Everyday we are bombarded with advice.
Some of it good. Some of it not so good.
As a photographer working primarily online I spend a lot of time, OK maybe too much time, reading tips and ideas on how to bring more people to your site, how to increase your sales, how to improve your search rankings, and all kinds of other topics.
Just for fun I’ve made a list of some of the worst advice I’ve heard about running an online photography business.
- Just put your pictures on a website and people will flock to it like magic. It’s that easy! Oh; so I shouldn’t spend all that time thinking about SEO and marketing. They are just going to magically find my one little site out of thousands and thousands. Right. Guess I don’t need that FB page, or that pack of business cards, and forget those free pens I was thinking about handing out. Who needs word-of-mouth, and why bother trying to attract those web crawlers with image descriptions and all those hours of key wording.
- Just get a big fancy camera; it’ll do all the work and take great pictures by itself! Boy have I been silly spending hours and hours learning how to operate my camera. Who needs to understand light, what the heck is a correct exposure anyway? Who needs it. If I just set the dial to that little green square I’m good to go.
- Post every picture you take on FB and Instagram people don’t care about the quality of an image. They want quantity. If they see you take a thousand pictures a day they will know you work hard. Sure; I’ll just upload that accidental shot of my shoe, the “oops I left the lens cap on pictures, and the “hey you stupid car get out of the way I’m shooting here! images. Everyone wants to see a hundred shots of the same puppy with the same expression on his face. And I’m sure they will buy them all too!
- Leave off those annoying watermarks. People don’t want to see them and nobody is going to use an image without permission anyway! I don’t even know what to say about this one.
- Give away every photo from a shoot for free on a disc. That way they can see them and if they like them they will come back to your site and order prints! So no one has ever seen that little kiosk at Wal-Mart where you print your own photos? Yea; they are going to come back once they have free photos in their hands. I think not!! I pay a lot of money for those professional printers to make those prints.
- Charge less for your images; after all the only thing you do is push a little button. I’m not even going to go there. That’s like telling the chef to charge less for his stake because all he did was turn on the stove!
- Just fix it in Photoshop.
I hope I’ve given better advice than this over the years!