1. Create a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan sets the roadmap for your photography business and sets your eyes on the right initiatives. I ran across a marketing plan generator that I LOVE! https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-plan-template-generator
It’s by far the easiest one I’ve come across in terms of questions and layout. Here’s one example of mine… (I’ve been through a few versions lol)
2. Create a Marketing Calendar
It’s so much easier than it sounds! Carve out some time, sit down, think about the month, time of year, when school starts, when senior photos are due, etc. See my previous post on a really simplistic way to create an editorial calendar.
These should be ever changing all the time. Multiple plans for multiple avenues.
Josh Line • Josh Line Photography
3. Build All the Social Pages
Facebook, IG and Pinterest for sure. Others as they suit your audience.
Here’s an overview of how each platform is best used:
Facebook: building relationships & brand loyalty
Instagram: building relationships & conversation, lead generation
Pinterest: inspire dreams, lead generation
Twitter: news, articles, think of this as a PR tool
YouTube: brand awareness, how to do things like prepare for your photoshoot
LinkedIn: business-to-business lead generation, like headshots, or even reach out to parents here
Other social related sites to consider:
Flickr, Flipboard, Snapchat, 500px, Reddit
4. Pick up the Phone and Call Clients
Call past clients, ask how they liked their photos, ask if they’re interested in getting something on the calendar now before you get booked up.
Picking up the phone is a lost art that still yields results for a small amount of time.
Josh Line • Josh Line Photography
5. Start a Hashtag Project
This one came to me through a fellow photographer who was doing #snaptember2017 on Instagram. It’s from the Headshot Crew of Peter Hurley and photographers take one photograph a day and post to Instagram. You can take a personal project and assign it a hashtag and invite others to join.
Join relevant MeetUp or Facebook groups. For example, if you’re a mom and a photographer specializing in newborn photography, join a local moms Meetup group.
7. Start Building an Email List Right Away
It is your best marketing tool. It’s a great way to keep in touch with your clients and prospects alike. And the best way to get those email addresses is by offering something free. It could be a list of wedding planners or photo locations spots, depending on your photography niche.
8. Make Promotional Videos
I love this one! In particular, because I did a version of it for my photography website. Taylored Photo Memories came out on a couple of photoshoots and put together a fun video that I use on the homepage. It shares a personal touch of what happens in my photo shoots.
Share behind the scenes footage of photo shoots and client reveal sessions.
10. Google Business Page
Google loves Google. Period. Plus when someone searches your name, it’s a credibility factor as your business shows up front and center.
11. Get Featured
Submit! Magazines are starving for content. Granted many of them are unpaid features, though this time, getting exposure is positive. Because the exposure from magazines is thousands of eyeballs. All have their own requirements.
Here are some to get you started:
* Dark Beauty Magazine (alternative fashion and fine art)
* Vigore Magazine (fashion)
* Freque Magazine (weird fashion & fine art photography)
* FaceOn Magazine (makeup and fashion)
* F-Stop Magazine (contemporary photography)
* Retro Lovely (Pinup)
* Pretty in Ink (Tattoo)
* Superior Magazine (Fashion)
* Peppermint (organic/green fashion)
* Factice (Fashion portraits)
* Noice (all things arts and culture)
Special note: This is great for getting links back to your website!
12. Cross Market with Other Businesses
A lot of wedding photographers do this with their venues, floral companies, ministers, and other partners. Use LinkedIn. Stay in touch with potential partners and watch for opportunities. I keep business cards from my web developer partner, Caffeinated Web Studio, and hand them out when I refer her. It’s been very handy!
13. Decorate an Office
I was in the vet’s office and noticed the dog and cat photographs on the walls were from Lucinda Flint. And inside PTs bar & grill, are landscape and fashion photographs taken from around the desert.
14. Create a Unique Business Card or Swag
I don’t know about you but I tend to misplace regular business cards. I get them. I have every intention of saving them. But they end up in a pile with other paperwork. Creating something memorable conveys creativity and impression.
