Every photographer is different in what marketing techniques they use to promote their business. It’s easy to google this topic and get a bunch of different ideas, but your marketing is actually pretty personal to your business and it’s important to do what’s best for you. What works for someone else, may not be the route you want to take. Not to mention, marketing can get pretty expensive. In this post, I’m going to share questions you should ask yourself before deciding on your own photography marketing along with some marketing techniques that won’t break the bank.
This post contains affiliate links. Read the affiliate disclosure.
Photography Marketing Questions
We all know that marketing is a big part of business. The problem is that a lot of marketing efforts can take up a lot of your time and cost more money than you may want to spend. No matter what approaches you take, you are either going to get a lead or you’re not. It can be a risk of how you spend your time and money.
If you want your marketing to work, it will take some thinking, because it’s very personal to you and your business. Before you can really figure out what marketing techniques make sense for your business, it’s important to ask yourself these questions:
- HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM YOUR COMPETITORS?
- WHO ARE YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS?
- HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO INVEST IN YOUR MARKETING?
- WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET FOR MARKETING?
How Are You Different From Your Competitors?
How are you different from your competitors? If you don’t know the answer to this, it’s important to take the time to figure this out. Otherwise, your marketing efforts are going to blend right in with everyone else’s.
Some questions to consider are:
- What do you love about your industry?
- What do you hate about your industry?
- What do you focus on?
- What can you do differently that sets you apart?
Demonstrate your answers to these questions throughout your marketing techniques. The photography industry is incredibly competitive, so saying, “I’m a photographer and my work is what makes me different.” isn’t going to help you stand out. Why? Because it’s the same thing that a lot of other photographers are saying.
I bought a book a few years ago called Badass Your Brand and it was incredibly eye opening about figuring out your brand and communicating how you’re different. I’ll link to it below so you can check it out.
READ MORE ABOUT: BADASS YOUR BRAND BY PIA SILVA
Who Are Your Ideal Clients?
This question can take time to figure out when you’re first starting out. In the beginning, I was pretty much willing to work for anyone. This wasn’t a good business practice for me, however, because it caused me to connect with clients that weren’t a good fit for my business. I felt more exhausted and drained by the industry rather than energized and happy.
When it comes to finding your ideal clients (not just any client), it actually starts with getting to know your most important client first… yourself. I wrote a blog post that talks about How To Find Your Ideal Clients, so be sure to check it out and let me know what you think.
READ MORE ABOUT: HOW TO FIND YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS: A SHIFT IN MINDSET
How Much Time Can You Invest In Your Marketing?
Your time is incredibly valuable. The more time you spend on marketing, the less time you’re spending on your craft.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of “the hustle.” I don’t go to portfolio reviews or networking events anymore. I also don’t invest in mailers or other printed materials to send out to potential clients. I found all of these things to be time consuming, exhausting and expensive with little to no results.
I ultimately decided to simplify my marketing efforts. And, believe it or not, it has resulted in me getting more leads than ever before. It’s very possible to get yourself out there without the crazy hustle and without spending a ton of money.
What Is Your Budget For Marketing?
How much money do you really want to spend on your photography marketing? Knowing that you’ll either get a lead or not, it can be a difficult decision to make for your business and your bank account. Luckily, this post shares photography marketing tips that won’t break the bank so you can start experimenting today. Let’s dive in!
Photography Marketing Tips
Tip 1: Build A Good Website
This may sound like a no-brainer, but having a good website for your photography marketing is super important. It’s the face of your business online and everyone is online. No matter what marketing techniques you use, potential clients are always led back to your website to see your work.
The problem is, a lot of photographers don’t realize how powerful their website can actually be for their business and their marketing efforts.
CURATE YOUR PORTFOLIO
Obviously, photographers need beautiful work to attract potential clients. The type of images you share in your portfolio are pretty important. Add images that represent the work you want to get. A lot of photographers stop here. But, there’s more to building a good website for your business than adding beautiful images.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is basically how Google “finds” your website and “ranks” it. The way to improve your SEO is to use specific keywords strategically throughout your site. In other words, you need to add more copy throughout your website.
