Digital Photography Tips, Tutorials and Resources
Ready to discover the true potential of your company? Then you’re going to need to learn a thing or two about how to market your photography business. It takes more than a fantastic set of skills and a great camera to blow your customers away. As Instagram and Snapchat continue to create a multitude of young, amateur photographers, professionals need to work even harder to get their talent noticed.
So, what are the best ways to market your photography business?
That’s precisely what we’re going to cover today. Keep reading to learn about:
- Launching your website
- Starting a blog
- Managing social media
- Building an email list
- Offering referrals
- Running contests
Let’s get started!
1. Launch a Website
The first and most important thing any photographer needs to do to achieve success online is to invest in their website. Your site is your digital storefront, designed to introduce people to your skills and convince them that you’re the photographer they need. Make sure you:
- Choose an easy-to-find and remember photography business name. Avoid anything that’s too long or difficult to spell.
- Set up your domain and hosting with a reliable provider. A better hosting provider means faster loading times on your site.
- Install WordPress and choose a theme for your photography portfolio.
- Upload your pictures and create stunning galleries with a little help from Envira Gallery.
- If you need even more features for your website, you can choose from the best WordPress plugins for photographers.
Your website needs to be in excellent condition before you begin to explore other ways to market your photography business. Remember, you’ll also need to set up a Google my Business location for your company too, as this will help you to appear at the top of the search engines for local clients.
2. Launch an SEO-Optimized Blog
When people look for your business online, they start by using search engines like Google. If you want your website to appear at the top of the Google search results, one of the best things you can do is invest in plenty of fresh, consistent content with a photography blog.
You can write your blog about anything to do with your career! Just check out the Envira blog for instance – we’re always giving our customers tips on photography, starting their own business, and more. Just make sure that whatever you write about is relevant to your target audience.
For example, Thomas Hawk writes about photography tips and tricks. He also shares new technology relevant to photography, and the blog has a large following of photographers and aspiring photographers.
Joe McNally is a famous photographer who shares his creative thoughts about the photography news. On his blog, he writes about his adventures and travel photography stories that admire his fans all over the world.
As you’re writing, make sure that you think carefully about search engine optimization. For instance:
- Every blog you write needs a focus keyword that you want to rank for, such as “wedding photography New York” or “local landscape “
- Make sure your blogs are informative and valuable – people won’t keep coming back to your website if you’re not sharing things they want to read.
- Add plenty of links to both authoritative companies in your industry, and other pages on your website.
A few simple SEO strategies can be all it takes to help you find plenty of new customers online. And remember: don’t think that you have to be well-known or famous in order to create a popular blog. By sharing your knowledge of photography, your audience will naturally start to think of you as an expert.
3. Get Found in Search
Now that you’ve launched your photography website and your blog, you’ll need to get found.
A key factor to getting your website found is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By getting your photos and blog posts to rank on page 1 of Google and other search engines, you’ll be able to attract new visitors to your site (and more potential clients).
Your blog itself will help you greatly with SEO. Make sure that you are posting on a regular basis to keep your site updated. We recommend using relevant keywords in your blog posts that will help the search engines to understand what your posts are about, and rank them accordingly.
To learn more about getting found in search, check out our tutorial on SEO for photographers: 31 steps to rank your photos in Google.
4. Connect with Clients through Social Media
With your website set up and your blog delivering plenty of unique, engaging content, one the next best ways to market your photography business is to set up a social media presence. As a photographer, your clients are most likely to appear on channels like:
You don’t need to build a presence on every platform, but it’s worth finding out where your target audience spends most of their time before you start investing in your campaigns. Once you know which platforms your customers like most, devote half an hour every day to updating your profiles with new pictures from your shoots, inspiring updates about your business and more.
Remember to encourage the people who already visit your website to share your images for you on their social accounts too! You can do this with the Envira Gallery plugin, which allows you to add social sharing buttons to your photographs! You can also add a Pinterest button or add social share icons
5. Work on Your Email List as Early as Possible
Email may not be as new or exciting as social media, but it’s still one of the best ways to market your photography business. The great thing about email is that it allows you to not only connect with clients but nurture your relationships with them too.
If your clients like your work enough to provide you with their email address, but they’re not ready to hire you yet, you can keep them interested with updates on your latest blog posts, samples from your photo shoots, and even newsletters.
With an email list, you can begin to develop a selection of engaged and interested potential customers who are more likely to convert when you have a discount to offer or a mini photography session to sell. Of course, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your email campaign. We recommend using a tool like OptinMonster to help you build lead magnets and capture forms that develop your email list.
OptinMonster makes it simple to place email opt-in forms on your website. For instance, you can greet visitors who are about to leave your site with an exit popup that lets them know you have something special to give them (such as a free PDF download, or a discount off their photo shoot) in exchange for their email address.
6. Try Working with Referrals
Word of mouth will always be one of the most powerful and lucrative ways to market your photography business. After all, when you’re looking for a photographer to shoot your wedding, are you more likely to choose someone you see online, or someone that your friend tells you is impressive?
With a little luck, your incredible services and photos will convince people to refer you to their friends without any nudging. However, if you need some help propelling referrals, you can always offer people a reward for telling others about you. For instance, you could provide a discount code to anyone who sends you 5 referral clients.
To make sure that your clients have something special to share when they’re singing your praises, consider giving them access to a private image gallery of their own photos, complete with an easy link to your contact page.
You could even create a short video clip going “behind the scenes” of your client’s wedding engagement shoot, and then surprise them with it.
Remember to under-promise and over-deliver. Your clients will become your brand ambassadors, and everyone wins.
7. Don’t Underestimate Your Network
Whether you’re running your own photography company, or you’re a creative freelancer, networking is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of success. When you hit it off with the right people in your local space, you could end up with endless new clients and referrals.
For example, you could partner up with a local store and offer to give away a free photo shoot to their customers in a monthly raffle. Any customer who spends over a certain amount (say, $50), gets entered into the raffle. You get to display your cards in the store as a part of the promotion, and spread awareness about your photography business. It’s a win-win!
In fact, this is exactly what Anamaria Brandt, a photographer from Tustin, CA, did. Learn more about her story here.
Remember, the key to successful partnerships in a photography business marketing strategy is making sure that both sides get something out of working together. Help other people to grow their companies, and they’ll do the same for you.
8. Provide Services for Free (Sometimes)
Acts of kindness will always serve you well. Some non-profit companies and social workers need professional help from photographers, and that is your opportunity to shine. This could also include advertising that you will cover events for free to get your feet wet.
Offer your services free-of-cost or at a low price to grow your portfolio for a good cause. However, listen to your intuition and don’t allow anyone to pressure you into offering your services for free. If it is the right opportunity, you will feel good about it.
Once you feel you’ve got enough to establish your portfolio raise your prices to market level based on your experience. You may also want to check out our guide on how to set your photography prices.
9. Run Contests and Promotions
Finally, one of the easiest ways to generate excitement for your photography brand, and potentially attract new customers is to have some fun! Although it’s never a good idea to give your skills away for free too often, there’s nothing wrong with running the occasional contest for a free short shoot, or money off an album.
Contests show the playful side of your business to your potential customers, and they could help you to build those all-important relationships we mentioned above too. For instance, you could offer a session as part of a charitable event to show that you care about a local cause.
There you have it! 9 great ways to market your photography business!