Many photographers cringe when they think about marketing their photography business. Maybe you do too! Marketing your photography can seem daunting at first but it is imperative for the growth of your business. In the beginning, you may not have the budget for paid advertising, but marketing your photography business doesn’t need to be expensive and in many cases, it doesn’t cost anything more than your time. Today, I’m going to go over 5 simple and affordable ways to market your photography business and land you more photography clients.
#1. Leverage Content Marketing
Content marketing is using any piece of content, a blog, vlog, even your Instagram feed, to speak to your ideal client without selling to them. Choose a problem or worry your client is experiencing and create value-based content solving that pain point. This can be “5 Ways to Have an Incredible Engagement Session,” or “10 Tips for Your Next Family Session.” You’re going to insert your work and your ideas so that you’re shown as the expert and authority on those topics. It will be natural for your ideal client to consider you for their session or wedding because you’ve already proven yourself as an authority and been a valuable resource to them.
#2. Plan a Collaboration Shoot
Collaboration shoots are a great way to build your portfolio and your referral network simultaneously. I aim to do at least one collaboration shoot a year. TIP: A great way to find possible collaborators for a shoot is to go through hashtags and geotags on Instagram to find new vendor connections in your area.
I’ll create a list of vendors I want to reach out to and plan a styled shoot with. This allows me to make new connections in my market and create new business relationships with those vendors.
Learn more about how you can plan your own collaboration/syled shoot here in my step-by-step video.
#3. Start a Referral Program
This is a great way to create more leads from word of mouth marketing. The idea is to create some kind of rewards program for your existing clients that refer other clients to you. The reward can be photo prints or an album of their next session, a gift card to a local coffee shop, or a free mini session. This is where you can get creative. The point is to make it something that your clients will find motivating and valuable.
#4. Give Back
Align yourself with a charity or organization that you feel confident your photography business can stand behind. Reach out to the local chapter or organization and offer to shoot their next event or meeting for free. If it’s a big event then it’s likely to get picked up by news outlets and you’ll receive the mention and press. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and connect with more local vendors face-to-face.
#5. Create Partnerships
Partnerships are 100% based on genuine relationships. Creating those relationships with the business owners and vendors in your local market will be beneficial mutually. You can refer clients to each other, and even help your friends make connections too. I want you to brainstorm a list of businesses that align with your brand and find ways to introduce yourself. Offer something of value to them before ever asking them to bring value to you. This allows for the relationship to begin on a solid foundation of trust. This takes time and real effort but will pay off in the long run.
A great example of this could be working with a local dress shop. You may have similar clients and a mutually beneficial referral relationship could form. Go to the shop, introduce yourself, and offer to shoot their next runway event for free. Once you deliver those photos and they’re raving about them ask if you could gift them a canvas of their favorite image and leave some business cards in the bridal shop. This is an awesome way to cross-promote while giving value and building that relationship.
I hope these 5 marketing tips have shown you that in order to market your photography business it doesn’t have to be complicated. The best piece of advice I can give you is to give before you ask. The more value you give to your clients, partners, and audience the better your marketing is going to be.
Are you a photographer looking to grow a profitable business? Be sure to check out the Education page for tons of resources and ways to take your business to the next level!