Whenever I research ways to improve my photography business I usually come across articles that mention self-marketing. And that’s usually when I stop reading. What is it about promoting myself that I don’t like? Everything. Personal branding is narcissistic. Some articles tell you that self-marketing “improves your image and reputation” allowing you to advance in your chosen career. That might be true for a twenty-something but I think it’s a little different for a sixty-something. My image and reputation were set many years ago, and now neither of them makes any difference. That’s just the way it is. So, what sort of self-marketing or personal branding could I do that doesn’t make me feel like I’m a narcissist?
I’ve been uploading my photographs to a website called Flickr, I think it’s probably the best way for me to self-market my photography business. I’ve also chosen to set up a Facebook page and, of course, there’s my blog, here, that serves the purpose too. None of this feels like self-marketing, but I suppose it is. Perhaps as long as I don’t have to market myself in person I’ll feel okay about it.
I guess I should explain why I’m italicizing “business.” It’s because my photography business isn’t a legitimate business. I have no tax number, no business address, no legal documentation or anything that would make TC Conner Photography a legitimate business. Yes, I have a Facebook page and yes, I sometimes do paid photo shoots for family and friends. But I don’t make enough money to warrant tax reports to the IRS. I took a stab at it once, and discovered that self-marketing and the initial investment dollars and all the other stuff you have to do to get a business up and running(?) just wasn’t for me. It could’ve, and probably should’ve been for me 50 years ago, today however this sixty-something is on the downhill slide to full retirement. Furthermore, worrying about all the “should haves” and “could haves” gets you nowhere.
What sort of self-marketing or personal branding could I do? The simple, and probably the only answer: None.