You always need more clients.
Each client is important, especially the ones that stay with your business long-term—but how do you connect with new photography clients?
These ten great marketing strategies will help you increase your client base, raise your sales, and improve awareness of your photography.
Strategy #1: Facebook Ads
Running Facebook Ads are a great, inexpensive way to start bringing in potential clients. There are several key advantages to Facebook Ads:
1. Facebook Ads are highly targeted, allowing you to get them in front of exactly the right kind of clients.
2. Facebook has an incredible reach, which means it will get your information in front of more potential clients.
3. People spend a large amount of their time on social media, especially when they’re bored, which makes them more likely to check out what you have to offer.
4. You’re able to easily remarket to clients who have already checked out your photography, increasing brand awareness and enhancing your connection to your clients. Remember, it often takes multiple contacts to convert a customer, and Facebook Ads makes remarketing easy.
5. Using Facebook Ads is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of advertising. You can also easily scale it to your budget and your needs.
How to Target Facebook Ads
When you’re creating your new Facebook Ads, you want to make sure you’re targeting exactly the right clients to make the most of every advertising dollar spent. Make sure that you:
1. Clearly define your client persona. What type of people will be interested in your photography services?
2. Narrow by location to target local clientele.
3. Know what other things your clients might be interested in.
4. Take advantage of remarketing to target clients who have already visited your page.
Why Use Ads, not Organic Posts?
Facebook’s organic reach now reaches very few people, especially for business accounts. Facebook Ads, on the other hand, will appear in front of your target buyers with increased frequency. Using Facebook Ads will also get your information in front of people who haven’t already chosen to like your page, which can help expand your reach.
A Great Facebook Ad Example
Note Sephora’s great ad construction: they put together a bright, colorful image with a simple, enticing message that makes customers want to learn more about their products.
Strategy #2: Google Ads
Google Ads are a little bit more expensive than Facebook Ads, but they’re well worth the investment. In many cases, Google Ads result in higher levels of conversions than Facebook Ads because they reach clients who are further along in the searching process: those who are already searching key information about your photography services or your industry. Google Ads have their own set of advantages.
1. Google Ads offer faster results than organic SEO. You’ll increase brand awareness from the early days of your ads, rather than having to wait patiently to build your content library.
2. Using Google Ads can actually help increase your organic search engine ranking.
3. You can turn your campaign on or off or adjust it at any time, allowing you to easily make changes that will help influence your potential clients.
4. Google Ads offers the ability to accurately and regularly evaluate your performance, adapting your ads so that they’ll better influence your potential clients.
5. Your competitors are using Google Ads, and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to bring that business to your website.
How to Set Up Your Google Ad
It’s time to create a Google Ad, and you want yours to stand out. Follow these easy steps to create your Google Ad.
1. Choose the type of campaign you want to run. Do you want to create a video ad? An ad that only shows up when people are on their mobile devices? Make sure you’re able to clearly define your parameters before you create your ad.
2. Name your ad. If this is your first Google Ad, create a naming system that will help you keep up with your ads down the road. This will make it easier to identify and keep up with your ads.
3. Designate the ad to target your location. It doesn’t make sense to run ads to Los Angeles when you are based in Dallas. Stay local.
4. Create a stunning headline that uses keywords in your field of photography. Your headline will be the first thing many potential clients read, so make sure it’s a good one.
5. Write the rest of your ad. Keep it simple. You want to pull in potential clients at a glance.
6. Don’t forget to change the display URL to the one you want customers to remember if they come back to the site later.
A Great Google Ads Example:
Life-Changing Toronto Boudoir Photography Sessions
It’s not just a boudoir photography session. It’s a session that will change your life. Feel beautiful. Build your self-esteem. Get great pictures you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Strategy #3: Social Media Accounts
When it comes to advertising, you can’t beat free—and your social media accounts allow you to get the word out about your photography for free. Sure, you’ll still spend time and money crafting those perfect posts, but you won’t have to pay to post them, either! Social media marketing is a critical part of building your online presence in today’s digital society.
Choosing Your Social Media Accounts
Choose your platforms carefully. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Business, Pinterest, Forums: there are many options, and your single photography business probably can’t keep up with them all, especially if you’re are still growing. Follow some of these tips to choose the social media platform that’s right for you.
1. Most online users are still on Facebook: it remains the widest-reaching platform.
2. If you’re looking to connect with a younger audience, they’re more likely to hit Instagram than other accounts.
3. Base your social media accounts on the type of content you’re producing. Instagram, for example, is perfect for pictures, while Pinterest is a great way to draw potential customers to your blog or other pages.
Make Sure You Have a Posting Schedule
When you create a social media account, you’re creating an obligation to your followers. They want to know that you’re going to post content on a regular basis—hopefully content that is useful and interesting to them. As you create your social media accounts, design a posting schedule. Ask:
1. How often should you post? In general, you shouldn’t post more than a couple of times a day on even the most popular social media accounts. You don’t want to flood your clients’ feeds.
2. What time is the most effective to post? Do some testing to see what posting times are most likely to attract website visitors, clicks, and more.
3. What type of posts are most likely to interest your potential clients?
You should also take care to use your social media accounts to interact with your potential clients. Ask questions and genuinely listen to their answers. Address their questions and concerns. Provide customer service, if necessary, through your social media accounts. You’ll be surprised by how effective this can be.
