Not getting enough clients? Need to add some more pizazz to your salesmanship? Here are ten of the most successful, underutilized tips from our fantastic cheat sheet of marketing ideas for photographers.
These tips will help you win clients. They’ll also put you ahead of your competition. Along the way, you’ll learn a great deal about how marketing works today.
1. Treat your website like the work of art it is.
There are plenty of photographers who think that trade shows, fliers, and word of mouth are all there is to marketing. These photographers often end up giving up the profession or working for huge photography companies and still making as little as $20,000 a year.
These people lack 21st-century marketing ideas for photographers. They also need a better understanding of the fundamentals of contemporary marketing.
The good news, though, is that these people are your competition. And I’m about to tell you how to beat them.
All the best marketing ideas for photographers involve the internet. The best way to present your work to a wide variety of potential clients and buyers is online. It’s easy to design a great-looking photography website, and the benefits are huge.
A website gives you a place to show off your skills to clients. It can also allow you to sell prints of or rights to your photographs directly. To top it all off, it can create a link between you and clients that allows them to contact you once they’ve discovered your site.
Here’s the takeaway from this: if you don’t have a website, create one right now. If you do have a website, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it appealing to customers?
- Does it show off enough of my photography?
- Are the pictures on my site my best?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you may need a little help with your photography website. Ask friends or other photographers for help. Alternatively, take a look at our cheat sheet or contact us for a free consultation.
2. Make sure potential clients are actually seeing your website.
Now comes the hard part. Although this is one of the hardest of our marketing ideas for photographers to implement, it’s also one of the most important.
If you have a great website, you need it to be seen. The only way to make sure your website is seen is through a process called SEO. This is short for “Search Engine Optimization.”
SEO is a process used not only by photographers, but by every business advertising or selling online. It essentially involves manipulating certain factors affecting your website to make it appeal more to search engines.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing use complex mathematical formulas called algorithms to determine what websites to show users after users type search keywords or questions into their search bars.
These algorithms are designed to rank sites by their relevance to the search. They also consider things like popularity and legitimacy.
SEO is the creation of evidence of relevance, popularity, and legitimacy. It isn’t easy to do, but it’s highly important to photography marketing.
For more detailed and up-to-the-minute information, you can also read SEO blogs. It’s best to start with an introductory guide, though, so the blogs aren’t confusing to you.
In addition to creating SEO solutions yourself, you might think about hiring a professional. There are plenty of professional SEO marketing services out there. Photographer Marketing Academy even offers professional SEO services just for photographers.
Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a pro, learning a bit about SEO is a good thing for an entrepreneur like you to do. SEO is also the basis for many of the best 21st century photography marketing ideas.
3. Expand your web presence beyond your own site.
Once you’ve created a great website and considered some of the benefits of search engine optimization, it’s time to expand your horizons.
Because the internet is the best marketing tool for a photographer, you need to make your presence on the internet as large as possible.
Your website, no matter how great it is, is one drop of water in a very large ocean. However, you can expand your influence online through other means.
With a few other websites, such as social media accounts and review sites, you can turn your drop into a very large part of the ocean indeed.
Benefits of a Larger Web Presence
The bigger your presence online is, the more likely it is that an internet user will find you. That internet user could easily become your next customer.
Having a large web presence also benefits the SEO of your main site. This is because links between different websites are a major factor search engines use to determine popularity and legitimacy.
How to Grow Your Web Presence
Each site connected to your business is a part of your web presence.
The quickest and easiest way to grow your web presence is to create social media accounts. I’ll go into specifics on that in the next few tips.
You can also grow your web presence by signing up for free services like Google MyBusiness and Yelp. These services will also help you get reviews and get your contact information out there to clients. In addition, they can get reviews of your photography online.
4. Use Facebook as a way to boost your customer base.
One of the best marketing ideas for photographers I’ve ever come across is utilizing social media. And of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the most widely used. It also just might be the friendliest to photographers looking for marketing opportunities.
A Facebook account is easy and free to set up, and the benefits are almost endless.
Benefits and uses of a Facebook account for professional photographers include the following:
- Facebook is a way to directly interact with current, former, and potential clients.
- The social media giant can serve as free advertising for your business.
- Facebook’s photo sharing interface is easy to use and can help you show off your best work.
- Your Facebook business profile is a great opportunity to mix professionalism with personality – always a great way to attract new clients.
There are plenty of other benefits to using Facebook’s business services as well – including an SEO boost. Don’t forget, it’s also a simple and effective way to boost your overall web presence as well.
5. Utilize Facebook’s often untapped direct marketing potential.
There’s another huge benefit to having a Facebook profile. Although plenty of photographers have a Facebook account, this is one of the most underutilized marketing ideas for photographers. Facebook has untapped potential.
- The word of mouth generated by ads on Facebook means that they’re more far-reaching than traditional digital direct advertising.
- The Facebook advertising interface allows you to target your advertising to very specific groups, maximizing its effectiveness.
While you will have to pay for this service, it’s not terribly expensive, and it’s better than wasting money on old-fashioned flyers and trade shows. Facebook advertising truly works.
