When I was at the Strictly Business conference in Philadelphia I had several conversations with other photographers about the online portals, source books, directories, and social media sites that I use in my marketing and promotions. The general consensus was that I utilize quite a few of them, and I am always on the lookout for more innovative and expansive ways to spread my work and get it in front of viewers. I waned to share a few of these sites that I use with you. For the photographers and designers that read this blog, I hope it gives you some ideas on how you can increase your web presence for a minimal cost. And for the buyers, editors, and agency types reading this blog I know this will give you some ideas and new leads on where you can track down and see the work of some amazing new talent. And finally, for the stalkers that wait outside my place at night and mail me packages stuffed with creepiness, hopefully this will provide you a method of stalking me in a more efficient electronic manner (See, I’m trying to help everyone!)
The Big Three
Naturally, I use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pretty regularly – both to converse and interact with the regular readers of this blog as well as to provide info hubs for regular updates about my new work and site. LinkedIn is becoming more of a key tool for me in growing my professional network, and has connected me to a lot of great clients and contacts recently. Like this recent article by Jorge Parra says “…I consider Linkedin a Professional Networking Media, not a Social Networking Media. This distinction is critical”
As great as the three above services are it can become tedious and annoying – both for me, and for those I correspond with – to have to repeatedly click on or write out several social media links every time the need arises. I have adopted a service called Flavors.me as a social media hub, a singular site I can send people to where they can branch off to sites like my website, my blog, and my myriad social media channels. It is easy to set up, maintain, and the free version is more than enough for most users.
I can now condense my most important web presence info to two simple lines.
Find A Photographer
The American Society of Media Photographers’ in house photography sourcebook and directory is a powerful and constantly growing database of its members that is searchable by geographic location or photographic specialty. A great tool for those searching for commercial photographers in specific areas. The service is currently going through some updates and changes to make it even more user-friendly for buyers and editors.
I have long been a proponent of the Behnace network and the exceptionally customizable system for presenting your work that it offers. I host a number of projects here and it has been one of my great tools for networking with creatives in affiliated fields like graphic and web design. Recently Linkedin and Behance began offering a service in which you can host your Behance projects on your Linkedin profile, suddenly making this a very potent tool.
A great networking tool and directory for those working in the realms of fashion, style, and beauty. Lexposure is one of the premium networking locations for fashion creatives. Your network on here will be small, but you can really nurture some of the connections you make here into great leads.
A well designed and easily accessible creative database that is easy to navigate and has one of the best options for the design of your in-site portfolio – even going so far as to offer premium design options for paid members. I think that the basic portfolio itself offers a very nice design.
A service of Adbase, one of the largest providers of marketing list and email services for photographers, Found Folios is another very rich service for hosting images and professional information. Great design and reputation in the industry.
Foto Deck is a service for connecting professional photographers with their potential buyers and clients. The site is simple, clean, and minimal, allowing for exceptionally easy navigation for editors and buyers, and the ability to search by city. One of my favorite services in terms of how they present photographers work.
For me, this is the most exciting service of the bunch. Still in beta, but rapidly growing in both depth and user base, First-Stop was started by a group of environmentally conscious creatives who saw the amount of waste going into printed promos sent out by photographers and illustrators. Even if they liked the pieces, they would eventually make their way to the circular file. First-Stop was started in response to this, giving artists a free way to get their work in front of editors and buyers as simple promo images provided they pledge to cut the amount of paper promos they send out. I cannot wait for this service to grow more.
Offers a free directory listing in a widely searched database of creatives. There are a lot of advanced and premium options available.
A service that I have just adopted use of. Agency Scoop is a major hub for networking in the advertising world that features a simple but well implemented portfolio system.
Luke Copping @ Agency Scoop.
Here are a few other databases and services:
Always be on the lookout for local and regional databases as well.
Curate – You don’t have to maintain a million sites, find the ones that give you marketing traction and cut the rest.
Maintain – Even during the course of writing this blog I found one or two out of date images and pieces of info. Try to make a stop by your least visited sites at least once every two weeks. Barring that – work an update schedule into any major marketing change or push you make, so that your satellite servies are up to date.
Experiment – these small satellite services may be an ideal place to try out new mixes of work or test new stylistic evolutions before your launch them on your main site. I use Behance for this a lot.
What sites are you using? I’ll add any new ones to this article if you send me links so that we can all expand our tool kits.