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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 24 Feb 2016 (Wednesday) 15:16
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Carreer changing thoughts - want to break in into Travel photography-need suggestions

 
Obey
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Feb 25, 2016 15:29 |  #16

Industry average is 2% click through, with 2% of that buying a product.

So if someone has 200,000 Instagram followers and they do a sponsored post, about 4,000 people will follow up. From there you have about 80 people that will buy the product.

Obviously engagement is different on everyone's Instagram and number of comments they receive plays a factor, but just using industry averages for this.


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Feb 25, 2016 15:43 |  #17
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Oh, we are getting off topics now since the OP won't be making money from his photography but from companies paying him to put their ads on his account.... :) Photos? In that case, you don't even need photos. Or, just take photos with your iphones and all would be the same as long as you get followers.


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Obey
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Obey. (5 edits in all)
     
Feb 25, 2016 15:48 |  #18

I don't think we are off topic. He asked to make a career out of travel photography, and I am giving him real life examples of how many adventure lifestyle/travel photographers make their money.

Alex Strohl traveled all over Europe for 3 months this summer and was given a land rover defender, etc. all for sponsored posts. An example like this illustrates exactly how to travel and make money.

He is now currently living in Montana for the winter, for free. He just has to make sponsored posts for the rental company.

He stayed in Washington for 2 months for free and had to provide pictures of the guys air bnb cabin for instagram.

Again, travel photography and making a living.

In 2016 (feel like this forum is stuck in 2006 half the time), Instagram and social media play a major role in landing photo jobs. It is very important to have a nice Instagram account.


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Mike ­ Photo
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Feb 25, 2016 21:09 |  #19

Obey Maybe you can share some of your strategies for getting to that 7k number?

I'd also add that Youtube can be a great tool for paying for the cost of your travels. I know several successful youtubers who were not Photographer/videograp​hers but traveled a lot and started just recording their experiences and giving tips on how they traveled. Now they are full time travel bloggers and shoot video and images all over the world for clients. Youtube gave them the ability to provide a product and build an audience before they had the skill to offer something to clients. As photographers we already have the skill but often lack the knowledge to market ourselves.

I think a lot of photographers also forget that there is a large market of people that want to be like you or live your life so sharing your experiences on Instagram and youtube can build that large following to make that extra money.


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EOS-Mike
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Feb 25, 2016 21:31 |  #20

Obey wrote in post #17911290 (external link)
If you're looking to be like Alex Strohl, Morgan Phillips, Dylan Furst, etc. 99% of it is how many followers do you have on Instagram and social media. Obviously they all take fantastic pictures at this point in their career, but follower count plays a huge role in the outdoor lifestyle/travel photography world.

Not to put down this site, but a lot of the members are older here and don't have a true grasp on the social media world and the amount of money that is paid in sponsored posts. I know the guys I listed above, and many other outdoor adventure/lifestyle photographers and there is good money in sponsored posts. But you need a mass following. Image quality can only get you so far in today's world.

Just keep going out and shooting, keep a consistent editing style and grow a following.

How does that work? A person gets a certain amount of Instagram followers and then sponsors contact you to offer?


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JacobPhoto
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Feb 26, 2016 16:10 |  #21

Obey wrote in post #17912837 (external link)
Industry average is 2% click through, with 2% of that buying a product.

So if someone has 200,000 Instagram followers and they do a sponsored post, about 4,000 people will follow up. From there you have about 80 people that will buy the product.

Obviously engagement is different on everyone's Instagram and number of comments they receive plays a factor, but just using industry averages for this.

Industry average for Instagram CTR is substantially lower than that. Engagement (likes and comments) may be around that, but if you have an actual landing page / short URL / link in a profile, the CTR is way below that.

While subscriber count is important, subscriber engagement is equally if not more important. Many companies who pursue 'influencer marketing' opportunities (like those with Instagram / Twitter "social influencers / celebrities") will very closely compare not just your follower count but the average number of likes & comments per post to other people. Also, they will 'bucket' you into a category or vertical based on what you often post about, what content is most engaging, etc.