To make the most of your use of Facebook advertising, be sure to read up on how to create effective Facebook ads first. As with most forms of marketing, you get out what you put in.
There are also some great tips on Facebook direct advertising in our last article and on our free cheat sheet.
6. Make sure you’re using other social media services like Instagram and Twitter.
That’s right – as big as Facebook is, it isn’t the beginning and end of social media. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter are almost as large and just as important. Instagram especially can be useful to photographers because of its strong visual focus.
Creating a profile on one or both of these services is as easy as signing up for Facebook. The platforms are also both very easy to use.
In addition, there are helpful guides to using Instagram and other social media services on the web. Read some of your favorite photography blogs and see if the photographers you follow have anything to say on the subject.
Be sure to use hashtags in your Twitter and Instagram posts for maximum exposure. This technique also works on Facebook. However, hashtags are most popular on Instagram and Twitter.
Bonus Pro Tip
Be sure to link all of your social media profiles to one another for maximum exposure. Facebook supports automatic sharing of both Instagram and Twitter posts!
7. Consider the amazing benefits of retargeting.
Retargeting, something we discussed in depth in our last article, can give your marketing a huge boost. This tactic is also detailed in our free cheat sheet.
It’s a bit complicated, and can get expensive if you aren’t careful. However, it can be one of the most rewarding forms of marketing since the dawn of the internet if you use it correctly.
Furthermore, evidence shows that this tactic is currently underutilized as a marketing tool for photographers. That means that you can beat the competition to the retargeting gold rush. There’s nothing in business as beneficial as being ahead of your competitors.
What is Retargeting?
While this won’t bring your site new traffic, it can make converting site visitors to clients much easier. Most internet users do research before making any kind of purchase, including purchasing photography services. Retargeting can put your ad in front of people who are comparing you and your competitors.
While retargeting is expensive and difficult to set up on your own, it can be done easily with professional help. Although there’s always an up-front investment with retargeting, it can make you plenty of money quickly.
8. Use the right language in your marketing materials.
Even with the best marketing ideas for photographers, the promotional work doesn’t get done by itself. What you put in to your web presence, your social media materials, and your direct advertising matters.
That means that the language you use in all your marketing materials matters. The right language means more customers for you, while the wrong language means failure.
When you’re writing content for your blog or for social media, keep your audience in mind. The people most likely to buy your services are not professional photographers.
That means that you should avoid discussions of jargon and particular gear for the most part. Use non-technical, non-specialized language whenever you’re writing anything a potential client might read.
You’d be surprised how many professional photographers make the mistake of not thinking about word choice. This can lead them to use too much jargon, which can be off-putting to customers.
However, you also want to sound like you know your craft. Be sure to do your research beforehand and that everything you say is correct.
There’s a fine line between using too much jargon and seeming like you don’t know your craft. The way to walk this line is to be as specific as possible without being too technical for the average reader to understand.
It also helps to be open to questions, and be ready to explain things when potential clients ask questions.
If you put the work in, your clients (and your wallet) will thank you.
9. Don’t waste time and money on marketing ideas for photographers that aren’t working for you.
When it comes to promoting yourself and your work, you’re spending time and money. Although that’s impossible to avoid, it is possible to make sure you’re getting all your time and money are worth.
I’ve mentioned old-fashioned marketing ideas for photographers like flyers and trade shows several times in this article. That’s because so many photographers fall into the trap of relying on these methods.
The simple fact of the matter is that internet marketing is the best marketing. In the 21st century, it’s completely necessary and relevant to your business. This is especially true when it comes to photography, which relies on technology.
The internet is the fastest way to reach a wide variety of potential customers. It’s also the cheapest. Also, as it becomes more popular every day, the pool of people you can reach with online marketing grows ever larger.
If you’re not utilizing the power of the internet, you’re wasting time and money. Other, older-fashioned marketing methods suffer from some of the following problems:
- They’re expensive and time consuming.
- They don’t reach the widest variety or biggest number of customers.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with traditional marketing methods, they simply aren’t as effective. If you’re just starting out running your own business, your resources are limited. Don’t waste them on marketing that doesn’t work for you.
10. Knowledge is power: know the numbers, know the competition, and know the path to success.
This might be one of the most important marketing ideas for photographers. You need to know that learning about marketing is the best thing you can do at this point.
No one is successful with scattershot, poorly planned marketing tactics. These tactics will lose you money instead of earning it on your behalf.
Even though photography is your main work and your main art, you need to know the craft of marketing too. You should also collect data on your own business, your competitors, and the people you’re trying to reach.
The more information you have, the better you can plan. A better plan will lead to greater successes.
Try reading marketing, SEO, or photography blogs for marketing ideas for photographers, as well as advice on collecting and using data. You can also check out our free cheat sheet, which is available on our home page.
Furthermore, we’re available to talk to you directly. If you’d like to contact us, give us a call or fill out the form below. We offer free consultations to anyone interested in our services. We can also help you out if you’re just interested in learning something about photography marketing.
Remember, knowing everything you can know is what will lead you to success in this business. Don’t cut corners, and you’ll be a big success in no time.