Marketing is critical to any photographer’s success. These marketing ideas for your business will help you grow and thrive in a competitive industry!
Ways to Promote Your Photography Business Online & Offline
There are a number of methods to promote your photography business, both online and offline. If you are looking for unique marketing strategies for your photography business beyond business cards, we’ve got a number of methods to attract clients. These strategies can work for all sorts of consumer photographers to expand their work in their community.
Whether you’re a wedding photographer, or you photograph branding, family images, or another type of images, there are lots of free opportunities to bring in revenue. Learning to market your photography business can serve you if you’re a full-time professional photographer, or just starting a photography business.
Marketing Tips for Promoting a Photography Business Online
Digital marketing can give your photography business a major boost. It’s one of the best ways in our fast-moving digital world to promote your brand. There are a multitude of different methods to share your presence online. We’ll go through some of the top tips for photography marketing online.
The most important part of creating a presence for your business is experimenting. Try out different opportunities to share your brand with the world. Whether you’re trying out social media channels or print materials, make some time to test things. As a full time photo business owner, you must create a strategy to bring in customers.
Your Photography Business Website Matters
Create a site to share your photography portfolio online. Having a social media site is helpful, but your website is where it’s at. Share your work on a website to direct customers right to your business. Let them get to know your overall brand by creating a website.
Having a website for your brand also makes you look more professional. If you’re a wedding photography professional, for example, your site is perfect to show off wedding images to prospective couples. Family photographers can share information on sessions and examples of sessions they’ve done in the past.
Whatever your niche is, make sure to have a website created for your brand. As a photography business owner, it’s essential to keep up a website. Your digital photography marketing strategy can also point toward your landing page. Whether you’re posting on social media or creating digital ads, your website creates an anchor point.
Blogging for Your Photo Business
Blogging is a major component of a lot of photography websites. When you start blogging, you create content that search engines can index. This can help to improve your search ranking. If you want to bring in clients, search is a big way to do so.
Start blogging your photography sessions to show clients what your business can offer on their big day. If you’re a wedding photographer, for example, blog about recent wedding days, photos and venues that you’ve photographed. Having blog content can increase the power your website has to rank higher and show up for more keywords.
Learn About SEO
One of the top ways to get traffic to your website is learning SEO. SEO refers to search engine optimization, the biggest way for search engines to find you. Create an SEO-optimized blog and website for your business. This will attract clients to your website and blog via search engine, which is a valuable source of business for photographers.
You should not start blogging for your photography business until you learn more about search engine optimization. If you are creating content but it can’t easily be found, there isn’t as much point in creating content. Do some marketing research about what the best keywords you want to rank for are.
Use Social Media Marketing for Your Products and Services
One of the best ways to promote your photo business is to use an email list. Your social media platforms are great, but you don’t own the space on social media. When algorithms change on Instagram and Facebook, you can’t control who your message reaches. With email marketing, however, you have a free way to control messaging to your target audience and promote your business, something you don’t have on Instagram.
Learn more about social media marketing for your photo business.
Build Your Email List
Build a customer relationship using email lists for your photography. One of the best ways to keep a connection with potential and current clients is through email. Whether you’re just starting a photography business or you’re a full time professional photographer, email lists can serve you.
Some professionals consider buying an email list after doing marketing research, but creating one of your own will be better for your business. You’ll boost your client relationships by contacting people who actually consent to your contact. Your conversion rates have the potential to be a lot higher when you create your own contact list.
Create a Lead Magnet
To build out your email list, use your current contacts (and make sure they consent) to start. To continue building on this, create a lead magnet to attract new clients. Lead magnets are materials that you offer for free, and in exchange they provide their email address/contact info. One of the best ways to get new clients is through free resources.
Create a Call to Action
When creating emails for your marketing plan, make sure to create a Call to Action. This is a message indicating a next step to be taken by the reader. Examples of CTAs are “Learn More”, “Get the Offer”, “Download Now”—indicators that your viewer needs to proceed for further action.
Digital Advertising Strategies for Photographers
There are plenty of places for professional photographers to advertise online. Thinking outside the box in terms of your ad copy and strategy can put you ahead of the pack. Beyond the free online marketing strategies for photographers, there are paid advertising routes to advertise your business. Make sure to test out free strategies before diving into paid methods.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
There are many ways to get into SEM for your photography business. The free way is to use SEO to rise to the top of search rankings. You can also pay for SEM in your business. When you put ads on Google and other search engines, your brand will be the first one to show up at the top of the results.
