I regularly receive emails from photographers asking me if I can sell their photographs. Typically these emails read like this: “I have a fantastic photograph of (insert location here), I know it’s worth a fortune (millions usually), I just need help selling it.’ Some offer to ‘take me in’ as a partner for a share of the profits (no thanks), others just want the email of the ‘magic person’ who is going to make them rich (there’s no such person).
Sorry folks, but none of this will work. You don’t make money in photography because you believe, rightly or wrongly, that you have a ‘million dollar’ photograph. You make money in photography because you have learned how to market and sell your work yourself.
Don’t forget this:
A bad photograph well marketed will always outsell a good photograph poorly marketed. Alain Briot
This means that it doesn’t matter if you have a ‘million dollar’ photograph if you don’t know how to market it. Someone else, with a $100 photograph but with photography marketing knowledge, will outdo you financially. Of course, the goal is to have a great photo and fantastic marketing knowledge. However, to get started what you need first is marketing knowledge.
Many photographers who start selling their work are trying to find someone who is willing to sell their photos and make them wealthy. I know everything about that because I was one of these photographers. I looked everywhere for such a person but did not find it. It was during this fruitless search that I understood I had to learn how to sell my work myself.
I realized that finding a person willing to make me rich was simply not going to happen. I had to do that myself. I succeeded because I learned how to control my destiny. Instead of asking others to make me rich, I went out and made myself rich. 14 years ago I had nothing. Now I have more than I ever dreamed. The photograph at the top of this essay paid for my first house cash. I made every sale by myself after learning how to market and sell my work.
I studied at the school of hard knocks. I did not take marketing classes and I did not study for an MBA. My experience is practical, not theoretical. It comes from the trenches, not from books. Learning that way wasn’t fun. I decided to write about and teach marketing to offer you a better way to get this knowledge. By sharing my knowledge with you I can teach you how to do what I do. It starts by taking the decision to control your own destiny instead of looking for someone (or something, such as luck or the lottery) to make it happen for you.
My no-nonsense approach to teaching marketing is based on my personal experience, not on books or college classes. I teach you how to do what I do. I have no secrets because I believe that there are opportunities for all of us out there.
Whichever way you do this, either with me or someone else, you are going to have to learn marketing. There’s no way around it. There’s no silver bullet and you won’t get rich overnight. Things moved fast for me, but it still took me 4 years of constant work to be successful.
Anyone that tells you otherwise is either lying or delusional. Why? Because if it was that easy, if there was a silver bullet and if we could become millionaires overnight, we would all be doing it! Everyone would be ‘rolling in the dough’ living in big houses, retiring at 40 and driving Bentleys! It’s far from being that way because being successful is uncomon. It’s also a lot of work. Only those who learn how to do this and who are willing to work as hard as it takes succeed. I had to do it that way. All those that are successful in this business have to.
I just announced my new Advanced Marketing Seminar. This is the perfect place to learn how to do this and to make your dreams happen:
If you are not ready for the Advanced seminar, start by reading my introductory book on marketing:
Either way you will be moving forward towards your dream. Just keep in mind that you are the one who will make it happen.