Shoestring Marketing Ideas | The Modern Photographer’s Guide To Affordable Marketing
Shoestring Marketing Ideas | If your calendar hasn’t been completely booked yet, you’re not done with marketing. Maybe you got too carried away shooting to stick with your marketing strategy, or perhaps you never got started in the first place. While word of mouth advertising is a powerful tool, it’s by no means a be-all and end-all of photography business marketing. If you’re serious about turning your passion for photography into a solid source of income, you will need to come up with an effective marketing plan.
Getting your potential clients to notice you can feel like a challenging task, especially if you’re just starting out. The equipment is more affordable and user-friendly than ever before, and as a result, there have never been more photographers out there competing for the same audience. There is good news, however – marketing the services and products you’re providing doesn’t have to be expensive or overwhelming if you’re willing to work just a bit smarter, not necessarily harder. To help you set up a marketing strategy that will get you booked solid, we put together a list of our favorite marketing tips you might actually enjoy.
Know Your Business | Shoestring Marketing Ideas
If you’re anything like most photographers and you’re just starting out, you might be tempted to target as many demographics as possible in order to make ends meet, so focusing on only one market niche might sound really counterproductive. However, taking the time to define your target audience right off the bat is vitally important for the success of your business – it will affect pretty much every aspect of it, from the equipment you get to your prices – including the marketing strategy that will work best for you.
Think about it – how are you supposed to grab the attention of your potential clients if you’re not sure who they are? A marketing strategy that will appeal to high-school seniors, for examples, won’t do you any good if your target audience are new parents or high-end brides-to-be. Of course, we’re not saying you should turn down a potential client just because they’re out of your target demographic – instead, zero down on your ideal client and create a marketing strategy that will appeal to them, and if you get approached by people that are not necessarily your target audience, all the better.
Update Your Website | Shoestring Marketing Ideas
Do you have a website? If you still think that you can run a business using only a Facebook page, you’re up for a rude awakening. Setting up a website will help you leave an impression of a reliable, established expert. However, not all websites are created equal – setting up a website only to leave it sitting there idly won’t do much for you. You’re marketing to millennials, a generation that grew up online, so you need to make sure that you not only regularly update the content of your website, but also the technology behind your website.
For example, if your website older than a couple of years, chances are that it’s based on Flash – technology that was incredibly popular only a few years ago, but is outdated today and can do more damage than good. Not only does it look cheesy, cheap, and overdone, but it’s also the perfect recipe for an SEO disaster, as search engines can’t index Flash websites. On top of it all, it’s not supported by most new devices, which means majority of your potential clients won’t even be able to view your website.
Boost Your Social Media Presence | Shoestring Marketing Ideas
Just because running a photography business using only a Facebook page isn’t a good idea, it doesn’t mean you can afford to set up a website and completely ignore the social media. It’s where your potential clients are spending their time, which means you should be there. However, keep in mind that it’s called social media for a reason – don’t mistake it for a dumping ground for generic sales messages and links. Instead, join the ongoing conversation and engage your potential and existing clients. This is where having a modern, regularly updated website will come in handy.
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd of shooters is by sharing unique, entertaining, informative content. Have a new blog post up? Share it with your friends, fans, and followers. Not sure what to post about? Take some time to come up with 5 topics that will appeal to your ideal client and start blogging about those things. Share tips on what to wear, how to pose, and what to expect from a session. Every now and then, share a personal post and talk to your potential clients about your motivation and what drives you. This will give them a chance to get to know you a bit better, and feel that much more comfortable when they get to meet you and work with you.
Referrals, Referrals, Referrals | Shoestring Marketing Ideas
Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful tactic in any industry, especially in photography industry – people are far more likely to trust the recommendation of someone they know than an ad they stumbled upon online, and while some clients will be happy to send their friends and family members your way on their own, consider offering a reward for every referral. This will get even more clients spreading the word about you and your business, and the best part – you don’t have to offer anything too expensive – a couple of free prints, for example, is enough to do the trick.