As a photographer, you don’t have to be an expert in marketing but it is important that you focus on this part of the job, because your business wont survive very long without proper marketing techniques. As you go on with your career, you will learn more and more about the business side of the photography world and, eventually, you will find it easy to complete the marketing related tasks throughout the week. You can always hire a marketer to do the work for you but why spend extra money when you can do everything yourself? All you need to do is put some effort in and focus on the tips below.
Focus on your personal network
This step is especially important in the beginning of your career, as your personal connections will be of major importance to you. Your personal network is your strongest business asset because you already know those people and they trust you because of that. Make sure not to be too pushy about your business, just let your friends, family and acquaintances know what it is that you do. Everyone will need a photography service eventually, which is when they will remember you. The people from your personal network are likely going to be your first clients or they are going to introduce you to potential clients.
Local marketing is important
Nowadays, people rely on digital and online marketing the most. However, it is important not to undermine local marketing because it is quite significant for a photography business. Make sure to find a way to get yourself out there in the local community. The people from your community know you and it is convenient that they are near you so you wont have to travel to get the work done. There are probably businesses in your community that need photography services, you just need to find them and introduce yourself.
Create a mailing list
A mailing list is an important part of every marketing strategy. You can use a software for this purpose, such as Mailchimp, which allows you to add up to 2000 people to your list with the free account. You should send your list members promos and notifications to encourage engagement and keep up with your clients. It is important that you create a friendly relationship with your clients and not just sell them content. Make sure to put the mailing list sign up form on a visible place on your site, as well as your social media pages. Send interesting content more often than sale content.
With the right amount of exposure to the right audience, you will be receiving business inquiries to your mail. The key is to be quick to respond to these, otherwise the clients will lose interest and move on to the next photographer. This doesn’t mean you have to reply within an hour but it is best to always reply within 12 hours max. Be consistent with your responses and always be available to your clients. If you are busy and cannot work with them, don’t ignore their message but respond explaining the situation and ask if they want to postpone the shooting.
As a photographer, you have to have a good site that sells well. That means your site should look good and be in high resolution. It also must be simple and easy to navigate, for the clients to stick around longer. Make the site informative yet interesting and include a message encouraging the clients to hire you for your services. Lastly, make sure that the site is to the point and sends a clear message.
Search Engine Optimization
If you want to be recognized, you should aim to be ranked as high in Google as possible. That means you have to step up your SEO game. People are most likely to use Google to search for photographers in their area. Therefore, you must make sure your content is optimized for the right keywords. In this case, you want the keywords to be photographer + your location, so that the potential clients can find you more easily in Google search.
Get on Google Business pages
Google’s business listings are a great way to get your name out there for free. These listings show first in Google when someone searches a business with specific keywords. Make sure to create a profile and fill it with correct information. You must get reviews in order to show up higher in the listings. Therefore, encourage your clients to give you a review after receiving your services. You can do this by sending them an email via the mailing list. Also, add your best shots to your Google listing page, as that will increase the chances of converting leads into clients.
Social media is the easiest way to stay in touch with your audience and clients. Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are gold mines for new clients and viewers and it is all for free. Therefore, take advantage of this gift from the internet and be active on your pages regularly. This way, you will be able to engage with people and grow your audience. However, don’t spend too much time online, as you probably have lots of other work to complete. You can use different programs to automate your posts and save time as well.
The best way to boost your visibility on social media is to run contests on your pages. Contests will get people to engage with your page and share your content, which is exactly what you need to market your business properly. Offer the winner of your contest a free event photography or Photoshop tutorials. This way, you will make your client happy and give back to community, while getting a chance to meet new potential clients and get a ton of free marketing. The winner of the contest is likely to recommend you to their friends and acquaintances and that way the marketing circle never ends.