6 Marketing tips for photographers
If you’re just starting out as a photographer or are looking to expand your client base, marketing is the best (and only) way to you are going to attract new customers. There are a ton of ways to build your reputation and attract the exact clients you want, without spending a ton of money. Keep reading for some marketing tips!
Start with your Personal Network
If you’re just starting out, getting clients who do not know you personally is a challenge. People want to hire photographers with experience in shooting weddings, portraits, newborns, etc. So how do you get this experience? Start with your family and friends! Offer to shoot them for FREE until you feel confident with your camera and skills. Use their photos in your portfolio, ask them to provide testimonials for your website, and ask them to recommend you on social media. You’ll be surprised how many new clients you will get just through your family and friends’ connections.
Target Your Community
Whether you live in a big city, a small suburb, or somewhere in-between, getting involved with your local community will help you meet a ton of potential clients. Volunteer to do some public shoots for free for the exposure, and make sure you get credit for those photos! Create a flyer or business cards and ask local businesses to display them. By joining local clubs and groups, you will get your name out there and build a strong reputation. Word of mouth is absolutely gold, so the more you can create contacts and gain referrals the better off you’ll be!
Use Social Media
Photography is visual, and there are few spaces more visual than social media. It’s a fast, easy, and great way to showcase your best work. And while it’s essential to only post your best work, you also need to be active on social media in order for it to be effective. Post weekly, if not daily. If you’re running out of content to post, you can diversify your profile with detail shots, re-posting old photos, or behind the scenes looks at your equipment. Encourage your friends and family whose work you are proud of to post and tag your business on social media. You can also advertise on social media, without spending a dime! Ask your friends and family for their support by asking them to post a pre-made business ad on their social media. Any little thing helps!
Word of Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth marketing is when you hear about a particular brand, product, or service from your family, friends, co-workers, etc. It’s a powerful way to get potential clients interested in you because they trust the person who is making the recommendation and are more likely to hire you based on that trust. Have a handful of friends start recommending you on social media. In our local community people are constantly asking for recommendations for photographers. If you have a handful of friends willing to recommend and link your business, that'll really assist in getting your name out there!
Ask for Reviews
Reviews from previous clients are crucial for attracting new clients. You could have the best photos in the world, but if you have bad reviews, you will get hired less. Alternatively, if you have great reviews and only a few photos in your portfolio, people will feel more comfortable hiring you. When you are done with a shoot, ask your clients to leave a review on Yelp, a testimonial on your website, or a review on social media about your service. Ask your family and friends to do the same when you are starting out.
There are a ton of deals you can offer to potential clients that still allow you to make a profit. You could run a giveaway advertising on Facebook and Instagram for a free mini-session giveaway. While this particular client would not pay anything for this session, they may like your work so much that they pay for an additional full session or recommend you to a friend that is willing to pay full price. You can also offer previous clients shot referral credits! Prints or discounts off the next paid session is a huge incentive, and everyone loves a good deal.
One note about price incentives, make sure you’re not losing money. It takes you time to drive, shoot, pack-up, edit, and maintain a client relationship. $50 is absolutely not worth all of that.