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Like with any business, promoting your photography is all about marketing.

Photographers face a lot of competition. Marketing their skills to gain more clients and earn a nice living takes work. Photographers do have many tools at their disposal to overcome marketing challenges.

Here are photography marketing ideas that work for all photographers to expand their business.

Photography Marketing Ideas

Photography marketing ideas include decade-old methods and new methods ushered in by the internet age. It is important to take advantage of all the methods to reach and engage the most people. Sometimes growing your photography business means going back to basics but sometimes it means trying new things.

The following methods will take some trial and error but do not give up. Keep honing your photography marketing skills to lead your business to success.

Market your photography business by:

  • Building a strong brand
  • Making proper use of the internet
  • Forming a database
  • Gaining exposure

Build A Strong Brand

A brand is a consistent style that identifies your business. At first sight, a brand attracts people and speaks to them on a subconscious level. It makes your brand recognizable in an instant. A strong brand makes you stand out from the crowd.

A strong brand encompasses:

  • The name of your photography business
  • The logo
  • The style of your photos
  • Your website design
  • Your color-scheme
  • Your font
  • Your marketing emails
  • Your social media page

Take your time while creating your brand style. Design it with your target market in mind. Then stay consistent.

Make Proper Use of the Internet

The internet is a versatile tool in today’s marketing efforts. Take full advantage of its options to best expand your photography business.

1. Create a Photography Website

Photography websites are commonplace and clients expect it. A website creates an anchor point for all other online marketing strategies.

Website marketing tips:

  • Have a portfolio to share your best work. You can even use a videographer WordPress theme if you also do video
  • Make sure your website design matches your brand
  • Have a services page to display what you offer and your prices
  • Display contact information or include a contact form
  • Present testimonials
  • Allow visitors to buy prints
  • Have a blog

2. Use Google Business Pages

One important photography marketing idea is to get your business to appear on Google search results. When web users type in a keyword, Google displays paid results, then local results. After that, it shows organic results, which are websites. The local results show local businesses and their locations on Google Maps.

For your photography business to appear in the local results section, you need to create a Google Business Profile. The Business Profile is then open to viewers to write reviews, share photos, and ask questions. For you to manage your Business Profile on Google, you need to sign up for a Google My Business account.

Both creating a Business Profile and a Google My Business account are free. Creating a Google My Business account allows you to customize, manage and enhance your presence on Google.

Google Business Page marketing tips:

  • Add quality photos so they can appear in search engine results
  • Post to your Google My Business account at least twice a week

3. Social Media

Social media is an effective and free photography marketing strategy. Social media platforms are a great way to gain more exposure. Photographers can attract new clients by displaying portfolios of their work. They can also reach out to their target market through hashtags. A smart social media marketing idea is to offer promotions or run contests to get more followers.

To make the best use of social media marketing, a photographer needs to post at least three times a week. It can be a challenge to look through your pictures, decide on a caption, and choose your hashtags every day. To facilitate this process and not waste a lot of your precious time, use an automation tool.

There are many automation tools that post on your behalf at a scheduled time. These platforms make social media marketing efforts more efficient. They save time, energy, and even recommend content to post.

Here are some social media automating platforms:

HootSuite

Agorapulse

Kicksta

Buffer

CoSchedule

SocialPilot

SproutSocial

4. Blog

Blogging is a form of content marketing. It is an important component of almost every website. Content has almost become a currency where the more content you have, the more leads you get. Starting a blog gives search engines an index to categorize and rank the website. Then when viewers type in keywords, search engines will display your website. Creating content is vital to promote your website and thus your photography business.

Points to keep in mind while blogging are:

  • Always have fresh content. This tells the search engine that your website is active.
  • Blog about relevant things. New clients will find your blog if it appears on the search engine after they type in a keyword. Make sure that your posts contain information relevant to photography and common keywords. It is also best to write helpful information that benefits the reader. Here are some examples:
    • A wedding photographer can write about tips for the best wedding photography
    • A newborn baby photographer can write about what a baby should wear for a photoshoot
    • A CEO headshot photographer can write about how often CEO’s should get new headshot photos

5. SEO

Before a photographer starts a blog, they need to learn about SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. It includes tactics to get your website a better ranking. The website and blog of a photographer should be SEO optimized so that more people can find them online.

