It can be a real challenge to figure out how to market yourself to potential clients effectively. These tips will help you connect to new clients in an engaging and personal way, so get started now for all of your hard work will soon pay off.
Whether you’ve just set up your photography business or you’re a veteran photographer with years of experience, chances are you’ll always be looking for new clients. While photography can lead to many repeat customers, who book annual family photos or hire you for all their big life events, it’s important to continuously market yourself to new clients so your business keeps expanding.
Marketing yourself can be the scariest part of being a photographer. Even though your photographs speak for themselves, there are so many other parts of owning a photography business and getting new clients. Locking in jobs can be overwhelming to start, but you’ll be booking new clients in no time with the following tips.
Make a Website
The best way to grow your photography business is by building a quality website. There are several free website builders for you to construct one for yourself. However, if you’re not a tech whiz, a paid website builder can be a wise investment.
A professional will help you build an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use website with their coding knowledge. Your website can look however you want, but it should feature a well-curated portfolio, reviews from real clients, and a blog.
Build Your Portfolio
The most important part of your photography website is your portfolio. This is how potential clients assess the quality of work you produce, and your unique photography style.
Your portfolio should not be a compilation of every photograph you’ve ever taken. It should be carefully curated to convey what you want to demonstrate about your art.
If you’re looking to photograph in a specific niche like wedding photography, family portraits, or baby photography, make sure your portfolio reflects that by focusing on photographs in those categories. Potential clients in these top photography niches want to feel confident that you can capture what they’re looking for in these settings.
If you do not have many photographs in your niche, schedule a photoshoot to create content for your portfolio. You can ask family and friends to help you out for free if you’re just starting. You can also hire local models to make sure the results are professional.
Once you have established a group of photographs for your portfolio, it is equally pivotal to arrange them intuitively on your website. Feature your photographs front and center, starting with the ones you’re most proud of and that reflect your photography business the best.
If you’re looking for new clients in multiple niches, have a portfolio for each niche. For example, if you want wedding and baby photography clients, have a page on your website for your wedding photography portfolio and another page for your baby photography portfolio.
Splitting your photographs into these categories makes it easy for potential clients to navigate to exactly what they’re searching for from you without having to click through work that may be irrelevant to them.
Reviews are a crucial way to get new photography clients. They allow potential clients to see what it was like working with you and how the actual photographs turned out for your existing clients. A well-executed shoot demonstrates that you can deliver on what you promise.
Reach out to past clients for reviews. This is one of the reasons you should have a database of all of your clients. If you need to ask for reviews and keep all of your clients’ contact information, you haven’t lost what you need to obtain them.
As you get more photography clients, make sure to have a feature on your website that allows clients to leave reviews on their own. As you send them the final photographs, remind them to leave a review.
If you are just starting your photography business, you most likely do not have any reviews. That is okay. Reach out to friends and family for a free photography session, so they can leave a review. However, don’t ask them to review you as a photographer if you’ve never worked with them in that sense.
Have a Blog
Blogs are an excellent way to drive traffic to your site while also showing your expertise on the subject of photography. You can also reveal more of your personality through a blog post, which new clients will respond positively to. After all, who doesn’t want to know about the person responsible for capturing their memories?
If you make yourself approachable and relatable, people will be more likely to feel comfortable contacting you.
When starting your blog, create a posting schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key for blogging, so be realistic with yourself and your time limits.
For inspiration, peruse other freelance photographers’ blogs to get an idea of how a photography blog should look. However, do not take any of their ideas for your blog. Make sure your content is uniquely your own.
Include your photographs in your blog to make your points. For example, if you write a blog post on “7 Photographs You Should Take at Your Wedding”, include your photographs as examples.
Finally, study Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing techniques, so you can rank higher in search engine results. Doing so will bring more potential clients to your website, which will turn into more paying clients. There’s a plethora of free online courses on SEO techniques.
Use Social Media
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to get photography clients is through your social media accounts. To keep your personal life and professional photography business separate, create accounts for your photography business. There are so many different social media platforms, but the best platforms for reaching your target audience are:
The TikTok algorithm makes reaching potential photography clients relatively easy. If you’re new to the platform, spend some time scrolling the “For You Page,” so you get an idea of how videos go viral. You may feel discouraged if your videos don’t get high numbers of views, but don’t be! Even if your videos get an average of 100 views, that’s still 100 potential clients seeing your photography business.
