Marketing is a very essential part of any business. It’s more important in the field of photography. If you have already started a business or thinking of starting one then this article is absolutely for you. This article will help you to understand the main assets of marketing in the field of photography, and you will also come to learn what is important and what’s not. What to do and what not to do. I will show you the necessary marketing tips and techniques to follow for your photography business in 2019.
A. Offline Marketing
In a photography business, offline marketing is a crucial element. If you miss something or you do something wrong you could lose a massive amount of potential client. Here are the most significant offline marketing strategies that you must follow to do well in your business.
1. Work In your Locality:
First of all, let your family and friends know about your new business. They will be happy to know about it. Tell them details about your business and let them know how you can be helpful to them and as well as to other people. They’ll love to give you the responsibility of the photography unit in every occasion they arrange. They are the people who will never hesitate, rather they will love to share your works with others and be proud of you. They will give you the very first clients in your business. So never neglect this great source. Start your marketing from family, friends and later to the area you live in.
Be recognized in your area, try to get works at your locality. If they properly know your business, they will lead you to more clients. Reach out to local businesses to find out if they need any photography works done. Brand yourself and consider giving away some discount to your local clients. Family oriented photography, wedding coverage or business photography, try every aspect of work to provide services in your community. These are the people who know you in person, and if you create more value by doing fair and great tasks for them they will become your regular clients as well as they will bring more.
2. Make Business Cards:
To attract and invite almost everyone you meet and tell them about your business you need your own creatively designed eye-catching business card. A tiny card that will resemble your brand uniquely and all the info at one place if someone needed to contact you. A card is the first approach to let people know about you, after that they will be able to find you on social media and even browse your website. You don’t have to individually ask them for doing so. They’ll do it on their own.
It’s a small sized offline portfolio. Throughout your business days, you will meet new faces every day. You can’t invite everyone to like your Facebook page, which doesn’t work and over time they will forget, but if you give your card to them it will look more professional, and they will get a glance about your quality and brand even before inquiring your online portfolio. Make a business card and make it artistic.
3. Build Networks:
Networking is vital in your photography business career. It will take a long time to have great connections. The more your business will grow older, the more connections you will make. Try to make connections with the people who are best in your market. Maybe a senior photographer in your locality. He can be accommodating to bring you new projects. You can work along with him being as his assistant. These people are very busy, so if they have extra clients whom they can’t handle they will lead extras to you. That’s an excellent recommendation. You do your job. Voila! You get a new client as well as strengthen the relationship between your connections.
If you don’t have a good network, start from today. Search for upcoming business-related events and attend them. Visit occasions, meet up with people, admire others’ works by sending them emails (If they are outstanding enough to be praised), there are so much to do. You have to have an interest in interacting.
4. Collaborate With Others:
Collaboration is an excellent thing in this field of photography. You can collaborate with other photographers you know. Offer some unique and challenging work for both of you. Do some extraordinary work that you couldn’t do alone. Then show-off your works both online and offline. This will make better connections for both sides. Who knows, collaborating on a project could lead to new opportunities. Moreover, this method is an excellent source of referrals.
Photographer Olibia Bossert wrote an article on her website answering why collaboration is the best form of marketing based on her own experience. You can check the article, and you will find some interesting facts.
5. Charitable Works
You might not want to waste your time by clicking free photos, but, charitable photography is right for your business marketing. Here’s how. You can meet-up with the charitable groups, those who are restlessly working to change poor people’s fate. Many charitable works are happening around you. Maybe these groups need a volunteer for photography work. You will be a part of good deeds and also get remarkable good exposure in your community. Make sure you watermark in those photos and get tagged in social media.
Another way is that, select some of your best photos and arrange a photography auction. The money you get, donate them for a good cause. You can do it every year. By seeing you doing these remarkable works, new clients will love to hire you as well as the older customer may become your forever clients.
6. Collect Reviews:
Never be too shy to ask for reviews. Ask your clients to say something about your service. Ask them if they can spend a few minutes to give ratings to your Facebook page, Google my business, and you can use the best reviews as testimonials. Give them your best service so that they feel the urge to recommend others as well as spend a few minutes on ratings.
