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I was writing a ton of articles about how to improve your photography business last year. It felt kind of like an endless cycle. But, then again, I think everyone’s lives kind of felt like an endless cycle. I know that I was just frustrated because so many photography business owners were struggling and, realistically, there wasn’t much I could do about it.
But, as life slowly returns back to normal, a lot of photography business owners have been writing on our site about the fact that their clients just aren’t coming back, or that they’re coming back at a really, really slow pace.
Considering the fact that many photography business owners have barely been able to keep their businesses afloat for the last year and a half, many of them are wondering whether there are some photography business tips they can use to get clients back faster.
Here are a few ways that I help myself when my photography business is slow.
Invest in Yourself
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The first thing that I always turn to when my photography business isn’t doing as well as I want it to is investing back in the business.
While this may mean that I’m investing money into buying new equipment that I think will help me start a new revenue stream, like buying a drone for my real estate photography, it doesn’t always have to be a monetary investment. In fact, unless you have a really concrete idea about some photography gear that you know will help you create more revenue, I don’t recommend putting any money into this endeavor.
Instead, start investing in your own growth as a photographer. There are about a million videos available on YouTube to help you with everything from your editing to better understanding your camera to making more money (we have loads of free tutorials on this site too!). Use all of these free resources to the best of your availability, especially during down times in your business.
Revamp Your Marketing
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Another great way to revamp your photography business is by revamping your marketing.
The first thing that I recommend you do is get your social media strategy going. You should be on Instagram every single day. You should make sure that everything you’re posting on your Instagram is geared towards your ideal clients. So, don’t post a bunch of photos that you took for a friend’s wedding if you aren’t a wedding photographer. Conversely, don’t post a bunch of photos that you took for a friend’s wedding if you really want to be an elopement photographer.
Once you’ve got your social media marketing working to your advantage, you should start running ads on Facebook. I’ve gained so many clients for my photography business through Facebook ads. The problem is that you really need to know what you’re doing. Once again, there are tons of videos available on YouTube to help you learn everything you need to know.
One more marketing tip that I have is that you can do a session giveaway. If your photography business already has a good amount of followers on Facebook or Instagram or TikTok, this is a great way to really gain some notoriety. Make your followers tag your business and comment in order to enter.
Hit a Networking Stride
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I hate talking about networking because as soon as you say the word, ‘networking,’ people automatically think of these terrible conventions.
This isn’t the type of networking I’m encouraging you to do to gain more clients for your photography business. Instead, I’m suggesting that you start networking with other vendors and companies that work adjacently to your business in your town.
If you’re a wedding photographer, you need to be networking with local venues and local wedding planners, since these are both businesses that will likely need to recommend a photography business like yours in the future.
If you’re a pet photographer, you could network with locally-owned pet stores. If you’re an event photographer, you could network with local event venues.
The point here is that whatever businesses are working adjacently to your photography business are probably also hurting right now. Just by showing up now, you could be building a great relationship for the future.
Host a Print Sale
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One easy way to bring in revenue without having to bring in any new clients is by hosting a print sale. You can simply send out an email to all of your clients that you’ve worked with in the past letting them know that you’re hosting a print sale.
The key to making the most money with a print sale is to make sure that you’re working with a good printing company, because your clients will know if you’re skimping on quality. It’s why I recommend that you work with CanvasHQ for your print sales.
Each canvas that CanvasHQ creates is designed to be an heirloom piece that will last for decades. So, your clients can pass their photos on to their children and grandchildren.
But, they’re also relatively cheap for how high their quality is. This means that you can still mark the prints up a lot (even during a “sale”). In fact, their canvases start at just $20.
Plus, CanvasHQ is serious about keeping their clients happy, so they keep a production time calendar on their website so you know exactly how long your prints will take to be made and to get shipped.
This means it will be easier to keep your clients happy!
Prep for Busy Season
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No matter how slow your photography business is right now, you know that it’s going to pick up soon. If you are like most photographers that I know, you’ll likely pick up beyond anything you can actually handle. So, take this down time to prepare for your busy season.
Some examples of tasks that you can do right now to prepare your business for the future are: get your CRM system up to date, fix your pricing structure, plan your social media calendar, change your email templates, and make sure all of your files are backed up somewhere.
All of this busy work is stuff you’re not going to have time to do later. Of course, this type of busy work isn’t exactly thrilling, but it needs to get done at some point, so why not do it now?