Strategy #4: Connect with Social Influencers
Social influencers will help spread the word about your photography and ensure that more people know about you. Often, they have their own following who will check out your photography services based solely on that recommendation.
Obtaining a Social Influencer
Do you need a social influencer to advertise your photography? There are several key ways to connect.
1. Build connections. When you meet new people, keep track of how you know them. Networking is critical.
2. Keep mentioning influencers who have recommended your photography. This helps tie you back to them more firmly.
3. Contact influencers through direct message and make your offer stand out.
4. Offer incentive. Many social influencers are looking for payment, whether in the form of financial compensation or simply in the form of free sessions.
Strategy #5: Build Your Reviews
Today’s potential clients trust reviews with social proof, like those found on social media, on Google My Business, and on other websites, just as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend, family member, or colleague. Most do research about a photographer online before they decide to schedule a call. Their reviews are important!
How to Get Reviews
Need reviews, but don’t know how to get them? Try some of these ideas.
1. Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews. Clients who genuinely love your photography will be glad to offer help.
2. Make it easy for clients to leave reviews. Link to your review pages from your website or otherwise take steps to make it easy for your clients.
3. Offer incentives for clients who leave reviews, especially as you’re building your online presence. Offer free prints and other incentives can all be enough to convince customers to leave those vital reviews.
4. Display reviews on your website for increased visibility.
Strategy #6: Check Your Online Listings
Make sure that all of your online listings are set up correctly. You’d be surprised by how many people view your business from that location—and by how much inaccurate information can cost your business over time. Fill out as much information on these locations as you can. Update your image. Make sure your site URL is accurate. The more information you provide on your photography business listings, the easier it is for potential clients checking out those listings to choose you! Make sure that you have a presence on:
1. Google My Business
5. Any other listings for your business.
Strategy #7: Build Your Email List
Your email list is made up of people who have expressed an interest in your photography services in the past. It’s an excellent way to connect with current and potential clients and share vital information with them, including new blogs, new sessions, and upcoming events. You can also highlight your photography services to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Build your email list through Facebook Ads, Google Ads, business listings, your website, and more.
Tips for Creating Great Emails
Having an email list is great, but not if you don’t use it to the best of your ability! Try some of these tips for making the most of your emails.
Email regularly: once a week if you have great content, once every other week if your content is lacking.
Make sure that your emails are genuinely beneficial to your clients. One “bad” email can be enough to prevent future ones from getting opened.
Make your subject line pop! You want a subject line that is honest, compelling and urges your readers to open your emails. Make sure that it isn’t at all misleading: if you lie to your readers, they won’t appreciate the content you’re offering.
Excellent Email Subject Line Examples
Want to create a stunning email subject line? Try some of these great examples:
5 Reasons You Should Schedule Your Next Newborn Photography Session: You Won’t Resist!
Strategy #8: Write Quality Blog Posts
Ultimately, content is still king—and writing blog posts is one of the most effective ways to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Your blog has a number of key advantages.
1. It increases search engine optimization and allows you to rank for a higher number of terms.
2. Your blog will often allow you to move clients through your funnel, often without ever actually speaking to them.
3. Your blog will help establish you as an authority in your field.
4. Your blog can help build relationships with potential clients long before they’re ready to book a session with you.
Key Blogging Tips
Are you ready to create your blog? Make sure you follow these steps to get started.
1. Create a posting schedule. Like your social media followers, your blog readers want to know when you’re going to post your next piece. Do you have enough content for weekly posts? Monthly ones? Carefully cultivate your schedule and stick with it.
2. Evaluate the type of content you most need. You want blogging content that helps move customers all the way through the funnel.
3. Experiment with blog length to learn what your clients are most likely to respond to.
4. Take your images and include them within your emails.
Strategy #9: Market to Local Businesses
As a local photographer, you want to connect with other local businesses that can generate exposure for your photography services. How can you connect with other local businesses?
You might try:
1. Offering complimentary deals.
2. Providing deals and discounts to each other.
3. Sharing space at local events.
Combining your marketing efforts with another local business can help save you both money and expand your advertising list almost effortlessly. By connecting with other local businesses, you can increase your presence and help bring their clients to you as well as sharing that positive association their clients have with their company.
Strategy #10: Ask Your Clients for Referrals
Talk directly with a client you shooting and let them know that you’d welcome the business. “Hey, Jan! As you know, we’re a small business, and we rely on clients like you to keep doing what we love. Do you know anyone else who like to book a session with us? We’d love it if you could bring in two of your friends or family members to check out the studio.” Struggling to ask your customers for referrals? Try some of these tricks.
1. Offer business cards or other promotional items that are easy to pass out and share.
2. Provide incentive for clients who refer new members or customers.
3. Hold events or promotions designed specifically for new clients to learn more about your business. It’s the perfect time for current clients to bring in friends and family!
Building your photography business is an ongoing process. There are always great ways to bring in new potential clients, but these ten are some of the most effective strategies you can use to connect with your potential clients and show them just what your photography has to offer.
Humberto Garcia is the world’s leading photography business growth expert.
Founder of Photography to Profits and high-performance coach to multiple 6-figure photography businesses. Humberto coaches photographers from his special operations military experience and photography sales and marketing experience. After years of high performance in Marine Special Operations and building businesses, he knows what works.