How To Research Your Photographic Competition

“How do you know that?”

That’s a question I get asked all the time. If someone asks me a question, I know exactly how to spend 5 or 10 minutes researching it to make an informed decision about it, and then I can have an intelligent conversation on it.

But what I’ve realized over the years is a lot of people don’t understand how to do that. I guess you can say that researching is an art in itself.

So when I was talking to a “traditional” photographer who was having trouble with his business the other day, it didn’t surprise me that he really didn’t understand how to look at photography through the eyes of our modern day era.

“Yes, there really are a lot of ways to make money at photography. You just have to look at what your successful competitors are doing,” I told him.

“And how would I ever do that? Its not like they’re going to tell me what they are doing,” he said.

“Sure they will. Just watch.”

Let’s say we’ve decided we want to sell some of our photography online. We want the flexibility of being able to run the business from anywhere, and we like the idea of fine art photography. Etsy is just the place to go to find out what people are doing.

We’ll start by using a tool like Craftcount. Craftcount tracks Etsy top sellers by category. So if we look at photographers, here are the top 15 sellers on Etsy in the photography category:

Craftcount to find your photography competition

Now that you have top sellers, you can dive in and find out what they are doing.

Let’s look at number one:

How To Research Your Photographic Competition

She photographs nature and travel, and sells fine art prints through Etsy. She also has sold her work through a variety of retail outlets like Target and Trader Joe’s.

She sells her fine art prints in all sizes. But I can also se she has a couple of niches that are very interesting – nursery wall art and iphone cases. Hmmm…

Think there is potential with turning your photographs into cases for smart technology? Yep, me too. That’s definitely something to pursue.

I also like niching, and the concept of using photographs to create nursery wall art is also an intriguing concept. How well could you do with soft images exclusively for moms looking to decorate their newborn’s rooms in a different way?

And if you did it right and started gaining a lot of exposure, you may even have a major company pick up your concept and bring it to the masses. Have you seen the way Target introduces new designers into their stores? Or Macy’s?

So with 5 minutes of time and looking quickly at one source, the ideas are already starting to whirl.

Yes, it really is that easy. You just have to look.

What can you find?

Can You Still Use Etsy For Making Money With Your Photography?

If you’ve been online for any length of time, you know sites come and go. What people were using even just a few short months ago to market their businesses may not work any more.

Many months ago I started looking at Etsy as a way to build up your brand as a fine art photographer.

Dig Deeper: How Photographers Use Etsy

Dig Deeper: 10 Places To Turn Your Photography Into Sales

Is Etsy still relevant today? As it turns out, the answer is yes.

Etsy is the king of the marketplace when it comes to selling handcrafted goods. You can sell your art without having to know how to build a website or start up an online store. Etsy does it all for you. You list it for free and pay a low commission on anything that sells. [Read more…]

How Photographers Use Etsy

Ready to sell your images as fine art? Want to step beyond stock photography, and actually make a name for yourself in the fine art world? Why not start with Etsy.

People describe Etsy in a lot of ways. Yes, it may be a “Popsicle stick and yarn” kind of site, but its also a way for you to get recognized for your artwork. There are great artists on Etsy that are pulling in full time incomes with their artwork. Etsy is more than just a place to put up a few trinkets; its also a place to gain some serious traction, and use the advertising and leverage Etsy has built up over the years.

Etsy attracts members from over 150 countries around the world. Top categories are jewelry, clothing, crafting supplies, accessories, and art – which is where photography is listed.

If you don’t have an Etsy account yet, start by choosing a name. Mirror your business name as much as you can – its important to brand yourself from site to site. Then completely fill out your profile. People often short themselves by putting up a photo, a link to their website, and a sentence or two about their business. Don’t skimp here. Fill it with as much as you can. Even change it from time to time to share your interests with people.

[Read more…]