Top 10 Tips in Photography Marketing
Are you fond of photography? Why not make it an additional source of income and earn while you enjoy your hobby? However, there are many famous photographers today, and the competition is very tough. So how can you keep up with these already well-known photographers?
The answer? You need to have a good marketing plan.
A marketing plan outlines your strategies to advertise, promote, and sell your service or products. Following this plan is important to reach your goals and continuously improve your marketing skills.
How To Make a Successful Photography Marketing Plan?
Marketing a photography business is more than just posting images with trending hashtags and creative captions on your sites. Here are the top 10 tips in photography marketing that you can use as guidelines to make your photography business known and attract clients.
1. Identify Your Niche
Because the photography industry is already saturated with famous photographers and startup businesses, it’s critical to pick a niche and become an expert in that field.
Know what type of photos you excel in the most and continue honing your skills in that area. If you are just starting, choose a niche with less competition to have better chances of getting clients
However, it’s also important to pick a niche that you enjoy so you can be passionate about it.
Follow these tips to find the niche you can focus on:
- Explore all photography genres and compare them to the ones you photograph the most.
- If you have a favorite photographer, look at their portfolio and note what attracts you the most to their photos. Get inspired by their photography, but never copy their work.
- If you’re unsure what you want to be an expert at, think about what makes you grab your camera and take a photo.
- Additionally, think about what interests you the most: taking pictures or enhancing photos?
2. Define Your Ideal Audience
Knowing your target audience is a very important part of doing business. Most businesses fail because of the wrong selection and identification of their target market. Moreover, promoting and selling your service is much easier when you know your clients.
If you can identify your target market, you can mold your marketing ideas with a particular group in mind and appeal to their interests.
Recognizing your ideal audience is not a complicated task that will require extensive research. By knowing their location, age, gender, income, interest, and behavior, you can divide your target audience into smaller groups. You can then decide if you want to have more than one group of ideal customers.
Keep in mind that a particular strategy might have different effects on varying groups. What might work in one group may not in the other. You can also use all the information you gathered as a foundation for your photography marketing and business plan.
3. Create an Online and Printed Portfolio
Most people are now online, so you should take advantage of it. Creating a high-quality online portfolio or website is akin to a brochure where people can see info about your company, services offered, rates, and photographs. Your portfolio represents you and your business. How do you want viewers to perceive you? Keep that in mind when designing your portfolio.
If you are not confident with creating a website, there are services where you can use a basic website template and customize it.
Another alternative is to upload your photographs to portfolio websites or stock photo platforms. However, it would be best to put a watermark on your shots to prevent people from stealing them. Watermakrly is a free application where you can make or add watermarks to your photographs.
But even if you have a digital portfolio, it doesn’t mean you can skip the printed portfolio anymore. For example, if your client found you on the internet, they might still ask for a printed sample during your meetings. It is essential to have a portfolio for clients to see the quality of your prints to know what their printed photos will look like.
4. Let Your Audience Find You Using by SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very useful in commercial marketing. It’s used by many businesses to enhance their online visibility. In order to be found by potential clients online, your website, digital portfolio, and blogs should incorporate SEO. This will also allow your website to rank higher on Google, which will give you more opportunities to be visible and get calls from potential customers.
Follow these steps to make sure your website, blog posts, and portfolio are SEO-friendly:
Use the right keywords. The keywords you will use should be simple and used mainly in Google searches. Do not use keywords that are not related to photography or to your business.
Start optimizing your website. After choosing the right keywords, you should add them to your website. Group your keywords into different SEO categories and choose your primary keyword. The main keyword should be in the H1 heading, meta description, URL, and all your content. You should be careful about using the correct keyword, so Google will know what your business website is about.
Use the correct format, size, and resolution on your images. You should also use keywords in tags and descriptions of your photos. It is also important to upload the correct image size so it loads on your website. It’s a good rule of thumb to use images that are 500KB in size or smaller. If you need a free online cropping tool for JPG, GIF, and PNG images, you can also use Watermarkly Image Croppper.
Know that links are important. Your content and site links can be used as external links, which is vital for Google ranking. Google evaluates millions of links to make a ranking every day. Having more backlinks on your website will put you in a much higher position.
5. Use Social Media
Social networking sites are the most effective channels for letting people know about your brand.
