Branding, Websites and Social Media for Photographers | Jennifer Schwartz | Skillshare

Branding, Websites and Social Media for Photographers

Jennifer Schwartz

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6 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Trailer for the 10-Course Series, Crusade For Your Art

      1:09
    • 2. Course 4: Branding, Website, Social Media

      0:19
    • 3. Logo and Marketing Materials

      5:46
    • 4. Components of a Good Website, Part 1

      6:09
    • 5. Components of a Good Website, Part 2

      3:26
    • 6. Social Media

      5:36

About This Class

Crusade For Your Art: Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers gives you the tools to take your fine art photography career by the reins and thoughtfully and purposefully develop a plan to get you where you want to go.  Learn how to tighten your work, develop your brand, identify goals and a plan for your photography, and strategically launch your project.

In this forth of ten courses, you will learn the importance of consistent branding and things to consider when creating a logo, business cards and marketing materials. You will also learn the important components of a good photographic website and how to use social media effectively and efficiently. For your class project, you will evaluate your current website and determine areas that need improvement.

Jennifer Schwartz is the creator/director of Crusade for Art, a non-profit organization focused on cultivating demand for art, specifically fine art photography. Jennifer owned a fine art photography gallery in Atlanta (Jennifer Schwartz Gallery) for five years, showcasing the work of emerging photographers. She also created the online project, The Ten, and is the co-creator of Flash Powder Projects. In the spring of 2013, she traveled around the country in a 1977 VW bus, engaging audiences with photography. Her book, Crusade For Your Art: Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers was published in March 2014.

Transcripts

1. Trailer for the 10-Course Series, Crusade For Your Art: Hi. I'm Jennifer Schwartz on the creator and executive director of Crusade for Art, a nonprofit organization with the mission to educate, inspire and empower photographers to connect new audiences. Start I owned a commercial fine art photography gallery in Atlanta for five years, and I'm working with the photographers both with the gallery and with a nonprofit realize there is really a lack of information out there about how to navigate the fine art photography world. And it can seem pretty intimidating. Trying to figure out how to approach a gallery, how people get their books published. How museum collections acquire where So I wrote this book called Her Savory Our best practices for fine art Photographers. And this 10 core skill share series is gonna roughly follow the form out of the book. And it will talk about basically the ace ese to navigating the fine art photography world. How to edit in sequence your work, how to write an artist statement, how to cement work to a gallery, how to prepare for a portfolio review, how the price, your work, really everything. So I hope that you will join me and have fun and appreciate for your art. Thanks 2. Course 4: Branding, Website, Social Media: in this fourth course in the Crusade Re art series, we're going to talk about branding websites and social media. We'll talk about the importance of having a consistent brand across all of your outputs, why your website is super important and making a first impression for your work, and how do you social media more effectively. 3. Logo and Marketing Materials: developing a consistent brand across your website. Social, media and marketing materials looks professional, and it sends a strong message that you are dedicated to your work and you care about what you put out into the world. If you think about meeting someone for the first time, this is really a chance to make a first impression, especially if you're not sitting right in front of someone. So thinking about the level of professionalism the way that your image comes across, you also want to be memorable. So if you have a logo, for instance, or particular colors that you always use or away that you lay things out and it looks consistent in your website in a post card that you send to someone, a new email newsletter, it becomes recognizable. That becomes a point of contact of like, Oh, this looks really familiar and this photographer must be familiar, and this is a reason why we should be working together. So the first thing to think about that's really simple is just a logo. It doesn't have to be anything super band, so you don't have to hire a graphic designer for most photographers. You want just your name in a particular funked Always written a certain way with a certain set of colors here, some examples of ones that that are good. They're most of them are super fancy. They're just ones that over and over again. When you see them, you recognize them, and it just creates a uniform feeling across all of your branded materials. Um, you also want to think about having a logo or a version of your logo that can fit into a square, since the avatars for websites for all of your social media outlets want you to upload a square picture. So you want to be able to use your logo in that four men if you want. So where you gonna put this logo first? You're gonna have it on your website, of course, and you're gonna have it on all of your different marketing materials. When I'm talking about marketing materials, I mean business card, a postcard that you might send out about your work, any sort of brochure booklet, any kind of thing that you might send Teoh Gallery or someone who might be interested in your work, anything that you can. Maybe you have a Gallery exhibition, and you wanna leave some materials there for people to be able to pick up and learn more about you and your work. So let's talk about the business card. You want to have your name, obviously your logo. If your logo is your name, that helps your website. Your phone number and I really think it's important to have your social media. If you're active on Twitter instagram Facebook. Having just your the at symbol in your Twitter handle is a great way Teoh let people connect with you and and in the social media outlet. So a lot of times, people don't want to put their phone number on their business card. Um, your email. You also wanna have your email address. You just want to make it really easy for people to contact you. So when someone gives me a card, I'm interested in looking at their work. It drives me crazy when it just has their website, and then I go to their website, and then I go to the contact page in the contact page, doesn't have their email address or phone number, and the only choice I have is toe fill out the contact form, which sends the email to them who knows where and if I like your work. I want to be I want to be easy to contact you, to say yes, I'd love to do something with this or I want to buy it. So think about it that way. If you aren't comfortable having yourself a number or, um, the phone number that used most often, you can set up a Google Voice phone number and that one can forward to your regular phone number or be a place to just leave messages. So there are a lot of options. Um, sometimes with a business card, it could be great to you Have an image on it, so they're a bunch of different websites out there. Mu is one of them. They do a great job where on one side of your car, you can have your logo in all of your contact information, so website, email, phone number and social media and then on the other side you can have a signature image in a case like move and in several of the other sites, you can put different images on the backs of the card so you can order a pack of maybe 25 or 50 cards and have even 50 different images. That might be a little bit much, But having a choice of a couple of different ones is nice, because if you if you do a lot of different types of work, you can have an example of each. And depending here you're speaking with, you can give them a car that's most appropriate. Or you can say, Look, here's a You're basically doing a mini little review of your work here. My business cards and your 10 different images have look at the kind of variety of work Ideo. Same thing with postcards. Thes same websites do postcards the same way, so you could have an image on one side and all of your contact information On the other, A postcard is basically just a larger version of your business card. It should have the same information on it. If you have a really short couple of sentence artists or project statement that you want to include, you could put that on your postcard as well. The most important thing is that you have consistency across all of these materials, that they all have the same look and feel they'll have your logo and contact information. And for photographers, it's really a wonderful opportunity to put an image on your card, and that is the first step for someone. So if you hand me a card, you say, Oh, my photographer and it's got no sense of what type of photography you dio I'll throw in my bag and maybe one day I'll rediscover it and say, What's this? And go to your website. But if you give if you hook me in with an image already, that's a great way to get people to take that next step to give you more of your work online. 