The Business of Photography: Marketing Your Company

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any successful business venture, including photography. Not only must you get the word out that you have launched your photography company, but you have to work at creating a following. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Utilize social websites. Join Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social networking sites to spread the word about your work. Try to limit hardcore advertising pitches as this often turns off friends on your pages. Instead, opt to share friendly messages about recent photo shoots, thanking clients for allowing you to capture their memories. This provides a great opportunity to post some sneak peek photos from the shoot and advertise your work.

Create a website. A web presence is a must for any photographer. Surf online to find photography sites that impress you and make note of what you specifically like about your favorites. Hire a reputable website designer with proven capabilities or create the site yourself if you have the time and talent in this area. Remember, your website may be the first impression a potential client has of your photography services so don’t skimp. Keep it professional and appealing to the eye. You may only have a few seconds to impress a prospective customer.

Attend bridal expos. Wedding photography is big business so meeting brides and grooms is a must for a photographer who wants to land new gigs. Seek out shows in your region through bridal magazines and websites, then design a professional booth to showcase your work.

Develop relationships. Network with other vendors, such as resort managers, wedding planners, caterers, limousine drivers, florists and disc jockeys. These people will be speaking with brides, grooms and others planning events who might be in need of a photographer. Offer to share their business cards if they do the same for you. Just make sure the vendors you recommend provide the level of service you would expect as a customer.

Showcase your photography. Offer a restaurant owner a complimentary session in exchange for wall space to feature some of your finest photos. Enter your work in photo competitions and sign up for photography exhibits. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, then contribute some framed prints of area scenes to be displayed at your community’s visitor center.

Attend festivals. Create your own private exhibit by showing samples of your work at area festivals. Offer free bottles of water or an ice cold glass of lemonade to attract visitors to your booth. Hand out brochures and business cards, then request a name and an email address to stay in contact with your potential new clients.

Partner with schools. Get involved by volunteering at your child’s school, then seek opportunities to offer your photography services.

Advertise, advertise, advertise. The old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, work like heck and advertise,” is still true today for any successful business. Consider both print and online advertising. Check newspapers in your area for special wedding guides and consider a regular advertisement on the social page. Be sure to advertise a couple months prior to Christmas when families are planning portrait sessions for holiday greetings and gifts.

Be creative and keep your eyes open for marketing opportunities to help grow your photography business.