You can make back a lot of money with SEM for your photography business. SEM is typically a more expensive path, but one that can be very fruitful. Easily get clients by appearing at the top of search results with ad spots. This will generate more clicks for your business.
Keyword research is a big part of using search engines to advertise. Put in the work to figure out what keywords are important to your business. Look at what your competitors are ranking for using SEM tools. Do some competitive analysis and figure out where there are opportunities for your business to grow.
Facebook advertising is an effective way to build on your business digitally. Advertising on Instagram and Facebook will open up new opportunities with your digital marketing strategy. You can also advertise for free on the platforms, and then boost your posts later. Figuring out your preferred ad strategy with each platform is important to experiment with.
Vendor directories are one major advertising resource for wedding photographers. There’s everything from the Knot and WeddingWire to more niche directories. Look into different niches and see if there’s a good fit for you beyond major listings. This will give you more opportunities to be found within niche photography markets.
Marketing Your Photography Business Offline
Reach your clients wherever they’re at with offline marketing strategies. These IRL brand boosting techniques will let you stand out from the crowd. Showing up where your prospects are at will help to further build your brand and customer base.
Try Printed Advertising Materials
Make printed advertising materials to stand out from the crowd. Everyone loves a tangible experience. When you can give clients a tangible takeaway, they’ll remember your business even more than a quick scroll on a screen.
Distribute Flyers & Printed Materials for Local Specials
Distribute flyers for your business to local spots. Promote specials that are relevant to your area. You’ll want to serve your audience with the latest offers, and print advertising materials give you a fantastic opportunity to do so. Chat with local businesses to allow you to leave behind materials for potential clients.
Make an Impression with Snail Mail
Consider sending out “snail mail” materials to present and potential clients. Send out holiday greetings to your mailing list. Give them a special deal for receiving your printed mail. Create impressions that digital marketing can’t match.
Emails can easily be deleted in an inbox. When you send something out via post, it leaves a tangible impression. Consider upcoming holidays and opportunities to share message. Given that a photography business is highly visual, there are lots of opportunities to be creative.
Consider Events in Your Strategy
Events are a big opportunity to get your brand in front of others. Putting yourself out there at events can bring your brand to an entirely new set of people. From free opportunities to booth events, let’s go through the different methods that events can help with your business.
Volunteer to Shoot a Local Event
Volunteer your services for a local event. Giving back to your community is a free way to get your business name out there. Local events that you can volunteer photography for will likely end up posting them on social media, the web and more. Ask the event coordinators to link back to your website and create a backlink for your SEO.
Host an Event for Fellow Professionals and Clients
Host your own event for fellow professionals, or a client get together. If you photograph families, having a family get together where you take images can be a fun opportunity to build word of mouth referrals with those images. Think of creative events for your business to host.
Look Into Events Like Conferences & Trade Shows
Conferences and trade shows can be prime opportunities for photographers to market their business. These often cost money but are a great way to display your work. Wedding photo professionals, for example, can display work for brides and grooms. These events will also help to build your email client list as well.
The best part about conferences and events is that those who are attending want to find vendors and brands to work with. They are there because they want to be there. These potential clients have taken their time to show up, and your brand should be doing the same.
Offer Your Business at a Local Auction
Offer up products and services from your photography business at a local auction. When you have work that you can put up for auction, you’ll build brand awareness in the community. You can also create a special offer for those who did not win the auction. This is a great way to show charitable action in your community and build your customer base.
Build a Photography Business Online & Offline
There are plenty of opportunities to build your photography business both online and offline. When you’re a photo professional, you have to think outside the box and get creative. There are so many other photo professionals out there. Let your business shine through in a saturated industry.
Find ways to promote your photography business in both online and offline spaces. Whatever you decide on, keep sharing your work as a photographer. Make sure that clients can find your business online. If you want to bring in clients from different places, you have to take the time to see which advertising methods work for you.
Written by MEGAN BREUKELMAN | Photographs by KEVIN HESLIN
Megan Breukelman is a Brooklyn-based photographer, marketer, and host of the Photo Opp Podcast. She aims to eat cupcakes and help photographers build on their passions.