pub. on mar 06, 2011 Second LifeTutorial - Guide - Story Marketing Your Photography
StephanieHelsein's works
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You want to be an SL photographer. But to be a professional, somebody has to buy your services. That means you have to market your services.

For that you must understand your markets, how to promote yourself, and how to win clients. You will need to create your marketing message. You will need to research the markets. And you will need to turn leads into clients.

You should understand how to brand your business and find a niche for yourself. You want to have your business recognized by prospects.

You will need to create a portfolio (or rather portfolios). And you will need to learn to use the tools to help you market yourself in SL.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Just what IS your marketing message. We know your message is that you are the best SL photographer. But the best SL photographer AT WHAT? Do you distinguish yourself by the style of your work: portraiture, wedding, fashion, editorial, etc? Do you distinguish yourself by your subject matter: skins, mermaids, vampires, jewelry, etc? Or are you distinguished by the industry you sell to: magazines, builders, designers, clubs, etc? Or is it the use your work is put to: vendor boards, call boards, display art, etc?

There is no SL equivalent to the market research periodicals that RL photographers use. You have to rely on secondary resources to discover your markets. SL magazines can tell you what is going on SL, as can the Showcase tab of the Search function. Group notices by the different art and photography SL groups are also a source of marking information. In addition various SL-related online communities can give you useful information.

Once you have found leads to people or groups you might sell to, you need to work at turning the leads into clients. You do this with qualifying scripts (procedures) that help you ask the right questions to find the decision makers who will buy from you.

 
 
 

 
 
 
When I opened my first portrait studio, I needed photos to use with promotional material. These are targeted at the average consumer needing a profile or other portrait taken.

 
 
 

 
 
 
More samples.

For other types of work, selections of photos would be needed. For example, sample advertising shots for outfits, objects, or other products.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Here are sample wedding shots.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Another use of samples is for display in the studio where prospective customers can see them.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Another sample display.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Another use of samples is in visual advertisements.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Other advertisements may be directed at specific audiences or related to specific times and events. Such as Valentine's Day.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Or Halloween.

 
 
 

 
 
 
You can also advertise categories of work, like wedding photography.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Here is another example of portrait advertising.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Branding is the total look and feel that identifies YOU as an SL photographer. It starts with your logo and includes the look of your signs, advertisements, and other materials that the your clients and potential clients see.

The most important thing about your brand is that it be consonant with your marketing message. Does it fit YOU as a photographer, and does it fit the work you create?

Your objective is to be recognized by your brand. I want that any time someone sees the Photopoly look, they think of me and my work.

Do not expect to get it perfect the first time. What you do will evolve over time.

 
 
 

 
 
 
This is the original sign for the first Photopoly studio.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Moving to the Antiquity SIMs, this was the new studio sign based on a design I did for a Rivet Town store.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Over time this became the branding for Photopoly in Antiquity.

 
 
 

 
 
 
After moving to the Colourful Moments SIM, this became the new, modern look.

 
 
 

 
 
 
This was eventually replaced by the current Photopoly logo.

This logo has become the theme for a consistent branding strategy for both Photopoly SL and Photopoly RL.

 
 
 

 
 
 
This is one of my RL display ads.

 
 
 

 
 
 
Here are three different watermarks I use on my photos and advertisements. The one I select in each case is based on the look of the environment the watermark is placed over.

The watermark is different from the logo in that it doesn't have the black-to-white gradient in the background. The background is clear instead, and in some cases the text may be transparent.

 
 
 

 
 
 
"If this is your first attempt to put together a portfolio, congratulations! You will not be burdened with a lot of preconceptions of what works and what does not work in a portfolio."
--Maria Piscopo

First off, your portfolio is NOT the same as all the pictures you have taken. A portfolio is only a selection of the BEST works you have for type of job you are going after. You will not have A portfolio, but multiple portfolios for different jobs.

When you are selecting the pictures to include in your portfolio, there is one rule. Be merciless about what you let in. It must only be your best.

There are many possible formats you can use to create your portfolio. You could make a tabletop book. There are many books with page-turning scripts. Or you can create it as a wearable HUD. Slide shows are another possibility, as are online locations like Flikr and Koinup.

The thing to remember is that some are serial like books. Open the cover and turn one page after another. But some formats are random. If you are running a slide show, your viewer might walk in at any point in the show. So think about where to put your most WOW pictures. In serial formats, weight them toward the front. In random formats, spread them around.

 
 
 

 
 
 
This is the cover I have used for several revisions of my portfolio. The next revision should be redone to match my branding.

 
 
 

 
 
 
One of the products I sell is a do-it-yourself portfolio kit. It contains all the same parts I use in making my own portfolios.

 
 
 

 
 
 
There are two kinds of marketing tools you can use in SL: the ones that cost lindens (or even dollars) and the ones that don't.

If you have the budget for it, you can hire SL advertisers and place ads in SL magazines. There are online advertisers of SL products and services also. Of course the Lindens also have such services.

For the rest of us with limited budgets, you can market your services through some group memberships, and online communities.

But the workhorse is still to find the people who would buy from you and make personal contact with them. And other contacts will come by word of mouth.

 
 
 

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Comments
 

Very valuable, good work. Thank you, Stephanie.


View MaXsiM's home MaXsiM | 8 year(s) ago

I haven't even added the text yet!


View StephanieHelsein's home StephanieHelsein | 8 year(s) ago



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