One of the challenges of being a self-employed photographer is getting your name, your brand, and your product out in front of the buying public.
After all, even if you're the best photographer in the world, if you don't know how to market yourself, your business will be doomed to fail.
But marketing your photography needn't be a difficult or confusing task.
Below, I outline three dead-simple ways to promote your photography and get more clients into the fold.
Use Sample Albums
What better way to impress potential clients and market your brand than by showing them samples of the products you offer?
A sample album does something that your website and social media feeds can't do - they put the actual product in the clients' hands, giving them a real-life, tactile experience of what you can do for them as their photographer.
And I don't just mean that you should have product samples to show your clients at the consultation.
Instead, I mean have a few sample albums made to share with different vendors that also work in the wedding industry.
Leave one with local churches and other wedding venues. Ask the local baker and florist if you can leave a sample album there as well.
By leaving examples of your product line with colleagues around town, you have a surefire way to market your photography and a pretty easy way to get referrals, too.
Of course, to have the maximum impact, the sample albums you provide can't be those cheap, flimsy ones you can get online for a few bucks.
Instead, if you partner with a company like nPhoto that has a long-standing reputation for handcrafting gorgeous photo albums, you'll have sample albums that have tons of visual impact and compel clients to contract you for your services.
And the great thing about nPhoto photo albums is that there is so much variety.
There's virtually endless combinations of album sizes, cover materials, types of paper, and layouts.
With options to have rounded album corners, laser etching on the cover, layflat pages, and much more, nPhoto offers your clients the height of customization for preserving their memories of their big day.
They say that first impressions are everything, and by putting a sample nPhoto album in front of potential clients, you'll certainly make a strong first impression!
Define Your Client Base
Posting things to social media and putting ads in the local newspaper is fine and all - that will certainly get your name and face out amongst the public.
But there's a difference between simply spreading the word about who you are and what you do and getting that marketing to convert would-be clients into paying customers.
To do that, you need to define your client base.
By defining your client base, you can tailor your marketing message to that specific group of people.
What's more, you can create content that that group of people will find helpful, relevant, and valuable. And the more content you create that actually helps your ideal clients solve a problem or learn something new, the more likely they will be to consider you an authority on the matter and hire you when the time comes.
As a wedding photographer, that might mean posting blogs about tips for planning your wedding, pitfalls to avoid when hiring a photographer, and other topics related to weddings.
You might post YouTube videos that detail the consultation phase of working with a client, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at your wedding day workflow.
Even sharing stories about past clients and how much you enjoyed working with them will be helpful in creating content that resonates with potential clients.
Play the Long Game
Very few of your clients will come to you after being engaged for awhile.
In fact, many couples will start looking for a wedding photographer much earlier on in their engagement, if not before the engagement even occurs. At the very least, some people will look at wedding photos just to get an idea of what they can expect.
That being the case, you can't just focus your marketing on heavy-hitting "Sale Sale Sale" type of interactions with potential clients.
Instead, you need to work a long game, and create low-impact interactions with potential clients that gets you multiple "touches" with them over a period of time.
For example, a short-game marketing strategy for a wedding photographer might be an all-out social media blitz to promote a sale, like offering 20 percent off your photo album packages.
And while that type of marketing is necessary at times, to bring people into the fold over the long-term, they need to see your work over and over and over again.
That's where low-impact content really works.
By sharing examples of your photos on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites, you have a way to market your business without sounding like you're marketing it.
Instead, your photos speak for themselves, show up in people's feeds, and begin to plant the seed that you're a wedding photographer in their area.
That means that over time, you can build relationships with people that might not even need your services for years to come. That's why the long game works so well!