8 Practical Tips for Growing Your Photography Business
Your client base is the heart of your business.
Without clients, your business won't survive. You won't be able to learn your market's behavior, and consequently, you won't be able to gain any income or develop a good reputation.
But how do you get more clients to book you for photography shoots? Where do you find the people who need your services? Here are some simple but surefire ways to increase the number of your clients and begin to build a name for yourself.
Create an online portfolio
This is where you showcase your capabilities and skills to your prospects and future customers. Today, people begin searching online for almost any service or product, including photography. Your portfolio is the most powerful tool you have in marketing yourself to your future clients.
So what should you do? Keep copies of all the projects you've ever done in the past, especially your very best work. If your work was featured in any journal, publication, book, or magazine, make sure you add copies or screenshots of those as well. Your portfolio will enhance your reputation and credibility as a professional photographer.
Create a referral program
Do you know what the best form of advertising is? You guessed it. It's word-of-mouth. You can get it for free when you have raving fans and core advocates. They will be the ones promoting your business for you. This will have a tremendous effect on your bottom line. That's why it would be a good practice to ask your clients to refer you to other prospects. Just make sure you always do a great job.
To encourage them further, create a referral program where your referrals get commissions, discounts, or freebies. If you've done and continue to do excellent work, they will be more than happy to refer you to their network.
Network with others in your industry
Try to maintain and create new connections with professionals in your industry —event planners, real estate agents, writers, fashion designers, and more. They will be a good source of leads so ask them to refer potential customers to you, and also try to send them prospects in return. Bring a lot of business cards that you can hand out during these networking events. Of course, you won't reap the harvest overnight, but by being diligent and consistent in planting seeds, you will eventually see a harvest.
Join photography events and communities
There are several venues where you can meet other photographers, journalists, and potentials clients. Some of these are workshops, seminars, photo walks, and exhibits. Try to ask for advice, compliment them on their work, or socialize with them. By the way, make sure you have business cards ready to hand out. Also, make sure your website is updated.
Try to get to know the other photographers in your local area. Usually, photographers refer work to one another when they are already booked. They can also assist each other on shoots. Take advantage of these opportunities.
Make sure your website is updated
This point was touched on in the previous point. Don't underestimate the power of your website, because it's a powerful marketing tool for your business. It's your virtual storefront if you work from home. Your website should convey a professional feel if you want other people to take you seriously enough to pay for your services.
How exactly do you do this? By telling your story in the most authentic way. Include photos of yourself to build familiarity and trust. Display your most compelling images, which are your very best work. Include a call to action on your website. Don't fail to include your contact information and social media channels so they can get in touch with you whenever they are ready.
Use social media strategically
Don't just sign up for every social media platform out there. Sometimes, less is more. Find out what social media platform your clients are using the most and try to focus on one or two platforms. Just remember not to spend so much time on social media that it becomes a distraction from running your day-to-day operations.
Create a blog
If you want to gain more visibility, consider publishing blogs regularly so that you can climb the rankings in the search results. Write about tips and topics that would be helpful for your target audience, especially photography tips and advice. If you do this consistently, you will be seen as a thought leader in your niche.
Interact with your audience
When you get inquiries, always reply promptly. It makes them feel at ease, knowing a real human being is on the other side, rather than just an anonymous robot. If you reply within the first few hours, it might even blow them away with your quick responsiveness. That's one right way to stand out from the competition. Make sure you always follow up on time.
The Bottom Line
What's the common thread running through these tips? It's about building relationships and connecting with real people. Business is built around relationships after all. Provide massive value while treating people with honesty and respect. Then the money will take care of itself.
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