In a previous post, we talked about using publicity to generate interest in your photography work. The benefits are clear:
- Press coverage is cheaper than advertising
- Appearing in the media gives you a reputation that no advertising budget can ever buy
- You can pick up sales immediately after your media appearance, and enjoy long-term recognition too
And all it takes is a well-written press release that gives the media a genuine story. One of the most reliable ways to create that story is to put on an event…
The Media Likes to Provide a Service — Like Reporting Exhibitions
That’s easy for any photographer to do, even if they’re not a professional. A photographic exhibition can be an event, and because the media — especially the local media — likes to think of itself as providing a service, there’s a good chance that they’ll report it.
Of course, holding an exhibition of your photos doesn’t have to mean persuading a gallery owner to put up your photos. You can organize your own show and hold it in a friendly café, your garage or even an open area in the park if you can lay your hands on some stands. The press release would simply tell the media where and when the exhibition will take place and why it’s important.
You should also make it clear that images are available for the media to reproduce: they’d get a great picture story; you’d get your photo in the press.
Give to Charity, Get Fame
If you’re lucky, that will be enough to get a write-up in a newspaper and bring people to see and buy your photos. But you can increase the odds of winning publicity by turning your exhibition into a charity event. You can do that by charging a small fee, auctioning prints, promising to donate a share of the day’s take or even by shooting on a theme, such as your town’s homeless or the wildlife in a local nature reserve.
Having the media announce your exhibition for you is very powerful. But you shouldn’t rely on it. If you’re holding an exhibition, you will need to market it yourself. That’s become a lot easier too. EventsBot lets you email details of events such as exhibitions. It can be used to sell tickets as well — useful if you’re hoping to raise funds for charity — but you can use it for free events too.
To get round the problem of building up a large mailing list or being accused of spamming, try sending the EventsBot invitation to people you know and asking them to forward it to five of their friends. Again, you’ll find that easier if it’s a charity event. Everyone likes to feel they’re doing their bit for a good cause — even if it’s only forwarding an email.
You don’t have to work hard to get your first — or your next — photography exhibition. You can organize it yourself, promote it yourself, sell tickets, support a charity of your choice… and get famous in the process.
Check out EventsBot here and tell us how you put on your first photography exhibition.
[tags] photo event marketing, eventsbot [/tags]