Are you a photographer who struggles finding new and retaining past clients? Do you need ideas for marketing yourself, your photography, and your business? We put together a few tips and tricks you can try out to help you find new customers as well as improve your customer retention. The suggested tips below will give you a start for how you can restart and re-energize how to grow your business.
Always find and use only the marketing techniques that fit your style. Some of the below tips may not be for everyone but they have worked for some and could be evaluated in your specific case. After you try some of them out in your photography business, you can sit back and evaluate their effectiveness.
This one is easy for most. Always have your camera and your business cards ready when you leave your house. When people see your camera it is an easy way to start a conversation. The key is not being shy. You are your best promoter. If you can tell someone about your photo business and hand out a business card to at least a few people on the street each week, you will start to find that some of them turn into clients.
1. Keep your clients happy by sending “thank you” cards to them with discounts and referral incentives. This gives them an extra reason to use you and speak about you with their friends and colleagues. Maybe even send them a surprise gift that is small but thoughtful.
2. Snap photos at local events with the permission of the organizers. Get your name and website address out there by handing cards out and as an added bonus raffle away one of your prints or services during a contest or drawing at the event. This is a great way to collect names, addresses, and emails for all the non-winners for future business. Make sure that those who enter the raffle or drawing know that they might hear from you by email or phone by adding a sign to your fishbowl entry bucket.
3. Use Facebook ads or create business fan pages to target local clients and get the word out about your photography business. If you create a Facebook fan page you can share/tag images, relay any photography specials you have at the moment, and interact with your customers.
- Give free artwork and photographs to doctors offices, hair salons, baby boutiques, etc. Include a small sign and/or stack of business cards. Stop by occasionally to leave more cards for sharing.
- Blogging – blog each session that you do. Those photographed will spread the word so friends and family can see the images.
- Use referral cards – hand these out with every order so your past customers can spread the word easily for you.
- SEO – if you come up on specific photography searches for your area, potential customers will find you. Get your name, website and email listed on all the free photographer databases online.
- Get your name, website and email listed on all the free photographer databases online.
- Have different business cards for your different specialties. If you do more than one type of photography, have cards for each type, so you hand out cards specific to the interests of the person asking.
- Figure out how much money you ultimately want to walk away with from a shoot. If you have, say, three packages available, use that amount as your mid-priced package. Then, for your first package (the package you want the customer to see first) price it much higher. The third package will be your lowest priced package, but will be bare bones. This way you sort of subconsciously funnel customers to the package and price in the middle.
- Don’t list prices on your web site. If you do, you’ll just be another photographer in the list for them to choose from and they’ll likely go with the best deal. You want the potential customer to call and connect with you. Have them select you because they want “you” to be the one to take their pictures. (I know some will disagree – but it is something to consider)
Motivation/Other tips and ideas…
- Do a little each day. Rather that just one big marketing campaign, provide steady, consistent, and quality photography and service. It will win people over – one day at a time, one person at a time.
- KNOW your target market. Know their ages, their income levels, their interests and hobbies, and what makes them tick. You as a photographer do not have to be in your target market. Know your target customer’s habits. Where can you best reach them? Is it Facebook (seniors), mom’s clubs, wedding shows, displays in the mall? There’s no right answer – it varies depending on who your ideal client is.