Monetizing your Social Media Presence for Outdoor Photographers


Lesson Info

Marketing Campaigns & Brand Influencer Work

- [Presenter] Again, as I mentioned, this is a decent portion of my revenue streams. I make quite a bit of money in a given year doing this. I have been doing this for probably six years now, before Instagram was really what it was, and it can be highly beneficial. It can be highly beneficial when it comes to revenue generation. A lot of the campaigns that I work on are usually $10,000 to $30,000 a piece. I've done other ones that have been $70,000, $80,000. It depends on the campaign, depends on the company. There's a lot of opportunity here. Social media has been, as we talked about before, one of those variables that helped differentiate myself from a lot of other people in this industry. And it could be the same for you. Maybe at a different level, but it could still that element that helps you get a job over someone else. - [Woman] I just wanted to chime in with a couple of questions about what you were just teaching us. And so one question from Margaret, about Linkedin, she says ...

if you already use LinkedIn for another profession but you want to build your photography business, should you mix the two or create a separate profile? So I'm sure there are a lot of people out there... - That's a good question. ...that have other things going on professionally. - Absolutely, and a lot of people that reach out and connect with me, I sometimes have to really dig through their profile because I'm like, "Why are they connecting with me?" And then eventually somewhere down the line it says photography. And I'm like, "Oh okay, I get it." I don't have a definitive answer, to be honest. I think it definitely can be, it can be helpful to separate the two. The problem is dilution. You're diluting the ability to find you if you are still using LinkedIn in order to get a new job. Say, you lost a job, and you wanted to use LinkedIn to help you as a resume builder. If you have two accounts with the same name, it can be confusing. That being said, it's also not great when you are pitching an idea or you're sending cold emails or cold messages on Linkedin, and all of a sudden the people are reaching out, and it's like, "Why is this person reaching out to me for a marketing campaign when they're a CPA at an accounting firm? I don't get it." So, there's not an easy answer. I'd probably say separate them but just make sure there's a big difference between the two, like profile photos are different, all sorts of stuff. Do as much as you can to differentiate. But just know that there might be dilution issues if you still get a decent amount of value out of your original LinkedIn profile. - Great, and one more quickly from deepdish. Should we be trying to connect with PR firms via LinkedIn as well, or just marketing firms? - PR firms can be beneficial as well. It depends on the company, which depends on the budget that they have. So, a PR firm, as I mentioned before, those PR managers connecting with a PR firm or the PR department of a company, they do generally have an opportunity. But, mostly you're going to find more money, in marketing firms, because that's really what most people are trying to connect with. You're trying to create, you're trying to connect with the idea of doing a marketing campaign or sponsorship, which usually comes out of that budget. So, it can be worth a shot, but I would mostly go for more marketing or social media, marketing firms or social media and marketing managers. - Great to know where to put our efforts. - Absolutely. - Thank you. - Any questions you guys have? - [Man] Couple of questions. - Sure. - Do you find... Are you using LinkedIn Premium? - Right now, I am not, but I do use it. So I just let it lapse because I've been busy for the last six months, but yes, I do use it. - Do you find it beneficial? - Yes, I do. I find it beneficial for the information you get and the ability that you actually get to have. You get to have more of those in-mails. You get to send out more of those cold emails, which we'll talk about in a second. But, essentially you're paying for that ability to reach more people because you're limited. And that's essentially how LinkedIn works, is that idea of connections or connecting to different people in different degrees. So the further that person is disconnected from you, so if you have a person here, and all of a sudden it's like three different people, variable from where you are, you have to pay to connect. And that's where LinkedIn makes their money. - Are you posting pictures to Linkedin? - LinkedIn is known for... You can now do long-form comment. I have some long-form content. I do have some images on my LinkedIn profile, but I don't post a ton there. I don't treat Linkedin necessarily as a social platform. I create it as a research tool and a communication tool specifically for private conversations that I am trying to generate for future business relationships. - One more question. - Absolutely. - When seeking marketing firms that you want to pitch to, are you thinking about who they have worked with, as well as your brand? Like you said, say one marketing firm works with Travel Australia, and you notice that. Are you pitching directly to them, or if another marketing firm is working with Microsoft and Amazon, would you also pitch to them? - Well, it would be different campaigns if I was doing the content for that. - Right. - A lot of times what I'm doing is I'm reaching out to... Well, sometimes what I'll do with a marketing firm, let's say travel. So say a marketing firm represents Tour 'Em Australia and New Zealand and Hawaii and whoever else. What I'll do is I'll try to find out who is the the marketing firm, and I'll either be reaching out to the marketing firm in general, trying to find a good contact to reach out to, or if I have a very specific campaign... Because usually you have to have an idea. You have to have a pitch. And so if I already have a pitch, then I will figure out who the account manager is for that account within that marketing firm, and that will be the person I reach out to. So I'll reach out to who's the account manager for Travel Australia because Australia is where I wanted to pitch this idea. But, if I have a larger idea, where I'm just saying I want to work with the firm and I have some ideas, then it's more of a broad pitch I'm doing, where I'm saying, "This is who I am. And this is things I've done in the past. I'd love to work with you guys." In which case I'm more so just offering who I am than I'm actually pitching a specific idea. Excellent. All right. All right, so networking can play a role. Now before I was sponsored by Sony, I've done lots of marketing campaigns for a lot of companies out there, and I worked with Phase One. And a similar situation happened where through a connection, through actually one of my sponsorships, I made a connection with Phase One and then figured out... I remember that relationship, reached out to them through LinkedIn a year or two later, right when the IQ260 was coming out. I was heading to Africa to do a project with the Masai and working in East Africa, bringing a workshop out there for my humanitarian organization, The Giving Lens, and pitched them the idea of showcasing how Phase One cameras can work out in the field. Generally they're built for studios, so I was like, "Let me go take it to dirty rural places in the middle of Africa and show you what it can do." So I spent a couple days living with the Masai and working out there in East Africa and came away with some beautiful images outside the orphanages and all this stuff. But it all came through an initial relationship that I had developed. But I lost that connection and rekindled it through LinkedIn.

Social Media is a powerful marketing tool, but how do you leverage yourself to gain the attention of new clients or potential sponsors? Colby Brown covers how you can find ways to monetize using various networking platforms. Whether you’re interested in finding clients, becoming a brand ambassador, or selling prints this class will give you the tools needed to make strides in getting your network to work for you. You’ll learn: 

  • The significance of getting verified and how to find the right target markets for your business 
  • How to use ads to expand your business on Facebook 
  • The hidden value of LinkedIn and how to utilize it for sponsorship or brand influencer work 
  • How and when to pay to expand your reach



  • Colby's class was packed with great information for landscape photographers! From writing pitches to marketing with social media, he clearly explains how to achieve personal business goals. Thanks, Colby!
  • I was fortunate to be in the live audience for this course. If you (and I !!!) take the time to truly absorb the content presented and put it in practice, this course will pay for itself over and over and over. It is rare for someone at Colby's success level to be so open about the financial aspects of what they do, and the details of how they do it. Highly recommended!
  • There were 2 benefits from this course. First was the straight info from Colby - very specific - on how to write cold emails and pitches, how to find prospective clients, where to sell work, etc. Second BIG benefit was his stress on our individual creativity to achieve new revenue in this new age of the photography boom. Oh, and there's a 3rd: use social media; you almost can't go wrong.