Helen Oakes PhotographerWhen You Don’t Know The Right People To Speak To in The Photography Industry, what do you do?

I hear other photographers saying they don’t know who to contact and they don’t know the right person to talk to about getting jobs. We have all heard the phrase ‘It’s not what you know, it is who you know.’ This is tried and true.

If you know certain people in your industry then you are more likely to get referred for a job as you are known by others. It gets really hard when you don’t even know who to contact as you don’t have many contacts yourself.

I gave up on pursuing some jobs that I would’ve loved to have done as I just didn’t know who I should be talking to. I had no contacts and I didn’t even know where to start to find out how to get into some jobs. You can feel shut out, like you are up against a brick wall.

Many photographers that are in specialised genres or high profile genres will often have known someone that is already in the industry and that is how they got in.

When you don’t know who to contact or how to get into a certain industry or genre it can stifle your prospects. Finding out how to get into contact with people who work in a genre you want to work in can be tough.

After struggling with this for some time I knew it was time to broaden my horizons and join different groups. When you open yourself up to other channels and people it can change your luck and prospects.

What I do now to get in front of people is these 5 things:

Networking Groups

When you join networking groups you open yourself up to new contacts that you wouldn’t normally have. Often these contacts are in completely different industries but they will want your photography services. Networking can work by being referred by others and once you are referred then you will often get other people wanting your services.

Networking contacts have other contacts and the snowball effect gets bigger. These groups can give you introductions, leads, referrals and they can be a support system.

LinkedIn & Social Networking

LinkedIn is a great social networking tool as you can connect with others in your industry by just searching for ‘photography’ or ‘photographers’ or the genre you are interested in. LinkedIn is mainly for professionals and it is a great platform to get to know others. The ripple effect works on LinkedIn too as you can see connections other people have if you have a paid account.

Hang Out in Places Your Genre Frequent

If you know what genre you want to get a foot in then go and hang out where these people are. You may want to photograph musicians so go to clubs and bars and see if you can find out who the manager of the band is. If you are interested in shooting sports, go to an event and enquire at the media office to find contacts.

There are many places where you can hang out to find your potential contacts. Quite often, someone knows someone which leads you to where you want to go. Just be consistent and always follow up.

Others That Have Worked in The Same Genre/Industry

Contact others that have worked in the area you want to work in. Find them online, on Facebook or LinkedIn and speak to them about how to get in and who you should be talking to.

Cold Call

This is my least favorite method but it is always worth a try if you have exhausted other avenues or you are confident in speaking with…. This, like any other method can leave you with no-one returning your call or being put through to the wrong people. However, tenacity is the key.

Don’t get put off by one call not working out for you. Call and get a name of the person who is in charge of the department you want.

I hope this can help you with finding the contacts you need.

Did any part of this resonate with you? Do you have trouble finding the right contacts?

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