mike. Did you place this in a blog?

 

Mike Savad

4 Years Ago

of course, first place i placed it. then i found out the artist site doesn't have one. i don't have any other, i just don't have the time to keep it up to date.

---Mike Savad
MikeSavad.com

 

Skip Hunt

4 Years Ago

The artist site does have a blog. You just use the blog from logging into your Premium account here. I've been adding to mine that way http://skip-hunt.artistwebsites.com/myblog.html

Here's a useful tip with regard to the Artist Website blog... when you add your image embeds to it, leave them the default size. Don't size them up. They look great sized up in a browser, and with landscape orientation on an iPad, but if you turn the iPad in portrait orientation and all the images have been sized up, thing will get all messed up and overlap each other. If you leave them the smaller default size, they'll layout fine for portrait AND landscape orientation.

 

Mike Savad

4 Years Ago

oh its on the bottom. i doubt anyone would look there. since its on the top on the other site. well ok then... thanks

---Mike Savad
MikeSavad.com

 

Keith Webber Jr

4 Years Ago


Thank you Mike. Great info.

 

Susan Sadoury

4 Years Ago

Loved it very informative.

 

Fran Riley

4 Years Ago

Great write up Mike. This is a must read for everyone signing up here. To bad it's not an auto run doc. when they join, lol.

 

William Norton

4 Years Ago

Great job Mike!

 

GuoJun Pan

4 Years Ago

Mike, you sales that is very natural!
And the most valuable thing of your articles is that you are promoting POD itself!

 

JC Findley

4 Years Ago

Thanks

 

Joy Bradley

4 Years Ago


A great read and reminder for all!
Thank you for all the time you put into this Mike!

 

Marilyn MacCrakin

4 Years Ago

Great advice! I needed every word. Thanks!

 

Sue Long

4 Years Ago

Great info! Thanks for taking the time :)

 

S Seema Z

4 Years Ago

Great Read specially for stumbler like me....and Artists who are too lost in their creative world this article is truly helpful.Thanks for all your efforts.

 

Melissa Bittinger

4 Years Ago

Awesome, thanks for taking the time :o)

 

Colin Utz

4 Years Ago

"Just starting out – NEVER tell them your a beginner. This also goes for being self taught. People will look at you in a different way. It would be no different if your doctor came out and said he was a beginner or he was self taught. Let people assume you've been doing this for years."

I am surprised how many people do that. They disqualify themselfs without a reason.

 

Mike Savad

4 Years Ago

i've seen many bios that do all kinds of odd things. self depreciation. they aren't sure if it's art or not. they really hope people will like it, because they aren't too sure themselves. their friends pushed them to sell. i bought a new camera so it should be better. i just had a hernia operation so some of these images are blurry. i know these aren't my best but i'm trying really hard. i really need the money, please buy it i really need the cash (followed by images that were too small to print with a watermark filling the whole image).

others write a book. others boast about accomplishments that have nothing to do with the art at all. some go on and on about their life, family, religion, current events, etc - and never even mention once they are an artist.

others show off that they are taking pictures on vacation, and that's what these are. some of them are just plain nutty. i know people, their minds go blank and they can't think of anything. just keep it to the facts, you can embellish on them at some other point. i've tweaked mine over the years, and i can't say if anyone actually reads it or not. but if they do, they don't need to know what cereal i like, or if my dog has something wrong with its bowels. or any of that other stuff.


---Mike Savad
MikeSavad.com

 

Greg Jackson

4 Years Ago

Good read, Mike.

 

Julie Chambers

4 Years Ago

Thank you Mike for taking the time to create such an informative and helpful read.

 

Loree Johnson

4 Years Ago

Thank you Mike, for imparting your wisdom and a good dose of humor. :)

 

Carol Cottrell

4 Years Ago

Very informative, as usual, Mike. Thank you for sharing your knowledge :)

 

Jennifer White

4 Years Ago

Thanks Mike.

 

Janice Drew

4 Years Ago

Mike, you are an invaluable source of information. Once again, thank you.

 

Debbie Oppermann

4 Years Ago

Terrific - thanks Mike!

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Peter Hogg

4 Years Ago

Wonderful job MIke. As a long time commercial photographer, I'm so glad I don't have to compete in this market to make a living as been there done that. I always loved photography and the world of the internet and digital now has become quite complicated and you've done a nice job of helping others define a route to sell there images. It's a lot of time and a lot of work, but doubt that many, even if they are good can make a living from it. A supplemental income maybe, if they are lucky, good, and work hard like you say. My expertise was in the studio though I did a lot of location work also. However, there you needed to know lighting of glass, metal and things that most here don't have a clue about but point and shoot and many quite good at it I must say. I made more money with my commercial work than I could or can ever make doing fine art but do love the many beautiful images that are created now with the help of the digital technology with your images being no exception. You've created a wonderful unique style in all your images. I for one can't do that as I love a variety of styles and images which I find not only fun to create but are interesting and add to my life learning stages. It's nice to still be learning at age 70. This blog shows your passion for the art and your willingness to share is quite commendable and these new budding artists need to take heed as you've done again a wonderful thing outlining what needs to be if one is to be successful at selling their art here on the internet....thank You, Peter Hogg

 

Mike Savad

11 Months Ago

maintenance bump.


---Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Claire Bone

10 Months Ago

Thank you for all the information. I am starting to get serious about marketing my work and this is very helpful. There is so much to know and do, it is like starting to go to school all over again.

 

Abbie Shores

6 Months Ago

bump for Mike

 

Mike Savad

6 Months Ago

thanks. i think i missed my window by about a month.


---Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Joseph Westrupp

6 Months Ago

Wondering how you go about Facebook groups, Mike. Things have changed a lot since I was doing it last.

1. How many images into how many groups per day?
2. Do you make a special effort to comment on other posts?
3. Does it result in much clicking either right back to FAA, or at least to your page? (Wondering if there's any point at all these days if you don't pay.)


—————
bestilled.com

 

Christian Bridgwater

6 Months Ago

Hello Mike

I have just recently joined here and, I have to admit, the marketing side of things I find very daunting.

Do I or don't I post my new images on social media, risking the images getting stolen, how to attract the right people to see my profile and even what to put in my bio.

This post has been incredibly useful for me and has helped answer much of the questions I have been wondering about.

I just wanted to thank you for writing this post.

Chris

 

Mike Savad

6 Months Ago

every group is different. and they are hard to find where they don't say - we don't want spam.

i only send one image a day, i don't say its for sale, its just a post. people will figure it out later on that its for sale. each group has its own rules, usually its 3. but you don't want too many at once. you want to spread it out. you become invisible if you do it too often. it should be a curiosity each time you post it. i found i got less and less each day i posted if i did it too often.

sometimes i comment on other posts... if i have something to say. i think its a good idea to schmooze a little bit now and then. just to get your name in there more comfortably. usually though i don't know enough about a topic to really have a real conversation. like i know very little about trains or machine shops. but i know about tools in general, so i might speak up there.

every page is different, each group is different, pictures are different. some groups will yield 5 clicks. some will yield 200. it really depends what you send, and what the group is about, how big the group is, how many just look and how many click. groups that have 5000-20,000 is usually a good size. 100,000 or more, you get less clicks. probably because there are more just posting pictures. the groups have to be specific, the more specific the better. post today's image type groups will get few clicks. post to a group that is into Chrysler from 1930 - and you'll get a lot more clicks.

you don't want to be in too many groups because it will get confusing fast.

i keep track of every group i send things too and how many i get. its the only way to know which are the good ones. and once you find good ones, put those in your fav's so you can find them again. there is no way to sort them by category, wish there was.


---Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Mike Savad

6 Months Ago


@christian - they can't steal your images on social media. don't upload direct and if you do, keep it small and watermark it. otherwise its just a link here. on this site they can get a 900px image but not the full size. it is what it is, its the only way to sell it.

to get people over to your site, you have to advertise and tell people you exist. you'll need more than 12 images though. start people in collections. the bio should be about your work. if you specialize in black and white or selective color, mention that. keep it brief, try not to act like a show off, keep it in the first person third sounds pretentious. keep it to what you like to make, or stuff like that. if your new, don't tell them that.

Marketing 101 by Mike Savad
Why Your Work May Not Be Selling - By Mike Savad
Evaluating Your Own Work To Sell – By Mike Savad
How To Critique And Edit Your Own Work For Better Sales
The important of Descriptions and Keywords by Mike Savad

those are my others


---Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Joseph Westrupp

6 Months Ago

Thanks, Mike, that was thorough. How many groups do you typically post to per day?


—————
bestilled.com

 

Mike Savad

6 Months Ago

i have a very short attention span, so i tend to post to 4-6 a day, might be as much as 12. but i don't always have the material. and i don't like to repeat the same stuff either, unless many months have passed.

---Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Bradford Martin

6 Months Ago

When I post to Facebook groups I post up a small image. Not the 900 pixels that gets embedded. I go to the image and then to the buy prints page. I then save that smaller thumbnail to post. I made a folder with lots of these. I could then watermark them, but I don't, they are small and freebies. I upload the small image to Facebook and then post the link from the address bar. When you do it like this it loos less like spam and more like you are contributing something to the group. Some may not click the link, but a lot do. You have to entice them a bit by asking them to click for more. I usually just link to galleries, but sometimes to the sales page for the image. Thanks Mike for the great opening post.

 

Mike Savad

6 Months Ago

i've been thinking about doing that, some groups only want images and no links directly. i just never got to that point yet. due to chronic laziness. its hard to track people that way though, that's probably why i haven't. i use google analytics which gives me something. with an image i'm not sure if i will get that much info.

usually i will simply look at the rules if it says no spam or advertising. i stop reading and move on. if it doesn't i try it. sometimes, they will say, no we don't want selling even though we didn't tell you that we don't. if you make a huff about it, like i did in one group. they will ban you, and probably complain and you'll be out of facebook groups for a week.

i tried looking at google plus for groups, but most of those are like 200 people or less. figure that only 30 will ever look at a time, i probably won't waste my time on that site.


---Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Christian Bridgwater

6 Months Ago

Thanks for the reply Mike.

I really appreciate the advice you have given and for the links, I shall spend the weekend reading through them.

I shall be increasing my portfolio, at the moment I am still selecting photos and editing them.

Thanks again for your help

Chris

 

Paul Kerton

5 Months Ago

Great info Mike.

Making adjustments to my site on a continuous basis.

Appreciated.

 

Christina Ford

5 Months Ago

I came to your excellent post by way of Alex Rotenberg's posting "Alex Rotenberg's Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock". I am new to FAA and find your collective postings extremely helpful. Thanks very, very much. I'll continue to keep an eye out for your postings as I march on to trying to make a business of selling photography on-line. Please wish me success! [your artwork is very interesting as well] ~Christina Ford

 

Mike Savad

3 Months Ago

bump to prevent closing


---Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Jennifer White

1 Month Ago

I have a question. Sorry if it's already been addressed. Didn't find anything with searching this thread.

I'm curious if and how photographers and artists have marketed to businesses they have already taken photos of. For example: Photos of business or place and then approaching that business about the photo / art to see if they'd like to buy it, license it, or even buy gift items if they sale souvenirs.

This is something I haven't done but have considered it and have had some friends ask if I've done this. Has anyone had success with this, or had a business tell them they didn't want them selling the image?

 

Mike Savad

1 Month Ago

i never do. i don't want them to know i have it. i would think they would want it for free or force me to pay them money for the usage. i don't know if that's realistic, but depending who you approach it could happen. like a garden would object because many don't want you to commercialize off their property. especially if they are selling similar pictures. i think you would have a better chance selling an image of someone's car or boat to that owner. but you have to be pretty forward, of which i'm not.


----Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

David Manlove

1 Month Ago

I don't know if it's appropriate to put in my two cents about Jennifer's question but to me, that feels a little like extortion. I might be put off by it. For example, I take a trip to Mexico and a little kid snaps a picture of me and then asks me to pay him $5. It might be safer and more appropriate to approach that business and ask if they're interested in you taking pictures of their property and would they pay you for it, before you actually take any pictures. Just my thoughts.

 

Jayson Tuntland

1 Month Ago

Jennifer, that was pretty common practice in the early 1900's. Traveling photographers would often go from town to town and take photos of the businesses and offer them prints then and there or would mail them advertising cards after the fact, offering prints for sale.

On a more recent note, at least up until the digital age (and perhaps into the digital age), flying photographers would go around taking aerial photos of everyone's farmsteads and prominent buildings, and market their images to the property owners after the fact.

Many people have absolutely zero imagination, and I suppose it probably helped them to see exactly what they would be getting before they hired the work done.

I am not sure how it would go over today. Like everything, it would probably have a lot to do with how you present yourself. I have done this with vintage images of specific locations with some success, and have been requested to do modern photographs of establishments as well. If you try it, please let us know how it works out. :)

 

Mike Savad

1 Month Ago

in the past it made sense. they would sell postcards in their shop, and get advertisement. but today everyone has a camera and an angle. usually i keyword things and if they find me they find me.


----Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Jennifer White

1 Month Ago

Thanks everyone for the advise. I did have the concern about coming across a business that would want you to take the photo down. A couple years ago I was taking photos of surfers at Cocoa Beach Florida and had a surfer ask me if I got any photos of him. I did have a few so he gave me his email and I just sent them to him for free. I've also done that for a skateboarder I took some pics of too.

In regards to the souvenirs part, I thought some of the souvenir shops in locations I've been to might be interested in some of the gift options I have (on both FAA and other sites). I have a lady in Chicago who has a boutique and she buys gift bags from me all the time of my Chicago images to both resale and use as bags for buyers. She found me.

It was just a thought I've had several ask me if I did and I was just curious if anyone had done that.

 

Joseph A Langley

1 Month Ago

Quick thought: following people on Twitter is -not- so you can get them to follow you. That's not how that works.

 

Mike Savad

1 Month Ago

its very hard to get a foothold in twitter otherwise. and now that you have to hover over a bubble to follow back, not many do.


----Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Jennifer White

1 Month Ago

Unfortunately twitter has turned into such a follow then unfollow game it's ridiculous. Instagram is the same way and I just started there. In fact I think Instagram is worse. A lot of people won't keep following you unless you follow them back, or you have to start following others so they then will see you, with the hope they like your work, and then follow back. But you then have to unfollow those who don't follow back if it's not something you're interested in following. This is part of how I got to 17K followers. But I've been stuck there a while because of these games. It's getting to where people don't want to follow others, and then everyone is following so many that the only ones who show up on your feed are those you interact with. Interaction with others is key on twitter.

Twitter is my main marketing tool and where I've gotten most of my sales from.

 

Brandy Vasquez

1 Month Ago

Thank you for opening my eyes. I will definitely keep this in mind

 

Cathy P Jones

7 Days Ago

Mike- this is GREAT! thank you so much for taking the time to write it, there is a tremendous amount of good advice here! We all need to read it, and read it again!

 

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