Tag Archives: photography business

8 Highly Effective Marketing Tips for Photographers

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.

Pricing

  • 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.

No monkeying around! These Photographers mean business!

In 2009, we plan to ask our Cutcaster photo buyers and contributors to share their knowledge and experiences in the image and vector licensing industry to help the entire community. We recently asked one of our newer photo contributors to Cutcaster, Monkey Business Images, a few questions about the changing landscape of the photography industry, their work-flow and process when deciding what/how to shoot and any advice they have to help the Cutcaster community sell more images. The folks at Monkey Business Images were kind enough to share their experience with us and we thought we would share what we learned with you.

1.       In today’s visual language, how do you make images that are authentic to “your” brand?

We strive to create images that portray an idealistic and aspirational lifestyle, but one that is potentially achievable to the viewer. This is achieved by careful selection of models, who we find from both professional agencies and by using friends and families and ensuring that our styling is just right.

An ederly man barefoot waterskiing with no hands

An elderly man barefoot waterskiing with no hands

2. How do you, in this new media landscape, convey an image that “sells” and seems honest as opposed to the professional imagery of 5 years ago?

As well as constantly trying to reinvent the traditional and popular subjects in a contemporary and relevant style, we always consider how images might be used before we shoot them. This ensures that we do not spend time on irrelevant subjects and keeps us thinking about what clients may want today and in the future. The uploading principle of microstock means that subjects can get from camera to client more quickly than in the traditional business.

Small school child at a computer

Small school child at a computer

3. What’s changed in your mindset? Are all the images just personal based?

Essentially our methods of selecting subjects and shooting have remained the same over the years. We take the view that it’s still the same clients buying pictures but they are using a different model to source the images. Regardless of the price clients still require the right image for the job and will not compromise on quality just because an image is at a lower price.

Image of a woman after yoga relaxing

Image of a woman after yoga relaxing

4. What is the biggest challenge facing Monkey Business?

Like all companies in the business we are working through a time of great change in the industry and economic uncertainty worldwide. I think these challenges are the same for everyone at the moment.

5. What do you ask yourself when you are shooting an image?

One simple question. Will it sell?

Paris Brest with mixed berries and cream

Paris Brest with mixed berries and cream

6. Subscription vs. a la carte downloading?  What is your opinion of the  different microstock pricing model’s and how they affect your bottom line?

The great thing is that both these business models offer real choice to clients. There are pros and cons to each one of course but by offering choice and variety to our clients creates many more opportunities for sales.

7. What are some techniques you have learned over the years to help you get your images seen and sold?

We have sold successfully over the years both through our own direct websites and through our distribution partners. Strong relationships with our partners have always been vital as it helps us to understand what subjects they need.

8. How was Monkey Business started and who is involved in the business?

The company is owned by Cathy Yeulet who was the creative force behind Bananastock. Bananastock was one of the most successful RF companies and sold to Jupiter Images. One of the reasons that Cathy chose to sell at that time was that she could see the market changing as microstock and subscriptions were beginning to emerge. After two years of shooting for Jupiter Cathy has chosen to enter the microstock industry and has been joined by Mark Butler in sales and Ian Allenden in production, the same team that made Bananastock so successful.

9. Image theft has been a problem for a long time. How would you suggest photographers go about protecting their work when they have found it misused or blatantly stolen?

This has been a long term problem and it will be interesting to see if selling images at  low prices has the effect of encouraging people who would have stolen images to pay. Either way any misuse should be robustly defended by both agencies and photographers.

10. Where do you see the microstock industry 5 years in the future?

Microstock is still developing and the business still has a long way to grow. It is an innovative part of the market and the challenge is to continue that innovation both photographically and through  sales models. Most importantly we need to listen to our clients to see what they really need.

11. How did you come up with the name Monkey Business Images?

We just like the name and it was a natural progression from the previous companies name Bananastock.

We like it as well and I hope this helps give some of the contributors at Cutcaster things to think about when planning and shooting what they think will sell.  To license Monkey Business’ Images check out there Cutcaster studio here.