One of the biggest challenges as a photographer is attracting a steady stream of clients. You may go through periods where you are booked solid, followed by periods where there are long gaps between bookings. If you want to attract more clients, there are a few strategies you can implement though! With some hard work and a little time, you will have tons of new clients coming in, and a steady stream of bookings.
Identify Your Target Market
Before you begin marketing your services, you need to know who you are targeting. If you specialize in wedding photography, for example, your strategy will be much different than someone who mainly does family photoshoots. Think about your ideal client and who you are really trying to target, and then step into their shoes. Ask yourself the following questions:
Where does my ideal client shop?
What are their interests and hobbies?
What websites or social media platforms do they frequent?
Once you have determined this and narrowed down the type of person you want to target, you can begin putting together a strategy. A strategy that is focused like this will have a much higher success rate than one that is extremely broad and not targeting a specific niche or type of customer.
Have a Strong Social Media Presence
Many successful, experienced photographers are generating a ton of business through Instagram and other social media platforms. Because of this, it is very important that you have a strong social media presence and that you use these platforms to showcase your work.
On Instagram, you should make sure that you are posting thoughtfully, and that your feed looks great as a whole, in addition to the photos looking great on their own. On other platforms, this does not matter as much, since they are not displayed right next to each other like they are on Instagram. Make sure you are sharing professional quality photos that you have taken for clients, or for friends and family, and try to keep the personal photos and “behind the scenes” shots to a minimum. The most important thing to showcase on this feed will be your finished photos!
When it comes to which platforms to be on, you should choose the platforms that your potential clients are on! Instagram is a huge platform for photographers, of course, and is extremely popular in general. It is probably also a good idea to have a Facebook page, at the very least. If you think that creating additional accounts on platforms like Twitter, TikTok, or Pinterest would be beneficial for your business, then go for it! Just make sure you are not wasting a ton of time and effort on a platform that will not bring in clients.
Optimize Your Website
Every photographer should have a website. This is essentially your virtual storefront, and will be where you potential clients form their first impression of you. On your website, make sure you include a portfolio of your work, so clients can see what you have been doing. There are many website builders that have templates designed specifically for portfolios! Another important element to include on your website is a pricing page. If a potential client is comparing you to other photographers, and you do not have pricing information readily available for them, it is very likely that they won’t bother to reach out to you for that information, and will just move on with another photographer instead.
Once you have built your website and included the basics, you can continue to add content to your site by including a blog. Adding these blog posts can help boost your search rankings, and expose your business to more and more people. The blog posts you write should be relevant to your potential clients, so you could write about photography tips and tricks, provide links to services that would be useful for clients (for example, as a wedding photographer, provide links to florists or venues), and more. This shows off your photography knowledge, establishing you as an expert and also demonstrates to potential clients that you understand their needs.
Create Special Offers
Offering sale prices or special discounts can be a good great to attract new clients, but you should be careful not to offer these too often, as it can devalue your service. If people see discounted prices too often, they may be less willing to pay full price.
Instead of simply having a sale or discount, offer discounts in exchange for something from your clients. For example, tell them they can get a discount on their next session if they refer a friend who hires you. This gets you a new client, and also encourages people to come back to you!
You could also hold a contest for a free photoshoot, and in order to enter people have to post one of your photos on their social media account. This helps to promote your business to a very wide audience, and the winner of your photoshoot could become a regular client, or refer more of their friends and family if they have a great experience with you!
Finally, you could offer mini sessions, instead of full shoots. The lower cost will make new clients more willing to book with you, and since they are shorter, it is less work for you and allows you to take on more sessions. If the mini sessions go well, some of the clients from these could come back and book full sessions later on.
Attracting new clients and making sure you have a steady stream of bookings can be a lot of work, but using these tips will make it a bit easier!