- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Stock Photography: Residual Income With Your Digital Camera
- Get Your Photography on the Web: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Show and Sell Your Work
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Selling Your Photography: How to Make Money in New and Traditional Markets
- Business and Legal Forms for Photographers
Your new, or existing, digital photography business relies on customers to be successful; and, to attract customers to your business, you must market or advertise to the local audiences that could purchase your products and services. The exact marketing methods you use depend, in part, on the kind of photography business you are operating. Some can be as personal as portraits and weddings while other photography businesses occur exclusively via the Web. Whether your customers are in the studio with you or scattered throughout the world, building relationships are still important, as strong customer relationships lead to repeat business, which is just about the best kind.
Most of the simple marketing tips in this PhotographyTalk.com article apply to photographers, who are trying to attract customers from their local, geographic market for portraits, weddings, senior pictures, etc. Many of these techniques will help any type of local photographer brand his or her business and its products and services. A Web site, Facebook page and the use of Twitter are givens in the digital age, but these are topics for other articles. Read these PhotographyTalk.com articles for more information.
Most of the tips and techniques below don’t require large expenditures because their “angle” is to put you and your products and services where people gather and where they will see your work.
Look for display opportunities.
Photography is a form of art that people want to see, so show the public what you can do. Many will like what they see and ask you to do the same for them. Start by making a list of the types of local businesses that might display your photography as part of their décor. These could include fancy boutiques, medical offices of all kinds, maternity shops, florists and wedding, children’s and toys stores. Other possibilities are commercial office properties that provide totally furnished suites, home stagers for real estate sales and model homes for single-family, condominium and apartment developments.
Then, contact them with a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Use your photos as part of furnishings in exchange for a small sign with your name and contact information or a pile of business cards nearby.
Trade a display of your photos for photography services.
A store or other business might be willing to rent you space for a nominal fee.
Cross-promote: The business displays your photos and you include a promotional message or offer to your clients. For example, if you shoot many weddings, then a florist or wedding dress store should want access to your customer base just as you would like access to its list.
Shopping malls are other excellent display location, but you’ll pay a rate for the space, just as various kiosks. You can ask for a trade or exchange agreement, but don’t expect it.
Create and promote a free-photography charitable event.
This is a great public relations opportunity. You can offer free senior portraits for high school students that live at group homes or shelters that couldn’t otherwise afford them. This is both a stupendous psychology boost for teens that want pictures just like all their other classmates and the basis for writing and distributing a press release to local media and via Web-based publicity techniques. Similar events are portraits of seniors in care facilities or free children’s photos when each child brings canned goods for the local food bank.
Volunteer to be a sponsoring business of a local contest or giveaway.
The local media, especially radio stations, have contests and giveaways throughout the year, and the prizes are typically from local businesses, with their names being mentioned on the air and in all promotional messages about the contest. Your contribution could be a free portrait session and a single 8 x 10 print. Other local businesses use the giveaway method for promotional purposes. Another tip is not to wait for those businesses, but make contacts and propose a contest or giveaway.
Free extras with every order.
Include an extra print or a sheet of wallet-size photos at no additional charge in every client order. Since they’re free, your customers shouldn’t mind that you’ve printed your name and contact information on the back. Customers have more photos to give to friends and family members, which spreads your brand to a wider audience.
Offer free high school senior picture albums.
Contact high school seniors that may be your neighbors or sons and daughters of your friends and acquaintances and provide them with a free portrait session and small album of pictures in exchange for showing it to their friends and distributing your business card.