Many dance and sports photographers work with schools or youth teams, and their schedules often reflect the ebb and flow of the academic year.
When things slow down, it’s just part of the rhythm. In other words, don’t panic! Instead, use the downtime wisely to market your business and set the stage for growth.
Here are some simple tactics to promote your dance and sports photography business:
Although you’re photographing young dancers and athletes, it’s schools and community organizations that hire you for the job, and parents of the children pay for the pictures. Because of this, local community leaders and parents are your target audience.
To create marketing materials that attract your ideal clients, you should do a little market research to understand what those types of buyers want. Your portfolio should reflect their preferences and depict scenes (e.g., environment, type of sports) that they can relate to.
Find the best way to connect with your target market. For example, you could join a local sports league’s Facebook group and share photos with your watermark, or consider sending out email newsletters. Beyond online marketing efforts, you could place ads on the different league programs or sponsor local concession stands at sporting events.
If you want to be hired to photograph school sports and dance performances, you need to get onto the radar of school administrators and event organizers. Take the time to find out who the decision-makers are and build relationships with them by listening to their needs.
These administrators and organizers are busy. Strive to be as easy to work with as possible. Truly listen to and address their challenges. Then, offer solutions that will make their lives easier. That’s the key; you want to help ease their burden! Building these types of relationships can be time-intensive, but the good news is that these types of clients tend to stick with a service once they find a provider they like. That means years of ongoing business for you!
Don’t overlook the importance of building long-term relationships with parents. If you earn their trust, they may introduce you to other teams and schools as their children grow up. To stay on their radar, build your client list and stay in touch—for instance , you can send a newsletter that shares relevant and valuable information.
The ordering process is a critical part of the customer experience. The easier it is to place an order with you, the more likely customers will hire you again and tell others about your services.
Set aside time to learn about platforms, services, and software that make the process of viewing and selecting photos easier. Automate your workflow as much as possible to minimize delays and errors. You might even ask your current customers for constructive feedback to see how you can improve your business.
Remember: It’s often cheaper to retain a client than to acquire a new one. Delivering an outstanding customer experience is key if you want to keep people coming back. After all, fostering authentic connections is the best way to market your business!
A well-designed marketing plan can help you build meaningful client relationships, and promote your dance and sports photography business.