Being able to attract new clients is a key part of making a living as a photographer. Your existing clients may think you’re the bee’s knees, but drawing in new people and convincing them to hire you can be a tricky proposition. This guide will help!
We’ll explain how to get photography clients using some simple, totally non-intimidating methods. If you follow these tips, you’ll learn some great photography marketing tricks that will have you finding more photography clients—fast.
Build a Great Portfolio
Building a great online photography portfolio is the most important part of how to get more photography clients. It’s the first place potential clients will go when they are trying to learn more about you, and it will inform their decision on whether to hire you.
Since it plays such an important role in finding photography clients, it’s essential you choose the right platform for your portfolio.
Find a Good Website Builder
Thankfully, there are website builders designed specifically for artist portfolios. They can provide all the tools you’ll want, without the stuff you don’t need. This makes it as easy as possible to get your online portfolio website up and running—and helping you get photography clients. One thing to keep in mind: you should choose a website builder that offers a free trial so you can see if it works for you and your needs. For some help, check out our guide on how to build a photography website.
Optimize Your Portfolio
Now that you have your online photography portfolio up and running, it’s time to talk about how to optimize it. If you do it right, your portfolio can play an important role in how to get photography clients.
Add a blog to your portfolio. This will help establish you as an expert, and can boost your search rankings as well. Posting videos can be a great way to set yourself apart from the competition and be a value-add to customers looking for video and photo services. You want to make sure your prospective photography clients can find you! Bone up on SEO tools; some online portfolios have SEO tools built right in. Include a pricing page. If a client is trying to decide between multiple photographers, and your site doesn’t provide pricing info, they probably aren’t going to contact you to find out your prices. They’re more likely to just move on to the next photographer on their list. So make things as easy as possible for clients; always try to include all of the information you think they will be looking for. Curate your portfolio so it features only your best work. It can be tempting to show off endless galleries of photos to highlight your vast experience. Remember: potential clients probably won’t spend a ton of time on your site. So if there are too many images, you never know which ones they are going to see. Instead, whittle it down to the photos you are most proud of—the ones that will really blow clients away and convince them to hire you.
For more tips on how to use your portfolio to market your photography business, check out this guide.
Develop a Brand
There’s a reason that the top companies spend a lot of time and money developing their brands—it works! Creating a brand identity for your business helps it stand out in people’s minds and creates a sense of familiarity. On top of that, having a brand identity just makes a business look more professional. Those benefits are why building a brand can help when it comes to how to get photography clients. A business’s brand can encompass a wide variety of things. It can include everything from the look of the website to the company’s values and the customer service experience. One helpful tip when building a brand is to think about your audience and what’s important to them.
Are you mainly photographing professionals in a business setting and specialize in corporate headshots? Or are you going to focus on family portraits? Everything about your brand and marketing should be tailored to reaching your ideal client.
Here are some tips on how to start building a brand:
Create a logo that stands out. Your logo is like a very concise expression of your brand’s personality. It should be simple yet memorable.
Use a consistent style throughout your online portfolio. That includes website design, typography, and tone of writing. Using a good website builder helps with that, since you can simply choose a template that is stylish, modern, and matches your brand identity.
Pick a Focus
Focusing on one of the many different types of photography is a great way to establish yourself as an expert. This can be a big help when it comes to how to get photography clients. For example, if you’re a portrait photographer, consider focusing on a niche like maternity shoots or even pet portraits.
You might think it will lead to fewer clients because you’re not casting as wide of a net. But when potential clients see that you specialize in what they are looking for, they’ll be much more likely to visit your online portfolio and hire you.
Use Automated Responses
An important part of how to get photography clients is responding promptly to any inquiries. When a potential client tries to contact you, if you don’t get back to them quickly, they can slip through your fingers.
One way to stay on top of client inquiries is to set up an automated e-mail reply. While automated e-mails can never take the place of personalized responses, they do help assure potential clients that they’ll hear back from you. This is just good e-mail management! The trick is to make sure you follow up as soon as you can.
Exactly what you say in your automated response is up to you. You might simply promise to get back to them soon or give them an idea of how long it normally takes you to respond.
One thing you should consider is including a few short questions for the potential client. The questions could be about what kind of photography services they need, what led them to your site, or what they’re looking for in a photographer. This is one way to start building a connection with the client as soon as possible. It ensures that when you get back to them, you’ll already know a bit about them, which can help with how to get photography clients.
It’s easy to set up automated replies with pretty much any e-mail service. There are also client management services such as Honeybook that offer automated emailing features, and make it easy to include a questionnaire with your email.
For more tips on how to manage client relations, read these:
Make Your Portfolio a Resource
Another secret for how to get more photography clients is to make your online portfolio a source for useful content. For example, you can write some blog posts about photography tips and tricks, or provide a list of links that will be useful to clients.
If you do a lot of newborn photography, write some blog posts about how to take better pictures of infants, or a guide on how to make a photo session with a squalling baby go more smoothly. If you’re a wedding photographer, include some links to things like venues, florists, and limousine services.
Providing useful content makes it more likely that visitors will spend time on your portfolio. It also demonstrates that you understand what’s important to them, and it’s a way to show off your photography knowledge at the same time.
This same idea can also be applied to your promotions on social media.
Have a Strong Social Media Presence
Having a strong presence on social media is an important part of how to find photography clients fast. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all useful tools to let people know about your services and draw them to your online portfolio.
Post regularly. This will help you gather followers, and it’s also a way to show potential clients that you’re active and are likely to respond quickly. To make it easy, there are post scheduling tools that let you queue up your posts in advance. Embed your Instagram feed in your portfolio](/features#social), it’s an easy way to keep your portfolio feeling up-to-date. Create good content. If all of your posts simply promote your business, people will stop paying attention. Include some posts that direct them to your blog posts or provide links to interesting or helpful articles. Set up a Facebook business page. For one, it just looks more professional than using a personal page. But it also gives you access to more options like receiving customer reviews and turning your photography advertising ideas into reality via Facebook ads. (More on that in a second.)
For additional info on finding photography clients on social media, take a peek at our list of 10 Social Media Marketing Secrets You Need to Get More Clients!
Launch a Facebook Ad Campaign
Paying for advertising on Facebook is a great way to take your photography marketing to the next level. And if you think you can’t afford an advertising campaign, think again!
One great thing about advertising on Facebook is it is extremely flexible. In fact, the minimum ad spend is $1. With such a low threshold, it’s easy to try it out. Once you see how it works for you, you can start scaling it up as your business grows.
Another benefit of Facebook ads is you can target your ads at specific segments of the population. It will give you the option to filter who sees your ad by location, gender, age, interests, and more.
Even if you serve a broad range of people, it’s a good idea to focus on a particular segment of your clientele with each ad. It will give you more freedom to tailor the ad specifically to that audience—which is a big help for how to get photography clients with your ads.
Create Special Offers
When you’re struggling with how to get clients as a photographer, you might be tempted to offer some sale prices to drum up more interest. But there’s one main reason that’s not the best idea: it devalues your service.
Once people see your services are available at discount rates, they will be less willing to pay full price. Instead of hiring you, they may decide to wait for the next sale.
So instead of simply chopping your rates for a limited time, you can offer discounts in exchange for something from your clients. Here are a few examples:
Tell clients they can get a discount on their next session if they refer a friend who hires you.
Hold a contest for a free photo shoot, and ask people to enter the contest by posting one of your images on social media. This helps to promote your business.
Offer mini-sessions. The lower cost means new clients will be more likely to sign up. And since they’re shorter, its less work for you and you can take on more sessions.
Offer a discounted session for clients who hire you for a certain number of shoots within the same year. This can help with how to get more photography business by encouraging clients to keep coming back.
Join Freelancing Websites
There is a variety of freelance work websites that can help you with getting photography clients. These sites are useful because they put you in touch with a large pool of people who are currently seeking photographers.
Here are some freelancing sites worth checking out:
Freelancer is the largest freelancing marketplace in the world. It has more than 18 million freelancers and employers. It covers all types of job categories, including various types of photography and photo editing jobs.
Upwork is a huge freelancing website that’s used by over five million businesses. One nice feature is the site analyzes your freelancer profile to highlight ideal job opportunities for you.
Find A Photographer is a freelance marketplace that’s run by the American Society of Media Photographers.
How to Get More Photography Clients IRL
Online marketing gives you a wide reach, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction when it comes to creating connections with clients and getting them to like and trust you.
Volunteer to Photograph Events
Volunteering at local events is a great way of finding photography clients. The attendees will see you in action, and the event organizers will probably want to show off the photos on their website or social media. Charity events are a great option, as you’ll get to support a cause at the same time.
Once you find an upcoming event, talk to the organizers about whether they would be interested in your services. Then ask if they can promote your business when they post the photos online. They may even be willing to let you set up a display at the event to promote your business.
Alternatively, you can shoot at public events and hand out business cards, encouraging people to visit your site and order prints. For example, you could attend a youth sporting event, ask permission to shoot the players, and then offer to sell prints to the parents.
Connect with Related Businesses
Another tip for how to get more photography clients is to forge relationships with other businesses in your community. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, try to partner with hairstylists, makeup artists, DJs, and wedding venues.
Some of the ways to partner with other businesses include:
Offering discounts for clients that get referred to you by the business.
Taking photos for their website or promotions in exchange for promoting your business.
Giving them some beautiful prints to display at their place of business.
Promoting them on your website and asking them to do the same.
Put it into Practice
Now that you know some of the tricks behind how to get photography clients, it’s time to put them to use. Just remember to start by focusing on your online portfolio. Most of these methods work by drawing people to your site where they can get a preview of your awesome photography skills. So make sure your site is up to snuff, and you’ll be well on your way to finding photography clients.
Want more info on how to take your photography business to the next level?
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