It’s every photographer’s dream: to have a steady stream of clients who value their artistic vision and are happy to pay profitable prices. You’re less stressed about making ends meet and paying bills because your clients know you’re worth your higher prices.
You have the freedom to shoot the type of photography you enjoy most rather than taking any job you can get. Your clients trust your artistic vision, so you can do more of what you love without worrying about unhappy clients.
If you’re still struggling to get enough clients, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are several specific things you can do to get more clients that love your work and don’t complain about your prices. Here are 5 ways to help you get more photography clients and create the business of your dreams.
1. Understand Your Ideal Client
The more clearly you understand exactly who you want to work with, the easier it will be to get them to hire you.
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and think about their lives.
- Where do they shop?
- What are their interest and hobbies?
- What websites do they frequent?
These questions are just a starting point. The better you can understand your ideal client and what their lives are like, the more effective your marketing will be. To be effective, your marketing strategy should be completely based who who your ideal client is.
What works for one type of client will be very different from what works with other types of clients. For example, how you market newborn photography should be entirely different from how you market headshots for CEOs because you are trying to attract two very different types of clients.
When you understand your ideal client inside and out, you can create a marketing plan that makes them feel like you completely understand their needs. This makes them much more likely to book you.
2. Create a Website That Brings in Inquiries
Your photography website is a helpful marketing tool that many photographers take for granted. It is your virtual storefront where clients form their first impression and decide whether they’ll hire you or someone else.
You need to be intentional about how your website is structured so that it turns more visitors into inquiries. If you only blog client sessions, show your portfolio, and have a contact page on your site, you’re losing inquiries you could be getting otherwise.
3. Understand How Clients Make Decisions
If you don’t understand how clients make decisions about who to hire, you may be unintentionally turning away clients that might have loved working with you. When you understand how clients choose a photographer, you can adjust your marketing message to make sure you’re giving them the information they need to make the right decision about working with you. You’ll attract the kinds of clients you really want to work with, and you’ll repel the kinds of clients that don’t value you and are stressful to work with.
For example, if you educate your client about what to look for in a photographer, they’re going to see you as an authority. They’ll be thankful that you helped them understand how to make an informed decision, making them more likely to choose you when they’re ready to select a photographer than someone else who hasn’t helped them in any way.
4. Go Above and Beyond to Get People Talking
When someone hasn’t hired a photographer before, it can be overwhelming to try and decide who to hire. People trust the opinions of friends and family, so they look to them when deciding on a photographer. People are much more likely to book you if they know that a friend or family member had a positive experience with you.
When you go above and beyond to create a remarkable experience for your clients, they’ll be happy to recommend you when they know someone is looking for a photographer.
5. Get More People to Hear About You
Fantastic photos aren’t enough to get you clients if nobody sees them. Word of mouth advertising is a great way to get new clients, but it’s limited by the number of clients you have. You need more people to hear about your business so they can hire you.
Here are a few ways to get people to hear about you:
- Optimize your website to show up in search results. Many people look for photographers by looking them up in a search engine. The better you understand how search engines display results, the more likely you’ll be able to show up at the top of the list.
- Network. When you build relationships with vendors, businesses, and other photographers, you’ll be the person they rave about when prospective clients ask them for recommendations.
- Social media. Social media is powerful if used in the right way. Each platform has a different purpose, so you have to understand their differences and what works best on each one to make sure that you’re not just wasting your time.
- Paid advertising. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, paid ads are generally a waste of money. That being said, paid ads can bring in a lot of clients for very little money when you understand how to create ads that appeal to your client and how to make sure only your ideal client sees them.
The #1 Mistake That Guarantees Your Marketing Will Fail
When you apply these tips to your business you’ll get better clients and more of them. You’ll be able to charge profitable prices and only work with the clients you really want.
However, there’s one mistake that guarantees all your efforts will fail.
It can be hard to find time to focus on marketing when there are so many other things to do in your business, but if you don’t take the time to actually do any marketing, you won’t see results.
Creating a marketing plan helps to ensure you set aside time to put these marketing strategies into practice. The marketing plan outlines what you plan to do and gives a game plan to reach your goals. It helps you decide exactly when you’ll be doing each task so you can schedule time to work on marketing. To make sure your marketing plan attracts the clients you really want, it has to be customized to your ideal client and market.
If you need help to create your marketing plan and get more of the clients you want, enroll in Marketog, a 6-week marketing course that will walk you through everything you need to create a customized marketing plan for your business. Click here to check it out.
About the Guest Contributor
When she’s not helping photographers, you can find her curled up with a good book with a nice hot cup of coffee.