Creativity is usually intrinsic but business skills have to be developed. That being said, photography is a complex art that requires an eye for detail along with a technical expertise and can be a difficult skill to master. Once your hobby turns into a profession, you can focus on building it up. Like most other creative businesses photographers too can leverage internet to grow their business. If you find yourself an amateur in this field, or are looking for newer ways to promote your photography business, you can start with the following ways, taking one step at a time.
1. Get yourself registered on local listings
When you decide to take the plunge from a hobbyist to a professional photographer, the foremost thing to do is to register your business on a local listing website. Some of the popular classifieds where photographers list their business are Yelp, Craigslist, Foursquare, and Yellowpages.com. Registering a business on these websites is almost free, as long as you don’t avail their advertising service. However, do not expect this listing to yield results almost immediately. On these websites, you get to promote your business by responding to reviews and other queries against your listing.
Along with analytics capabilities these online classifieds offer other ways to improve the visibility of your photography business listing. You can opt for paid advertising on these websites to quickly see results. Before you list your business, get a peek of the pricing plans, which in case of Yelp looks something like below.
2. Seek Referrals from clients
Professional photographers have relied on referrals for a long time. Prior to the advent of social media, photographers were heavily dependent on referrals. You may get lucky with clients referring their friends or family to you occasionally, however you should make sure that you reach out to them actively to seek referrals regularly. You can email or call them as per their convenience.
3. List your business on Google and Bing
Google and Bing are the two most used search engines in the world. While you can expect to get clients from all around the world, these search engines allow you to list your photography business as a local one, helping you get local traffic to your website.
To know more about how local listing can help photographers to grow their business refer to this quick guide on local SEO for photographers.
4. Promote your photography on social media
Facebook and Instagram together have over 2 billion monthly active users and are predominantly photo-sharing social networks. This presents a massive opportunity for photographers to reach people who might be looking for your service, or the least gain admiration for your work and recognition. You most probably have created your photography page on Facebook and an account on Instagram, if you haven’t, you can start with going over the basics of using social media to grow your photography business.
Paid ads are another way you to foster your photography business, you can couple your social media efforts with ads to accelerate the growth of your business.
5. Share your photography and expertise with blogging
To reap the benefits of blogging, you will need a portfolio website for your photography, which you can easily manage yourself. Blogging helps to improve the visibility of your website, considering its SEO benefits. However, that’s not all. Blogging helps you to establish leadership among the fellow photographers too. Nisha Kutty, a New York-based fashion photographer and MTV’s best photographer nominee, recently shared ‘tips on shooting a fashion editorial’. If you are stuck on ideas for your photography blog, you can try these-
6. Get ideas from your Facebook page and Instagram account
One of the best things about using social media to grow your photography business is you can conveniently track your growth, though quantitatively, in the form of likes, shares, and hearts. You can utilise this information to come up with the ideas for your blog. You can write about your experience on shooting your most liked photograph, or share a tutorial about it.
7. Write a blog in praise of a fellow photographer
As photographers, we come across others’ work that we immensely admire. You can write a blog expressing your admiration for their work, or list down specifics that you truly like in their photographs.
8. Write about your out-of-the-box attempts
Photographers are always up to something quirky, trying to get a shot that hasn’t been attempted before. Regardless of the end result, make sure you document your experience in a blog. This could be hugely helpful for other photographers, in turn in giving more exposure to your business.
Also, do not forget to share your blogs on your social media network. It helps to promote your blog to reach the farthest of your readers. Moreover, once you start blogging, ensure that you maintain a consistency by regularly posting blogs. Blogs possess immense potential for photographers to grow their business. While you are at it, also check out how your photographs can be optimised for SEO.
In addition to this, you can write to Pixpa, in case you have something valuable to share about photography.
9. Community participation
There are over a million communities for photographers online. Facebook alone has over a thousand groups dedicated to photographers. Ideally, you can seek help from member photographers in matters of trouble with your work, but these communities are often visited by people looking for photography service. Keeping yourself active across these groups can get you some valuable clients.
Make sure that you contribute to the community by responding to the posted queries and sharing your blogs occasionally.
10. Social bookmarking
Social bookmarking is an integral part of link building that helps to increase your website’s ranking on Google and other search engines. Websites such as Delicious, Stumble Upon, Scoop it, which are categorised as social bookmarking websites allow you to submit link (URL) of your website that eventually increases the rank of your website on SERPs.
Similar to listing on classifieds, the results are visible over time and require consistent link submission.
11. Get yourself published
There are numerous fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. Similarly, there are interior design magazines like Elledecor. Depending on the kind of photographer you are –fashion photographer, wedding photographer, you can contribute an article or some of your amazing photographs to these magazines. These magazines have a massive readership and can lead to pouring in clients in large numbers for your photography business.
If you are contributing to their online portals, make sure that you get a backlink to your portfolio website. This amps up your SEO efforts.
12. Attend photography events
Photography events are held in large numbers, you can learn about these events on Facebook and Meetup. These events provide a great opportunity to network with like-minded photographers. At events like Photopro Expo, you get to learn from the industry’s leading photographers. You can find opportunities to work with other photographers, just make sure that you carry your business card with you.