The best way to gain views on TikTok is by following the current trends, so pay attention to the sounds you hear in videos. When sounds are trending, you can use those sounds in your videos to show up higher on the other people’s For You Pages. The algorithm also rewards brevity, so keep your videos short and sweet.
You can also show off your knowledge of photography with quick history or technique videos.
Although following trends is helpful for growth, you should always stay true to yourself and your business. Make the viral trends work for you freshly and uniquely, while showcasing your talent as a photographer. People will view a viral video and maybe like it, but they’ll follow you and turn into clients if they find you likable and authentic. Remember to put your best face forward and show your passion and talent for photography.
Instagram is another great social media platform to attract new photography clients. The focus on pictures makes it easy to show off your best photos to potential clients.
A great way to get more photography clients is by having existing clients tag you in the photos of yours they post. This is especially useful if you’re in a niche like wedding or baby photography. Usually, your existing clients’ followers are in similar stages of life and are looking for recommendations for photographers. A simple tag on one of their friends’ pictures could lead them to you.
You should also make use of hashtags and location tags to appear on people’s Explore pages. Search for other photographers in your niche in your geographic region and see what hashtags they use. If you know anybody with a large following, see if you can do a photoshoot with them in exchange for them posting your photos and tagging you.
Make sure to set up a profile for your photography business. Facebook is an easy way for new clients to connect with you and leave reviews. It also helps you build a connected network for existing clients, which is useful when you want to offer discounts for new client referrals or market new photography services you offer.
To maintain an effective Facebook profile, you should keep it updated with all of your correct contact information and available services. You should also get into the habit of consistently posting new content for your online portfolio. The more regularly you post, the more reliable you appear, and the more photographs and real-life examples you have to show to your clients.
The best way to use Pinterest is as a marketing strategy, particularly for your blog. Clients will search Pinterest for photograph ideas, aesthetic inspiration, and tips for hiring a photographer. Create blogs around those subjects and then make them Pinterest posts. Doing so will drive a lot of traffic to your site. Most of the people visiting your site will be potential new clients searching for a photographer.
Build a Referral Process
Potential clients are much more likely to book a photography session with you if you were recommended by someone they know and trust. For that reason, referrals are a very reliable and effective way to gain new photography clients. It can be as easy as asking existing clients if they have anyone in mind who would also like to book a session.
If you want referrals without having to directly ask existing clients to bring you new clients, create a referral program that benefits everyone–existing clients, new clients, and your photography business.
You can offer discounts for both the existing and new clients if they book using a referral code or the existing clients’ names. Can you see the double benefit here? It also encourages your existing client to book another session with you to use the discount.
If you cannot offer discounts, you can offer promotional items like t-shirts or mugs with your business logo on them. It’s also a great way to promote your business as well as increase referrals.
The best way to get referrals, however, is by providing high-quality photographs and a seamless, fun experience to your existing clients. Even without referral programs, existing clients are more likely to recommend your photography business to their family and friends if they genuinely loved working with you.
Join Freelance Websites
If you’re just starting, it can be difficult to book new clients because you might lack reviews, a strong portfolio, and an adequate social media presence. Joining a freelance website is a great way to get clients even if you’re just starting.
With freelance websites like Freelancer and Upwork, you can create a profile that highlights your talents and then connect to new clients looking for photographers. If you’re just starting, it’s a good idea to bid low to be more competitive. If you have a more robust portfolio and list of reviews, you can bid higher because you have a profile that backs you up.
With freelance websites, you might find more photo editing jobs than straight photography jobs, but even that is a good way to gain experience and reach a target audience. If you provide a good photo editing experience, they are more likely to seek you out for the entire photography job the next time.
Connect with Local Small Businesses
Another great way to connect with potential new photography clients is by reaching out to local small businesses and offering your photography services for a discounted rate. You can connect with them about being a small business and establish a relationship that can easily turn into a recurring client.
Being connected in the local small business scene is an incredible way to broaden your reach and find your target audience. Make sure to remind your small business clients to tag you in any pictures they post.
Attend local events for small business owners to connect in person or pitch via email. When attending a local event, make sure to dress and act professionally and warmly, so you can form genuine relationships in a professional sense.
If you are pitching to a small business over email, do not just copy and paste the same email over and over. Include small personal touches like describing a positive experience you had with their business. It’s all about building relationships, so be positive, friendly, and professional.
It can be a real challenge to figure out how to market yourself to potential clients effectively. These tips will help you connect to new clients in an engaging and personal way, so get started now for all of your hard work will soon pay off. As long as you’re genuine and showcasing all of your photography knowledge and skills, you’ll be able to get more clients.