- A free photoshoot (no photography marketing ideas are better than ones that just cost you time)
- Discounts for future purchases
- Weird gifts (think a gold framed photo of your dog)
- Gift cards to other local businesses
- The Most Overlooked Success Tip for Photographers
- Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Business After COVID
photo by gorodenkoff via iStock
If you’re like 90% of photographers out there today, your business may be struggling. The coronavirus pandemic is the epitome of an unexpected disruption and it’s happening to absolutely all of us.
So, since you probably don’t have a lot of extra cash at the moment, you may be wondering how you can continue to make money for the next few months.
I’ve written pretty extensively about different revenue streams photographers can seek out right now, but I haven’t covered free marketing ideas yet.
It’s hard enough learning how to market your photography business when everything is normal, but in abnormal times like these, it is especially challenging.
In an effort to help, we compiled this list of our top four free marketing ideas for you to pursue right now.
Make it Easier to Communicate
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
No matter how many free marketing ideas you try, none of them will matter if your clients can’t get in touch with you.
That’s the idea behind the movement that created Podium, which is software that pulls all of your communication from absolutely everywhere (your social media accounts, your business partners, even reviews from sites like Yelp) and compiles it into one platform.
You can even send invoices from Podium.
This way you can continue to conduct your business as you normally would, but from your phone.
Since one of the most important parts of conducting business in our industry is responding to potential clients as quickly as possible, Podium is a gamechanger.
And they provide a free trial that you can try here.
Start a Referral Program
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash
One of my favorite free marketing ideas are referral programs, and I don’t know why more people don’t use them.
A lot of marketing ideas for photographers are about word of mouth marketing and no word of mouth marketing works better than referrals.
I find that a lot of people don’t want to pursue referral programs because they have trouble coming up with ideas for what will incentivize clients to send referrals your way.
Often, I find it’s less about what you’re giving away and more about the fact that people love free stuff.
Here are some ideas for free things I’ve given away in a referral program before:
Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash
Working off of the other free marketing ideas on this list, it’s important for you to work with other local businesses.
For instance, you can give free photoshoots to other local businesses for their referral programs in exchange for free gift cards for yours.
You can also crossmarket with other businesses in your area. For instance, you can give your services to them if they are willing to promote your business on all of their social media accounts or give you a guest blogging spot.
Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash
But, if you are planning on using this tip, you need to ensure you have done your research and understand which companies would be best to approach. For example, it wouldn’t make any sense to approach another photographer that does the exact same type of photography you do in your hometown because they are your direct competitor.
But, a wedding caterer whom you’ve worked with at a wedding before could be the perfect match.
Much like all of the other free marketing ideas on this list, the absolute worst answer you could receive is “no.”
Engage on Social Media
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
This is one of those free marketing ideas that some people really fear because social media can be really daunting. Let’s be honest!
But, if I told you that all you need to do to engage on social media is to be honest, would you be more willing to try it?
People follow social media brands that have a distinct voice and that feel really authentic. Since this is your business and you’re incredibly passionate about it, you probably feel really authentic when you talk about it.
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash
When I suggest you start engaging on social media as a part of your free marketing ideas campaign, I mean that you need to make your own posts (filled with beautiful videos, photos, and graphics), but you also need to respond to others’ posts.
To me, it’s a cardinal sin to not respond to someone who asks a question on one of your social media channels. Make sure you’re staying up to date on your social channels by checking them at least two times a day and carving out a half hour to respond to potential clients each time.
So, there you have it. Four really good (and free!) ideas that can help you market your business in tough times.