Whether you’re dreaming of turning your photography passion into a career or you’re ready to take your family photography business to the next level, it can be difficult to decide what to do first. Photography is such a fun and rewarding career — there’s nothing sweeter than capturing giggles and love and memories from behind the lens. But it’s also a career that requires a lot of sweat equity, from lugging equipment to sessions to mastering edits to getting the word out. And sometimes, getting the word out can be the hardest part!
A lot of photographers let marketing fall by the wayside and just focus on their creative craft. But here’s the reality: it doesn’t matter how incredible your photography is if no one knows about it! Marketing a new photography business might be out of your comfort zone, but trust me: it really matters, especially if you’re trying to build a lasting and successful career.
Why Marketing Matters
If you’re transitioning to a photography career from another field, marketing might feel like unknown territory – and I understand! Becoming your own boss means learning about alllll kinds of things you never had to consider before, from legal details to financial ones.
It might feel easier to place marketing on the back burner, but once your business is established legally and financially, you should focus your efforts on building your audience. Why? Because, simply put, word of mouth isn’t enough to sustain a successful photography business in the long run. Friends and family are a fantastic way to build your initial portfolio, but eventually, you’ll want to book clients who find you through your online presence. The good news: it’s not as overwhelming as you think!
3 Ways to Level Up Your Marketing Right Now
Want to start (or improve) your marketing strategy? You’re in the right place. Here are three simple ways to give your marketing a boost this fall.
Expand your portfolio.
First things first: make sure that what you’re marketing is truly your best and most current work! Remember, this is most likely the first interaction people will have with your brand and your photography style. Your marketing will draw in your dream clients when you show them their dream galleries — it’s as simple as that.
If your portfolio needs a boost or you’re not sure how to book the session you’ve dreamed about, try model calls! This is an excellent way to bring your ideal session to life, because you can get specific about the location and style of the shoot and find a family who wants to participate! Most photographers offer discounted or complimentary sessions for model calls, so keep that in mind — but getting photos you can’t wait to share online makes it entirely worth it.
Spruce up your website.
Open up your laptop and type in your own website. Go ahead and do it now — I’ll be right here in the next tab when you get back.
Now, scroll through your website like you’re a new client, visiting your homepage for the first time. What do you notice? Is information easy to find? Is your branding consistent? Are the photos you’ve chosen a good representation of your work? If you want your website to stand out, give your brand voice and photo choices a quick “audit”.
If you notice anything that doesn’t work (broken links, bad SEO, and 404 pages are a marketer’s worst enemy!) or doesn’t align with your current style and voice, it’s okay — think of it as your opportunity to create a website that works! And by “works,” I mean “draws in your dream clients.” Here’s a quick page-by-page guide to getting everything juuuust right.
Build a social media strategy.
Once your website is drawing in potential clients, you can focus your energy on social media. I know, I know… sometimes that mysterious algorithm can make you want to throw your phone into a lake, but please don’t! Social media is an excellent tool, especially when you stop worrying about growing your numbers and start focusing on how your audience engages with you — and most importantly, books you for sessions. A photographer with 500 followers can be totally booked, while one with 5,000 followers might be staring at an empty inbox! Don’t let “fame” fool you; it’s engagement and consistency that will actually give your business a boost.
If you want to take the stress out of social media, go in with a plan. I like to create content in batches, because it saves me time AND energy! Planoly is my favorite tool for scheduling social posts — it helps me visualize my feed and make sure posts look great together, batch create posts and content so it’s not a daily to-do item, and it even auto-posts for me.
That’s it — three simple ways to expand your audience and boost your marketing without breaking the bank or spending hundreds of hours figuring things out. But my last, and most important tip? Market with confidence! When you believe in your skill and creativity as a photographer, marketing won’t feel as daunting. And when you share authentically, other people will believe the hype, too. Your dream clients are out there — go find them!
This blog post is part of a series for BRAND NEW photographers! If you want to start your business off RIGHT, this guide will help!
- How to Create Your Photography Business Blueprint (aka Business Plan)
- How to Legalize Your Photography Business
- How to Manage Your Finances as a Photographer
- Must-Have Equipment for Starting a Photography Business
- How to Price for Profit as a Photographer
- Why You Should Start Marketing Your Photography Business