Tips on competing
There are two avenues that lead to becoming one of the 200 Finalists in the online SOLO competition: 1) public appreciation; and 2) being voted in by the judging panel. To maximize your chances of become a Finalist, here are few ideas to think about:
TIP #1 IGNITE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK
The judging panel is there to capture great photography, but never underestimate the power of the public in recognizing great photographs that may have eluded the judges eyes. So rock the vote and you’ll have two avenues to become a Finalist. Let your Facebook friends, fans and Twitter followers know that you’ve entered the Open, and encourage them to vote for you. Post your Artist’s Page link on all of your social sites and let everyone know how much you’d appreciate their vote.
TIP #2 MULTIPLY YOUR VISIBILITY
In the online world, visibility leads to votes. The more images you enter into the SOLO competition, the higher your visibility, the higher your likelihood of becoming a Finalist. Take advantage of one of the multi-image entry packages. The cost of entry drops to less than $5 per image when you purchase a 10-image entry package.
TIP #3 DIVERSIFY YOUR CATEGORIES
Some categories naturally attract more artists, some less. But the same number of photographers will advance from each of the five categories. Most of your work might be aligned with a particular category, but consider choosing some photographs that give you a presence in more than one category.
TIP #4 STUMBLEUPON
The StumbleUpon link next to each of your images is your gateway to rapid visibility. The social bookmarking site is growing expontially with over 1 billion Stumbles per month, and recently eclipsed Facebook for delivering website traffic in the U.S. The more your work is Stumbled, the more visible it becomes and your audience can expand dramatically. Encourage your social network to Stumble your work.
TIP #5 EXPAND YOUR ONLINE PORTFOLIO
The Open gives you the opportunity to include all of your digital links on your Artist’s Page. Each can be a major contributor to strengthening your online presence. Consider opening up free or low-cost portfolios on Flickr, 500px.com and on Behance.net and including those links here. Upload more samples from your portfolio for free in the Portfolio section of your Artist's Page (My Account>Portfolio).
TIP #6 SHARE THE LOVE
Social networking is all about engagement. Take the time to vote for other photographers whose work you admire, and leave them a comment of encouragement on Facebook. You might be surprised how they reciprocate.