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SELLING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY - THE REALITY CHEQUE

I have said it before, and I will say it again…

 

It is a common misconception that just because you joined RedBubble – your work is automatically going to sell.

On this site alone, you have an aweful lot of competition… there are several hundred thousand members, and millions of images on this site.

And… RedBubble is not in the business of Selling or Marketing your work.

RedBubble exists as a place that will:

  1. Display your work online,
  2. Manufacture your customer’s orders,
  3. Despatch those orders, and
  4. Handle all financial matters for you.

… But RedBubble do not Market your work.

How committed ARE you?

 

If you want to make money from your photography, then YOU have to do the Marketing… just like you would if you owned an actual photographic shop.

If you want to make money from your photography, then I would you ask you this question:

Are you SERIOUS about making money … or are you just hoping to sell stuff from time to time?

 

If you are serious about making money – then you should FIRST go to night college and study Business Management and Marketing. Without an excellent knowledge and understanding of Business Management and Marketing, the chances of creating a successful income from your photography are very very slim.

Statistically speaking…

 

The following information is from WHY DO MOST START-UPS FAILS at the Small Business Trends Website:

  1. Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows that regardless of the year when they are founded, the majority of start-ups go out of business within five years, and two-thirds are no longer operating ten years after being formed.
  2. Many entrepreneurs fail to take the actions that research shows help businesses to survive. Academic evidence shows that putting in place careful financial controls, emphasizing marketing plans and writing a business plan increase the odds that a new business will survive, yet many founders fail to write plans, have inadequate financial controls and don’t focus on their marketing plans.
  3. True, some start-ups fail because of factors beyond their founders’ control. But responsibility for much of the high failure rate of new businesses lies with the entrepreneurs themselves.

Lost in the crowd…

 

While it is important that you have a good commercially viable product – it is not the product that drives sales…. it is Marketing. Simply put – if you don’t advertise your product to the people who might be interested in buying it, then you wont make any sales.

Photography is THE most popular past-time in the world. It beats every other activity by factors of hundreds. The world and the internet is chock-full of amazing photography… last year alone nearly 5x BILLION images were uploaded to the internet!

… and the net result is that it is nearly impossible to make any sort of sustainable income from Photography.

Sad but true.

Afterall… why pay a photographer several hundred dollars for an image, when I can probably take something just as good myself with my sub-$1000 DSLR ?

There are successful landscape and wildlife photographers out there… and only two spring to mind… PETER LIK, and and… ummm …. errrrr …..

I can’t even name two financially-successful “Art Photographers”.

I can name plenty of “Commercial Photographers” who make an excellent living, but that is not your field…

“Art Photography” is not where you will make any money unless your name is PETER LIK … ie you must have a well established name and an even bigger reputation. To make a living out of non-commercial photography ie… “Art Photography” – then you really need to be “in demand”.

 

Peter is successfull because he also has an incredible business model and a massive marketing machine that keeps his work at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the art world… his work is very good too, but that is not the reason for his success.

Peter is a success as an “Art Photographer” because he does what it takes to stand out from the crowd!

But I just want to have some fun!

 

If you just want to make a little bit of pocket money from sales, then you still need to market yourself, but you can do this by becoming involved in the social aspect of RedBubble… basically get out there and let everyone know you are here…

  1. Join Groups that you are interested in, and be active within them.
  2. Comment on the work of other artist’s that you like.
  3. Favourite other artist’s work that you like [they will know that you Favourited their work]
  4. Add artist’s that you like to your Watchlist [they will know that you are watching them]
  5. Write Journals about your experiences – everyone watches for the latest Journals!
  6. Join in discussions in the General Forums
  7. Keep uploading your best work so that everyone gets to see it.

You need to be seen, get noticed… if you don’t then members of RedBubble probably wont ever buy anything from you – because they wont even know you are here.

