As entrepreneurs, marketing our businesses can feel a lot like marketing ourselves. Let’s be honest, sometimes that can feel downright odd. But marketing your photography business is one of the most important keys to growing your business. So let’s talk about how to get more comfortable with marketing your photography business and selling your services in ways that will feel more natural and less forced.
HOW TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH IT
The best way to find your groove and feel more comfortable with marketing is confidence. You don’t have to sound super salesy when creating ads or wanting to reach potential clients. Do me a solid: pull up your reviews or email responses from when you have sent galleries. What are people saying? Do they mention your photography style, how you made them comfortable, or maybe a personality trait of yours? Know your worth by recognizing your talent in the positive things that people are already saying about you. You’ve already gotten this awesome feedback so don’t be afraid to show it off! You’ve got the goods that people want, so let’s dig into how to share that with potential clients-
HOW TO MARKET IN NATURAL WAYS
Okay, okay. So you’re finally comfortable admitting that you’re talented and valuable. LET’S GET IT! Now the question is, how the heck do you communicate those things in ways that feel natural?
- Participate in styled shoots – Styled shoots have a ton of benefits when it comes to marketing. They’re a great way to build relationships with other vendors which can lead to being added to a preferred vendor list. They’re also a great way to connect with other photographers who may pass your name along if they’re already booked for a date that someone is inquiring about. These types of relationships are a great way to build your reputation and build your portfolio. A big YES!
- Carry business cards – This may sound old school but keep business cards on you at all times, especially when you’re shooting. If a guest at a wedding asks for your info, having a card readily available not only displays professionalism to that guest, but it also makes the interaction effective so that you can get right back to work photographing. This allows you to market without neglecting your job, but it also shows the person inquiring about you that you take the job seriously and stay focused. Even if you’re shooting an engagement session downtown, someone may stop you on the street and ask for some information. Pull a business card out of your pocket and bam, you’re done. Your clients are happy because they don’t feel like you cared more about getting more business during their session than focusing on them, but you were still able to respond to an inquiry.
- Invest in your website – This doesn’t necessarily mean monetarily, but more so to invest time in keeping your website up to date, user friendly, and effective. A top notch website shows that you’re professional and credible. If you’re just getting started with your website, Flothemes offers beautiful and efficient website themes designed through WordPress specifically for photographers. I use Flothemes and feel like it completely leveled up my website (you can save 15% here). Another great resource is my favorite Etsy shop- Studio La Terre. They also offer site layouts for Showit for photographers as well at awesome rates. The most important thing on a photographer’s website is simply to have the information they’re looking for readily available. If you travel, share your travel dates. Offer a glance at your pricing and your package offerings. Make it easy for people to find this information so they don’t have to reach out asking for it because oftentimes they won’t, they’ll just move on to someone who shares the information without having to be probed. On the flipside, this is also a good way to limit dead end inquiries. Everyone has a budget and it’s okay that you may not fit within someone’s budget, but it saves you and the client time if they know that before sparking up a formal inquiry.
- Blog – A blog is a really great supplement to a website. The great thing about being a photographer is that you always have photos readily available. Take an extra hour or so to utilize those photos in a blog. You can blog about anything from posing tips to wedding timelines, just make it valuable and informative for your clients. Highlight other vendors like venues and florists in your blogs. This can help clients find vendors they may still be searching for (hello, client experience) but it also circles back to creating strong vendor relationships. Blogging is also a great place to work on building up your SEO so that you can be discovered by anyone from anywhere. You can’t go wrong here!
- Build an email list – An email list is a great way to communicate with both current and past clients. It’s important to keep them in the loop about what you’re doing and why, especially if they’re a current client. You never want anyone to worry about changes. Email marketing is also a great way to offer new services to past clients as well as simply keep your name at the top of their mind. If your name pops up in their inbox, they may mention you to a friend long after you’ve finished working for them. Email marketing can feel daunting when you’re trying to stay up to date with current clients and keep in touch with past clients, but Sprout Studio is an amazing service for all of your email marketing needs and you can currently get 20% off.
- Word of mouth – We recently talked about word of mouth marketing, but we’re talking about marketing as a whole today so of course I’m going to mention it again… especially considering it’s the number one most trusted form of marketing and method for getting referrals. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? I won’t go into too much detail again since there’s a whole post on the topic, but this is one marketing method you definitely don’t want to sleep on. Especially when it comes to marketing in ways that feel natural and true to your core values.
- Social media – Social media can take work. Believe me, I know and feel it too. But it’s such a great place to build your brand in a very authentic way. Let people know who you are and what you do. Social media is the perfect place to showcase your personality as a part of your brand identity. It’s like an interactive and super personal portfolio when you think about it. Communicate with others and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. When you share your work, tag clients and create conversations that make them feel special so that they might reshare it. On the flipside, share what other people have to say! When previous clients tag you or hype you up, put it in your Instagram Stories. Social media is all about connection, so use that to your advantage.
- Paid advertising – I know we all want to market for free but there are also advantages to paid advertising when it’s done strategically. Features in magazines, local guides, or partnerships with other wedding vendors is a great way to put your name out there through reliable resources. My all time favorite- Instagram & Facebook ads.
These are just a few marketing methods that can really be tailored to authentically fit the core values and personality of every individual business. There are tons of creative and unique ways to market your photography business, so find ways that feel natural and comfortable to you. The whole point of marketing is to attract your ideal client, so the more comfortable you feel with how you’re marketing your business, the more likely you are to make the right connections.
Marketing opportunities will always present themselves, so it’s okay to weigh your options. Don’t be afraid to say no if it doesn’t feel like the best way to put your name out there or if you can’t fully invest the time or energy into it. Always remember that if something is working, don’t neglect it and expect it to keep momentum on its own. Marketing takes time, energy and work, so be willing to give it your all and feel good about how you’re doing it.