Your marketing strategy can make or break your photography business, whether it is home or studio based. Do you feel lost when it comes to marketing your photography business? Don’t despair! You can do it!
First of all, let me say this. If you are at all shy about advertising your business, or feel funny talking about yourself, you are going to have to get over it. You’ve got to get out there and seize opportunity! Believe in yourself and your talents!
Two Basic Types of Marketing: Push and Pull
Push Marketing is direct contact with a specific and targeted audience. An example of this would be mailing out a postcard to a specific demographic based mailing list. You are more or less “pushing” your advertisement at prequalified, targeted buyers. Another example of this would be leaving your business cards at a wedding boutique if you are a wedding photographer. Setting up a booth at a baby fair is a great example of push marketing if you are a baby portrait photographer.
Pull Marketing is using a broader mass-marketing approach such as television commercials and print ads. Your potential clients are “pulled in” by your advertisement. When doing pull marketing, you can start out small by placing an ad in a local publication, such as a small newspaper. Radio ads are another good option, but can be more expensive.
When marketing your photography business, there are some things that you simply must have and must do.
The first “no brainer” is getting a photography business website. Your goal here is to have a classy, sophisticated, expensive look. A home-made website full of ads just won’t cut it and will not get you the kind of clientele that you desire. At the very least, your website should have a gallery of your best work, your contact information, and information on the type of photography work that you do. A little personal information about you is helpful as well, as it allows people to feel comfortable and more at ease about you and your photography business.
Another thing you are going to need right away are quality business cards. These are becoming less expensive all the time and are easy to order from many different online companies. You should use one of your best images on the card, along with your phone number, email address, and website. My advice would be to keep it simple – you don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too much information. You may even want to have several different business cards: One with a wedding image, one with a baby portrait image, one with a senior image, etc. This would allow you to more closely target your audience.
Thirdly, you are going to need a portfolio and some samples of your best work for display. Your portfolio serves potential clients that contact you for more information or for a consultation. Your samples serve to get attention and advertise for your photography business. When thinking about possible places to display your samples, consider the type of photography you do. Wedding photographers want to display at wedding dress boutiques, florist shops, tuxedo rental shops, bakeries, party supply stores, etc. Family photographers would want to display in children’s boutiques, doctor’s offices, family-friendly restaurants, etc. The best thing to do is to get out there and start establishing relationships with business owners. Show them your work and ask for display space. Make sure to stress what’s “in it for them” by offering free photo work or by recommending their businesses to your clients.
Get Them Talking
One of the best things you can do is to create “word of mouth” advertising for your photography business. There are several ways to do this:
-Always go the extra mile for your client. Include a little something unexpected with an order.
-Give bonuses for referrals. For example, if Client A recommends you to Client B, Client A receives a free 8×10 or whatever you decide.
-Don’t be afraid to give something away! Give all of your friends and/or family a free session with a few free prints. They will show off the photos and recommend you to others.
Watch for Local Events
Local bridal fairs and baby fairs are taking place all the time. Be aware of these events and make sure to sign up as a vendor! It usually isn’t very expensive, and it is a great way to get your name out there and show your samples off. Whatever you do, have some sort of “address capture” mechanism (like a free drawing) so you have contact info for everyone who enters. Use this contact info to send postcards or emails at a later date.
Also, local organizations are always needing prizes to give away. Offer free sessions and a small package. It creates free advertising for you, plus more word of mouth.
Limit your Availability (or pretend to be limited!)
You heard right! Use phrases such as these in your advertising:
-Sessions are limited. Please call now to reserve your spot (or to be put on a waiting list).
-(Your Business Name Here) only offers ____ sessions per month. Please call today to reserve your time.
-We are currently booked up for the month of ________. Please call today to be put on the waiting/cancellation list.
Source by Cindy Bracken