Being a photographer can be great. You are making a career out of your passion and your talent, and you get access to some awesome places. However, no one said it would be easy starting out. Chances are, you are starting out on a local level in your town of residence, and you need to market yourself to the people in your community. We have talked a bit about this in a previous article, but in today’s article we are going to cover some additional marketing strategies for photographers.
1. Social Media
It’s nearly impossible to exist as a business today without being on social media. In addition to having a website with your portfolio, you should also have an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, at least. Of all the marketing strategies for photographers, this is the one that will be the easiest to start but perhaps the most difficult to maintain.
Instagram is the best option because it is focused only on images. Your professional photos will stand out in people’s feeds among all of the regular Instagram pictures. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to update clients and followers regularly. As you use these platforms, you will figure out what works best. While there are generalizations on what is best to post on various platforms, it really comes down to experimenting and seeing what resonates with your specific audience.
When using social media, focus on sharing your photography and engaging with your audience.
2. Register on Google My Business
When it comes to marketing strategies for photographers, it is very important to register your business on Google. When someone searches for photographers in their local area, Google will show business information such as location, phone number, hours of operation, and more. When your business comes up in a search, it will pop out as compared to other businesses! As another added benefit, business listings like this show up above the organic search results.
One of the most useful aspects of having your business registered on Google is that your clients can write reviews that will be attached to your business listing. This is a great way to get testimonials in a very visible place. It is one of the first things people will see when looking up your business, and Google will even pull out some quotes to show directly on the search page.
It is a pretty easy process, but takes a bit of time. To verify that your location is accurate, Google will send a postcard with a verification code, which could take a few days to arrive.
3. Build an Email List
Whether you’re working locally or nationally, having an email list is a great idea. It enables you to communicate with a big list of people all at once, and include as much information as you want. While you don’t get the interactions that social media posts provide, an email will most likely get to its recipient (as opposed to being at the whim of a website’s algorithm). With an email newsletter you can update clients and fans on your latest shoots, business news, and special offers.
Additionally, an email list ensures that you always have a database of potential clients when your business expands. Repeatedly marketing to someone may eventually convince them to use your services, especially if you can convince them with high quality photos, blogs, and deals.
As you grow, so will your email list. Don’t concern yourself with who specifically is on it, because the more people have information about you, the better. When you start out, you can use a free email service like MailChimp to send smaller quantities. When it comes to marketing strategies for photographers, you want to think of easy-to-use methods. After all, you don’t want to waste too much time learning new systems when you could be shooting.
If you need help generating an email list, be sure to read our article about getting more clients for your photography business.
4. Network with Your Community
Being local has its perks. It means that you can (and should) be well-connected in your community. This means connecting with other photographers and learning from them. Without being malicious, see where your competition finds good leads and get an idea of what clients they already have locked down. Talking with other people in your industry can also be great for learning new skills and getting gigs that you may not have landed otherwise.
You also have some great luck with local business owners. If an office, restaurant, or other business is redecorating or looking for new art, offer your photography for free or for a discount. Some places of business will even place a card with the photographer’s name, the title of the piece, and a price if someone wants to purchase it. The ultimate end goal of this route is to have a patron of a local business see your art hanging and buy it off the wall! It doesn’t always feel good to give your work away for free, but sometimes it can be a means to an end, and benefit you more in the long term.
Staying local also mean you are closer to your customers, and may know them more personally. It can be a simple task to note down their birthdays or anniversaries, and mail a postcard with a discount offer if they want a photo shoot for the special occasion. Connecting with people on this more personal level can also create some valuable long-term customers.
Hopefully these 4 quick marketing strategies for photographers can help you in marketing your local photography business. Leveraging social media on a local level and connecting with your community are some of the most valuable things you can do, and a lot of smaller tasks like registering your business on Google can provide a ton of value for a quick time investment.