Photography is an extremely competitive business where there are a lot of other photographers trying to start and run their business. In order to be successful, you need to excel in a well defined niche and be where your customers are. While having great photography skills are a given to have a good business, you also must focus on marketing a photography business to make a profit.
Before doing any advertising, you need to ask yourself what kind of clients/projects you want to do and build around that idea. Once you have a good handle on who your market is (and assuming there are enough willing to pay for what you do) then you can focus efforts on those clients.
Here are a few proven ways to promote your photography business.
- Set up a referral network with related businesses and network with vendors that serve the demographic you aim for.. For instance if you are doing weddings talk with wedding venues, florists, bakeries, wedding coordinators, bridal shops, etc. Work together to cross-refer clients and everyone wins. Also if you are setting up a retail location or can share space, this is even better advertising.
- Hand out lots of business cards and be sure to include a photo. Don’t skimp on a cheap card either as it will convey a poor image.
- Develop a professional web site. With the professional free or low cost templates available there is no reason to have a ugly site. Put your web address on everything you hand out. Having a website is great but is only the beginning. The best web site with no visitors really isn’t a great site.
- Search engine optimization will be a major way to bring internet traffic to your website. Basically it is a way of putting the right coding into the site so people can find you when they type in a certain keyword. For instance, you want people in San Diego to find you when they type in “San Diego photographer”. While not difficult to do, it is a must to get people in your area to find your site.
- Tradeshows are great ways to get your name out and can often be done at no cost to you. Often times you can get a free booth by talking with the manager to take photos of the event for free. Later you can contact the owners of the booths you took photos for and get business.
- Yard signs can be a way to promote your photography business if you can place them in a high-traffic areas. Keep your text to an absolute minimum as vehicles will be passing quickly and won’t take time to read a lot of words.
- Facebook is also a great place to advertise because of the ability to get out to a lot of people for no cost. When you take portraits you can offer to put them on Facebook for the client if they would like and once the person is tagged everyone will see the pictures you have taken.
- Referrals will be where a lot of business will come from.