If you are serious about making an income from your photography, then as a starting-point may I strongly recommend reading this Tutorial:

HOW TO MAKE SALES

 

COOL LINKS TO OTHER ADVICE ABOUT SALES &MARKETING

 

  1. MARKETING ART by KARIN TAYLOR
  1. HOW TO GET YOUR WORK DISPLAYED IN SHOPS by the RedBuble Selling Team
  1. 10 PROMO IDEAS FOR BEGINNERS by the RedBuble Selling Team
  1. MERCHANDISE TO INCREASE YOUR ART & T-SHIRT SALES by the RedBuble Selling Team
  1. SELLING SUPPORT & DISCUSSION GROUP by the RedBuble Selling Team
  1. TUTORIAL LIBRARY
  1. HEAPS & HEAPS OF ARTICLES WRITTEN BY OTHER REDBUBBLE MEMBERS
  1. MARKETING by Janis Zroback

Comments

  • Sharon Brown
    Sharon Brownover 2 years ago

    Thank you Byron for your ever-helpful information

  • You’re welcome Polly.

    The truth is that I was getting sick of writing this out all the time, so I put into a Journal where I can simply copy-and-paste it!!!

    – BYRON

  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleover 2 years ago

    Excellent advice. I read through this and How To Make Sales.
    I’m thinking I should make some time to do a proper cull soon. :)
    Thank you.

  • Thanx Maree!

    – BYRON

  • Manon Boily
    Manon Boilyover 2 years ago

    exactly the way I see things. I am here to have fun and be insprired by people’s photography and art and I am very happy because since I joined RB, I made a lot of progress. some members told me and that is very motivating for me. I am lucky because I made few cards sales but that’s not my target. anyway I am a very bad salesperson and I have only 3 or 4 really great shots good enough for selling so yes, I feel lucky to make sales sometimes but in fact I am on RB because I love it and I make progress.
    Thanks Byron ;)

  • Yes Manon, if anyone really wants to make sales – its hard work. It doesn’t just magically happen.

    – BYRON

  • Garth Smith
    Garth Smithover 2 years ago

    Great journal Byron, pretty much tells it how it is. There are many brilliant ignored photographers on here – and there are many reasonably good, very popular photographers too. This obviously occurs for exactly the reasons you mention.

  • Thanx Garth.

    If anyone really wants to make sales – they have to have a plan, and they have to know what works and what doesn’t work in business.

    – BYRON

  • Heidi Mooney-Hill
    Heidi Mooney-Hillover 2 years ago

    Thank you Byron for this message.
    Maybe, when I find someone to help me show and sell my work, I will earn some money with my work here in Germany. At the moment I paint mostly pets in commision. My husband and son say I sell them to cheep. well, we’ll learn.
    Otherwise I’m on RB to learn and improve my painting as well as taking photos, something I got to love thru RB. Also having alot of contacts around the world with the comments.
    BR and

    Heidi

  • Thanx Heidi.

    I think tghere is too much emphasis on sales and not enough emphasis on personal and artistic growth. Too many people are validating their art by whether or not they make sales… and at the same time not putting the hard work in to actually sell their product.

    – BYRON

  • © Bob Hall
    © Bob Hallover 2 years ago

    Thanks Byron!!! The saying, Starving artist… didn’t become popular just because it sounds good. I’ve been fortunate to have sales on RB and a small art business on the side here at home. BUT I DO have a full time job. I create art because it’s my drive. Any sales is just icing on the cake. Thanks buddy!

  • Exactly Bob… we create art because it is in us to do so. If we sell something to someone who likes it – then that is freaking awesome! If we want to take it further and make a full time income out of what we do … then we need to learn how to run a successful business.

    Sales that equate to a serious income don’t happen by chance.

    – BYRON

  • GWGantt
    GWGanttover 2 years ago

    I rarely get any replies to comments and have had very few people favorite my work And i have added a lot of people to my watchlist altho there are only a few people watching me. My work doesnt seem to be very popular on here but My work has been published in magazines and I received a letter in the mail recently from a publisher who wanted two of my photo’s for publication in there magazine. Go figure that one out.

  • Hiya GW … it sounds like you have had more success than most of us!

    Its small steps to get the recognition that you need to really launch a successfull business.

    – BYRON

  • Ginny Schmidt
    Ginny Schmidtover 2 years ago

    Byron, thanks so much, not just for this but for
    all your advice. Your help is greatly appreciated.

  • Anytime Ginny!

    – BYRON

  • virginian
    virginianover 2 years ago

    Thanks Byron for sharing!

  • Sharing is Caring!

    – BYRON

  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...over 2 years ago

    Thanks very much for this valuable article!

  • You are most welcome Celeste!

    – BYRON