Mike Photo wrote in post #17913300 (external link)
I'd also add that Youtube can be a great tool for paying for the cost of your travels. I know several successful youtubers who were not Photographer/videograp​hers but traveled a lot and started just recording their experiences and giving tips on how they traveled. Now they are full time travel bloggers and shoot video and images all over the world for clients. Youtube gave them the ability to provide a product and build an audience before they had the skill to offer something to clients. As photographers we already have the skill but often lack the knowledge to market ourselves.

I think a lot of photographers also forget that there is a large market of people that want to be like you or live your life so sharing your experiences on Instagram and youtube can build that large following to make that extra money.

Youtube is also a great opportunity. Their pay rate is a bit more clearly defined as they are the ones paying you (versus IG / Twitter where the brands negotiate rates outside of a standard marketplace). But again, until you get 100k subscribers, and average more than 100k views per video (ideally within 1 to 2 weeks of posting the video), you likely won't make enough to live off of.

Keep in mind that with each platform (IG, Twitter, Youtube, vine, snapchat, *insert the next big thing here*, etc) there are very specific strategies that work well for each of them, and they are very different. Time of day of posts, length of posts, headlines, hashtags, linking to things, etc all vary with each platform based on how the content is consumed (and the demographics of each platform). You can't (and shouldn't) just think there's a single best approach to push content to 4 or 5 different platforms and think it will work well universally. You'll need to research each platform, perform some A/B tests, and perfect the art. Again, this is all done while you build your organic following, which is very important to create long term engagement.

EOS-Mike wrote in post #17913312 (external link)
How does that work? A person gets a certain amount of Instagram followers and then sponsors contact you to offer?

Yup. Usually, part of building a following means people will start to look to you as a SME (subject matter expert). If a fashion brand has some marketing budget earmarked for social influencers, they will look at who their own employees are already following on their personal accounts, who's trending with specific hashtags, etc. Off the top of your head, if someone asks you who your favorite photographer on Instagram is, chances are, you have a favorite. If you are an electronics geek, you'll likely have a geeky instagram and/or media outlet that you follow. For someone who likes to travel (or dreams of traveling), they likely have a list of people they follow to see images that they can dream or aspire to be able to experience in person. Brands know who these people are, and will reach out directly to discuss rates, promotion plans, etc. There's often weeks or months of negotiations, proposals, revisions, approvals, paperwork, etc that happen before you see each post. Then after each post, there's the follow up - reporting on what actually happened (views, likes, comments, etc), invoicing, etc. It's not as cut and dry as a brand asks you to make a post, you make the post, and the money shows up the next day. At any given time, a typical 'influencer' will be courting or discussing things with anywhere from 5 to 20 opportunities. Some may never pan out, some may go from "hey, what are your rates for a post" to an actual post in a matter of days. But it's far from a quick, easy, or well documented process for 'new' influencers.


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Feb 27, 2016 10:21 |  #22

This thread really got my imagination flowing. I thank all of you who pitched in with useful information.

As I was going to sleep Thursday night my mind started clicking through options. Hmm, what do people like, what do I like, and how could I put that together?

So I started a new Instagram Account (and for eleven bucks reserved the .com in case it grows into something). The result:

Places & Pets. On Instagram it's PlacesAndPets and I have www.placesandpets.com (external link) reserved.

It combines two things that really hit a mass appeal: Travel and pets (and photography, of course).

Everyone likes dogs and cats (well, most people) and exotic pets as well, and most people love travel. I thought, "Wouldn't it be neat to highlight pets, the people who love them, and the places they call home?

I started following a few animal IGs, and some of them have hundreds of thousands of followers. I was blown away.

It will also flow well with my wife's business, which is a pet sitting service. She's built it up from the ground in our county (about three small towns) and has three employees. So that will be my first "sponsor" so-to-speak.

