Are you just starting out on your own as a photographer? Or are you stuck in a rut and can’t seem to come up with any new marketing ideas? Since you’re already creative, use some of these simple, but powerful, ideas to get you moving in the right direction. Soon, you’ll have so many sample photos, a digital picture frame couldn’t hold them all! (Well, almost).
1. Use Show and Tell
As a child, did you ever get to go to school and not just talk about something you did over the summer, but bring something tangible to show what you did? Didn’t it bring back great memories of the trip, itself? The same is true for your business.
Since you’re providing a service, give something to people they can hold in their hand to remind them of you when they need photography. Put some of your best work on your business cards to show what great work you do.
2. Go Native
Who will most likely be your clients? Of course, people in your geographic area. It looks like Google is often giving a local website preference in listings on Google+ when someone searches for, in this case, a photographer.
This is huge and wonderful for you! It’s free to make your listing local, so don’t wait another minute before doing it right now!
3. Meet and Greet
Networking is a great way to meet other business professionals, share great ideas and let people know about you. Or think about your target market, their life stage, and join groups that would include them. If you’re a wedding photographer, join a business group that will include many young professionals that are in your target demographic.
Join a Meetup, or young supporters of the arts group, (if you qualify for the age range). Approach coaches if you photograph sports groups or take senior photos. Other students will find you once they see and hear about your great work.
4. Get Cross-Fit
Now that you’ve met some other business professionals, cross-promote your business with theirs. If you specialize in baby photography, speak with a local baby store, a cookie delivery, meal service business or a diaper service.
Co-sponsor a baby contest, run a promotion together and offer each other’s online coupons on your website, (you do have a website, right)? Get this group together and bundle your services. Promote them as great gifts for mom from dad, friends or relatives as a joint gift.
5. Give Unto Others
Get involved with a charity you support. Most non-profit organizations are looking for help with raising money. Offer a free package at their next fundraising auction. Show examples of your work on the rotating display of a digital photo frame and you’ll be surprised at the number of inquiries you get.
Give away some free wallet shots with a high school photo package and a discount coupon for reorders or a family session.
Not only will you get your name out there, but you’ll be doing good for your community and that’s more than just good karma!
6. Like, Tweet, Stumble and Tumble
Using social media wisely can get your name out as the latest and greatest because not many photographers are there, yet. But be careful. It’s fun and addictive to use, so set a timer and don’t spend more time than necessary updating your sites.
Do your research and think about which sites are best for you. Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest are all visual sites and are good for showing photography. Make sure your photos are watermarked so they can’t be shared without credit. And update regularly to keep your sites fresh and interesting.
7. A Bird in the Hand
As the saying goes, the same is true of your customers. It costs far more to acquire new ones, so be sure to reward your current clients to keep them coming back. Yes, it may cost you a few dollars to offer them a discount, but you still win by keeping their business.
Offer a referral gift or discount to bring in new business. Send them coupon or discount announcements first and tag your photos of them in social media. It’s flattering when their friends see their picture.
These are just a few marketing ideas to get you going. Use your creativity to make them work for you. Soon you’ll be coming up with all kinds of variations of these or other ideas to get your name out, add new business and keep your current clients coming back for more.
Melanie Valenzuela has been writing about business topics for several years and currently writes on behalf of the digital picture frame specialists at Nixplay. When not writing, she can be found working on her world perspective through travel; or challenging her heart rate through tennis, running or attending a Kansas City Royals baseball game. You can find her on LinkedIn.