Trying to get more clients and build your photography business? Don’t waste your money advertising an ad in your local newspaper.
Instead, imagine seeing your business as the #1 result on Google for your target audiences. Or that clients love your service so much they are raving about it on Facebook.
The key to building a successful photography business is providing excellent service and having an online marketing strategy to boost brand visibility and keep opportunities flowing in.
Whether you are a wedding cameraman or a photographer for family and graduation portraits, here are 8 effective promotion strategies for your photography business.
1. Plan your upcoming promotion strategies
As a photographer, you should be no stranger to wedding peaks or graduation seasons when people are on the lookout for your services.
Outlining your year in advance and creating a marketing plan can help strategically schedule timely promotions to reach your target clients.
A helpful tool to further refine your marketing calendar is Google Trends, which will let you discover heavy surge traffic when people start to look for your services.
In this example, people from Georgia are actively searching for wedding photographers to hire in September and October.
However, you can start engaging them during quieter periods to build your audience with cheap engagement ads and curate your organic social presence.
Continue following through the client’s journey and strategically reach them by providing free information on what they need to know and how they can book with you via online booking system.
When the busy season comes, you will be on top of your mind with a sweet promotion that will get your customers to convert.
2. Showcase creative, unique shots
Your portfolio doesn’t always have to be images about work. Instead, fill it with personal projects or creative photos you are proud of.
Nothing sells your photography business more than your passion for pictures.
Showcasing uniquely creative shots will also help establish your voice as a photographer and set you apart from others in your community.
Take Jordi Koalitic, for example. The photographer from Barcelona racked up over 5.7 million followers on Instagram by taking these out-of-the-world shots.
Besides, by demonstrating what you do best, people who love your art will also become more interested in working with you, even if the paid work you do is an entirely different genre.
3. Use your website for conversions
A website is more than just a name card with your portfolio and contact details. The most powerful photography websites are stunning and effective.
Remember, the goal of your website is to generate qualified leads.
So apply web design principles for higher conversion, such as better copywriting, a headliner video, or a contact form to ease immediate inquiries.
Better yet, set up a blog to provide website visitors with valuable content they may be interested in, such as top venues for wedding photoshoots or tips on photogenic poses.
The content creates more touchpoints that could help build trust and prompt them to inquire about your services or sign up to your email list to learn more.
The key is to ensure each page on your website serves a purpose, a meaningful call-to-action that will invite them to take the next step in the marketing funnel.
With email marketing, you can nurture your web visitors who are still in the early stages of research down the marketing funnel to eventually become customers.
4. Optimize your photography website for SEO
If you want your website to appear at the top of Google search results, one of the best things you can do is to invest in SEO and content marketing.
First, conduct keyword research to find the search terms and phrases your potential customer is typing in when looking for a business like yours.
You want these keywords to be found on your website, so update any relevant pages where it feels natural to include them.
Next, write interesting blog posts that are useful to answer the search intent. Make sure your target keywords appear clearly in your URL, title, and meta description.
Once published, share your post to social media or email newsletter and work on link-building strategies to boost your page and overall website ranking.
In the long run, this can build consistent organic traffic and attract target audiences searching for your service or content, which can be highly beneficial for long-term growth.
5. Choose the right social media platform
Social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are heavily visual, making them the perfect platform to promote your tools of the trade.
That said, you don’t need to build a presence on every platform. It is designed to distract and can quickly become a time waster if you are not careful.
Instead, create an account on the social media platforms that matters:
- Instagram is a great marketing tool and brand portfolio for any photographer. Using hashtags and user-generated content, you can connect with your clients and reach people on the platform looking for inspiration on wedding shoots or events.
- Pinterest is a popular board for people who are planning events or weddings. Posting your images on the platform creates a backlink that can lead other users to your website, which will give better engagement.
- Facebook page is a business’ bare minimum. Setting up your business on Facebook will allow you to access the ad and retargeting feature to reach specific demographics that are most likely to hire you.
By harnessing the power of images on social platforms, you can lead potential customers to your websites and discover the services you offer.
6. Use paid ads for retargeting
Generating leads using paid marketing is an excellent tactic if you have the budget, time, and knowledge to manage them properly.
It can get your business in front of a massive audience and generate leads quickly but do know that these paid ads can promptly rack up fees if not set right.
Instead, we recommend using Google, Facebook, or Instagram ads for retargeting — people who have visited your website before.
This can be extremely powerful when transforming warm leads into conversion, especially when you pair it with a promotional giveaway like complimentary hair and makeup.
With the right message and an image that sells, retargeting can effectively incentivize action among people who are still on the fence or are shopping with your competition.
7. List on local business directories
For photographers targeting local businesses, you need to establish a presence where your target audiences spend their time.
This means setting up online listings on Yelp, Google My Business, and Bing Places. It will make you accessible to people using search engines to find businesses nearby.
Otherwise, you can also create listings of your photography services on online marketplaces such as Upwork, Weddingwire, or Model Mayhem.
Feature your best photos and build your online reputation by asking your clients to review your businesses on these listings.
8. Collaborate with clients and brands
Although promotion strategies continue to evolve, a constant tactic is word-of-mouth. Based on a Hubspot report, 90% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family.
You are halfway there if you offer a great customer experience that makes them feel valued.
Next, incentivize people to tell others about your service. Consider marketing campaigns like sending prints and gifts to transform your customers into brand ambassadors.
You can also leverage the recommendations of happy customers on your website. 88% of people trust online reviews by other consumers as if they were from personal contacts.
Likewise, getting referrals from other businesses can become a consistent source of leads.
Form strategic partnerships with local small businesses like organizing lavender field shoot with wedding planners or printing wall art for realtors to gift their clients.
Partnering with local influencers can also help create buzz and build visibility so that more people in the neighbourhood get to know about your photography business.
Ready to get more clients? Like marketing any small business, it takes more than a high-tech camera and skills to promote your photography business.
Make sure to use a mix of promotion strategies from the list — like building your website and collaborating with clients — to create a successful promotion for your photography business.
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth.