Build Your Brand
Dreamstime success depends on many factors beyond an exciting and diverse portfolio. Building a reputation for a particular style or special subject niche creates a ‘brand’. As designers become familiar with your work, they will seek out your images by searching first within your portfolio.
In short, you want to develop a specialty, especially one that is easily recognizable and not widely covered by others. For example, without thinking, I know immediately where to go on Dreamstime for conceptual images of penguins. How do you develop a group of images that can be considered a niche collection? Ask yourself what you do best and what you have access to. Perhaps you ski; obviously you know something about winter sports and have access to friends that participate. Decide to devote a large block of time one winter to developing your connections and skills shooting skiing and related materials. Then continually update your images in order to grow your brand. Or pick a more esoteric subject based on your unique interests or career outside of photography.
Once you have developed a niche, you need to build awareness of your brand among the members. There are several tools on Dreamstime to help you get your images out in front of buyers to enhance your reputation.
Not only do you want your user name to become a household word in our community, you want to show up on the home page if possible. One way is to participate in the assignments. Everyone wins when they get images accepted into an assignment: the image and your name get great visibility as people review the images throughout the weeks that the assignment is active. If your image is a winner, it and your user name will be on the home page for a week or more.
Another way to help yourself and the community is to donate images to the ‘free’ section. I’ve heard some ask why they should give their work away. Actually there are several reasons: consider the free section a place where young designers or others with small budgets can become acquainted with your work. It is also a place that can lead a user directly to your portfolio. If the free image catches a designer’s fancy, she may continue on to look at your full portfolio. Think of the free section as one of the oldest forms of advertising: the free sample. Finally remember the old adage: If you want something, give it away.
Dreamstime remains true to our goal of being a peer-to-peer based community. Those that give most to the community stand a much better chance of getting what they need from it. To honor past assignment participants, all the images for this blog have been previous assignment contributions…and not even necessarily winners. Nice!
I’ve kept to a winter/holiday theme again this week as Thanksgiving in the U.S. kicks off the holiday party season. Why the birdhouses and sock picture? No reason except the bird houses are holiday red and the stocking feet look like ‘Baby, it’s cold outside!” As for the penguin brand guy mentioned above, if you don't already know him go here to find him
Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.