As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, photographers are facing immense challenges. Weddings, sports events, large gatherings, gallery openings, festivals, and more are canceled or postponed, leaving many photographers caught unprepared.
However, don’t despair! Things might have ground to a halt in the short term, but they are bound to eventually pick up again. When clients start to look for photographers again (people still need to get wed, right?), you want to be in the position to take advantage of the surge in demand.
Use this downtime as an opportunity to refine your marketing strategy, get in front of your ideal clients, and create marketing content that will help you stand out. Here’s how to promote your photography business during this uncertain time:
Your competitors may be taking their foot off the marketing pedal now, which gives you the opportunity to blow right by them! But you can’t just throw spaghetti on the wall and hope that something will stick.
Having a marketing plan is key to making sure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message through the right channel so you can maximize your marketing budget. Now is the time to invest in getting your marketing ducks in a row so you can be well-positioned to gain a competitive advantage for the months and years to come!
Cash flow may be tight as clients cancel jobs and postpone events, so it’s all the more important that you’re spending your marketing budget effectively. You can evaluate the results of your past marketing campaigns to see what works and what doesn’t so you can allocate resources to high-ROI marketing activities.
If you have been investing resources in offline channels, such as trade shows and expos, you may consider shifting the budget to digital marketing. With the extra time you have at your disposal, you can create high-quality content that will help you drive organic traffic, improve SEO, and get found by more potential clients in the long-run.
Keep in mind that it’s much easier and less costly to sell to existing clients than to acquire new ones. The clients who cancel their bookings now will likely need photography services when things get back to normal, so you want to stay top of mind when the need arises.
For example, you can send out a weekly newsletter with relevant and interesting content to keep your existing and potential clients engaged. If you’re an experienced wedding photographer, you can share some “from the trenches” insights on how clients can set up their venues to get the best shots for the event.
Did you know that 97% of consumers search online for a local business? If you don’t have an online presence that communicates your expertise and credibility, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table!
Spend some time on organizing your portfolio and creating a client-attractive website that’ll help you drive traffic, showcase your work, and generate leads. Also, conduct keyword research to make sure you’re creating the right content that will help your site rank high in search engine results and attract the right prospects.
Many people will depend on social media to stay connected, so make sure you’re reaching your audience where they’re at. In particular, platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are great for visual content, allowing photographers to showcase their work.
Make sure that all the information on your social media profile is up-to-date. Include your website address and ways to contact you. Look for ways to spice up your feed and share relevant information to stay top of mind.
Also, ask questions that spark conversations and engage your audience to foster trust and build relationships. Remember to pay close attention to your tone and be authentic while staying true to your brand voice,
Gather Online Reviews
If you haven’t given much consideration to your online reputation, now is a good time to do so. In fact, 91% of consumers between the age of 18 to 34 rely on online reviews, trusting them as much as personal recommendations.
Before using some third-party sites (e.g., Google, Yelp), you need to first claim your business profile so you can control what goes onto your listing and respond to comments. Then, complete the business information (e.g., website URL, phone number, email, address) and upload images to showcase your expertise. Lastly, reach out to your clients and ask them to write a review for you.
Pre-Sell Service Packages
Create special offers—like service bundles or gift cards—that you can sell right now and fulfill later. This will not only give you an opportunity to promote your business, expand your client base, and stay on your current clients’ radar, but it can also help you generate the much-needed cash flow to keep your business healthy.
The COVID-19 crisis is a scary time for most small businesses and this is why it is important to maintain a positive mindset and find ways to grow—when things fall back into place, you’ll be well-positioned to take the next big leap.
To help you make the most of your downtime, PPA has unlocked all of its online education! That’s right! Simply create a free account and get access to all of PPA’s training at no cost!