15 Photography Marketing Ideas That Actually Work
The Internet has reshaped the way we see marketing and advertising. A few years ago, we would have told you to put together a photography marketing plan and pay for a weekly ad on a few local publications. Back then, the simple fact of having a photography website would have put you way ahead of competitors. But two main things have changed fairly recently. One: people now search for everything online, rather than in magazines or newspapers. And two: society has become almost numb to traditional advertising.
As Tom Fishburne said “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” Nowadays, potential clients want to see your work and read recommendations before making a commitment. This should be your focus if you’re looking to boost your business. But fear not, we’re here to help you sail this fairly uncharted territory. Sit down, get ready to take some notes, and dig into this list of photography marketing ideas that will actually help you expand your work’s reach.
Create a beautiful logo
Displaying a stunning logo is more important than you may think. You should see it as the very first conversation you hold with each client. That’s why, it needs to be a perfect representation of your work. You have two options to come up with a great logo: hiring a professional designer or doing it yourself. If you choose to create a logo by yourself, check out the Wix Logo Maker. Just answer a few questions about your work and style, and you’ll get a 100% customizable design, that you can use on all your marketing outlets – and even as a watermark.
Print business cards
Carrying a few of them around with you at all times might actually lead to amazing business opportunities that help you reach the goals of your photography business plan. Yes, for real, business cards are still very much a thing. You never know when or where you could meet your next client. And most importantly, they’re a very easy way for other people to recommend you. Make sure the cards include your website address, contact information, and that stunning logo you should already be creating.
Partner with other businesses
Talking to businesses in your area can lead to many professional opportunities. Some are obvious, like wedding photographers partnering with florists and caterers. But others, not so much. Think of event photographers partnering with ballet studios and other afterschool activities, for example. Ask them to display your business cards or to direct customers to your portfolio. In exchange, offer to bring clients to them, or copies of your work that they can use to promote themselves.
You can also dedicate some time to learn how to reach out to brands and expand the reach of your work to a whole new different audience.
Pay attention to SEO
Understanding how Search Engine Optimization works will have a major effect on the number of people who reach your portfolio. Even when looking for businesses within their area, most people do their research online. The higher you show up on online searches, the more potential clients will see your work. Because we know how scary these three letters can be, we have put together a list of everything you need to know about SEO for photographers.
Be active on social media
Spending a good amount of time on social media is a must. Hate it or love it, social media is currently a key part of society. And is therefore one of the most powerful tools to promote your photos. Having active accounts on diverse channels will boost your works’ exposure all over the world. Additionally, you can easily engage with your audience and create a community around your work. If you want to know more about how to make the most out of social media, check out our tips on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for photographers.
Have your work featured
Getting your photos featured in social accounts or websites with a large following base will drive a lot of traffic to your portfolio. For visitors these features are seals of approval from sources they respect, which is why they play a major role in photography marketing. Scout the different outlets that promote users’ work and try your luck. Experiment with the best photography hashtags and see how they affect your reach. You’ve got nothing to lose and so many visitors and potential clients to win.
Want your portfolio to be featured by Wix? Tag your Instagram posts with #wixphotography or share your website in the comments!
Write a blog
Starting your own photography blog can improve your work’s exposure and increase your community engagement. You don’t need to be Shakespeare to write a captivating blog. Use it as a platform to share behind-the scenes stories of your photo shoots. Or share your knowledge of photography gear and post-processing. Find your expertise, and share it with the world.
Create a newsletter
Reaching out to new potential clients is great, but what about the ones who already know your work? One of the best ways to stay relevant after a gig is setting up a photography newsletter. There are so many ways to compose a successful email. Send out regular updates of your business’ whereabouts. Offer discounts. Introduce new services. This is the place for anything you can think of that will boost your chances of getting hired again. Don’t worry about having to deal with extra workload. You can easily create beautiful emails in just a few clicks with Wix ShoutOut.
Hold a competition
Putting together a small online contest is a great way to grow your following base. Due to their nature, it is best to do them on social media. Ask people to follow you and engage with your competition post by performing a specific action. For example, you can ask them to share their favorite childhood memory for a chance to get a free family photo shoot. Or to explain what they love about their favorite animal, to receive a high-quality print of one of your photos.
Put together a referral program
Having clients recommend your work to whoever will listen is the best marketing campaign. Ideally, any happy customer will recommend you whenever someone asks for a photographer. In reality, though, it’s likely they won’t remember your name when the time comes. The best way to beat these odds is to push them to be proactive about it. And there’s no better incentive to be proactive than benefiting from it. Offer clients a discount or gift whenever their referrals book your services, and wait for the results. Or simply add a comments section on your website and encourage them to leave their feedback.
Participate in contests
Submitting your work to contests is a great way to boost your portfolio. Find local and global competitions you are interested in and don’t think twice before uploading your work. Most contests are now primarily social, meaning nearly all entries end up published on social media. So even if you don’t make it to the final round, your photos are still seen by many people. On top of that, being exposed to other people’s work in the same field can be an amazing source of inspiration.
Start a new project
Coming up with a creative photography project has two main benefits. Firstly, you have fun and expand your portfolio. Secondly, your originality makes you stand out from the crowd and broadens your audience. Both are great, but you should be focusing on the first. If you’re not completely dedicated to your ideas, the result will probably be not as good as what you are capable of. Your motivation should stem from following your passion, not from the idea of going viral. If you are looking for a challenge, search for freelance photography jobs and sign up for some gigs you never had in mind before.
Reaching new people is amazing, but don’t forget to cherish your existing audience. Your giveaways should offer many people the opportunity to receive something, rather than just one lucky winner. And they should not involve any tests or raffles. Focus on something your audience might want, such as prints, presets, or a discount for your services. You can even ask them beforehand, to see what they are most interested in. To avoid losses, limit these giveaways by quantity or time.
Open an online store
Selling your photos online can completely turn your business around. On top of the extra income, buyers are highly likely to recommend friends and family to check out your work. But with great power comes great responsibility. And managing a selling platform, logistics, and transactions will add a lot of workload and stress to your days. Or you could use Wix Art Store to integrate a fully functional store into your website. You take care of the photos, we take care of everything else.
Sharing is caring, everybody knows that. And people who care about your work are likely to share it. Sometimes, the most successful photography marketing techniques are the ones that don’t involve the photographer at all. It could be a happy customer uploading their photo shoot to social media. Or maybe just someone who found one of your shots on their feed. Either way, your goal should be that whoever sees those shared images knows who took them. Let’s face it, being credited 100% of the time is nearly impossible. But there are a few ways to minimize the number of times you’re not:
Add a social sharing button on your gallery.
Include a watermark on the images you share online.
Use Wix Photo Albums so your clients’ shares will be directed to your site.
Ready to introduce your portfolio to the world? Create a free photography website with Wix!
By Judit Ruiz Ricart
Photography Expert for the Wix Blog & Social Media Team