For photography marketing, Pinterest is the most used platform to showcase your skills. But now that other social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have grown in the number of users, they have also become new places for advertising products and services.
You can make accounts on these platforms and link them to your personal accounts to gather instant followers from your friends and family. Use those platforms to post updates, photographs from your collection or old gigs, promo rates, and services to promote your business. Keep in mind to use correct tags and descriptions on each photo to boost your visibility for potential clients.
Unfortunately, it is complicated and time-consuming to handle all accounts. You can get someone to manage social media marketing, and there are also settings on each site where you can schedule a post. Always remember where your audience is and connect with them. If there are more audiences on Facebook, then focus on Facebook more. But do not forget the audience on your other social media accounts.
Using social media in photography marketing is a great idea, but algorithms change all the time. You should also follow restrictions to avoid getting suspended and banned, such as using hashtags or over-sharing posts in a day. It is different from email since you can use it however you want.
6. Include Emails as Part of Your Marketing Plan
Did you know that you can use email campaigns in photography marketing? This can be a highly effective marketing strategy; however, email marketing is challenging and will require expertise, special software, and a lot of time. You can use this marketing strategy to advertise your service and products, promote events, and offer discounts and bonus offers for repeat customers.
How to use email marketing?
First, you need to offer your website visitors a way to sign up for your newsletter. When you create emails to send to subscribers, avoid long and unrelated subject lines. Always be careful and be clear when sending emails about promos and discounts to avoid sending your email to the receiver’s spam box.
Your emails should be no more than 80% text, 20% images, and a working unsubscribe button.
7. Create Promos and Referral Discounts
Who wouldn’t want to get discounts and promos? If you are looking for the fastest way to gain an audience and potential customers, offering promos, referrals, and repeating customer discounts is a good idea. A referral program, also known as word-of-mouth marketing, is where your clients will be given a discount on their next purchase if they successfully recommend a new client to you.
On the other hand, discounts such as promotional pricing, freebies, or free photography sessions are a small investment where you can earn double or triple the amount of the successful promo. Remember to not go all out with discounts and freebies, as it is also risky that you can lose money, and success is not guaranteed.
8. Connect With Your Audience Through Giveaways or Contests
According to a survey, 92.6% of brands use Facebook for their contests, and 67.5% of them host giveaways on Instagram. 45.5% of these respondents use both Facebook and Instagram equally and simultaneously.
Contests and giveaways on social media are also effective photography marketing strategies. It can generate new audiences and increase engagement by giving simple rewards to people who share your work.
Hosting a giveaway or contest is easy. People can join by simply following your account, sharing one of your posts, and tagging their friends to win a prize.
When deciding on a prize, make sure it is related to your business and target market, such as free photo sessions, photo printing, gift cards for your services, and so on. Some photography businesses use free engagement photo sessions as prizes, which encourages winners to hire them for their wedding photos.
9. Do Collaborations and Partnerships
Reaching out to other companies is a good marketing strategy, too.
For example, let’s say you were hired as the official photographer for an event, and you give your contact details to the event organizer and offer them a good partnership. It is an excellent opportunity; if one of the organizer’s clients is looking for a photographer, it can lead to more collaborations.
Connect to people and companies who complement your service and target audience, not competitors.
These are restaurants, photo studios, hotels, fashion brands, private companies, expos, and many more. To ensure a good partnership, you can include their websites on yours or tag them on your social media so they can do the same.
10. Use Video Marketing
Forbes defines video marketing as an “increasing critical tool” to attract and gain the attention of the ideal audiences. They also listed the top 11 predictions on the future of businesses using video marketing. One of them is video marketing being a necessity for marketers because of its positive effects on companies of all sizes.
If you are not good at video editing, don’t worry — there are applications that can help you. You should focus on your video marketing content and how you will successfully gain attention from it. A tip is to use the free photo shoots you had and compile them into a video or do a vlog while doing the session. This way, you will not need to prepare or spend too much; plus, your model can help you with the views.
In any kind of business, a marketing plan is essential, and you can’t sell if you can’t market it. Always remember that there is no amateur or professional in the photography business, and there is no famous or small-time photographer. What’s important is that you enjoy your business, provide high-quality photographs, and have a good relationship with your clients.