Being a photographer means you get to be creative every day, but it also means that you’ve got a lot of competition with which to content. Photography is one of those easy home-based businesses that people can start when they’re out of work for a low cost and with the right lighting and outdoor environment, they can produce reasonably good results. You’ve got to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, which is what these marketing ideas are designed to help you do.
It all begins with your ability to put out a unique, creative product. The images that you create essentially become your brand identity. People will seek you out to get the style of image that your eye is able to create, so put together a strong portfolio of images that are your very best and then don’t be afraid to show them off everywhere.
Great Photographer Marketing Ideas
1. Target a Specific Demographic
Figuring out who your ideal client happens to be is a critical part of your marketing success because it allows you to hit the demographics that are the most profitable for you. There’s nothing wrong with marketing to a niche because you can show off your expertise and dominate in this one area. That’s a lot more profitable than trying to be everything to everyone.
2. Use Your Online Presence Wisely
Your website, social media accounts, and other forms of online presence must appeal to your targeted demographic in order for you to be successful. With a good hook and images that appeal to the eye, you’ll create a stunning first impression that will have your calendar full in no time at all.
3. Bring Attention To Yourself
It’s fine to brag about what you can do as a photographer because it shows where you can set yourself apart from the casual professional. This idea helps to create a level of perceived value in the eyes of a potential customer. Fulfill that value and you’ll have a dedicated customer who will always come back for new images.
4. Encourage Customer Recommendations
Stunning photography is one of the most shared items on social media today and you’re going to be sharing photographs of your customers on your Facebook page, right? Take your customer when you’ve got the image uploaded and they will undoubtedly share the best images onto their own page. This will give you free exposure to everyone on their friends list.
5. Don’t Ignore Email Marketing
You undoubtedly get email addresses to let clients know that their images are ready, but you can use that information for more than just a quick notification. Use email marketing to follow-up with your customers to get their feedback about the experience they received. Offer discounts for repeat business and stay in touch with valuable information that’s niche specific for you. This keeps you at the top of their mind and that means repeat business when they need a photographer again.
6. Network Commercially
Networking is an important part of any business, but you’ve got to network smarter instead of harder. Focus on commercial networking opportunities where you’ll likely share a customer base. You can then refer business to each other and set up a win/win situation where both businesses get extra revenue.
7. Be Where Your Customers Are Online
Most people tend to migrate over to Facebook, but that’s not necessarily true for every target demographic. If you focus on taking senior pictures, then you might want to be on SnapChat. If you take business professional images, then LinkedIn and Google+ are likely better options. Know where your customers are and then make your presence known there.
8. Take Time To Engage
Photography is all about the relationships you establish and social media makes that process a lot easier than it ever has been before. Engage with people on a regular basis and work toward building quality relationships. This can consume a lot of time, but this sweat equity investment almost always pays off in the end.
9. Keep a Singular Focus
It’s very easy to spread yourself too thin and turn people off to your photography services. Just as you would focus on a target demographic, focus on a target social media outlet as well. Otherwise you won’t give someone enough attention and that can result in negative feedback about you.
10. Check the Ego
When you engage with people online, make it about them instead of making it about you. It’s nice if you’ve won awards, but awards don’t produce quality images or solve problems that your customers might have. Post quality information and engage in a helpful way to bring people to your door.
11. Get Authentic Testimonials
Offer a discount to a customer who is willing to go on camera to give a testimonial because an authentic account of your services is a much more effective marketing tool than a fake testimonial purchased from a freelancer or advertising professional. People will always say nice things when you do a good job, especially when you’re willing to give them a deal.
12. Bring On the Benefits
You might be able to put images on a lot of cool stuff, but that just smells like an upsell – because it is! Don’t talk about all the great features these upsells have. Talk instead about the problems they could solve for someone. A personalized greeting card with your images, for example, could add a personal touch to a message being sent. When they can please others because of your images, they’ll keep coming back.
13. Look For Co-op Chances
There are a number of businesses that could use some professional images for their marketing and this provides you with the chance to get some free exposure. Offer to do the work for free on the condition that you’re given proper credit for the images during their marketing campaign. It’s not really free exposure, but it can get you into a different demographic if that is needed.