I have four whole followers. ;)

And when I travel and take photos of what I like (landscapes, culture, etc). I can seek out people and their pets, take a few photos and write a few stories.

Thanks again.


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Feb 27, 2016 11:07 as a reply to  @ EOS-Mike's post |  #23

Good luck with everything Mike ;-)a


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ekfaysal
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Feb 27, 2016 14:18 |  #24

well, first of all, I'm sorry i am responding here very late. I had been traveling.

As i worked with almost everything related to digital marketing, that is , Social media marketing, website publishing, affiliate marketing and stuff, i am pretty much well learned about all that.

Travel photography is a hobby I'm carrying since 7 years. I work online, its like i work really hard for 7/8 months , save some money and then travel for the rest of 4/5 months.
I'm tired of spending most of my time in front of my computer screen. I want to go out in the world and travel more and more.

I 'm surfing this forum since 9 years. made plenty of friends.i have noted that most of the photographers , the brilliant ones, those who know the art of photography are most of the times not aware of the marketing importance of it. Specially social and search media marketing.

I actually want to start something related to travel photography first which helps me get some money for my trips. I'll keep traveling and capturing . will keep getting exposure and will build a really good portfolio.
i will probably start writing a blog. I will build a youtube channel, a Fb page with paid Adverts, an instagram profile with paid campaign to increase followers.
How would it help?
well, on my blog/website i will put some advertisements, to be specific, Google Adsense (google it if you dont know how it works)
it may help me start making some money for my travels, but my main focus is going to be on building a comprehensive portfolio. after that, i will consult maximum travel magazines to publish my work/stories and stuff.
During my travels, i may create loads of stock photography and use something like dreamstock to sell it. (i have a little success with it already)

Would love to get more suggestions from you guys.
if anybody want to talk to me in private. we can do that too via PM or skype


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JacobPhoto
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Feb 27, 2016 16:26 |  #25

ekfaysal wrote in post #17915215 (external link)
well, first of all, I'm sorry i am responding here very late. I had been traveling.

As i worked with almost everything related to digital marketing, that is , Social media marketing, website publishing, affiliate marketing and stuff, i am pretty much well learned about all that.

Travel photography is a hobby I'm carrying since 7 years. I work online, its like i work really hard for 7/8 months , save some money and then travel for the rest of 4/5 months.
I'm tired of spending most of my time in front of my computer screen. I want to go out in the world and travel more and more.

I 'm surfing this forum since 9 years. made plenty of friends.i have noted that most of the photographers , the brilliant ones, those who know the art of photography are most of the times not aware of the marketing importance of it. Specially social and search media marketing.

I actually want to start something related to travel photography first which helps me get some money for my trips. I'll keep traveling and capturing . will keep getting exposure and will build a really good portfolio.
i will probably start writing a blog. I will build a youtube channel, a Fb page with paid Adverts, an instagram profile with paid campaign to increase followers.
How would it help?
well, on my blog/website i will put some advertisements, to be specific, Google Adsense (google it if you dont know how it works)
it may help me start making some money for my travels, but my main focus is going to be on building a comprehensive portfolio. after that, i will consult maximum travel magazines to publish my work/stories and stuff.
During my travels, i may create loads of stock photography and use something like dreamstock to sell it. (i have a little success with it already)

Would love to get more suggestions from you guys.
if anybody want to talk to me in private. we can do that too via PM or skype

Sounds like you have a good idea of what it takes to be successful.

Assuming you can get some good traction from the blog, you're probably more likely to make more from that than from actually selling travel photography or writing freelance articles. Since you know about affiliate marketing, I would suggest building out some affiliate accounts with major travel sites (orbitz, expedia, hotels.com, etc) as those sites will often pay quite nicely for bookings made through your affiliate link.

