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More than technique, photography is an art. If you are starting a photography business, well, it could be bread and butter too. From how to start a photography business to how to market it to excel in the field, there’s a lot of homework to do. In order to attract potential clients, homework is crucial for professional photographers. But if you have one your research and are geared up for starting your own photography business, you’ve already come half way. Feel free to rely on us for the second half, the marketing part! Here are 9 lesser-known but highly effective ways to help your marketing photography business like a pro.
1. Photo Blogs
It’s great if you have a portfolio website but blogging never goes in vain. Build a feed of the best of your shots. The ones you want people to see. You can also follow some prominent photographers and see how they do it. Be regular by posting new photographs of the projects you’re working on. It is quite similar to how you maintain your social media. The difference is that here you can even gain followers. And you never know your followers may turn up to be your clients. Writing blogs on your portfolio website is another good way to build your reach.
2. Get photographs published in Magazines
It’s no rocket science to figure out that a photograph published in an industry leading magazine builds credibility and gives a huge exposure to a photographer. But it’s not easy! For some it could be sheer luck but for some it’s a lot of work. The first step towards getting a photograph published in a magazine is to find out some of the leading magazines in
For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, the following magazines would offer a huge exposure-
- Premier Bride
- Wedding Style
- The Knot Magazine
- Wedding Affair
However, for a travel or wildlife photographer magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, Outlook Traveller, Travel+Leisure, Lonely Planet among others would make suitable options. If you’re not a commissioned photographer for these magazines there’s a little chance that your photographs would be published, but keep at it. So get your best photographs out and send them to the respective editors of these magazines.
If fashion and lifestyle are your things, keep reading Vogue, Elle, Verve, Instyle, and Cosmopolitan and you may find opportunities to get published in these magazines. Also, don’t forget to take part in photography contests and competitions conducted by photography associations and even magazines.
Flaunt what you’ve got. Why not? Begin from group exhibitions at local art galleries or any other venue that suits you. Once you experience it and feel like doing bigger, go for solo exhibitions. You can meet numerous people at exhibitions, which, surely, would help you grow your business and your marketing photography business network this way. You can also get your favorite photographs framed and hang them in your studio. A picture speaks better than words, after all!
Success won’t come overnight. Wait for it! Rather, work for it! Networking is important for all kinds of businesses. If you know just a handful of people how would you work with others? In order to expand the business, a good network is needed. You often have to walk up to the strangers and talk. An interpersonal communication, after all, is way better than mass communication. It would get you instant feedback and response without long wait. Get to know them and build good relationships with people. Have patience and give them some time. Don’t be clingy, too. Look, approach and act like a professional.
Where to network?
Attend photo walks: Always join your friends, colleagues and mentors for local photo walks. It helps you meet new people, discover new places and again, build network. You may also learn something new during the process. Nobody, never is too old to learn.Participant in events: Events like fests, fashion show, fairs are not meant to be missed. Move out with your cam-buddy (camera) and look for the opportunities. Yes, you have to make efforts. Take lead if any bride-to-be seems interested or anyone is planning a family-shoot.
Participant in events: Events like fests, fashion show, fairs are not meant to be missed. Move out with your cam-buddy (camera) and look for the opportunities. Yes, you have to make efforts. Take lead if any bride-to-be seems interested or anyone is planning a family shoot.
Get out of your comfort zone: In this business, you can’t afford being shy or uncomfortable in walking up to people and starting a warm conversation. Confidence is the key.
Exchange business card: Always keep your business card handy. Have this habit of offering your card after a healthy conversation. And they seem interested, ask for theirs, too. Do not forget to add portfolio website address on your card, if you got one!
How to network at a photography event
Plan: Always plan how and what are you going to do say/ show to the concerned person. Look on how to be presentable and organised.
Prepare: Prepare a day in advance. Keep your camera charged. Keeping an extra battery for back-up is always a good idea. You never know when you need to look through that lens. Make sure you don’t run out of business cards.
Execute: Dress well and look neat. These things impact the communication before it even starts. Be friendly and nice while talking. And by the end of conversation you ought to analyse if the person is your target customer.
Follow-up: Text or mail them already saying you look forward to working with them.
Stay in touch: Even if your project is over, keep in touch and let them know you would love to work with them again.
5. Personalized messages
Every time you deliver customer’s photographs, leave a handwritten card along with something as simple as ‘you look beautiful’ or ‘you look good together’ or ‘I am unable to get my eyes off’ written on it. In between shoot and delivery too, you can mail them saying you’re already working for their beautiful pictures and would be handing them over soon. Make a note of their birthdays/ anniversaries and send personalized cards or just their photograph which you must store on your hard disk. One small print doesn’t cost a bomb and congratulations already; they are going to appreciate you for this effort.
6. Festive/ holiday offers
Now this one is kind of obvious when it comes to marketing. Give special offers on festivals and holidays. This is the time people spend with their friends and families so they would want to get clicked. But remember, if there’s rise in demand of photographers, there also is chance they would want the best professional. Best in both, the business and fees! So give some offers or coupons and grab more clients.
Pre-marketing: Make a list of days you are occupied and for the remaining days, advertise in advance and declare your availability. Post on social media and try to gain customers.
Post-marketing: Flaunt your social media with best festival shots. This may help you next year, too.
7. Build Social media
Need we tell this is the easiest and pocket-friendly marketing tool? Even if you are not much into social media buzz, bring it in practice for the sake your business. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, don’t leave anything. Don’t use it just to showcase your pictures, be a watchdog instead. Keep updating and stay updated. Know what sells and work accordingly. If needed, don’t hesitate in re-designing your price chart, props and locations. Always have eyes on what’s in because no one wants to spend bucks on an old-school photographer. Post pictures or content at least thrice a week. We repeat, at least! Try to engage the audience by asking for their feedback in the comment section. Be humble and learn to accept criticism as well. Also, be careful not to bug people off by being too pushy.
Also, take note of what and where you are posting. Like, avoid posting landscapes on Instagram or making it Display Picture as you may get to crop it. You could use them well for Facebook, especially on cover. Before proceeding, do some homework for captions also.
8. Offer occasional photography workshops
On free days, when you don’t have any photo sessions to rush for, you can offer photography workshops to aspiring photographers. A lot of professional photographers turn to offer workshops after working for significant years. Even though you’re just starting out, you can contribute to these in many ways volunteering for them. This will open up networking opportunities that might lend clients.
Gifting would always boost your marketing photography business. Seek occasions to gift photographs to friends/ ex-colleagues/ relatives with your contact details on it. They surely would be impressed and might refer you to their known ones. The contact details you mention could be used further by them and get you prospective customers.
If you are looking to learn more such helpful tips on marketing photography business, head over to Pixpa.
Rohan is a Digital Marketer @Pixpa, where he helps professional photographers to build stunning portfolio websites.