The strategies involved in SEO include the following:

  • Researching what most people type into search engines. This will help you choose topics to write about that get a lot of attention
  • Using keywords in the article to rank better on a search engine and thus get more traffic
  • Formatting the appearance of the keyword well in the article
  • Including links
  • Adding images and visual content

6. Testimonials

Client testimonials are a powerful tool in photography marketing. People always want to see a good review before they purchase any product or service.

Testimonials are only effective if people believe that they come from real clients. In our often dishonest world, people are all too suspicious of review forgery.

Some important tips about getting and sharing testimonials:

  • The first thing that a photographer can do to get testimonials is to provide quality photos. They also need to give great customer service. People will write great reviews about your photography business if they are happy with your work. Set up pages on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and more where clients can write reviews.
  • Ask clients to write a review. There is no shame in asking clients to write a review about your work. Make sure to tell them where you want them to post it.
  • If a client praises you for a job well done, ask them for permission to post it on your website as a testimonial.
  • Do not polish a client’s genuine review, otherwise, it might sound fake.
  • To build trust in your testimonials, consider posting a picture of the client who said it or tagging their social media page.

Form A Database

Clients are the most valuable asset of a photography business. So another photography marketing idea is to form a database of your clients and partners. This helps you keep track of them, appeal to them personally, and ensure the business grows.

1. Web-based Databases

One way to create a database is to use online database software. There is a variety of database software available that organizes clients into categories. They also make sure that each client gets proper attention.

Whether you use database software or not, you can organize your photography business into the following categories:

  • Prospects
  • Current clients
  • Past clients
  • Potential partners
  • Vendors

2. Email Lists

Another way to keep track of clients and nurture your relationship with them is with an email list. Email lists provide business owners with the freedom to send what they want when they want. This is a benefit over social media which uses ever-changing algorithms to decide who sees what.

Some ways to get email addresses include:

  • Ask for the email address when someone books an appointment
  • Have email signup on your website for a newsletter
  • Invite potential clients to enter their email address in a contest

Some things to send out in an email:

  • Updates to your blog posts
  • A newsletter
  • A special offer

Gain Exposure

To keep new clients coming in, a photographer needs to gain more and more exposure. Photographers can use both online and offline marketing tools to accomplish that. Here are a few photography marketing ideas that photographers can implement wherever they want.

1. Referral Program

Referrals are one of the most effective photography marketing ideas. It is more likely that a person listens to a recommendation from an acquaintance than from an ad. Organic referrals come about when you provide awesome work and customer service. But you can also encourage referrals to speed up your business’s growth.

A referral program is when you offer a reward for someone referring you to an acquaintance. It is like a small investment that pays off in more clients.

Some things you can offer in exchange for referrals are:

  • Images for a website
  • Free prints
  • Free mini photo session
  • Discounted photo session

2. Share Your Experience

Another photography marketing method is to share your experience and expertise with groups of people. This is a great way for word-of-mouth marketing. So many people want to learn how to take better pictures. You can offer yourself as a guest speaker, share your knowledge, and pass around your contact information. Offer yourself wherever your target audience gathers.

Offer yourself as a guest speaker or a photography class to:

  • Moms
  • High school classes
  • Local clubs like a rotary club
  • Advertise online to any who want to learn

3. Contests

Contests and giveaways are a great way to boost exposure. There are many ways to run a contest or organize a giveaway but remember to keep it simple and that the goal is to get more leads and to have fun. Photographers can do in-person contests and giveaways, but running them through social media channels will reach more people.

Contest ideas are:

  • Photo contests where users submit photos of a certain category
  • Caption contests ask viewers to write a caption for a picture
  • Spot the difference contests challenge viewers to spot differences between two similar pictures

Giveaways are often seen on social media platforms. In general, for a user to enter the giveaway they need to follow the business’ profile page, repost the contest, and tag people. As they repost the giveaway, it reaches more and more people.

