Growing your photography business is about working smarter. There are hundreds — if not thousands — of ways to market your company. If you try to do too many things, you’ll end up doing all of them poorly.
Instead, it’s better to focus on only a couple of tactics at a time. Then, once you have those dialed in, add another tactic to the mix.
In this post, we’re outlining eight of the best ways to optimize your photography business.
Get clear on your ideal customer
Trying to be everything to everyone is a great way to end up appealing to no one. The sooner you realize this, the faster your business will grow.
One of the best ways to stand out is to niche down and get really clear on who your ideal customers are. Communicate that in your brand messaging (i.e., on your website, in social media, when talking to customers and prospects offline, etc).
This may seem counterintuitive, but the more you communicate who you are for, the more these people will find and want to work with you.
Here are a few examples of what niching down could look like:
- A photographer who only shoots photos and videos of vintage cars in Northern California
- A wedding photographer who only does destination weddings in Mexico
- A Florida-based photographer who specializes in taking photos of newborn babies within 50 miles of Orlando
Streamline your onboarding process
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Taking the time to create an amazing onboarding experience for new clients is important. Your onboarding process should make clients feel confident that hiring you was the right decision. This is also when you should collect all of the important details you need from them to do a great job.
One way to standardize this process is by emailing clients an onboarding questionnaire once they sign up. JotForm makes the process of creating online forms super simple with their drag-and-drop Form Builder.
Pro tip: Check out this guide on form design best practices.
Repurpose your photos and videos
If you do great work for clients, you should highlight that elsewhere. This can include repurposing your photos and videos on your portfolio, blog posts, and social media. Make sure you get permission to do this, either baked into the contract you have customers sign or by asking customers before you post anything.
Pro tip: Make sure to add alt texts to images on your website. This is not only great for making your site accessible, but it can also help you rank higher on social engines.
In addition, if you take photos and videos that your clients don’t use, consider selling them as prints, downloads or on stock video sites. This is a way to build another income stream.
Create local business listing pages
If you run a local photography business, set up business listings on Google My Business, Yelp, etc. This will help increase your brand awareness and visibility.
Collaborate with other businesses
Another way to increase visibility is to create business co-marketing and partnership opportunities. For example, if you specialize in wedding photography, you may want to team up with a salon. Then, you can sell a bundle where the two of you offer clients hair, makeup, and photography for one price.
Be active in online communities
There are thousands of online photography communities, including Facebook groups, Quora, and online forums. They can be a great way to get your name out there, connect with fellow photographers, learn new tips, and share what you’ve learned.
Ask for referrals from happy clients
Make it easy for happy clients to send you new business. Just remember that most people won’t send you referrals unless you ask. It’s a good idea to build this into your process at the end of a gig as well as through regular check-ins.
For example, when a gig wraps up, you can ask for a testimonial or for a review on Yelp or Google My Business. This also gives you an opportunity to mention your referral program.
Be proactive about seeking feedback
In order to truly optimize your business, you need to have a process for collecting feedback from prospects and customers. This means actively seeking it out and being willing to hear both the good and the bad.
While nobody likes negative feedback, it can be helpful. Try reframing it as a learning or growth opportunity instead of getting defensive.
Then take what you learn and use it to improve your business processes.
Optimizing your photography business is all about working smarter. This includes getting clear on who your ideal customer is, staying in touch with current and past customers, and actively seeking feedback to improve.