Marketing is often the most intimidating part of running your business as an artist, no matter how well you know your craft or how confident you are in your skills. After all, the most talented photographer in the world could struggle to find clients if they didn’t market their work effectively.
You may feel like you have no idea how to find photography clients at first, especially since that side of the industry is so different from the side that you probably spent all of your time on before you entered the professional world. Many of us put years of our lives into improving our work before we ever think of selling it.
But whether we like it or not, marketing is just as much a part of being a successful photographer as taking and editing great photos. Luckily, it’s not as hard as you might think; you just need some ideas to get you started.
That’s where I come in!
Today, I am going to share 9 tried and true photography marketing tips that you can start using today to improve your business and get new clients fast.
Have a Target Audience in Mind
Most of these tips can be used at any time and in any order, but this one should really come first. You’ll need to know what kind of clients you’re trying to attract in order to target the rest of these ideas towards them.
Part of figuring out your target audience is knowing what niche or niches you’re interested in photographing and having a personalized style, which you may be working on already. It can also be useful to know things like the age group and gender of your ideal client.
Create Amazing Content for That Audience
I said earlier that the best photographer could fail to get clients if they didn’t market well, but the reverse is also true; the most effective marketer wouldn’t get any photography clients if they didn’t take and showcase great photos.
You may be an amazing photographer already, but you should always be looking for ways to improve! With your target audience in mind, you can utilize presets to find a look that will draw them in when they see your portfolio. You might also consider taking a course to level up your editing skills or learn some of the ins and outs of running a photography business.
Get Good at SEO
Implementing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques helps you increase the traffic to your business website and social media pages. Once you get good at SEO, you’ll be able to significantly improve the exposure your brand gets.
Optimize Your Website
This definitely means using SEO to direct potential clients to your site, but it also means showcasing your work and giving clients all the information they need. In addition to a current portfolio of your best pieces, your website should have reviews and testimonials from past clients, your pricing and contact info, and an “about us” or bio section.
Here you can tell clients about your training, your professional accomplishments, and yourself! Establishing trust and personal connections with visitors to your site can make a big difference in how many of them decide to hire you, so don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies, your pets, or anything else that will let them know who you are.
Write Creative But Informative Blog Posts
Blogging regularly can be a great way to stay in touch with your client base, and having recent posts lets them know that the rest of the information on your site is current.
Keep the same personal touch you used to write your bio, but also consider what kind of things will be useful for your clients to read. This will vary a lot depending on who your target audience is, so have that established in your mind by the time you get here and write your posts specifically for them.
Be Active on Social Media
You can (and should) use every social media platform available to promote your photography business. This will help more people find you, and since social media feels less formal than a business website, some people may be more comfortable asking questions on your social media posts than anywhere else. You want to interact with potential clients as much as possible, so giving them different ways to reach out is crucial.
Linking your accounts and automating your posts can save you a lot of time, and you might even want to consider using a service that does the hard parts of this for you. (Don’t worry; some of them are free, and all of them will make your life easier!)
Build an Email List
People who have used your services before, as well as those who are interested but haven’t worked with you yet, should be offered the chance to opt in to being on your email list. You can send out regular newsletters, blog post and service updates, and new promotional offers to everyone on the list.
These people already love your work and are likely to enjoy reading what you write in these emails, but you shouldn’t put any less effort into it than into attracting new people! Write about things they’ll be interested in, and make sure the timing and frequency of these emails are well thought out.
Everyone likes free stuff! Offering referral bonuses, holding giveaways, and creating product and service bundles can encourage people to act ASAP to get more bang for their buck. Remember to promote any new deals you’re offering on your site, social media, and email list.
Get People Talking About You
Good word of mouth counts for a lot, so networking with others in the industry as much as possible can help you grow your business further.
Being featured in a photography blog or other publication, especially one that focuses on the niche you specialize in, can pull in tons of new clients who are already looking for someone just like you. If you see an opportunity to be featured, jump on it!
You can even get exposure from volunteering, and you’ll be doing good for others as well as for yourself. Consider offering to cover a local nonprofit’s events for free, or donate a free session as an item for a fundraising auction. This will get your name out to a lot of people on its own, and people who notice your charitable actions are likely to refer you to friends and family in the future. (And if you’re passionate about the cause, so much the better!)
Hopefully, the idea of marketing your business doesn’t seem so intimidating now that you know how to get started. Use an idea from this list today to take your first careful step into photography marketing, or dive in by using all of them at once to build a full marketing plan. Either way, the changes you make are sure to start bringing in new business soon.