B. Online Marketing
Alongside offline marketing, it’s also useful that you make your online presence more solid by doing the following things step by step from the very beginning so that you don’t miss a bit of attention. These are must implementable techniques every professional photographer suggests. Let’s deep dive into these topics:
1. Build an Elegant website
You have to make a highly engaging site that sells more. There are some essential things you have to consider when you’re making a website for your newly established business.
- Show best works: On your site, show your best clicks and feature them. You don’t have to upload every photo you click. Find the best ones and imagine if you were looking for a photographer, would those images make you feel astonished? If yes, then that’s the picture that should be on your website. This creates a positive impression on the views so strong that they feel the emotion to come back.
- Look: Give your site an artistic but minimal look. Don’t over-design. Focus on a specific category, and share most eye-catching photos only.
- About Me: Your ”about me” page should be well-detailed, and it’s more like your portfolio. After seeing your photos, visitors will go to this page. So, give them the most important information they need to know about your brand, what you do, what are your beliefs, how you work, why they should hire you, your specialty, everything.
- Mobile Friendliness: Your website should be 100 percent responsive. So, it easily fits in every device. It’s not about you, it’s about them. If they feel difficulty visiting or browsing through your website they will dump your website. Moreover, it’s the story of every website that most of their visitors are from smart-phones. It’s no wonder that most of your clients will be searching for you via a smart-phone. Your website maybe wedding-oriented, if that so, who will be visiting your website? 18-30 aged peoples. They spend most of their internet time on the phone. So, you got my point, didn’t you?
- SEO Friendly: It’s essential to make your website SEO friendly. Your website should focus on a few keywords. Know your clients, who are they, who are you going to serve most? What are they going to search on if they need the help of someone passionate like you? If you do your website’s SEO properly, I can ensure that you will get more clients. You can do it yourself, by learning and doing approach or could use hiring a freelancer. Google’s free keyword research tool will help you to find ideal keywords for your site.
2. Start Writing
You might be thinking I am a photographer, why should I start writing?
Because, if you write you can give your photo an extra meaning. Your photography blog will add value to your brand as well as in your business. However, it’s not the only way you can use your writing skill.
- You can write in a local newspaper about photography and your journey. [it’s offline though]
- Create a blog section on your website where you can share your experience.
- You can guest write in photography based popular sites.
- It’ll show the clients how professional you’re and your engagement in mighty magazines, newspaper, websites will make your brand more strong in its way.
- You can interpret your photo, create a story of them and when you’re writing about a particular picture you can easily find what’s wrong with that photo. Hence you may find another point for improvement.
Writing with a silent picture will add more value. Start practicing from today.
3. Use of Social Media
A business that has no existence in social media, can you imagine that in the 21st century? Unimaginable! Your business should be on social media, millions of people use them, and it’s a matter of time that you’ll get that amount of fans and many clients and opportunities from them.
I will discuss four major social sites.
- Instagram: This website is image oriented website. That leads to more engagement to your brand. Also, showing your creativity in Instagram will give you uncountable admiring fans.
- Facebook: If you want to build a community based on your identity and brand, Facebook is best in community building.
- Google Plus: Use this platform for best results in search engine. What you share in Google plus that is immediately added to the giant search engine.
- Pinterest: As per my experience, photographers I have known and know until now use this mighty social media to build their brand.
Honorable mentions: 500px, Tumblr, Stumble Upon
However, it’s easy to start with them, but difficult to control each of them accurately. If you become busy consider someone to handle your social media. For starters, your friend can be a great help.
You can read this article to know about some of the ruling photographers on Instagram and how they climbed this height. Social Media Photographer’s Rule.
4. Best Use of Email
Create an email list of your customers. Send them a newsletter weekly, or monthly. You can send them free wallpapers which they can use and share with others. Once a month you can send a promotional newsletter to them. Remember don’t bore them by sending email regularly. Your email should contain values for your clients.
Here’s how you can create your email list:
- Use a mailing list provider. It will help you to build your email list. Ex. List Builder By Sumome
- Put a ‘Sign Up’ box on your website. Moreover, ask visitors, if they want your dozens of free wallpaper or free eBook on photography, after signing up by email they can get the files.
- Ask your clients if they want your newsletter, or if they do so you’ll give them some discount or free things.