If you look at lot of photographer’s websites, you probably won’t see much copy on them. This is because photographers think their work will do all the “talking” for them. But, unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Adding keywords strategically throughout your website is one of the most powerful marketing moves you can do, because it helps Google find you and rank you. When your website is ranking in searches, it results in a TON more leads for your business. Copy is your friend.
READ MORE ABOUT: HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITE
Tip 2: Use Pinterest To Drive Traffic
Pinterest is a visual search engine and it has the potential to be your website’s BFF. There are roughly 454 million monthly users coming to Pinterest to find something. And, here’s the best part… Pinterest wants to send people to the content that they’re searching for. If you are adding helpful pins on Pinterest and people are searching for your business, Pinterest will promote your pins which will ultimately drive people to your website.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are focused on using social media platforms to drive traffic to their business. The thing people don’t realize is that social media platforms and the algorithms are designed to keep people engaged, not send people away. Not to mention, the algorithms are constantly changing resulting in businesses chasing their tail trying to come up with yet another social media strategy.
Pinterest is a much better use of your time for actually getting people to your website and I have a blog post that dives deeper into How To Use Pinterest For Your Photography Business, so be sure to check it out.
READ MORE ABOUT: PINTEREST FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Tip 4: Connect On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a really great way to connect with potential clients. There are 774+ million members in more than 200 countries worldwide on LinkedIn. That’s a lot of people who are there for job opportunities, professional connections, industry news, business trends and insights. Although it’s considered social media, it’s business-focused platform. You can share updated work with your network, make new connections, discover mutual connections and grow your professional community. You’re a business person, right? Use this platform to your advantage.
One of my favorite features of LinkedIn is discovering mutual connections and it’s free! If someone you’re connected with is also connected with a potential client, they can introduce you to each other. How cool is that? People will always respond to people they know and trust, so don’t be afraid to ask your connections to introduce you to their connections.
Tip 5: Word of Mouth & Testimonials
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, in my opinion. If someone you have worked with or know personally can recommend you to a potential new client, it’s most likely going to result in a connection that could become a client in the future.
Testimonials are a really great way to highlight “word of mouth” advertising yourself. Don’t be nervous to ask for testimonials from clients you’ve worked with in the past. Words of praise from happy clients are really valuable for you. Add these testimonials to your website so you can attract more clients.
Think of testimonials like online shopping… when you see a product with several five-star reviews, you are more confident to buy it. 😉
Tip 6: Grow Your Email List
Growing your email list is incredibly powerful marketing tool for your business, not to mention, a very freeing break from the social media hustle. An email list helps you build your own community of people who genuinely want to hear from you. You have complete control over what you share, how often you share it and there’s no algorithm to get in your way.
Social media followers are fine, but if Instagram shut down tomorrow, how would you reconnect with all of the people you worked so hard to connect with? Well… you wouldn’t be able to. It’s kind of a bummer to think about, isn’t it?
Invite your followers to sign up for your emails and more importantly, add different opt-in forms to your website so people can sign up there too.
In order to start collecting emails, you will need an email marketing service provider. There are a lot of options to choose from, but I use Flodesk for building my email list.
Flodesk is an email service provider that helps you grow your business and email list. Here are some of the things I love about Flodesk:
- Easy to use
- Simple, beautiful, customizable templates
- Text-focused templates and image-focused templates
- Pop Up forms
- In-Line forms
- Full Page forms
- Analytics to track how/where/when people sign up and how they interact with your emails (clicks, open vs. don’t open, etc)
- Ability to group people into segments
- Ability to setup automated workflows
Some of the other providers are really robust, but I don’t really need the extra bells and whistles that they offer. I just want to build my email list, share helpful photography information with them and see if the information I’m sharing is interesting to them. I absolutely love using Flodesk and the coolest part is that my email subscribers are growing on a weekly basis.
At the end of the day, when it comes to marketing your photography business, you need to do what’s best for your business. Figure out how you’re different. Think about who your ideal clients are. Then, be honest with yourself about how much time and money you want to spend on your marketing.
If you focus on photography marketing techniques that cost too much money and take up too much time, it’s going to burn you out. Focus on marketing efforts that you can afford and maintain regularly. Reach out with questions anytime!
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click or make a purchase through my site, I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I actually use and support.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2021.