Photography marketing giveaways might offer:

  • A framed print
  • A discounted photoshoot
  • A chance to model for the photographer

4. Promotions

Everyone loves getting a deal, but sometimes it is difficult to work at a discounted price. Instead of offering discounts, photographers can add a bonus service to a package. This adds value to the service so you do not have to cut back on your income.

An added value promotion can serve to encourage clients to book with you. It can also entice clients to invest more in your service than they would have without it. Think about what your clients value and what they would love to get when deciding what to add to your service.

Be creative but some options are:

  • Double the prints
  • A framed picture
  • A photobook
  • A free engagement shoot with a wedding package

5. Get Featured

Next on the list of photography marketing ideas is to get featured. This might seem like a difficult task but it is possible with persistence and networking. There are many websites and blogs that feature photographers and photography. Try to get featured on one of those websites. Then promote the fact that you were featured to your clients.

Or try to get yourself featured in a publication or local newspaper. As you grow you will have more opportunities to get featured. Start small and focus on your local community. This will boost your recognition and bring in clients.

6. Connect With Other Professionals

Connecting with other professionals is another great way to market your photography business. It helps you build strong ties in the community and acquire more clients. Partner with other professionals so that you can work together to build up business instead of competing against each other.

Because of the wide range of work photographers perform, there are many professionals they can connect with. Look for those who would benefit from your photography skills and those in your niche.

Some ideas are:

  • Offer to promote another’s business if they do the same
  • Exchange discounts for referred customers
  • Mention the other business in a newsletter
  • Offer local shops free prints to hang on their walls
  • Create packages with other businesses. Examples include:
    • Partner with a salon to create a wedding package that includes hair and photos
    • Partner with a baby clothes store to give discounts to those who want photoshoots
    • Partner with event venues
    • Partner with catering services
    • Partner with a decoration store
    • Partner with a social media influencer

7. Charitable Work

Another marketing option is to donate your service to charitable causes. Pick a charity that you feel drawn to or that aligns with your niche. Donating your services strengthens the community, makes you feel good, and also promotes your work.

Charities get a lot of attention so you will gain a wider audience. People are bombarded every day with marketers who want to take, take, take. They will respect and value those that give back and will want to support them.

Ways to donate your work:

  • Photograph charity events
  • Offer a photography session for an auction
  • Take headshots for those taking the lead in the organization
  • Take pictures of the work they do
  • Take pictures of the people they help

8. Host An Event

Host an event for other professionals, clients, or your target market. This provides a fun opportunity to market your photography. Plus, small businesses are always looking for a way to network and who doesn’t like an event? Include a photoshoot or display some of your prints.

Benefits of hosting an event:

  • Provides word of mouth marketing about your products and services
  • Guests will associate your brand with the good time they had
  • Get contact information from your guests for leads
  • Offer guests a gift or a discount to encourage them to book with you
  • Guests might bring more potential clients to the next event

9. Design Custom Cards

Put your photography skills to work by creating a custom card. It can be a holiday card, a business card, or an announcement card. Use one of your beautiful photos to design it and then send it to as many people as you know. Include your business name, website, and contact information.

Another benefit to designing a custom card is to show off your Photoshop skills. Most photographers use photoshop or other editing software to touch up their photos. A custom card will showcase that talent.

Ending thoughts on these photography marketing ideas

Marketing your photography business might seem like a full-time job at first. Stay with it and do not get overwhelmed. Start with one or two marketing ideas and add more as you get the hang of them.

As you can see there are multiple online and offline photography marketing ideas. With all of the marketing ideas mentioned above, make sure you are consistent with your brand and focus on your target audience. Learn about marketing tools and take full advantage of them. Stay organized and persistent. Above all, give great customer service and let your talent for taking photos shine.

Photographers are creative people and that is why they chose a creative field of work. So get creative with your photography marketing. Experiment with different opportunities and find what works for you.

With diligence and effort, you can use the above photography marketing ideas to attract many clients and grow your business.

If you enjoyed reading this article on photography marketing ideas, you should check out this one with photography booking apps.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like how to get more photography clients, how to set up online booking for photography on Facebook, the best group scheduling apps,  the best appointment scheduling software, and top appointment reminder apps.