If you don’t have clients, what are you taking pictures of? Sure, you can find plenty of ways to put your photography skills to work elsewhere, but that doesn’t help your business grow. Clients are what help your business get the growth that it needs. But are there ways that you can keep a steady stream of them coming in? That’s a question with a longer answer, but ultimately, there are several ways that you can do just that.
It's all about knowing which tactics work best for generating new leads. It also might take some trial and error for you to find the perfect blend for your photography business. However, creating a strategy for new client acquisitions starts by exploring the tactics available. To help you with that, we’ve collected five of the best tactics for generating new clients to help your photography business continue to grow. The best part? They’re all a lot more affordable than you might think.
To help you get started on building your photography client base, here are five tactics that should be on your list.
Cost: Free, unless you offer incentives
There is nothing better than a good word about your business. People talk about businesses, so you might as well make sure that they’re talking about yours. Ask your current clients for reviews of your service or if they can refer friends and family to your photography business. Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most valuable forms available today for any business, especially those in the creative fields.
You should try to get reviews on your website, as well as in directories and on Google so that there’s a little bit of all kinds of information out there. You should also consider social media reviews and referrals (more on that in a minute). Essentially, you want people talking about your business and you should do what you can to make that happen. You don’t have to offer incentives for reviews or referrals, but it certainly won’t hurt.
Cost: Free, unless you attend trade shows, join membership organizations, etc.
Photographers can gain a lot of business and exposure by attending local events and building their professional networks. There are so many ways that you can do this. You can partner with event planners and others who may need your services, connect with professional photography associations and groups, or even just join online forums and directories related to your business. You can even offer special incentives for people who are referred through your professional network, just as you would with other referrals and reviews.
Consider attending local events and shows, like wedding expos or other events where people may be on the lookout for a professional photographer. Take the time to get backlinks and build connections online. When you build your business and present yourself as an authority in your industry, you are going to improve your reputation and generate a lot more leads.
The biggest problem that companies have today when it comes to social media is that they’re not actually using it. They create profiles, maybe post occasional promotional posts, and then leave it alone. That’s not good enough. And in a business like photography, if you do it that way, you’re selling yourself short. You need to make sure that you’re embracing your social media and engaging with people so that they can see that you’re a real person and not just some company out to take their money.
In photography, you stand to gain a lot from using social media well. Instagram gives you a platform to show off your work, while Facebook and Twitter help you connect with your audiences in other ways. You can even sign up for TikTok and create unique or funny videos to reach people. The important thing is that you’re getting engaged and letting people see that you care about them and want to help them, both professionally and otherwise.
The money that you spend here will be on what you pay for a dedicated portfolio website and its creation, as well as the time that you spend doing the work. You could also use social media pages to help bolster your portfolio, but it should be available on your website (that is mobile-friendly) so that people can browse your work and see what you’ve done in the past. This will ensure that they choose you based on your skill alone.
You might not realize how much you can get from a solid portfolio, but it will make a big impact on your client intake. When people see good photography, they respond in kind. Take the time to curate a strong portfolio and update it regularly so that people can see that you’re still working and still engaged in your online outreach efforts. A portfolio that is mobile-friendly and regularly updated can do a lot more than you realize for your lead generation.
Outsourcing is going to do a lot more for your photography business than you might realize. There are a lot of different services and tasks that you could potentially outsource, but some are more valuable than others. For starters, consider outsourcing your calls to a 24/7 answering service so that you never miss another lead, no matter how busy you are or when people call.
You can do this by partnering with the team at Smith.ai, where you’ll also get dedicated virtual receptionists who can assist with everything from lead screening and intake and appointment scheduling to live website chat, and even your outreach campaigns so that you can generate more leads in the first place. Plus, we do it all with a custom strategy to ensure that we don’t miss a thing.
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