Let’s be honest…
If you’re a photographer and you’re not on social media, you’re doing something wrong. There are literally thousands of photographers that have built their career around Instagram.
That said, today I’m not going to talk about best social media platforms for photographers. There are 1001 articles written on this topic (just Google it).
I’m going to cover something that’s far less talked about. Monetizing your social media.
Instagram and YouTube can literally turn your hobby into a full-time career (make full-time income) if you’re smart about it.
More Than a Side Hustle
There are plenty of ways how you can earn an income from photography. Here are some of my favorites:
- Selling Services: Being paid to take photos of an event or conduct photoshoots are often the first thing anyone thinks of when making money as a photographer. What many people don’t think of is using social media to market photography services. Think of your social media feed as a portfolio, especially Instagram. The best way to be successful in selling your photography services is to make your feed niche specific, such as wedding photography. Then, add your contact info in your bio and a link where someone could purchase a photography package. An online store like Sellfy is perfect for listing your packages and super simple to do.
- Reviewing Gear: If you get into reviewing photography gear and equipment on
YouTube you can earn some money by signing up for affiliate programs.
You may even receive a free product from time to time in exchange for your honest opinion.
Start by reviewing equipment you already have experience with. Make sure you are honest in your review. And check into everything you use to see if there is already an affiliate program available for you to join. Amazon has one among many affiliate programs that works.
- Getting Sponsored: Having a brand sponsor a post or video is another great way to start monetizing your social media and is usually done in conjunction with a lot of other monetization options.
Once you have several posts or videos that either review a product or feature it in anyway, contact the brands you would like to work with.
Send them samples of your work, samples of posts you could make, and even detail the ways sponsoring you could help their brand or product. It’s usually a good idea to work with brands you love and honestly want to recommend. Remember that social media is super transparent.
- Selling Digital Products: Among all the monetisation methods mentioned above this has the biggest earning potential and many photographers actually use their social media to sell them. (Here’s one example)
In essence digital products are intangible (digital) items that you can sell.
You can sell an infinite amount of that product without worrying about running out of stock. And, even better, it provides you a residual income!
There are all kinds of digital products you could sell as a photographer such as stock photography, ecourses, ebooks or even… Lightroom presets.
Presets, Presets, Presets
You might have noticed the currently popularity of presets in the photography community. They are definitely a hot item right now!
Everyone from bloggers to fellow photographers are eating up photography presets like they are going out of style. If you are considering selling digital products as a photographer, you should definitely consider creating your own presets.
Presets have become so popular because everyone who posts photographs on a regular basis want to have their own photography style.
They want their images to scream their name so everyone knows who posted it, no matter where they see it. Having this unique style is important for so many businesses, entrepreneurs, and more, so your products would be in high demand.
Not only that, but selling presets would be a great way for you to grow your audience. Since presets are such a hot topic, it is a great way for you to get your name out there.
There are plenty of eyes searching for presets and once they come across yours, they will be led to your actual photography and follow you for more. Not to mention, creating presets that help other photographers helps build your reputation in the photography social sphere and establish you as an expert or influencer- whatever you are going for!
Presets can be sold on any online store that allows you to sell digital products, like Sellfy. All you need to get started is photo editing software and your first preset! Your Sellfy store can be up and running in 5 minutes. From here, you can embed your store anywhere, easily create promotions and coupons to attract customers, and receive a payout as soon as you sell a preset.
Do it Like the Pros
Even world class photographers are selling presets on social media. With millions of people scrolling through feeds full of photograhs, there’s no wonder! By getting your name and products out there every chance you get, you are increasing the chance of selling one of your products or services. Take a page out of the pros’ books and start using social media to market your photography, whether it be your services, stock images, or presets. Here’s how they do it:
- They advertise everywhere. Posting about your products isn’t the only way to market your photography on social media. You could take out a paid ad. Take advantage of Facebook and Instagram Stories. You can even advertise your online store in your social media banners. Just like Peter McKinnon who uses the banner on his YouTube channel to direct viewers to his Sellfy store filled with his own presets.
- Speaking of Instagram Stories, don’t forget to add links to your Instagram Stories! Instagram may be one of the best social media for photographers and the fact that you can now add more links than just what you have in your bio is game changing. Take advantage of the See More link in Instagram Stories every chance you get by directing viewers to specific products and promotions.
- They create videos to promote their products. Photographs aren’t the only content that does well on social media, so try making videos for your products! Videos can be as simple as a product launch announcement but you can get more mileage out of videos that show how to use your product or the benefits of using your product. Sorelle Amore always makes a video when she has new products for sale so that all of your YouTube subscribers are directed to her Sellfy store.
- They use Sellfy’s embed feature to create Facebook stores. Adding your products to your Facebook page is a great way to get new customers. Some people may only be following you on Facebook, so make it easy for them to buy your products! Sellfy’s embed feature makes it that much easier to make sales on Facebook and any other social media platform. Salt in Our Hair blog used this feature to create a Facebook Store that can be found and shopped alongside different sections of their profile.
Utilize Your Following
Making money as a photographer is as simple as using social media. You’re great at what you do, so let the world know it! By getting your services and products out there, you are not only growing a following but a loyal customer base, as well. Take advantage of the fact that people already love your work. Once you start marketing your photography to them, you’ll have a line of ready and willing customers.
Don’t believe us? Check out our guide for making $1000 from 1000 followers without paying for ads below!
Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy.