So you want to be a full-time photographer. You’ve decided to follow your dreams and you’re committed to doing whatever it takes to get there.
News flash! You don’t have to blindly throw yourself into the photography business to be a world-class photographer. Success is actually just around the corner.
Today, step into your worth as a photographer. Stop selling yourself short and learn how to market your photography business so that you can do what you love – without sacrificing the other things you love.
Interested yet? Keep reading to discover 17 successful photography marketing strategies to increase your sales from $3,000 to $30,000.
1. Optimize Your Website
Every marketing strategy you use leads back to your website. Your website should tell your potential clients everything they need to know to book with you.
No, this doesn’t mean fill your website with blocks of monotonous text explaining even the finite details of your photography process. Instead, keep it clean and simple. Make your best work the focus of the site and dazzle your website visitors with your authenticity.
You can also use our Ultimate SEO Guide to increase your search engine optimization and start ranking on Google. Optimize your SEO, and you just might find yourself on page one.
2. Blog About Everything
I know, I know. You’re a photographer. You didn’t get into this business to write.
Well, guess what? If you want to use your camera, you have to use your pen first.
Blogs bring traffic to your website, so write about topics you know your clients care about. Styling tips, client stories, and photoblogs are the way to go.
3. Post On Social Media
Social media is the most effective free marketing tool you have. The more you post, the more attention you attract to your business.
On your professional accounts, post the same content across multiple platforms. Share everything from behind-the-scenes shots and studio tours to client testimonials and product reveals.
On your personal account, post like your followers are family! Talk about your life, share photos of your family, and most importantly, be genuine.
4. Create A Private Facebook Group
Potential clients feel more comfortable connecting on social media when they know their voice matters. By creating a private Facebook group, you establish an online community where members feel directly involved in your business.
Your Facebook group is the perfect place to spread client testimonials and share promotions and giveaways.
For more tips, take a look at our blog, How To Build A Facebook Group For Your Business.
5. Offer Promotions
When you’re at a loss for leads or you need to fill up your session availabilities, offer promotions across social media and using your email lists.
Session giveaways, model calls, and special offers are perfect promotional tools to tempt your leads with. Only offer promotions for a limited time and be selective about choosing the recipients who will bring you more business.
You can use promotions to give back to your loyal following, help your community, or even bring your photography experience to those who won’t get the chance again. Be creative! The possibilities are endless.
6. Share Your Styling Guide or PDF
Your potential clients need your help. Most of them have no idea how to go about a professional photo shoot.
That’s where you come in. Offer a posing, styling, or product guide as gated content that your leads unlock by giving you their contact information. Then, add them to your email list and continue sending them content they’ll love.
You gain a lead and they get exclusive content to help prepare them for a session with you.
7. Start A Referral Program
Offer product credit to your previous clients for each friend they refer who books a session with you. Your previous client is more likely to book with you again just to purchase your products, and your new client is a solid lead from a friend!
You can structure your referral program whatever way works best for you and your business. I’ve seen referral programs succeed even within VIP Facebook groups.
8. Give Branded Gifts
Give your client a small gift or two during or after their session experience – but don’t just give them any gift. Give them a branded gift.
Branded water bottles, candles, or socks make a great thank-you gift and an amazing marketing tool.
9. Shoot Mini Sessions
Consider offering mini-sessions at a special rate. Spend less time shooting, edit less photos, and earn more (yes, even at a discounted rate).
If mini-sessions are your thing, join Sold Out Minis and learn how to sell out your mini-session specials. Sold Out Minis is a program specifically designed to teach photographers how to shoot and market their mini-sessions.
10. Use Google My Business
When your clients search for photographers in their area or use Google Maps to find their ideal studio, you want yours to be the first on the list.
How do you do that? Optimize your Google My Business page with accurate business information, appointment and website links, photos, posts, and reviews.
11. Get Those Reviews!
Immediately after a session, talk to your client in-person and request that they write a review on your Google My Business and Facebook pages. Explain how important client reviews are to your business, and afterward, text or email your client the review links.
You can also request client video testimonials to use for marketing purposes. Remember to ask your past clients, too!
12. Make Friends With Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are your best friend. Yes, you have to pay for this one, but it’s worth it. Set up your Facebook ads and watch the leads roll in.
If you need a little help creating your first Facebook ad, our 2020 Facebook Ads Guide will prove just how easy it really is.
13. Advertise With Google Ads
With Google Ads, you could push your studio to the top of Google’s search engine results. Another bonus? You don’t pay a cent unless someone clicks on your ad.
Google allows you to target web users who search specific keywords, meaning you can send your ad directly to potential clients looking for photographers like you.
14. Send Automated Emails
An efficient customer relationship management system like Active Campaign is essential for tracking, contacting, and following up with your leads. Systems like this allow you to create automated email campaigns that do most of your personal marketing for you.
Use your email lists to push potential clients into booking with you and guide them throughout the entire process.
When a prospective client inquires, add them to an email list that addresses all of their questions and concerns. When a client schedules a consultation, add them to an email list that tells them how to prepare. After a client experiences a session with you, add them to an email newsletter that keeps them interested.
15. Send Automated Texts
Schedule brief, organic automated texts to send to your leads when they make an initial inquiry.
Automated text messages attract your client’s attention and make them feel personally involved with you. Text messages are direct, short, and straightforward, so most clients are more likely to respond to a text from you than an email or call.
16. Contact Your Leads ASAP!
If you want to sell out your bookings and increase your sales, you have to contact your leads. Your potential clients won’t be interested in you if you’re not interested in them.
Contact new leads within 24 to 48 hours of their initial inquiry. Be personal, make a connection, and follow up – and then continue following up! Hook, line, and sinker.
17. Start Now
I just gave you 17 photography marketing strategies that are guaranteed to increase your sales. What are you waiting for?
Start marketing your photography business right now. I challenge you. Pick one of these 17 strategies to start today and take your first step toward success.
Just itching for more marketing secrets? Visit The High Rollers Club and inquire about our mentorship program.
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.