As photographers, your specialty is beautiful imagery. Your
time and energy is spent with your clients. Your focus is the final product.
Unfortunately, none of that matters if you don't have the clients lined up in
the first place. So, how do you track down the people out there who are looking
for a photographer, and how do you get them to choose you? Marketing. Here's a
brief rundown on the basics.
Are you a wedding photographer? Then you need future brides
to see you. Are you a family portrait photographer? Then you need moms to see
you. First thing is first, identify your target demographic. Who in your area
will have the means to purchase the services you offer? Once you've determined that,
create a persona of the perfect client. A buyer persona is a representation of your
ideal client based off their presumed
demographics, cultural identity, motivations, and behaviors. For example, meet
Elizabeth. Elizabeth just got engaged, she's likely between 21 and 28 years of
age, she's just out of college and starting a career, and she is completely
overwhelmed by planning a wedding. Now you know who you're marketing to, and
what you can offer to make her life better.
Before you go Facebooking, or snatching up ads in your local
paper, create a plan. This will help you to prepare, establish goals, and
measure your success. That part is key, otherwise you won't know what works and
Step 1. Define your goal. Do you
want more clients? Are you looking to increase your average sale per client? Will
you be promoting a special product or service or perhaps working with a
charity? Decide what is most important to your business at this time and then
you can focus your message.
Step 2. Decide what outlets your potential
clients focus on the most. This will likely take some testing. You may think
it's Facebook, but maybe it's Instagram. Either way, make sure you put time
into developing these platforms so that they look professional and
approachable. Go with your gut, and then see how you're performing.
Step 3. Content strategy. Once
you've decided where you're going to market your photography services, then
you'll need to start creating content to be visible, credible, and trigger
leads. Make an outline of a strategy that can help you create relevant content you
need for those platforms.
Step 4. Set a marketing budget.
Rather than throwing money at an issue, you need to carefully plan out how
you'll be investing every penny. Set a budget to keep your financial
contributions within an affordable range.
Step 5. Measure your success. By
testing and analyzing, you can figure out what is giving you the best results.
Check in on your original goal, and see how close or far you are from success.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website
or a web page in a web search engine. So, basically getting your website as
close to the top of a Google search as you can. You will attract more online visitors
by making sure your SEO ranks higher than other photographers in your area.
Better SEO equals more clients. So make sure your site is easy to use, looks
great on mobile devices, and contains content that is relatable and engaging.
Most photographers try optimizing for the highest Google results in general,
but they forget that most potential client do local searches, meaning that you
will get a bigger bang for your SEO bucks if you optimize for local searches.
You need to create content for your site and your marketing
outlets. Whether it's writing, an image, or even video, you'll need to create
content that is engaging and attracts your target audience. Many photographers
find that including a blog on their site is a great way to engage potential
clients. You have an amazing advantage over other small businesses in the sense
that you have a professional camera that can take high-res videos. Even if you
chose to produce a small iPhone-made video, you have a mastery of lighting that
will surpass most hand-made videos, so play with it!
Having regular content can encourage more site traffic and
great nuggets of info. For social posts, depending on your choice of outlets,
you'll want to create a schedule so that you are regularly producing content
that will catch the eye of your buyer persona.
ROI - Website Analytics
Once you've started putting yourself and your business out
there, you'll want to see what's working and what's not so that you maximize
your ROI (return on investment). Put that money to good use! A great free tool
is Google Analytics. Here you can see
where your traffic is coming from, what demographic is looking at your site,
how long they spend on the site, and so much more. This is where you'll really
understand which platform is working the best for you. This way, you can focus
your efforts on things that are working, and spend less time focusing on things
that aren't working.
Marketing is using a panoramic application of finding your potential clients and converting them to
actual clients. There's so much more
in-depth information out there that can help you create and manage a marketing
plan. However, with this overview, you can get a good start on making that a
If you need a few materials to help you, PPA offers the marketing
tools for its members as part of the See
The Difference campaign. These can help you easily create professional brochures,
add landing pages to your site, give you shareable content, and more. Once you
have your marketing plan, these tools will help you get the jump start you
There are plenty of tools to help you be more marketable.
You can do this! Login to your account today to get started: PPA.com.
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.