Social Media or Mag Cloud?
Many within the Photography and Modeling industry use a variety of methods to market their work. Personal websites, pay websites, various social media sites, and magazine submissions just to mention a few. While most use multiple approaches to electronic marketing when it comes down to Mag Cloud (paid magazines) or social media, what gives you the most bag for the buck so to speak.
To be 'Published' is often a goal or aspiration of many artists even outside of this industry. However to become published in a nation wide or even international magazines takes a great deal of effort, often contacting and networking with magazine editors long before any work is published. Top magazines often have staff photographers and perhaps even use agency models so to get your work seen in one of these publications is often a challenge.
Mag Cloud (Paid) magazines range from relatively local markets to in some cases international. Instead of publishing magazines and placing them in bookstores and other retail outlets, the publications are often printed on demand. That is to say a customer may purchase a copy of a magazine by subscribing or contacting the magazine to purchase a copy. Although like major magazines they are both in printed and electronic form, the price for printed copies is generally much higher than one would pay to purchase a publication from a major title. Models or photographers may submit their work to a Mag Cloud publication in some cases for free and wait for approval for a future issue. Most Mag Cloud publications also allow the artist submitting images to pay for the opportunity to become published. Some fees can be modest, other fees can be rather high depending how the artists wishes to have his work presented in the magazine.
Advantages include that smaller magazine publications may be a gateway to larger more recognized publications. It also looks good on an artists resume. Disadvantages certain include very limited exposure to your work, waiting for a publication to be appear for purchased, and maybe expensive if one pays to become published. Significant editing is often required to make images ready for print publications.
Social Media on the other hand is often completely free to almost anyone who wishes to 'publish' an image on-line. To be successful one must have a relatively consistent amount of engaging content. This often involves developing an on-line personality, producing new and equally engaging content, and even supporting to some degree of peers within the industry. A knowledge of when to produce content as well as various algorithms is often important to make this system work well. Developing a group of supporters that grow and actively engage with you may be the key to making social media work for you.
Advantages include potential exposure to a wide audience on almost a daily basis at very little if any cost. Disadvantages include thousands of other images also being produced on a daily basis, so your work must have a very unique style to it to be noticed. Engaging with your audience can be very time consuming and much like a traditional job, one must show up almost every day. Social media certainly opens itself up to a variety of 'opinions' , some helpful, some not so much. Social media is also becoming more restrictive as to what may or may not appear on their platforms.
Is there a better choice? What will really get you noticed, sell work, or get you hired? Often a combination of the two media happens to be a good choice for many people, however the real question is time management as how much resources you wish to spend on one approach or the other depending upon personal goals. Clearly, if smaller magazines provide you a gateway to a larger audience this may work for you. If you have hundreds or thousands of followers on social media, this may be where you may wish to spend most of your time.