4. Components of a Good Website, Part 1: Okay, so let's talk about websites. It makes me crazy when a photographer says, like, Oh, you can go to my website, but it's really outdated or I don't have my current work up there or I know I need to redo it, but I just haven't gotten to that yet. It's so easy now to create a custom website that really can showcase your work. Most people are going to view your work online for the first time. It's just the reality of it. And even if someone does see your work in a gallery or museum setting or any kind of exhibition and they want to learn more about you, they're going to go to your website. They're gonna look through all of your images, and if they're thinking about buying one, that's the place they're going to go to look at it again. So I can't. I can't stress enough the importance of professionalism and consistency across all of your marketing materials, including your website. I wanna make sure your logo's on there. You want to make sure that all of your current work is on. You also want to make sure that it's easily inevitable, so There's no reason for a photographer to have a complicated Web site. You want to list your portfolios, you wanna have a way to get in touch with you. You want to read a little bit about the work. That's it. So make sure that it's easy to click through the images that you're able to view the images and a large enough size to make it really impactful for somewhat. Let's say you're just going to start from scratch on your website, and you're looking at different companies like square space or verb. Teoh uses a template based site, which is all you really need. You don't need to know HTML at this point, their websites that are built for photographers that really make beautiful, clean, simple, easy to navigate websites. So when you're looking at different options, make sure that the the photography site that you want to use has the following options. You want to be able to select a custom. You earl again. It's just professionalism. It doesn't cost any more money, but you want your website to be jennifer Schwartz dot com or Jennifer Schwartz Photography not come dot com, not Jennifer Schwartz dot name of the company that you're is hosting your website dot com. It's just It's really simple to be able to buy our own neural and have that be your full websites name. You also want to make sure that it's scalable toe all devices. So many people look at websites for the first time on ipads and iPhones, and you want to make sure that it looks good and that people can view your images really easily on those devices. You want to be able to change background colors, font type, far size. You want to be able to basically customize it so that the colors and the look and the feel in the typeface match the rest of your marketing materials. Gonna be able to put up your own logo? Of course, because you spent all this time figuring out what you want it to look like you want to have . A choice of Higher images can be can be viewed in the portfolio, so sometimes you can. You'll go to websites where it's a click through a slide show somewhere. Automatic slide shows some is a horizontal scroll. Sometimes it's a vertical scroll, and it just depends on your work on which you think looks best, and so you want to be able to have that option on in the website template that you choose. You also definitely want to have the option to be able to include your social media links there to different types of social media links. On websites. It's a little convey, a little bit confusing you wanna have. You're the link to your Twitter, your Facebook, your instagram, whatever interest, whatever out, see use at on every page of your site so that when you click that button, it means I go to your Facebook page and have an opportunity to like it. Or I go to your Twitter page and have an opportunity to follow you. The other type of social media is buttons are social sharing buttons. Um, not all websites offer this. A lot of websites you can buy a plug in, and that could be a little bit more complicated but doable. So let's say I'm reading a block post that you wrote. I want to be able Teoh click the Twitter button, and that means that from my account it will tweet your block post out if I'm looking at an image of yours that I particularly like. I want to be ableto click the Facebook button and not go to your Facebook page. That's a different type of social media like these air your social sharing buttons. I want to be able to click your social sharing Facebook button, and it will open up a window where, from my Facebook account, I can say I love this image that of so and so take a look and it will have a link. So when you're looking at websites start to pay attention to that who has just their social media links and who also has their social social sharing buttons. Another thing, as you want to be able to post audio or video, if that's something that applies to your work, and you might wanna have an option of a shop feature or a importing another company's shop like, um, the big Cartel and they're a couple of other different ones. This is if you want to sell your work online. Um, I don't always recommend selling your work yourself online, and we'll get to that in a different, different lesson. But you do want the option to include it. You want to think a little bit beyond? Just do I want to sell individual prints. You know, maybe you want Teoh. Maybe down the road. You're gonna publish a book and you want to be able to have the option of purchasing the book right there on your website. Maybe you wanna have a holiday print sale? Just a few select images in a smaller size for your work. And you want to be able to offer that right there on your website so that you're not taking people off of your site to go purchase something. So those were the things that you want to look for when you are considering going through a new website template based program. 5. Components of a Good Website, Part 2: Now, what pages do you wanna have on your site? So obviously the first thing and the very first thing that people should be able to click on is a list of your portfolio's. So you want to put up all of the projects that you've been working on or that you're currently in the process of working on. It can be a really strong impulse for photographers to want to include every photograph they've ever taken or every project that they've ever worked on. And I think that that can be really overwhelming for a viewer to their side. I know that it's overwhelming for me. I like to see just a handful, five or less different projects to look at. If you do have an archive of older work that you want to keep on your site, it might be helpful tohave Project one and project to Project three and then the tab that says older work where it would open up another page and you could have a choice to explore more. Most of the time, people spend a pretty short amount of time on your website. Um, studies have shown, if you include in a particular body of work, 30 images or, if you include 15 that people spend the same amount of time looking at that project. So if you have 30 images there