How to Market Your Photography Business
A lot of the advice collected here isn’t necessarily groundbreaking: a lot of it is common sense. Therefore, you’re probably already doing a few things on this list and likely in good shape! Before we jump straight into how to market your photography business, let’s start by outlining what your marketing goals should be:
- Get impressions: Get qualified customers to your website, where they can find engaging content and contact you. The more robust your online presence, the greater the impression you can make on potential leads.
- Build a contact list: Most online businesses have to work to find their customers and can’t expect the right customers to find them at the right time by accident. A businesses contact list — a list of potential customers— is your lifeblood. These contacts aren’t just customers; they’re also people who can interact with and share your work, which is crucial free marketing.
- Turn interactions into sales: Many creative people naturally shy away from this aspect of the business. But the truth is, you need to figure out how to turn all these clicks, impressions, and customer interactions into sales.
Without further ado, here are eight of the best tips for how to market your photography business:
1. Win at social media
Social media is the cornerstone of any modern marketing. And as a photographer, you don’t have much choice but to knock it out of the park. It’s seen as a basic competency of photographers to be able to “win” at Instagram. It’s a platform of beauty, humor, and style, where one’s skills are judged on the quality of the work they share.
The advice here is common sense. If you’re not sure how to “win” at social media, research the photographers who are winning now. Learn from them. Do a deep dive, exploring how they interact with other users and how they present their work.
Finally, use an automated posting platform. You can create content ahead of time and schedule posts in advance. Creating a steady flow of content is crucial if you want to build a following online.
2. Make a gorgeous website
Why isn’t this one number one? Well, social media is more and more our main mode of consuming content. But your website is still important as your digital storefront and portfolio. It should be slick, it should be informative, and it should make it as simple as possible to contact you or book a shoot directly.
Most of your advertising efforts are directed to get people to your website, where it is possible for them to buy. As such, you should make sure your website content is snappy and well written, your design is clean and attractive, and, very importantly, your website loads quickly on all devices.
3. Track everything
Track your customers, leads, jobs, and invoices. On your website, you should have a simple way to collect emails. The best way to do this is to ask people to sign up for a newsletter.
Additionally, you should do your best to track your interactions on social media, at the very least identifying potential customers.
The more you keep track of, the more you’ll be able to recognize when there is a deal ready to be made. You’ll begin to see patterns in your data that show how people go from potential customers to actual customers.
In the biz, we call this “content marketing.” Don’t underestimate the power of good writing, especially when it’s teamed with eye-catching imagery. Your photography already proves your skill and artistic eye.
Good writing helps people imagine what it will be like to work with you. If you have no confidence as a writer, hiring a content marketer online is easy and affordable. More on that later.
5. Expand to video
Video content dominates on Facebook. You don’t have to add video to your list of offered services, but if you can begin to incorporate eye-catching videos in your social media posts, you’ll get a lot more impressions.
In fact, studies indicate that video receives as much as 300% more attention on Facebook than other types of posts.
6. Collect reviews
Online reviews are a powerful factor in sales these days. People in creative fields often don’t have any way to request or collect reviews from previous customers. And not having these reviews is a huge disadvantage when you’re trying to build trust with a potential customer.
There are a number of online services that allow creatives to request reviews, as well as plugins for WordPress and other common website platforms that allow people to put review forms directly on their websites.
When you complete a job, make it a habit to have an “off-boarding” process, where you ensure the customer is happy with your work, and request they review your service.
7. Market to a niche demographic
This isn’t everyone’s favorite suggestion, but choosing a particular niche to market to can make your job much easier. When you’re marketing to everyone, you have to collect so much more content, on so many more subjects. When you specialize in a certain niche, all your photographs tell the story your customer wants to hear.
Customers self-select. They search “graduation photographer,” “wedding photographer,” “school photographer,” and so on. When these customers end up at the website of someone selling general photography services, they have to do more guesswork to decide whether the photographer is a good fit or not.
8. Hire help
If you’re a photographer, you’re probably familiar with the gig economy. The same websites where you go to look for gigs make it easy for you to hire someone to help.
These sites make it simple to hire someone, track their hours, and make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. There’s really no risk. You can try a few people out if you’d like, for nothing more than their hourly rates. If you find the right helper, you might find a few hours of assistance here and there is enough to transform business.
Check out Upwork and Fiverr. They’re filled with qualified people with all sorts of helpful skills.
If you’re trying to figure out how to market your photography business, simply remember that marketing is about building relationships. Not all of these relationships will turn into sales, and those that do may take a while. But without having a wide net of relationships, no business can succeed.
Think of yourself as a creative agency. You should always be putting effort into building new relationships AND maintaining old ones. Agencies thrive when they have repeat customers, and repeat business is always built on trust. When you work with customers who trust you, you’ll have more artistic license, and your portfolio and your career will both benefit. Good luck out there!