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Currently I have my webpage (never updated) and a personal Facebook page (updated each time I take pictures). I would like to increase my visibility Beyond my friends and start to get in touch with people I don't know.

Will creating a new Facebook page specifically for my photography help? Would a Facebook photo page be visible beyond my friend group? How would people find me? The problem with my personal Facebook page is that my photography gets mixed up with my personal photos. Doesn't look very professional. So, will this help?

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I don't think that a Facebook photo page alone will do much. Facebook's revenue model involves only showing posts to a subset of your potential audience — even those who have "Liked" your page, unless you pay for promotion. Paying to promote posts of photos you really want others to see might get you a bigger audience, but even then... uphill battle.

There is an overwhelming amount of photography online. Your work is going to have to be particularly novel to get attention. Not just technically good, or artistically done — really eye-catching. And by definition, there's a 99.9999% chance that that's not you. I don't mean that in a negative way, either... the best photography isn't necessarily the most gimmicky, but having schtick is basically going to be necessary in order to get attention online — some hook to "go viral".

Here's what I'd do: concentrate on your own web page. Update it more frequently with your best work — but only your best work. (You'll be judged by the outliers — if you have something really amazing, people will count that, but they'll also remember the worst.) But don't focus on promoting that per se. Instead, make some prints — again, of your best work — and get involved in the local community. Go to art fairs, street festivals; show off at open studios if your area has that kind of thing. If you're into portraiture, maybe give coupons for discounted sessions. Build up a following and word of mouth, and people will naturally look for your web site.

Alternately, if building up in that way isn't really what you're looking for, I suggest an online photo community specifically for the purpose connecting around photography. 500px, Flickr, etc. Post your stuff — but also get involved in commenting on the works of others, contents, and so on. You're really unlikely to break out of the crowd with this approach, but maybe that's not what you want. It will get more people looking at and interacting with your work.

  • Thanks for your answer and editing of the question. Marked as accepted since its a complete answer. – sharkyenergy Jul 22 '15 at 14:08
  • @sharkyenergy You might want to wait to accept a few days to see what others have to say. I think it's a great answer, but you never know. :) – mattdm Jul 22 '15 at 14:17
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    It depends on how your business works. If you live by referrals and shoot events then Facebook is an excellent tool (as is instagram) as you can release a subset of (lo-res, watermarked) images and people love to like/tag themselves which shares it automatically. That gives you an excellent 'organic' reach and a personal endorsement - far better than you can get from a website or paid advert. I've had good results with that model and found other local photographers that way. If your model depends on bringing in strangers / cold contacts then it's unlikely to do you any favours... – James Snell Jul 22 '15 at 22:48
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    @James — want to make that an alternate answer? – mattdm Jul 22 '15 at 22:50
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Marketing is one of those dark arts and whether a specific social media service is useful or not depends on how your business works.

If you live by referrals and shoot events then a Facebook Page is an excellent tool (as is an instagram account) as you can release a subset of (lo-res, watermarked) images and people love to like/tag themselves which shares it automatically. That gives an excellent 'organic' reach and effectively a personal endorsement - a far better engagement than you can get from a website or paid advert. I've had good results with that model and found other local photographers to work with that way.

But... If your model depends on bringing in cold contacts then social media is unlikely to do you any favours. I found throwing cash at google to be a complete waste too but offers through sites like groupon (where frequently the shoot is virtually free or maybe with a 10x8 and then other products cost more than enough to make up the loss lead) do appear to be lucrative (but don't fit my business).

Something that does help web wise is ensuring that your website is regularly updated and has good semantic markup like microformats as it's what search engines use to highlight your business in local searches. After all it's no point in finding a decent photographer if they're 1,250 miles away...

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