Be good at marketing what you do, not just good at what you do!

Be good at marketing what you do,
not just good at creating photographs !

1 – Introduction
To make a living in photography, or in any business, you must be good at marketing and selling what you do, not just good at what you do.

When I started doing photography full time, hoping to make a living from it, all the other photographers were telling me that if I did great work sales would follow.  I heard that in school, I heard it from other professionals and I heard it fom competitors.  Problem is that wasn’t true and the people who were telling me that were not being successful selling their work. In fact, some were not even selling their work at all, they were just telling me what they thought I should do without having done it themselves!

To be successful selling my work I needed to change from being a creator of photographs to being a marketer and seller of photographs.

2 – Have an effective lead generation system
This means you have to find customers regularly.  This is achieved by having an effective lead generation system.

Just like a plant needs a source of food and water, a business needs a source of customers and buyers.  This is because customers are the lifeblood of a business.  The question is, where do you find customers?  The answer is simple: you find customers by having an effective and constant lead-generation system.  This system is to your business what food and water is to a plant, or to any living organism.  Without it you will not have a business for very long, if you have one at all!

3 – Don’t get confused by superficial ‘success’
Many photographers who claim being successsful selling their work do not actually make money. What they consider success is being accepted in a gallery (wihout any promise of sales), or receiving an award (without financial compensation),  or having their work included in a museum collection (through a donation, not a purchase) or something similar.    I recently read a photographer’s post on Facebook in which the person mentions having his work accepted for representation by a significant institution, then continues by explaining that he ‘just finished framing the door between the wine cellar and woodworking workshop.’  While both are interesting news, the second part indicates that money is not the reason why this person is selling his work.  Therefore, the marketing approach used by this person is not necessarily money-oriented.  In fact, in this specific instance, the goal is more about prestige than about income. Today I spend hardly any money marketing my work but I spent over 25k in consulting fees over the year to learn how to do it.   Spending my money paying experts to reveal their knowledge to me privately is what made me successful.

Something  I recommend  is your 1 on 1 consulting and your Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.  I have included the link below.  The reason being that the books won’t give you answers specific to your personal situation because they address a very large audience.  In order to figure out how to price your own work the best is to do consulting.

In regards to limited editions, I don’t cover that in my books.  I cover it only in the Fine art Photography Business and Marketing Success Seminar and in the Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.

Alain Briot

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on and as eBooks on my website at this link:

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at

Alain Briot

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