Real World, NO BS, Marketing Strategies for Photographers
4.5 (87 ratings)
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Real World, NO BS, Marketing Strategies for Photographers

The NO SPIN, Take Your "Secrets" and Shove 'Em Marketing Strategies For Photographers
4.5 (87 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
5,183 students enrolled
Created by Don Giannatti
Last updated 10/2013
Price: Free
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • At the end of this course you will have created your own marketing strategy as well as implementation planning
  • Students will have a strong working knowledge of portfolio design, and how to put together a portfolio that works
  • Photographers will understand how to use the tools at hand for maximum effect, and which tools will work for them
  • Students will understand and implement marketing strategies and implementations that can be measured and quantified for success
  • All students will have a more comprehensive knowledge of how commercial photographers market to and work with clients of all types
View Curriculum
  • Students should be proficient with their camera gear and have a portfolio of images that they are already working on.
  • Photographers should have a strong work ethic, and the desire to build something strong with their marketing
  • NOTE: This is not a photography class. There are no discussions of lighting or camera gear. That should already be within your assets.

NOTE: I have decided to make this course free. I hope you take this information with the spirit is intended. I want photographers to be as successful as they can be. Good luck to all of you taking this course.

I think the information is vital for photographers who are being marketed to in a constant barrage of "Secrets" and "Easy Methods" and the snake oil of hype and glitz. There are no secrets, nothing this important is easy, and people who try to tell you there is a single way to success are simply full of it... and your money if you buy into the nonsense. Don't be sucked in by the perkiness and the hype, becoming a successful photographer may be one of the most difficult career moves out there. But it can be done, IS being done every day be people who are prepared and willing to work.

The Real World, NO BS, Marketing Strategies for Photographers.

The title of this course says it all... this is a real world, no nonsense approach to marketing for the commercial photographer. While this course is fully implementable by photographers of all genres, the approach is for the emerging commercial photographer. Much of the information can be used by wedding and portrait photographers, however the main thrust of it is toward the editorial, corporate and commercial photographer in markets that are difficult to get a foothold in.

The class consists of video and worksheets designed to help you forge your own, personal approach to marketing and finding clients.

This course is not designed to be done quickly, and I suggest that you take a couple of months to complete it - based on how much outside work you are doing. The worksheets take time to complete and are instrumental in the design of your marketing strategy. Use them to educate yourself, and bring them to the Webinars for some individual discussion if you would like. There will be opportunities for further discussion on these points.

Video is used for a more narrative approach, and there are the worksheets that have been mentioned. The class is designed to go from beginning to end the first time through, then to be used as a resource for continuing in the specific areas the student is struggling with.

If you are wanting to create a business out of commercial photography, build a reputation, find and retain clients and have a complete working knowledge of how marketing a small, creative business is done, this course is for you. Whether you want to go full time or make a good part time income, creating and understanding your marketing strategy will save you time, money and heartache.

As a photographer, designer and marketer for small and medium businesses for forty years, I bring all of my experience and knowledge of this field into easy to understand videos. The work is hard, but the skills needed are presented in a way that make them accessible - and that benefits the busy student in many ways.

Our Comprehensive Table of Contents:

The Real World, No BS, 'Take Your Secrets and Shove 'em” Approach to Marketing for Photographers

Marketing is a Journey Not a Destination
Marketing Builds Awareness.
There Are No “Secrets”
Your Story
Crafting Your Story
Marketing is Not a Tactic or a Trick
Marketing is Not Sales
Why Cookie Cutter Strategies Won't Work
Preparing to Build Your Strategy
Goal Setting Worksheet
Keep It Simple

Creating a Strategy That is Right For You

Create Your Own Strategy
The Building Blocks
Watch Out for Roadblocks – Especially The Ones You Create
Build a Support Group
Become Responsible, and Love Being Responsible
Budget Your Assets for Maximum Reach and Minimal Expense
Understand Your Market

Building a Good Foundation

First – BE a photographer.
What do You Do?
Why do You Do It?
A Long Dissertation on Shooting What YOU Love to Shoot.
Plan the Work and Work the Plan
Shooting Every Day -- The Goal
“Shoot Every Gig for a Year” - (“Wizwow’s Approach to Making Headway”
Shoot at 110% For Every Job You Get
The Essence of the Self Assignment
Creating an “Editorial Schedule” To Keep The Work Fowing

The Time Tested, Good Ol' Hardcopy Portfolio.

