A potential client needs to see your work an average of seven times before they’ll remember you or take notice. Think of marketing as a way to draw their attention to your work.
Here are ten marketing strategies that can help you get more photography clients.
1. Identify Your Ideal Client to Target the Right Audience
When you start your photography business, you will get mixed clients. You will photograph family, friends and anyone who chooses you because you need to start somewhere.
As you move forward and become more successful, you will want to focus your marketing efforts on a specific target group. For this, you need to make sure that you have a strong and consistent photography brand. This is the best way to communicate who you are as a photography business and attract those who fit your brand.
For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you should focus on brides, grooms, wedding planners or other people from the wedding industry.
You might be a fantastic portrait photographer because you have the skills. But do you want to attract people who need portraits? No, you want to attract clients who have a wedding coming up.
Identify your ideal client, and it will get easier to target the right audience.
For an in-depth guide to business marketing check out our ebook – Organic Marketing for Photographers!
2. Research Your Target Audience’s Media Consumption Habits
Having a website and being present on social media platforms are essential for a photography business. But you don’t need to be present on every social media platform if your target audience is not using them.
Do thorough research about the media consumption habits of your target audience. You can outsource this to a marketing research agency or use available statistics.
If you have an existing client base, you can also conduct the research by sending out a questionnaire.
The more you know about your target’s media behaviour, the easier it will be to focus your marketing efforts.
3. Use Relevant Platforms to Save Time and Money
Once you know who your target market is, you can start using platforms that are relevant to them. For example, people who are getting married often use Pinterest to find inspiration for planning. Have an up-to-date Pinterest profile and focus your effort there.
If you are specialising in food photography, you could focus more on Instagram. This is the platform where lots of foodie content appears and where your target audience might be the most active.
In general, Facebook and Instagram are safe bets when it comes to having an active social media presence. But don’t copy what other photographers do. Get to know your audience to make sure you are using the best possible channels.
You shouldn’t stretch your budget and time to be active on every single platform. Focus on those that are most relevant for your target audience.
4. Launch Targeted Social Media Campaigns to Attract More Clients
Another way to get new clients is to launch targeted social media campaigns. For example, you can start a Facebook ad and target it at certain segments of the population. You have the option to filter who sees your ads by gender, age, interest and location.
The minimum spend is $1 per day for a Facebook ad. This means that you can do a few trials and see what works the best for you before you make a bigger investment.
5. Host an Open Photo Shoot to Get More Attention
What is a better way to attract new clients than showing them what it’s like to work with you? Hosting an open photo shoot has many advantages. You have complete control over what is happening and who is invited.
You have the chance to show the way you work and interact with clients. You can show off your talent and your personality at the same time.
Moreover, you can use this opportunity for networking and getting to know potential clients. Once they meet you in person, you are no only a random photographer they saw online. You become someone whom they would consider for their next photo shoot.
6. Create a Quarterly Email Campaign to Stay in Your Clients Mind
The important thing is that you research who you want to work with and regularly make contact with them. Keep track of these contacts, so you can stay consistent with your efforts.
Hire a designer that can create a template for you. This will allow you to swap out pictures every time you do a new campaign that includes new work. Include your logo on the front and a short bio inside, along with your contact information.
Your email promo should look as professional as possible. The e-mailers should go out to your target clients every quarter to keep you top of mind when they’re looking for a photographer.
7. Create Special Offers to Gain More Clients and Keep Existing Ones
Sometimes the reason photographers struggle to get clients is not because of the marketing tools they use. It’s because their offer becomes too monotone.
You need to spice things up every now and then! Create special promotions to get more clients. Offer mini-sessions that are less expensive and are more likely to attract new customers. Plus, they take less of your time and you can offer more of them.
Give a discount to clients who choose you again and again. Loyalty programs are a great way to keep existing clients. They also seem attractive for new customers as they see that you value your existing clients.
8. Give Incentives for People to Refer You
One of the best ways to get new clients is to give people some sort of incentive to advertise your services. Word-of-mouth can be such a powerful marketing tool.
An incentive can be offering your current portrait clients a free mini-shoot for a successful referral.
It can even mean giving them a discount. However, you should be wary of doing so if you want your services to be perceived to be premium. Chanel never goes on sale, right?
Discounts can be a cue that cheapens your brand, so tread with care. It’s better to provide an incentive that is aligned with your niche and how you want to be perceived.
Also, make sure that the incentive you offer is relevant for your photography business. Don’t give them a spa or a dinner voucher. Offer them something that encourages future purchases from your business.
9. Join Freelancing Websites to Get More Photography Clients
There are lots of freelance websites out there which can connect you with people who are looking for photographers.
Freelancer is the biggest marketplace for freelancers. It has millions of users and offers all kinds of job categories. Photography and photo editing jobs are among them.
Find a Photographer is focusing on photography-related jobs. People can set the location, distance and the type of photographer they are looking for.
10. Broaden Your Network by Volunteering to Photograph Events
Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t make working for free a habit. But sometimes it is a great way to find new potential photography clients and do something good at the same time.
For example, you can volunteer to photograph for a charity event. This way, you can give back to society and still promote your photography business.
Or you can offer to photograph an event at the local school. You might have been going unnoticed in your local community only because you focused so much on online marketing.
You could also photograph at public events like a running competition. Make sure to take your business cards with you and hand them out to people in the audience. You can even sell the photos you took to people who are interested.
Getting new clients takes time, effort, and a toolbox of various strategies.
Depending on your genre of photography, some of these strategies will work better than others. You need a multi-pronged, layered approach to get the best results.
Consistent effort will pay off in the long run and will allow you to succeed where so many others fail!