photo by Drazen_ via iStock
Photography business marketing is definitely a stressful part of running a photography business during a normal year, but during the past year it has been an absolute nightmare for many business owners.
I know that my photography business took a big hit with the pandemic, which meant that I didn’t have the same amount of money coming in to spend on my marketing. This meant that I needed to get creative. I basically threw everything I knew about learning how to get more photography clients out the window and started from scratch.
If you’re in the same boat and are wondering how to boost your photography business for little (or no) money, then hopefully some of the free photography business resources in this article will help you out.
Use an Automated Social Media App
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One of the best ways to boost your photography business is to get the word out via social media. However, if you’re like me, you can quickly find yourself wasting half of your working hours jumping back and forth between Instagram and Facebook and Twitter.
There has to be a balance, and since all of the apps I’ve looked for to block social media channels during part of my day cost money, I found something better. IFTTT is an app that helps people automate their social media posts.
When all of your posts are automated, you’ll spend far less time browsing your social media channels and far more time learning how to boost your photography business.
Blog All the Time
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Another free way to boost your photography business is to bring in leads through your blog. I dedicate a lot of my time to creating the blog on PhotographyTalk because I recognize that it brings a ton of new readers to the site.
You can do the same thing to boost your photography business. You just need to figure out what your potential clients want to read about. So, if you’re in the wedding photography business, you could write blog posts about how to choose a wedding photographer or create a blog post dedicated to wedding shot lists. If you spend most of your time taking portraits of professionals, then you can write blog posts about optimizing your LinkedIn for your job search.
Of course, blogging can take up just as much of your time as social media, so it’s important to strike a balance. If you currently aren’t writing blog posts at all, then start by writing just one a week. If you’re already hitting one each week, then try for two or three. With the new leads coming in through your blog you will boost your photography business in no time.
Create a Referral Program
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One of the easiest ways to boost your photography business is to encourage your old clients to talk about it! While you would hope they would do so for free, sometimes clients need an incentive, which is why you should create a referral program if you don’t already have one in place.
I suppose that a referral program isn’t technically free for you, depending upon what rewards you want to give to your old clients for helping you to boost your photography business, but whatever money you spend on the referral program will be well worth it.
If you genuinely do not have a budget for marketing right now, then you can offer your time in exchange for referrals. For example, you can give your clients a free mini session for convincing a friend to purchase a photoshoot with you. Or, you can give old clients a discount on a new session for referring friends and family.
If you have a little bit of a marketing budget, then you can give old clients nice physical gifts, like a canvas of one of your favorite photos from their shoot.
The most important part about a referral program is the fact that you need to talk about it. Hype it up to all of your clients so they know what they’re missing if they don’t participate.
Stay Ahead of Your Email Marketing
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Whenever I ask photographers how their email marketing campaign is going, I usually get either a blank face or a grimace in response. This is very unfortunate, because your email marketing will be far more lucrative if you start it really early on in your business.
Some easy ways to start collecting emails are to offer your clients and potential clients something in return for it. Most websites nowadays will offer a 10%-20% discount on their first order for their email. This could work for you. You could also offer them the chance to sign up for a mini-session shoot the day before you officially publicize it online or offer them other exclusive products for it.
Then, make sure that you’re sending out newsletters at least every two weeks.
Use an All-in-One Messaging Platform
While all of these photography business tips are useful, the moment I started using Podium I actually turned my business around.
If you’re serious about learning how to boost your photography business, then you need to look into it. Podium is an all-in-one messaging platform. It pulls every message your business receives, from your social media channels to your email to your text messages, and puts it all in one app. It will save you so much time jumping around trying to remember who you’ve responded to and who you haven’t.
Podium also lets you send invoices directly to your clients phones via text, which means that it will help your business get paid more quickly.
While Podium is not free to use, they are offering a free trial to you as you try to boost your photography business this new year.