Here are a couple links to get the juices flowing:
15. Create a Desktop & Mobile Wallpaper
Offer a free downloadable desktop/mobile wallpaper with an inspirational quote related to your audience. For example, my photography business is about fitness photography and the tagline is Capture Your Strength. I create motivational phone backgrounds.
16. Blog as Often as You Can
Blog every shoot. Every networking meeting that leaves you feeling energetic. A day in the life of you. About your recent vacation, or about the one you dream of taking. There are varying arguments about long these should be. The short answer is, target a minimum of 300 words.
17. Comment on Other Blogs
This works in two ways. One, networking and connecting with your audience where they hang out. Two, getting links from other websites back to yours. Link building. Link building is very good.
18. Create a Local Directory
A page listing all your favorite vendors and things around the city that relate to your type of photography.
19. Build a Chrome Extension
Or find a developer to build one for you. I subscribe to an email list called The Hustle. It’s a news email. They asked their readers for some feedback, readers said they wanted more information! So The Hustle created a Chrome extension so that when you open a new tab, it creates a snippet of news.
What about for photography? If you’re a wedding photographer, maybe it’s a countdown to the wedding day with a helpful tip.
20. Donate to Silent Auctions
Way to find new clients and help out a good cause. Win-win!
21. Have Clients Recruit their Friends
Offer an add-on to a future session or package for people who refer friends your way. I am just now rolling out a referral program. It’s a pretty aggressive one… past clients can earn up to $150/year for new client referrals. Do you have a referral program? I’d love to hear about it if you have a moment. Drop a note below this post or email me.
22. Local Listings
The Google My Business from idea #10 above is one example. HubSpot put together a list of 50 online directories businesses can submit to.
23. Network with Other Professionals
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce, Meetup groups, Rotary Clubs, etc. There are niche organizations too like the Las Vegas and Fitness Chamber of Commerce. Which reminds me… 😀
General Chambers of Commerce put on events in various niches… North 65 Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota has an annual Spectacular Wedding Fair. Check out your state website for more organizations.
I love using the chamber of commerce and other tight-knit community groups. I believe it’s a direct line to getting work and building working relationships.
Leslie Chester • Firafly Photography
No secret here, this would have to be one of my favorite marketing methods. 😉 Optimize your photography website to increase the quality and quantity of website traffic through search engines. Quite a few marketing ideas in this article help improve your SEO.
25. Share Client Reviews and Testimonials
WordPress is great for this… plugins ease the process of getting these on your website. In most cases you can set it to rotate through a number of them, keeping content fresh. Another fantastic way to share is a post on Instagram or other social channels. Prepare an easy template through Photoshop to copy/paste reviews in to, then share the graphic. I also like mobile apps like Canva, Adobe Clip and Ripl for various creative freshness.
26. Share Your Expertise as a Guest Speaker
I did this recently for Glitter & Grace Wedding Concierge Service. Owner, Stacey Shivery-Kepler, asked if I’d give a talk on SEO to her members. It was energizing meeting with these folks and learning about their businesses and how I can help. Find local events and inquire about how you can help their audience.
27. Photo Shoot for Planner
Businesses always need fresh photography. Get with a complementing event or wedding planner in your business niche.
28. Send a Holiday Card
Keep in touch with a warm and fuzzy holiday card.
29. Give Back to the Community
Offer photo services for a charity event or a group cause. I’ve been doing this for a few years now for a group called Girls on the Run. Their Las Vegas chapter was looking for volunteers. I got word from a mutual friend who leads my Saturday morning run group. They needed photography to help market the program and capture the fun and excitement of their races and weekly run sessions. I believe in the program and it’s something I can do to give back to the community.
30. Build a Database
Send birthday and anniversary emails to keep in touch with clients. Or reach out to new ones with a holiday message.
31. Connect with Local ObGYNs
As you might have guessed, this one is directed more to newborn photographers. Create a brochure or mini-book with relevant short articles or stories and include your photography. Dedicate a page to your services and a valuable offer. Offer it for free at the doctor’s office as reading material in the waiting rooms.