Photography Marketing 101
Marketing for photography really isn’t as hard as you might think. Sure, you’re in a hyper competitive industry but that doesn’t mean you should just give up. I compiled a list of free and paid ways to get more business quickly!
The free way
The free way works but takes a little more time. It is a great way to start until you are ready to invest back into your business. Here is a list of free ways to advertise your business.
Social media and creating content
It is really important that you create social media accounts for your photography business such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, ect. The most visual is Instagram so I suggest you put a lot of effort into that platform. Since Facebook owns Instagram you can link the accounts so it is easy to post both simultaneously. You can connect your account by going to your page settings and clicking on Instagram. On the right is the page you should see and all you have to do is log in to your Instagram in Facebook. You want to create new content as much as possible. This is a great way to show case your photos and work.
2. Create a CRM or database of customers
If you cant afford actual CRM software no worries just create a list of your customers. You can use Excel or even just notepad and keep track of key information about your customers such as name, email, phone number, and a note about the last job you did for them. This will help you follow up with your customer.
3. Create a referral system
This is a pretty common marketing method for photographers because it works and it is easy to implement. Let current customers know if they refer you to a friend that you will give them a cash offering, discount on future job, or even extra set of prints. Depending on how much you charge you can make this very enticing for your past customers by offering a $100 referral reward or a $100 credit for your next job.
4. Create a Google my business
This one is so easy and blows my mind when any business doesn’t do this. If you don’t have a google my business listing you are missing out on free traffic. Here is how you do it.
Click manage now button
Fill out business information like services, location, services areas, and you can even add pricing for certain services if you want to.
This will make your business way more likely to appear in local google searches and it is absolutely free.
5. Start business alliances
Depending on what kind of photography you do this can be one of your greatest resources. Network with different businesses and start a referral program with each other for instance, I use the same photographer for all my marketing needs for my clients and if someone is only looking for a video or photo I’ll refer them to him. In return, he refers people who need marketing help to me. A perfect symbiotic relationship for both parties involved.
6. Get clients on job sites
You can do this if you are just starting out. You can use sites like Craigslist and type in photography jobs. If you are not a niche photographer and are just looking for work this can be a great way to get your business of the ground. You can also join networks like upwork and fiver and they will send business your way if you don’t mind spending a little bit of money.
Photography Marketing (Paid)
7. WEBSITE! WEBSITE! WEBSITE!
I put this under paid because obviously you have to pay for a domain name and hosting platform but having a website is absolutely crucial for a profitable photography business. If you set up your website correctly and optimize it your site can be an automated selling machine. Here are a few reasons you should have a website .
Your website is an online portfolio that every potential client can look at
Use your website to book appointments
A place to post reviews and testimonials for social proof
Post different discounts or packages for people to take advantage of
Reach more potential clients by blogging
If you aren’t sure which website builder to use I recommend you use word press or square space. Square space is more of an all in one solution that is super user friendly and they have cool templates specifically for photographers it is also easy to optimize for SEO especially if you don’t have much knowledge on the subject. Wordpress is great if you are a little more technical with web design and SEO optimization. You can customize way more with Wordpress but also have to purchase security and hosting separately.
8. Google Ads
Paid traffic for google can be a great resource to start getting traffic to your website and quick. With google ads you pay per click so every time someone clicks on your ad you get paid depending on the cost for that keyword. Many people think google ads don’t work and is expensive and the truth is they’re right if you don’t use it correctly so be sure to do your research on how to make a proper ad.
Here are some examples of google ads. I typed in the keyword “best photographer in Orange County” and these are the photographers bidding on that keyword. Someone might also try keywords like “wedding photographer” or “family photographer near me” so it is important to experiment with different keywords. Google ads is a good resource and I could go into depth on it but for now I am just going to list it as an option. I may decide to do a blog post about google ads specifically for photographers so check back for that.
9. Facebook Ads
Facebook has an amazing targeting system and can get you in front of the right audience. For example if you are a wedding photographer you could make an ad and target it to people who recently got engaged. Now you know everyone who is clicking on your ad is in the market for your service. This is why you should try to add value somehow whether that be through advice for their big day or a coupon for your services.
10. Email marketing
Stay in touch with current customers and prospects by sending them updates. This can be in the form of portfolio updates or maybe a recent job you just did. You can also use this to spread the word for referrals. Here are a couple good email services you could use. Some are even free for a certain amount of time.
I hope I was able to spark some ideas for your photography business. I will try to continue to update this blog post when I get more good ideas. I help out a lot of my photographer friends and this seems to work pretty well for them.
Author: Grant Huntington
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