Expert Photography Marketing Guide | Affordable Marketing Ideas For Professional Photographers On A Budget
Expert Photography Marketing Guide | You’ve been taking pictures for quite some time now, reading tutorials, articles and books on different techniques, and most importantly, you’ve been building a portfolio. And finally, you decided to start your own photography business. First of all, congrats! It takes a lot of courage to quit your day job and pursue your passion. Turning you your passion for photography into a profitable business, however, is a lot harder than what many amateur photographers think. At the end of the day, taking beautiful pictures can take you only so far.
One of the most challenging tasks every photographer has to face is getting new clients. You’ve got the technical know-how, but what about your business skills? Your ability to promote your photography business and the services or products you’re providing is just as important as your photography skills, and it will be the critical difference between success and failure. To make matters even worse, photographers are usually on a strict budget when they just start out, so finding the right marketing strategy should be at the top of your to-do list. To help you get started on the right track, we’ve put together some of the most effective, budget-friendly marketing tricks you should start implementing into your daily routine right now.
Do Your Homework First | Expert Photography Marketing Guide
Many photographers feel like they have to take pretty much any gig coming their way when they’re just starting out to make ends meets, but choosing a niche and defining your area of specialization will be your first step to an optimal marketing strategy. First, there’s the question of competition – unless you choose a niche, you’ll be going against the entire photography industry. But more importantly, there’s the issue of your target audience – no matter how innovative your marketing strategy is, it will never appeal to your potential clients if you don’t know who they are.
You’ll market your business one way to a bride to be, and a completely different way to a high-school senior. By defining your ideal client in terms of age, gender, and location, you’ll have a better idea which marketing efforts will work and which won’t. Of course, you’ll attract people that are not necessarily your target audience from time to time, which is a great thing, but never lose focus on your target audience and what you can do for them!
Keep An Eye On Your Online Presence | Expert Photography Marketing Guide
No matter who your ideal client is, you’ll need to build a solid online presence. Traditional advertising is still here, don’t get us wrong, but even after a future bride stumbles upon your work in a local magazine, she will want to check out your website to see more work, or follow you on Twitter to stay up to date with your most recent projects. A website is the modern photographer’s portfolio – in fact, many photographers no longer carry around printed portfolios. Why should they, when their potential clients can view their work whenever and wherever they want, without having to schedule a meeting.
However, keep in mind that web users are really impatient when it comes to the websites they visit – your portfolio website needs to grab their attention the moment they land there, otherwise they might abandon it and move on to another website without ever looking back. You’ll also want to pay special attention to the images you showcase – don’t mistake your website for cloud storage – no one has to see absolutely every picture you ever took!
Start Blogging! | Expert Photography Marketing Guide
If you haven’t already, you should definitely consider setting up a blog page on your website to boost your content marketing strategy. Having a regularly updated blog will provide you with unique content to share on social media, but it will also keep your visitors coming back for more, even if you do update your portfolio every 3-6 months. And lastly, it will boost your search engine rankings by giving you an opportunity to use your target keywords on a regular basis throughout your website.
Set Up A Referral Program | Expert Photography Marketing Guide
Everyone knows by now that networking is vitally important for business success in pretty much any industry. However, not all networks are equal. To get the most out of your networking efforts, it’s critical that you identify people and businesses to network with that share the same ideal client as you, but provide non-competing services or products. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you’ll want to approach florists, caterers, and wedding planners and start building your own network. You’d be amazed how loyal to each other business owners can be once they really hit it off, so take a few shots of the flower arrangements and send them to the florist telling them how much you appreciate referrals. It doesn’t cost you much but can considerably boost your business.
Utilize Email Marketing | Expert Photography Marketing Guide
Email will be one of your most frequently used tools – it’s how potential clients will reach out to you, how you send forms, contracts, and even proofing gallery links. But it can also be used to grow your client base by setting up a newsletter signup box on your website and sending out a newsletter with the latest updates and discounts every now and then. Don’t spam your subscribers, though. Each newsletter should have something of value for them, otherwise, they might end up unsubscribing instead of converting into paying clients.