looking at them twice a squid Klay as they are if you have just 15 So I think that less is more. I think that if someone's interested in your work, they can. They will write you and say, Do you have more images? And at that point, you can send them a hidden page or a pdf of MAWR images from the body of work. Same thing with the number of projects you don't want to put up something that maybe you did in school that isn't representative of what your work is. Now, um, think about it this way. If I was looking at your site and you had all of this new work that you were really excited about, that you really felt spoke to who you were as a photographer in the direction you're going . And then I'm down 10 projects down, looking at something that you did an undergrad that you just kept on your website because you did it and said, Oh, this is great This is what I what I'm interested in showing That's not the project that you want to be talking about for the next couple of years. You know, you really want to be looking forward. So really only put work on your site that you think represents who you are now as a photographer in the direction that you're in, that you wanna keep going in other things to include on the site you want to have a bio. You wanna have a place for project statements, so that might be within each portfolio. You might have a spot that talks about the project, or you might list it all of your statements in another place. Um, with your bio we talked about before. You can have a couple of sentences. That's a general artist statement. I, Jennifer Schwartz makes photographs about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she now so you can just kind of wrap that into your bio. You want to make sure to have a contact page again. You can have a contact form where someone can fill out the different fields and it will send you an automatic email. But it's really nice just to have your email address to, just in case. Somebody wants to jot that down and send you note later, or, um or just wants to communicate with your directly that way. Include your phone number again. A lot of times, it's an impulse decision. People want Teoh contact you. Now they want to pick up the phone and call. You make it simple for them. Andi, that should do it. 6. Social Media: social media. That is the dirty word and a great resource. So how do you use it more effectively? How do you not get sucked in where you're spending all of your time trying to navigate the different social media networks and use them effectively? No. The versus just Teoh to really think about which ones are the best fit for you. You don't have to dive into everyone all at once, and some you might never try out. But we're gonna talk about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here. There are other sites again, that and their new ones popping up every day. So you just have toe. Think about what's going to be the most effective in getting your photography out. Facebook is a site that I personally can't stand and use all the time. Um, visually, it's It's great. It's a great place where you can post new images. You can read about interesting articles and things in your field that other people are talking about. You can also get sucked into watching a hamster Make a taco are things that you wish you could undo from your brain. So you want to make sure Teoh to use it in a way that makes sense. That's really furthering your brand. So again, um, use it for images. Use it for for connecting with other groups. It's really fantastic resource in that sense in that they're all of these fine art photography groups on Facebook in every single net she could possibly imagine. And it's great to be able to connect with other people who were doing similar things as you are, and you can ask questions and you can make friends online. So in that sense, again, it's really good. Um, the algorithms changed all the time. So a lot of times in the past, I recommended that people create a Facebook page specifically for their photography work, and I don't, um, I don't not recommend it now. It's just not as effective as it used to be all business. Anything that's not a personal page doesn't come up in the news feed. And last you start paying for advertising or doesn't come up as often. So, whereas before you could post in your Jennifer Schwartz Fine art photography page on Facebook, and that would come up in, all of my friends knew speeds. It doesn't work as well anymore. So a lot of times people are just resorting to posting those types of things on their personal page, which is great. But if that's the case, you want to make sure that everything that you're posting on your personal page is professional and represents you the way that you want to be represented. Most of my personal feed is photographers and other photo related people. So I do post about personal things, but all in a tone in a way that I'm comfortable having out there in the world. So it's really important to always think about again your professionalism and what you're putting out there. Twitter is another social media platform that is really intimidating. Teoh. A lot of people you twitters where you can post something that it can only be 140 characters. I think of Twitter as a great way to get information. Um, I create a list and Twitter where I'm following. I might be following 5000 people in general, but I have a list of just 100 photo professional sites that I want to look at and that I think, give me interesting content that I can then push out to my followers on Twitter, but also on Facebook. The great thing about Twitter is you can follow people without them having to follow you back so you can get content from the New York Times Lens block and skill share and photo shelter and all of these websites that are pushing out content that's relevant to you without them having to accept your friend request. It's a great way to get a lot of information and then potentially share that information with your own audience. Instagram is really fun from the photographers because it's all image base. Um, Instagram is a little bit less serious than the other ones. You're just posting images from your everyday life. But a lot of people get a great following on instagram, and you can also put your instagram photos. You can have them all supposed to Facebook, into Twitter. Finally, who suite is a fantastic free resource is away? Teoh, consolidate and organize all of your social media. In one place, you can create different streams. You can have your Facebook feed your Twitter feed your sent tweets dress, direct messages that come straight to you. Another great thing about Hoot suite is you can schedule your social media posts to go out any time in the future so it can look like you're constantly pushing constant content out without actually sitting in front of your computer A lot of times in the morning, over breakfast, I'll look at Twitter and I will look at it and read different articles, and I'll schedule tweets and Facebook posts to go out throughout the day. So I'm really doing in over a five minute period at breakfast. But I'm spreading amount throughout the days that there's constantly content being pushed out, who's, which is a really great tool to organize yourself and to be a lot more efficient.