Print magazines as a whole are depleting quickly in distribution, page length, and what they are able to pay freelancers. I would expect that a good portion of travel magazines are able to use stock images, user submitted images, or images provided by hotels & airlines complimentary in exchange for promoting their services. If anything is paid to a freelancer, I would only expect it to be either a nominal fee to cover small expenses, or due to the freelancer being a major name or 'expert' in the space. I would expect most online publications to also only offer a small amount, if any, for posts. With a long term goal to monetize your own website, I would see opportunities on other sites as a marketing opportunity to promote your 'brand' and convert some of that property's users into your own users, and thus would be offering these sites content in exchange for links and promotion of your brand. Again, you seem to understand website monetization well, so I'm sure you can track inbound traffic from these marketing partners and calculate if that's the same price or cheaper than you buying ads on those sites directly. All of this is very counter-intuitive to the average approach of selling and licensing photographs, so be careful and strategic in who you partner with.

Good luck with this venture!


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Feb 28, 2016 06:21 |  #26

The key is the eyeballs. Organizations are looking for new ways to get eyeballs on their product. The standard methods of using magazine ads or newspaper ads are on the decline so advertisers want to be where the people are which is social media.

I'll be the first to admit, I am not always easy to reach when people are trying to target me. I don't read newspapers, I don't read many magazines (a few photography ones) but I am on social media, a lot.

I've been lucky, I don't have a large social media following but I do have a very responsive one and my work does receive a tonne of eyeballs from my photojournalist work to a few buzzfeed features. I've broken into one aspect of it all, clothing sponsors, but never thought of the travel approach until this thread was brought up. Was always curious how it worked, so thanks for the posting.




  
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Obey
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Mar 01, 2016 13:03 |  #27

Here is a BBC article about Instagram/social media follower count taking over and how important it is to companies:
http://www.bbc.com/new​s/business-35483480 (external link)

Thought it fit in with this discussion.


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Scott ­ Spellman
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Mar 01, 2016 13:46 |  #28

Your photography itself looks good. I would expand your range of subject/style to include more food, interiors, and product photos. There are a few sources of clients in the travel photography area that you need to chase aggressively:

1) Media Work - News, alternative, and lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Working for large print or online media will greatly help your reputation and ease you into commercial work.
2) Commercial Work - shooting food, interiors, advertising, and marketing photos for restaurants, museums, monuments, stores, professional portraits. This is a critical source of income sinch you can charge much higher rates than media work.
3) Blogs - You need to contribute photos and articles to established large travel blogs to increase your reputation as an expert.
4) Social Media followers- you need to be very aggressive to promote your social media followers to 10,000+. You will start to get product promotion offers at 25,000+
5) Your client and friend network needs to be super strong to help you boost your efforts and keep your costs down.

I would not make a radical career change until you have proven that you have earned at least 50% of current income with new revenue from travel and commercial work.




  
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ekfaysal
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Mar 06, 2016 11:33 |  #29

Scott Spellman wrote in post #17919377 (external link)
Your photography itself looks good. I would expand your range of subject/style to include more food, interiors, and product photos. There are a few sources of clients in the travel photography area that you need to chase aggressively:

1) Media Work - News, alternative, and lifestyle magazines and newspapers. Working for large print or online media will greatly help your reputation and ease you into commercial work.
2) Commercial Work - shooting food, interiors, advertising, and marketing photos for restaurants, museums, monuments, stores, professional portraits. This is a critical source of income sinch you can charge much higher rates than media work.
3) Blogs - You need to contribute photos and articles to established large travel blogs to increase your reputation as an expert.
4) Social Media followers- you need to be very aggressive to promote your social media followers to 10,000+. You will start to get product promotion offers at 25,000+
5) Your client and friend network needs to be super strong to help you boost your efforts and keep your costs down.

I would not make a radical career change until you have proven that you have earned at least 50% of current income with new revenue from travel and commercial work.

thank you very much for the advice. yes i'm thinking the same. i will definitly stick to my work at first and try to build more income streams.


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