Attention photographers – do you know the single most effective way to differentiate yourself and your work nowadays?

Our latest contribution to Agency Access’  blog The Lab is posting today.  It addresses the question of what sets you apart with client’s who are considering you for a project.  Assuming they like your work, how else can you stand out?  Be sure to link to the blog directly to read answers from industry experts on many more questions.

Question: What is the most important attribute you would sell to a potential client other than the obvious? Most likely they would not be talking with you if they did not like your work.

Assuming that your work is relevant and strong, the next most important attribute to sell to a client is your story. And, in our new media world, the opportunity to do so has gotten easier.

We always ask our photographers the following:

“Assuming all things are equal, and your portfolio is on the table or your website is on the screen – next to another talented photographer, what is different about you and how will we communicate that?”

We remind our photographers all the time that people crave stories. Stories are what people remember and seek out time and time again.  Stories that come from an honest and genuine place and push ones’ comfort zone often times are seen as refreshing in their visual world.

We understand that photographers have built careers knowing that “a picture is worth a thousand words,”  but things have changed and most times it is n longer enough to just have the best shot.

It is time to realize that it is no longer just about the photographs, but about THE PHOTOGRAPHER and the story behind the images. It is crucial to understand that at times, having great work is not enough and that clients often want to know the story behind you and your work. They want to know what it would be like to collaborate with you long before they pick up the phone to talk with you.

Photographers are realizing this and finding their own voices and it is making a difference in their creativity and ultimately their careers. With the growth of blogs and other social media tools, it has become easier and easier for photographers to share the story behind the image.

And if You Have Not Jumped on the Social Media Bandwagon …

For those photographers not embracing social media, it is a bit more challenging to effectively share your story on a wider scale. However, it is possible. It just requires more face to face time; something that is a scarce commodity nowadays.

We find that photographers who are not out there in the social media world are not quite sure yet how to navigate the new tools. We explain that if they are not confident writing a blog or posting a status update, they should find a way to visually connect. We advise our talent that the images they share do not have to be all work related. We suggest more casual ways of engaging such as posting photos of things that inspire them shot with an iPhone, sharing images of their kids or photographs of random things that make them smile. Byremoving the pressure of having to write something or showing that perfect shot, many photographers begin to open up and show a side of themselves they haven’t shared before.

Regardless of how photographers share their stories, it is the single most effective way to differentiate yourself and your work. The power of storytelling is an age old gift and those photographers that can find ways to not only tell their stories but to share them will surely stand out.

See full post here: Heather Elder Represents Blog2011-11-10.