10 ways to market your photography

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Getting Started - 10 ways to market your photography business

So you’ve realised your ambition to start out on your own. You may know how to make money from photography and have a diary full of bookings and a list of contacts. But how do you maintain this momentum? Your business won’t grow by itself. To know how to make a profitable photography business you need to know how to market your photography. How will you reach out to potential clients and show them the wonderful images and memories you could capture at their special event? The starting point is a marketing strategy, and then a detailed action plan.

To be really effective, your marketing strategy must be developed at the outset – marketing is not something you do just when bookings are low. It takes time and effort, but there are plenty of free options. Here are some ideas on how to market your photography.

  1. Set up a website

    One of the most powerful marketing tools for a photographer, a website showcases your portfolio, and allows you to personalise the space to reflect your personality, style and approach. Developing your website is an ongoing process, involving updates to the portfolio to keep the site interesting and current. Your contact details should be prominent, together with links to your social media.
  2. Social media

    Due to the phenomenal reach of social media, you can share your gallery with millions of people. Updating Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest regularly will produce return visits and keep your name fresh in people’s minds. Ensure your contact details are clearly shown, and include links to your other sites, but otherwise keep words to a minimum. Images are powerful, showcase your photos – this is how to promote your photography.
  3. Networking

    Not just swapping business cards, but really connecting with potential clients and others with a link to the photography environment. This may involve getting a stand at a wedding fayre, or just introducing yourself to local businesses operating in the same sector. You won’t get booked just for your creative skills – clients want someone they feel at ease and can communicate with. Making connections with other professionals may lead to them sending work your way when they are fully booked. And as a bonus, they may provide a valuable insight in how to make a profitable photography business
  4. Email signature

    Customise your email signature to include your business name, contact details, website address and links to social media. Each time you send an email you’re promoting your business.
  5. Blogging

    Need ideas for your blog? Think of the questions readers would like to ask, and write a blog post to respond to them. The style should be friendly but professional. If you specialise (or want to specialise) in a particular area of photography, use your blog to focus on it. When you talk about a subject people will regard you as an expert, and enjoy reading your advice. A blog gives you an opportunity to tell a story and engage with readers. For instance, you can share a ‘behind the scenes story’, and give an insight into your process. Share blog posts by linking to your other social media links for maximum reach and impact.
  6. Online listings

    Getting included in free online listings will ensure that your name is out there when someone is searching for a photographer. ‘Google my business’ is free and easy to use. Also look for local listings websites and put your name up. Select your profile photograph thoughtfully to ensure it reflects your business image or area of expertise.
  7. Run a promotion

    Using social media, announce a competition asking people to tag, repost and re tweet your photos – ensuring your business name is in the caption. The winner could be chosen at random, with a photo session as a prize. This could be a seasonal competition such as a Mother’s day photo shoot. Ensure you set a closing date for the competition, and be clear about what’s included to avoid confusion or disappointment. When the photo shoot is done, the delighted winner will post the images to their social media, providing more exposure for your business.
  8. Get featured in the press

    Learn how to promote your photography by featuring a selection of your work in a local newspaper. Identify a theme that will be of interest and select some photos along these lines. For example, striking photos of a local beauty spot, or pictures relevant to the season or time of year. Write an article containing useful photographic ‘tips and tricks’ and ask them to publish this, together with your business details.
  9. Develop an email list

    Your email list contains those addresses you have permission to contact for marketing purposes. You can send details of special deals and competitions, newsletters and links to social media. Management of the list can be automated using software, and there is plenty of choice: Facebook’s ‘Lead Ads’ collects email sign ups, and also enables you to collect some information about your prospect to customise your correspondence; ‘OptinMonster’ creates pop up forms on your website and also automates the list building process.
  10. Get in touch with previous clients

    Once you’ve completed a client engagement, keep in touch by sending photography that may pique their interest. Perhaps you have taken ‘behind the scenes’ photos of their special day, or content photos which suggests the next time they could use your services.

Effective marketing involves communicating to potential customers what you do and why, and how they will benefit from your services. Ask your clients for feedback, not just about how they found you, but what made their experience so special.

The next challenge is to review your efforts and see what’s working well and what isn’t. If something is taking a lot of time and effort and isn’t producing results, it’s time to change it. With so many tools available to build your marketing plan, you will quickly learn how to make money from photography.

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