Create a strong experience based book.
What is in it.
Why you have it.
Where You Show it.
Who You Show it to.
When to Create it.
Why You Still Need It
Why iIt Makes a Difference.
Which Portfolio Style is Best for You

Portfolio building ideas.

Folders for Possibilities
Basic Portfolio Challenges.
Basic Portfolio Layout.
How To Decide On Presentation
Page Size

What about the Web?

How the Web Portfolio is Different Than the Hardcopy
Web Categories
How Many Categories / How Many Images Per?
Why Less is More
Why having a 'Webmaster” is a Losing Proposition
Presentation of the Image
How Large Should the Images Be?
How to Create a Faster Loading Image in Photoshop
Protecting The Image.
Using a Watermark (that usually looks terrible, unprofessional and silly) VS Not Using A Watermark

Hard Copy Tools

Print Materials
Identity Materials
Even Business Forms Need ID
Why Spending a Ton of Money on ID when starting Makes No Sense
Common Sense Design Trends
Drop Off Materials Leave Behinds
Direct Mail Approaches

The Internet

The Most Important Two Internet Tools..
-Your Website
-Your Blog
Create a Blog for the 'Right' audience.
Blog For Clients, Not Other Photographers
What Kinds of 'Stuff' Should You Blog?
Social Tools
Social Sites (Satellite Outliers and the Main Site approach.
Why Facebook, G+ and Twitter Will NOT make you rich).
Why Ignoring Facebook and Twitter (and G+) Is A Problem – Or Not – Depending.
Use the Outliers to Build Awareness

Email Marketing

Find and Build a List
Purchase a List
Monitoring the Effort
Understand Metrics
Use Google Analytics
Creating Additional Content Marketing
OnLine Magazines
Content Placement

Putting it all together:

Shooting for Free vs Shooting for Access.
Should You Do Work For “Free”?
What Is The Value of your work?
Do Beginners Have to Start at “Cheaper” Prices?
Shooting for Growth.
Live the 'Life'

The Wrap Up... Keep Shooting

Resource Guide and Links

Portfolio Products

Wordpress Themes

Wordpress Hosting



Who is the target audience?
  • This course is intended for photographers of all levels of experience, but who have been struggling with marketing their work
  • This course is also intended for those who have tried the 'tactics' and 'cookie cutter' strategies from marketing "gurus" who never asked them questions
  • Photographers who are struggling to find clients, have no idea where to find clients or have no clients at all will benefit from the straight forward presentation of these materials
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Curriculum For This Course
50 Lectures
Marketing Versus Selling - An Overview
13 Lectures 01:41:46
An introduction to Real World, NO BS, Take Your "Secrets" and Shove 'Em Marketing Strategies for Photographers

Marketing is a Journey Not a Destination

Marketing Builds Interest

In which we discover that all the secrets really aren't... and that is a good thing.
Secrets? LOL... There are no Secrets!

The "Story" you build around your business is the most important asset. It is the narrative that holds it all together.
Your "Story"

Let's build your story. Download the PDF worksheet to help you craft your own story
Crafting Your Story

Tactics are a part of Marketing, but they are NOT marketing. Too many people think of tactics first, and forgo creating a strong strategy.
Marketing is Not a Tactic

Marketing is Not Sales

Why "Cookie Cutter" Strategies Wont Work

My Building Block Assets

We start to build the strategy for creating our own strategy.
Preparing to Build Your Strategy

Download the Goal Setting PDF, print it out and get to work. It is very important for you to have a roadmap, but even more important to know where that map is leading.
Goal Setting Worksheet

Keeping it simple makes it easier to be flexible, dynamic and quick. We strive for simplicity instead of complicating it with complexity.
Keep It Simple
Getting Started on Your Base
7 Lectures 55:55
This is one of the most important lectures in the beginning phase. You will want to have pen and paper at the ready - but do that on the second listen.

The lecture is also supplied on PDF for those who want to print it out.

If you have filled out the worksheet from the lecture above entitled: "My Building Block Assets", get it out for this indepth look at how we construct our foundation.