Creating an email list is essential because the engagement rate is very high among the other marketing tactics. So, you have to use it for your marketing purpose.
5. Give Faster Response
If you don’t respond fast, marketing won’t work that well. Try to respond quickly to every new inquiry. Responding quickly doesn’t have to be in an hour, you can reply in 12 hours or a day as long as you are consistent. Besides you can set a time in a day to respond to queries in your social media or email. If you’re doing this consistently, then you’re lucky enough to get more customers because many photographers are wrong at this.
6. Sign Up For Google My Business
Another major step is to register your business on Google so that Google can show you when someone searches for photographers in their area. Google will show your business details, such as where is your office, your phone number, available time and testimonials by your clients. Imagine your business details popping up right after the search. Isn’t it amazing?
If there are other businesses, Google will compare all of them including you. Another benefit is business listings like this show up above the organic search results. Clients can write reviews, give you stars on your business that will be attached to your business listing. These will work as testimonials in a visible place.
It’ll need time to complete the setup. You need to follow every step and verify your business details. After all of these, you’re on their map.
See in the Picture:
7. Enter a Photo Contest Online
Enter a photo contest and boom. It’s easy to contest. Submit your photo, if it standouts from all, sure you’re the winner. Contesting online is a great thing to spread your brand. These websites feature winners and most time runners-up too. So, why wait?
Moreover, you’ll make connections from it; you’ll learn who’s better than you or who can be useful for your business. You can find the latest contests here, photocontestinsider
8. Discount Offer and Referrals
- For returning customers: You can give away some discount to your old clients. For example, one year ago, you were hired at a wedding, now you can give them discounts for coming back and hire you for 1st-anniversary celebration photography. You have their contacts, and you can send them amazing postcard wishing them their upcoming anniversary and offer them the discount. You can send it via email too. Alternatively, you can create an ad for returning client.
- For particular groups (ex. Students): You can give students a special discount if they hire you on their annual day photography or in any of their project. They are the people who want your service, but sometime they can’t afford that much. So, it’s a great marketing idea, in the future they will be your returning customer.
- For special day photography: You can give some discounts on special days, such as valentine days, Independence day, on Christmas, on EID, on Puja, etc. There are a lot of special days. You can use one of them as your marketing tool.
- Ask Referral: Ask referrals from your regular customers, and you can give them some incentive. They will be happy to provide you with some referrals.
9. Paid Ad. Driven Marketing on Facebook
Facebook ads are far better than any other ads. In Google ads, people need to search the term, so that Google can show them the ads. Whereas on Facebook, their algorithm shows the advertisement in the news-feed and messenger. Moreover, you can target your area, age.
People use Facebook a lot nowadays. So it’s useful to spend some dime on the advertisement. Maybe some of them are thinking about hiring someone for their occasion, and miraculously your ad popped up in their news-feed. Also, they may come to you first. Because they got to know you in the first place, give it a try sometime, if it helps your business grow, you can do more of it.
Be aware of the mistakes, and you can know more about errors and how to be good at making valuable ads. Try reading this reference article.
How to use these techniques:
You can’t apply all of those methods at once or even in a month. You won’t get the result right away. You’ve to wait and work consistently on these methods. Don’t stress yourself up too much. Plan your every day, work a bit every day. By taking small steps every day, eventually, they will lead you to great success in the end.
In this article, I have discussed 15 best marketing techniques that you can use to broaden your photography business. These 15 methods were presented in two sections: Online and Offline. Let’s have a look at them once again.
A) Offline Marketing:
– Work In Your Locality
– Make Business Cards
– Build Networks
– Collaborate With Others
– Charitable Works
– Collect Reviews
B) Online Marketing:
– Build an Elegant Website
– Write Blogs
– Use of Social Media
– Best Use of Email
– Give Faster Response
– Sign up for Google My Business
– Enter a Photo Contest Online
– Discount Offer and Referrals
– Paid Ad. Driven Marketing on Facebook
Don’t rely just on internet marketing, get some offline leads too. Get recognized in the real world as well as on the internet. Plan for the long term and work according to your plan. If you are just a startup or an established photographer and can’t handle the editing of all your images, you can hire us. Best of luck for your business.