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May 27, 2020

How to Effectively Market Your Food Photography Business

There are many ways for food photographers to drum up business and get the attention of new clients. Making the most out of your marketing budget—no matter how large or small—depends entirely on using your resources strategically.

Successful promotional tactics take time to implement and see results. If you’re experiencing slow times in your business, take the opportunity to get your ducks in a row. Strategize how you can set the stage for growth.

Here are some effective ways to market your food photography business: 

Identify Your Ideal Clients

Whether you want to work with advertising agencies, web/graphic design firms, restaurants, publications, food manufacturers, or grocery stores, you need to create marketing materials that speak to your prospects.

Before you start creating the marketing materials for your business, you should take a look at our Create Your Customer Avatar webinar so you can determine your ideal customers. By narrowing down your niche, you’ll be able to focus your outreach efforts and refine your messaging. It will also let you build a portfolio that showcases the most relevant work and create content that addresses your prospects’ needs and challenges.

Offer Value, Add Services

Food styling plays a vital role in food photography, and you can add more value to your packages by including this in your work. Learn techniques that meet the needs of your ideal clients to create a “one-stop shop” that makes your services more attractive to them.

If you’re experiencing some downtime in your business, use it to experiment with your artistic techniques. For instance, try adding contrast to the plate, using different styles of cookery and tableware, making work-in-progress shots, capturing the “yum” factor, and adjusting the portion of the food.

When you’re done exploring these techniques, you can use these photos in your portfolio to attract your target audience. 

Build Trust with Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to get onto the radar of your ideal clients and to stay there.  The key to success is to research and reach out to the decision makers in specific organizations you want to work with.

For example, you could connect with these individuals on social media like LinkedIn and ask for permission to add them to your email list. Or you could sign up for an email service provider such as Mailchimp and add your contacts’ information to your list. Commit to an email marketing schedule (for example, once every two weeks), and send out unique content like regular updates about your business, behind-the-scenes stories, special offers, and your latest work to build credibility and relationships.

Using a tool like MailChimp or Constant Contact helps you keep tabs on specific contacts. You can see who opened and clicked on your emails, and reach out to them personally. Monitor the company’s news, and reach out if you see an opportunity to solve a problem for them.

Marketing strategy doesn’t have to be intimidating. For more tips about how you can use email to leverage your marketing, check out this helpful article. 

Build a Stellar Online Portfolio

When prospects become interested in your service, they’ll likely check out your website or look you up on social media. Make sure you have an online presence that showcases your best work and your professional nature. 

Your website should show the photos most relevant to your ideal clients’ needs. For example, if you want to work with ad agencies, post photos you have taken for ad campaigns and share how you helped the client overcome challenges and achieve results. If you don’t have much experience in a specific area, you can  shoot images to build your portfolio. Try imaging your ideal client and do a series of photos that shows how you’d approach the work. 

Don’t overlook the power of online reviews, testimonials, and word-of-mouth marketing. Set up your profile on third-party review sites (e.g., Yelp, Google), reach out to happy clients, and ask them to write a testimonial for your website, social media profile, or online directory pages.  A great way to prepare your business for online success is by watching our PPAEdu Live  Online Reputation: Picture Perfect or Photo Bomb? 

Final Thoughts

There are many opportunities for food photographers. A well-designed marketing plan can help you reach the right people at the right time with the right message to promote your services and grow your client base.

Check out PPA’s wide range of educational materials for photographers and consumer research reports to boost your marketing efforts..