Create Your Own Strategy: The Building Blocks

There will be roadblocks, and you must figure out how to deal with them.
Watch Out for the Roadblocks

Everyone needs a support team. Build yours with an eye toward what you need.
Build Your Support Team

Become responsible, and own what you do.
Learn to Love Responsibility

Let's take an asset audit.
Budget Your Assets

Let's review the Asset Audit.
Manage Your Assets-B

A review of what we have done to this point.
Putting It Together to Understand Your Market
Building a Strong Foundation
5 Lectures 28:02
Building the Foundation

This first appeared on my Lighting Essentials Blog. It is an important thing to think about. BE a photographer first, then become a professional photographer. It means knowing what you need to know and practicing the technical until it is no longer a factor in the creation of your art.
First... BE a Photographer

One of the hardest questions to answer... What do you do?
What Do You Do?

Why do you want to be a photographer... this and the previous answer will start to clarify in YOUR mind what you are about. And that is very important for teaching others what you do.
Why Do You Photograph?

Shoot what you love to shoot, and shoot it the way YOU want to shoot it. Any other approach will be ultimately a disappointment.
Shoot What You Love
Plan Your Work
6 Lectures 35:33
Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

Personal Shooting Goal

Controversial? I don't care.

Take every job you get. Unless you are being taken advantage of or have reason to think you may be being cheated... Take Every Job.

You build your portfolio on doing work where you gain experience and working skills. Set a time frame. Six months? A Year? (No longer or shorter) and do all the work you can find.

Do the work.

Take Every Gig For a Year

Treat every job you do as if it were the best job you would ever get. Nothing less. I don't care how much you agreed to do the job for, you agreed to do your BEST work. Nothing less will count.
Do It 110% Every Time

Personal Projects are one of the most important things you can do to preserve your creativity and build a portfolio that is more than a simple collection of photographs.
The Power of Personal Projects

Having an "Editorial Schedule" is a powerful way to stay on track, on message and in front of the people who need to know you exist. The key is consistency.
An "Editorial Schedule"
The Time Tested, Good Ol' Hard Copy Portfolio
6 Lectures 37:22
Build a strong and experienced based portfolio.
Create a Strong, Experienced Based Book

What do we put in our portfolios?
What Is In It?

Why You Have It

OK, where do you show it now that you have it.
Where You Show It

Who exactly do we show our portfolio to.
Who You Show It To

When To Create It
Portfolio Building Ideas
4 Lectures 37:37
Desktop Folders for Possibilities

Basic Portfolio Challenges

Basic Portfolio Layout

How to Decide on Presentation Orientation
The Web
9 Lectures 01:01:20
The Web - A Quick Review

Why the Printed Portfolio is Different Than the Web Site

How Many Pages | Categories | Images?

Only the best work - the one that supports our story, our style, our goals and our body of work is put into the portfolio. Be brutal. Be honest.
Why Less is More

Being nickled and dimed by webmasters, or having to wait until they get around to it can be maddening and many photographers stop working on their websites because of these annoyances. NEVER cede your control. Make sure you can add / delete / modify the work and text on your website whenever you want to.
Why Having a Webmaster is a Losing Proposition

There are many ways to show your work on the web. How you choose to show your work says a lot about you and the relationship you have to the imagery. These are a few different methods.
Presentation of the Image

Making Your Images Load Faster

Protecting Your Image OnLine

Watermarks: Ugly and Unprofessional VS Clean and Professional
About the Instructor
Don Giannatti
4.2 Average rating
1,219 Reviews
39,040 Students
4 Courses
Photographer, Designer, Author and Educator

Don Giannatti has been a photographer for more than four decades. Starting with a desire to do fine art photography, he quickly made the jump into commercial. Over the decades he has owned studios in Phoenix, New York, Chicago and LA. A wide range of clients kept him shooting everything from studio product to fashion, beauty and travel.

With a preference for photographing people and still life, Don feels that lighting is the most important part of the image making process. Understanding the light and how the subject reflects the light helps photographers visualize the image before starting the shoot. This “subject centric” approach to light is what he teaches and is the subject of much of his writing.

He has authored three books for Amherst - all currently available at (keyword Don Giannatti).

Don current maintains a studio in Phoenix, teaches workshops all over the world, and writes for the online Photography magazine, Lighting Essentials (