Updated: Apr 2
One of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I build my photography business?” There are many answers to this question, but for today, I’d like to focus on the art of Marketing.
Before the Internet, small businesses only had a few ways to market their products and services through methods like printing fliers or participating in community events. Now there are all kinds of opportunities to market your business out there on the Web - you just have to be intentional about where you spend your time.
Now there’s no secret sauce to marketing yourself.
As photographers, it’s important that we explore the many different types of photography that there are to see what we have a knack and liking for.
Whether you love the fast paced world of event photography, the intimacy of a studio setting, or documenting a mother’s maternity journey, the approach you take to get in front of these different groups will require a mix of different marketing activities.
Here are 2 key questions to think about when deciding how to market yourself:
Who are your target clients?
What platforms are they most likely to be found on?
After you’ve thought the type of client you want to appeal to, I think it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
Do you have a solid body of work that appeals to our desired client?
If your target client were to inquire about your services, do you have a portfolio of strong images to win their trust?
Do you have a place to showcase this body of work?
Whether it's a well curated Google Drive folder, Instagram feed, or personal Website, you need a great-looking, easy to navigate, way to display your work.
For me, a website is my preferred way of showcasing my work because it signals to your client that you’re willing to make the commitment to invest in this platform to showcase your business.
Do you have an email list or phone numbers?
Email marketing is nothing new and because of this, it’s often overlooked.
If you remember nothing else, please remember this key fact, your email list is data that you own. Because social media is the new norm, we often turn to it for generating new business, and it works. But what do you do when Google Ads get too expensive, Instagram lowers their reach, and you don’t appear in LinkedIn searches as frequently?
If you have an email list, this problem gets solved right away. You should have a marketing email that goes out regularly to that list to engage with your past customers and new prospects regularly.
You can show recent work, share news and awards and even make direct sales/marketing pitches as appropriate, similarly to how you would on any social media.
All this helps to stay top of mind.
Once you’ve decided who your target clients are, where they ‘live’ online, and have a solid flow of great content to show them, you stick to your marketing plan.
Building a solid clientele takes a long time. Marketing is a key business activity for any successful photographer who is in this business for the long haul.
The secret to great marketing is that there’s no secret at all, just experiments that turned out to work.
What are some challenges you face while trying to market your business?