As an architectural photographer, you likely deal with multiple decision-makers and longer sales cycles due to the nature of this specialty. It may take a while to establish yourself in the industry.
If you’ve recently found yourself with downtime, don’t despair! This is the perfect opportunity to line up your marketing efforts so you can get on more potential clients’ radars and set the stage for your business to grow.
Here’s what you can do to market your architectural photography business:
Architectural photographers work with many different types of clients, including architects, structural engineers, interior designers, construction companies, product manufacturers, developers, finance companies, marketing agencies, building owners, and investors.
As to be expected, different customers have different needs and business objectives. Trying to appeal to all these people can be overwhelming and ineffective, so it’s essential to hone in on specific clientele. Identify who you want to work with and what their challenges are. Then, you can create marketing materials that appeal to your target niche.
For example, an architect may seek photographers who have an eye for composition and detail. On the other hand, a product manufacturer may want photos that showcase the quality of their products or depict them in context.
Most architectural photographers rely on referrals, networking, and word-of-mouth to get new clients. With that in mind, providing excellent customer service and staying in contact with your clients—even when you’re not actively working on a project—is key to maintaining long-term relationships that lead to future work.
If you have good relationships with your clients, you might ask if they know anyone looking for a photographer and could use your professional services. They have contacts in the architectural industry, and they may even offer to make an introduction.
Remember that clients aren’t necessarily one person. Consider expanding your reach within an organization, association, or company. For example, your contact in one department might refer you to their colleagues in another division. Because you already have your foot in the door, your chances of getting more business from the same company will be much higher.
When prospects hear great things about you from your current clients, they’re likely to look you up online. Having an online presence to showcase your work helps build trust and credibility with your prospects.
Your website and social media profiles should feature a carefully-curated portfolio that focuses on your architectural photography niche. Your visitors should be able to tell what you do, the types of clients you work with, and what your unique style is right away.
Your website should also demonstrate how your services make your clients’ lives easier. For instance, do you help clients plan their projects based on business objectives? Do you offer staging services? Do you manage post-production for your clients? Consider what unique value you can bring to the table to distinguish yourself from your competition.
There are many opportunities for architectural photographers. Understanding your ideal client and how you can make their lives easier is the key to building authentic, long-lasting professional relationships.
So, what’s the next step? A well-designed marketing plan can help you get in front of the right prospects while nurturing client relationships and increasing the value of those relationships.
Get inspired by reading Ode to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Architecture or Master Builder from the award-winning Professional Photographer magazine. Also, check out PPA’s wide range of educational materials and consumer research reports to help you promote your photography business more effectively.