It seems that success as a photographer in today’s brave new world of photography is 90% dependent on marketing skill, and only 10% photographic skill. It seems this is the truth.

Now, how are you to succeed and stand-out? Here are some practical ideas I’ve learned through my decade+ experience in photography, marketing, philosophy, and life:

Anti-romanticism

Many photographers will say this isn’t “fair”. But reality does not care for fairness.

The truth is, the only way to get discovered as a photographer in today’s over-saturated world is to master marketing (on the internet).

Become #1 on Google

Hosting your own wordpress.org blog means that you can be indexed by Google. Thus, people can discover you (randomly) on Google.

A simple first solution is this:

Become #1 on Google for whatever your photographic niche.

They call this ‘SEO’ (search engine optimization). The basic notion is this:

Keep writing and blogging a lot on a certain topic, and over time the more people who link to your website or share your website (trust-building), you will raise to become #1 on Google for whatever you desire.

This is the strategy I did to become #1 on Google for ‘street photography’. It took me about 5-6 years, and blogging at least 3 times a week. In all, it took me 2,000+ blog posts specifically on street photography to become #1.

Associate yourself with a color

This is a very pragmatic tip:

‘Brand’ yourself by using a certain color for all of your marketing and branding.

Associate yourself with a certain color palette. For me, this is this ‘crimson red’ I discovered in Kanye West’s “My beautiful dark fantasy”.

I liked the color so much, I decided to use it for all of my personal marketing and branding materials.

Color is such a primal thing. What you want to do is this:

Link yourself with a certain color, and make sure your viewers or followers instantly connect you with a certain color. So whenever they see that color– they think of you!

Stay ahead of the curve

How does one stay ahead of the curve?

Well my thought is this:

Simply follow your gut.

This is hard to quantify, nay — nearly impossible.

What this means is this:

You have a certain creative intuition inside your body and soul. Simply follow yourself, whether you are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

And not only that, but realize that you have a unique artistic/aesthetic/philosophical taste. It isn’t to please others; it is to create in accordance with your own personal taste.

Create a culture

I first started this notion of #streettogs, then now onto the #ricohmafia.

“Hey wussup STREETTOGS?”

For #streettogs, the initial notion was this:

There was no street photography specific hashtag on Twitter in 2010-2011, and thus I borrowed the #togs concept for @photojack, and just added the word ‘street’ to it (thus, #streettogs).

Therefore whenever I tweeted anything street photography, or made a YouTube video, I always mentioned the ‘streettogs’ notion. Soon it caught on, became a popular hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and so forth. And now I think it has even entered the vernacular when street photographers want to just refer to other street photographers as ‘fellow streettogs‘.

RICOH RICOH RICOH

After playing with all the cameras out there, I deemed the RICOH GRII to be the best digital camera — and making impressive images with it. Even creating an Eric Kim Preset to apply to the RAW Ricoh photos. My passion for the RICOH was because I genuinely believed it to empower photographers. Affordable, small, always with you, with phenomenal image quality and aesthetics. What else would you need?

Conclusion: It is all Courage

Ultimately I think marketing comes down to courage.

How confident are you of yourself, your services, your skill, your products, and your vision?

If you put yourself on a high plane (high self-esteem and high self-ego), simply share. Start your own website/blog, your own YouTube channel, and put yourself out there.

Self-promote yourself, don’t get suckered by this romantic notion of getting ‘discovered’.

And when in doubt, just share it!

ERIC


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