8 Marketing Tips for Your Home Photography Business

Marketing Tactics to Boost Sales in Your Home Based Photography Business

Marketing Tips for Your Photography Business. Tanya Constantine | Getty Images

Where do I find new photography clients? How can I stand out from the competition? What are the most effective marketing tactics for me? Here are essential marketing tips to help you answer the above questions and create a working marketing strategy for your small photography business.

1. Develop a marketing plan

Even most talented photographers have market in order to stay afloat in the competitive photography industry.

There are hundreds of ways you can let your community know of your photography services, but trying to do everything all at once is overwhelming, inefficient and ineffective. Instead, you need a game plan by which you determine your best options for reaching your market and putting them in a marketing plan

  • Start by doing market research
  • Identify your ideal client and target market.
  • Check out your competition and determine how your business is different.
  • Be specific with revenue expectations
  • Be realistic with schedule expectations
  • Determine what you need you need to reach goals (photo website, portfolio, CRM system, etc.)

2.  Manage your website like a pro

A photography website is your single most important online marketing asset. Make your web visitors want to return again and again by implementing the following website management tips:

  • Use a mobile-ready website template so your website can be viewed from any mobile device, as well as help in SEO.
  • Write an interesting About Me page that entices visitors to want to work with  you.
  • Show some behind-the-scenes moments in a full-screen image or video background
  • Include captions for every image in your portfolio
  • Actively seek and post testimonials
  • Have a portfolio of all the sample of work you offer. 
  • Examine your photo site at least once a year to make sure it utilizes the latest web design trends

If you're overwhelmed by the idea of creating a website or a blog (see below), you can use a turnkey photography marketing and business management service, such as Defrozo

3. Blog like a pro

Blogging is a form of social media that not only allows you to share news and interesting tidbits, but also to engage and connect with your market. Here are a few tips to using a blog to attract new new clients and generate referrals:

  • Update your blog regularly with new. valuable, and interesting content
  • Write and host guest posts. This cross promotion technique is a great way to get you in front of other resources your market uses.

Here are a few ways to find guest blogging opportunities:

  • Make a list of influential sites in the photography niche (search “photography” + “write for us” on Google)
  • Make a list of sites your target audience visits. For example, a wedding photographer might look up wedding blogs.
  • Submit your blog on guest blogging communities like Blogger LinkUp and Guestr
  • Make a list of influential photographers with blogs in your niche and offer to guest write for them. 

4.  Market to your email list

A large volume of traffic to your website and blog is a great goal to achieve.

However, traffic alone isn't good enough. Too many people who visit your site may not hire you nor ever visit your site again. An email list gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with visitors, and hopefully encourage them to hire you when the need for your services arises. Some of best practices of email list building and running successful e-marketing campaigns include:

  • Use a free email list service, such as MailChimp, MadMimi, or VerticalResponse, to get started and then upgrade as your list grows. 
  • Provide a freebie incentive to encourage people to sign up for your list. 
  • Segment your list by different criteria (e.g. wedding / portrait clients, referral / first-time visitor, etc.) and let your newsletter subscribers join these groups when they sign up
  • Adjust your email content to fit the wants and needs of each segmented list.
  • Write enticing subject lines to encourage subscribers to open and read the content.
  • Use mobile-friendly email templates
  • Use auto responders to automatically send your free offer and other evergreen tips or content your readers should have. 

5.  Make it easy for search engines to list and rank your site (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, helps search engines deliver your website to people who are searching for the information you offer. Getting good ranking on search engines is a challenge, and while you don't want to ignore it, it's not something you want to waste too much time worrying about either. Rankings change so frequently, you'll make yourself crazy trying to always keep your sites pages at the top of the listing. Here are some basic SEO techniques you should use: 

  • Define your target keywords and include them in your website’s meta title, meta description, and image ALT tags
  • Earn links from  trustworthy websites by means of guest blogging
  • Post your press releases online for quality backlinks
  • Optimize your site for local searches by using location-targeted keywords (e.g. “Santa Barbara wedding photographer”)
  • Create a Google+ Page and verify your local business on Google
  • Create your profile in other business directories, such as MerchantCircle, ReferLocal, SnapKnot (for wedding professionals), or GetListed
  • Get nominated for a local business award. Search for the opportunities using: “best photo studio”+”nominate”+”santa barbara”, “nominate a business”+”city name”, etc.

6.  Network and collaborate with other businesses

Networking is one of the most effective and affordable ways to build your photography business. Here are a few tips for best networking practices.

  • Let your closest networks such as your family, friends, or people you went to school with about your business. Even if they don't need your services, they might know others who will.
  • Discuss mutual promotions with other vendors in your niche. For example, if you're a wedding photographer, connect with florists, caterers and wedding planners. If you're a pet photographer, connect with groomers and kennels. 
  • Sign up for LinkedIn to stay in touch with relevant vendors in your area
  • Attend community events that your potential clients are likely to visit. For example, many areas have bridal fairs.
  • Give extra business cards to people in your network, so it's easy for them to share your business information with people in their network.

7. Keep your clients happy

Happy clients are ones who will tell others about you and referrals are the best form of business building there is. Encourage your happy customers to give referrals by staying in touch.

  • Congratulate your clients on special dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) and remind them that you can photograph their special day.
  • Use personalized photo galleries as bonus or low-priced add-on for your clients
  • Send them small physical gifts, such as “thank you” cards and seasonal goodies
  • Reduce your turnaround time on photo editing

8. Use social media

Today, social media is increasingly visual, which is idea for photographers. Here are some ideas on how to create engaging social media activity and turn your clients into your best sales reps:

  • Monitor your social news feed and interact with your followers’ content
  • Tag your clients in session photo you share on Facebook
  • Organize contests and giveaways that require liking and commenting your Facebook posts
  • Involve people in your creative and business workflow by organizing polls and surveys
  • Become a content curator by sharing helpful information not created by you

To be successful in your home business, you have to be just as much a marketer as a photographer. Marketing is crucial to finding your clients and building a business. Done strategically and with purpose, you can balance your marketing to-dos with the photography work you enjoy.

About the Author: Larry Alton is a freelance writer who's articles have been featured in HuffingtonPost.comand Entrepreneur.com.