"Kodak sells film, but they don't advertise film; they advertise memories."
― Theodore Levitt
Photography is one of the most creative and lucrative businesses, provided you are aware about the right ways to advertise your business. This is one business where in the initial days, you are expected to go in the market and tell people about your capabilities. Once your business gets established, more and more people will flock to you based on your reputation. However, if it is a start-up venture, undertaking different ways to advertise your photography business is a must.
You must also know about your niche target audience and direct your advertising towards them. Go in for strategically planned promotion to maximize on your investment. Remember, there are several free-of-cost online advertising opportunities, so don't forget to capitalize on them. This Buzzle article will aid you with various ways to promote your photography business.
Nothing works quite well like the good old referrals. This is because there is a lot of credibility attached to this kind of promotion. Hence, do not forget to have happy and satisfied customers, and they will recommend your work to others. Be a confident and good listener. Understand the requirements of the customers in order to deliver better results.
: Give them a free photo session or discounts for referring your name, and you will see how your list of clientèle will increase.
Get a Website
A strong Internet presence is a must for all photographers. One of the ways to lay emphasis on this is to get an awesome website for yourself. Apart from showcasing your photos for various subjects and niches like wedding photography, pet photography, industrial photography, baby photography, etc., ensure that a glimpse of your website will communicate about your immense capabilities in your chosen field.
: Add customer testimonials, special offers, a rate card, awards, contact details, links to blog, social media pages, etc., so that people can reach you easily.
Social Media Advertising
Social media is a free platform which can give your business free publicity. Not only this, but it can reach a large number of your prospective clients. All you have to do is set up attractive pages on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and Twitter and encourage more and more people to like them. Apart from posting your photos, make sure you update these pages from time to time with interesting content to keep increasing the number of followers.
: You can also avail Facebook's paid advertising facility in order to reach your target audience in a better way.
Other Means of Advertising
Consider giving ads in the local magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Though it will incur some cost, it will help promote your business in the right way. Apart from this, you can also advertise online on popular websites where people usually come for their photography-related needs.
: Going for Google ads will also help you in reaching the right target audience.
As photography has a visual appeal, it is important that you create an online portfolio that will have the power to attract more and more people. You can start a blog or open a Flickr or Wix account. Make sure you give the link to all your photo portfolios in your email signature. People don't have to wait for you to meet them and show them your album; you can always send them links to your online portfolio. This will help them to go through your photography and take an instant call. This is a smart and fast way to get clients.
: Ensure that your online portfolios on various websites are interlinked, not repetitive, and show up easily in Google search.
Enlist Your Business
Apart from giving a listing in yellow pages, try to tap in the power of online directories and websites. Many people today refer to these directories before deciding whether a business is worth their money. Hence, if you have good reviews and ratings on such websites, your business can be on a roll.
: You can try to get your name enlisted in Yelp, BBB, Google Places, Insider pages, etc. However, ensure that you garner good reputation and reviews.
In today's time, it is highly important that you network with the right people to move ahead in your profession. Don't forget to show up at various photography dos and mingle with other photographers. Visit exhibitions of other photographers and strike a conversation with them. Not only this, but network with various other professionals who can give you work. For example, if you are an event photographer, you should get in touch with wedding, baby shower, corporate, or entertainment event planners depending on your niche. These are the people who will recommend your work to their clients.
: Don't wait for people to approach you; go ahead and speak to them. They will like it.
Attractive Business Cards
A business card can be an effective way to spell the brand 'you.' Get a creative business card which will get the prospective customer interested in your work. These days, many photographers print different photos on different cards. This way, you can hand over more than one card. This also helps to show your creativity. Ensure that the card speaks about the niche you have selected for your business. The last thing you would want is to design a business card that looks like it belongs to an industrial photographer but actually is that of a wedding photographer.
: People will form their first impression of your work based on your personality and business card, so design the card accordingly.
Become an Expert
Instead of claiming to be an expert, guide others to perfect their photography and let them say that you are an expert. You have all the right communication vehicles for this. Write advertorials or photography columns in newspapers or online publications. Update your blog from time to time with various tips and tricks to better the photography for amateur photographers. Use your social media pages to interact with your followers by sharing various types of photography tutorials.
: Comment on other amateur photographers' photos and give suggestions to better them. Run photography contests, and share the best photos on your social networking websites.
Post your photos on photography communities like 500px, Behance, etc.
Arrange photography exhibitions.
Participate in various national and international photography contests.
Volunteer for charitable causes; this can help get business.
Offer gift certificates to have photos taken.
Participate in exhibitions, trade shows, bridal fairs, etc.
Offer discounts, package deals, giveaways, free photo shoots, mini sessions, etc.
Ensure that you keep a separate budget for such promotional activities. Once your business expands, you can even hire a social media expert to update your social media pages from time to time. Also, keep a note of all your clients' contact details, and send them holiday greetings and newsletters to keep reminding them about your venture. Needless to say, use your best photographs for this to make a lasting impression.