February 4, 2020 | 2309 Views | By Dylan Kotecki
Whether you’re a part-time photographer or you’re a professional who is shooting 8 hours a day, self-marketing is essential. The good news is, in 2020, marketing for photographers is as easy as it’s ever been. Here are ways that you can grow your photography business in the New Year.
Having a Website Helps You Gain Exposure
I think the most important thing to have as a photographer in 2020 is a website. Websites are the new portfolio. They house your work and give clients a taste of your style and eye. And if you’re not the most technologically advanced with computers, no worries! There are a plethora of site builders and portfolio creators out there to get you started. Most are very easy to use and are relatively inexpensive if you choose to go with a subscription.
A few great options are SmugMug, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. They allow you to choose a custom template and move content around inside pages. You can modify your SEO, add tags to photos, incorporate ads, and more. Most of the sites have a free option, but you can always sign up for their “pro” or “advanced” subscriptions to get access to different features.
Before you start creating your website, start with a simple plan. Who are you marketing to? Where are you marketing? What kind of photography are you marketing? These are great questions to consider before you choose your template and start modifying your site. If you’re a wedding photographer, for example, you would probably avoid making the background on your site black. However, this may look great if you’re a commercial automotive photographer.
When creating your website, be sure it is easily accessible. I would avoid using a lot of small text or accents, especially if they overlay onto the image. Keep your site clean and comfortable to look at, i.e., use fonts that pair well with your pictures. Make sure that your site is easy to get around in, clients and businesses don’t want to take half their time trying to navigate through your website. Also, make sure your images are at the forefront of whatever page they occupy.
When creating your gallery, be sure to include works that feature an array of different subjects you’ve captured. Showing versatility is a great way to catch the attention of a new client. They say that you should only put your best work in your portfolio, but I think that you should put images that encapsulate your style and your range. Limiting your gallery to your “best” is only showing off the photos that you deem as top work, but in reality, many people view photographs differently. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s not to say you should flood your portfolio with every single photo you’ve ever taken; you should still make sure your images are exposed and composed correctly. You could also have a link on your site to other social sites you contribute your photos to, such as Instagram or Flickr. If you don’t mind putting your social media pages on there, it’s an excellent way to give your client a sense of trust and show them you’re a real person.
Use Social Media as a Marketing Tool
Social Media is an industry built on showing people images and text, so why not use it to your advantage? Most of them also have advertising options for placing your content into sponsored posts. If you’re looking to build popularity and clients on Social Media, especially Instagram or Twitter, be sure to post every day and interact and engage with other users. Users with constant posts will show up in other’s timelines. Engaging with other users also helps to boost your audience. When posting, use relevant hashtags on your posts. Hashtags make sure that these your posts show up in specific tags for other users to look at. Exploring hashtags and engaging with other users on their images and content is a great way to gain followers. Remember, Social Media doesn’t sleep, so make sure you keep up with it if you choose to grow your clients this way.
If you want to automate posts so that you can schedule posts ahead of time, Buffer & Sendible are great options. They allow you to create posts and schedule them in advance so that your content is always fresh. Most also allow you to see analytics so you can track how your posts are doing. Pay attention to the times of your posts. Posting when social sites have a lot of traffic is key, this will maximize your views and help to bring new viewers in. Here is a great article on social media posting times in 2019: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/
Create a Google Business Listing
A Google Business listing maybe a little overboard if you’re not shooting very often for income, but if you plan on growing your business in 2020, creating a Google Business Page for your photography is essential. Not only does this make your business look like it’s official, but it allows others to search for your business name on Google. They are completely free and helps to bring legitimacy to your listing. Another thing that Google Business listings are great for is reviews. When people leave reviews for your shoots or jobs, people can see what others are saying about their experience with you, making them feel comfortable hiring you.
Use Ad Platforms to Place Your Content in Front of Clients
Ad placement is huge for anyone looking to get their business noticed. Using ad platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Bing Ads is a great way to put your content in front of someone that probably would have never seen it otherwise. Ad platforms will place your website onto search engine results so that you are seen by people looking for photographers. Most ad platforms allow you to choose how much you spend each month as well as a max spend amount to ensure you don’t go over your marketing budget. When using ads, make sure that you pay attention to your audience and your keywords. Most ad services will generate keywords for you based on your services, use keywords that are relevant to your photography. Using too many keywords will scatter your ad to users who aren’t looking for your type of photography. For example, if you were a landscape photographer, you wouldn’t want to use the “newborn photographer” keyword but may want to use “fine art photography.”
Networking, You Would Be Surprised
Networking is one of the most important marketing tools in photography. We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s all about who ya know,” and in an industry flooded with talent, it still rings true. Building relationships with other photographers and members of the photography community will create opportunities for you in the industry through word of mouth and recommendations. A great way to meet photographers is through the site MeetUp. Different photography MeetUp groups hold events where photographers can interact with each other. Sometimes they do live shooting events and can pose models and modify the lighting.
Another great way to network is to attend a photography conference or convention. Thousands of people go to conventions to learn about photography, attend workshops, and network. Meeting with people will also build your confidence and help you with your clients. One thing that could help if you participated in a photography convention would be to get business cards. Business cards make your photography business seem legitimate, and it’s an easy way to hand out your contact info.