Free Photography Marketing Advice | No-Nonsense Tips To Boost Your Marketing Efforts
Free Photography Marketing Advice | Photographers are known for their creativity – there are few industries where creativity plays such a vital role in the success of a business. However, this also comes with a different type of a challenge: photographers are notorious for their disdain for everything business-related. In fact, many amateurs decide to quit their day job and launch a photography business believing they’d be able to spend most of the time taking photos. While you’ll certainly have considerably more time for shoots, it doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the business side of things.
Most business owners, not just photographers, mistakenly believe that marketing a business is a dull, uninspiring task, or that it has to be ridiculously expensive in order to be effective. However, once you get a hang of the basics and start learning the ropes of it, you’ll realize that not only can marketing be practically free, but it can also be a fun part of your week throughout the year. To help you get a better idea what marketing a photography business is all about, we put together a quick start guide, and whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in the industry for some time now, we’re sure you’ll find a thing or two to overcome your fear of marketing and take your business to the next level.
Come Up With A Solid Plan! | Free Photography Marketing Advice
Before you do anything, take some time to come up with a solid plan. There are way too many options out there, ranging from free to painfully expensive, and you simply can’t try out every single one. Not only that, but not every tool will be appropriate for your photography business. Remember, just because something is working for another photographer in your area, it doesn’t mean it will be as effective for your needs. In order to get the most out of your efforts, you need a plan – and each plan has certain elements in common, no matter how unique the business is.
First, you need to clearly define the services you’re going to be providing. While you may be tempted to appeal to as many potential clients as possible, regardless of the their age, gender, or even location, being clear on which demographic you’re targeting and which service you’re providing will help you get the most out of your marketing efforts. For example, not only will you need different equipment if you’re trying to break into the wedding photography industry than you would need if you were trying to shoot more sporting events, but the marketing strategy you would use for each niche would vary considerably.
Get To Know The Habits Of Your Ideal Client | Free Photography Marketing Advice
Once you define your ideal client in terms of age, gender, location, marital status, even finances, you need to do some digging. Here’s where the fun (or, as some call it, the stalking) starts. Determine what social networks are most popular among your potential clients and create profiles on 3-5 of the most popular ones. By limiting the selection of social networks you join, you’ll be able to build a solid presence without spreading yourself too thin. At the end of the day, it’s better to have a handful of good social media profiles than dozens of barely updated ones.
It’s called social media for a reason – the interaction needs to go both ways, so don’t bombard your followers with generic sales messages and random links. Instead, join the ongoing conversation, share your two cents, and get on their radar. Share tips and tricks, answer questions, join discussions, talk about funny situations you ran into behind the camera, and you’ll start building a reputation of an experienced, reputable industry leader sooner than you know it! The good thing about social media is that it’s free, and it only takes 15-30 minutes a day to maintain your presence once you set everything up.
Set Up A Referral Program | Free Photography Marketing Advice
We all love free stuff, there’s no getting around that fact – and your potential and existing clients are no exception, so why not use that in your advantage? Consider offering an incentive to your existing clients for each new client they bring in. This doesn’t have to cost you too much, mind you – think of something that has high perceived value, but doesn’t cost a fortune, like a couple of free prints or a small discount and your clients will go out of their way to send business your way. Not only will you get more business out of your existing clients, but you’ll also boost loyalty.
Many photographers already offer referral gifts to their clients, but what many fail to realize is that they can get more business from other business owners as well. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you can set up a referral system with other business owners in the wedding industry, such as florists, wedding planners, decorators, designers, and so on. So, make sure you get to the venue a bit earlier the next time you book a wedding and take a few shots of the venue itself, and send them to the owner. They will get free marketing material, and they might recommend you to their clients looking for a wedding photographer.