According to the BLS, overall demand for photographers is set to decline through the year 2026. This trend is happening mostly because amateurs with relatively impressive cell phone cameras are starting to take their photography needs into their own hands.
Given that reality, if you’re set on pursuing a career in photography, how can you ensure that you can drum up enough business to stay afloat?
Fortunately, there are answers to that question, even in the face of declining demand. Each of these answers lives under the umbrella of “photography marketing”.
Photography marketing embodies a variety of tactics savvy photographers regularly use to fuel their client pipeline. Below, our team shares with you 7 of our favorite marketing tactics.
1. Attend Community Events
People in many niches put a lot of focus on digital marketing these days. Facebook ads, PPC ads through Google, etc.
While digital marketing isn’t a bad idea for photographers, in talking to people who have tried these avenues, we’ve found that many don’t see the ROI they’re looking for.
In comparison, photographers who get out into their communities and network are managing to find work.
Our advice to you is to go to chamber of commerce events, find events through meetup.com, and to get involved in your community.
The more frequently you attend events and make an effort to meet people, the more likely you’ll be to run into a business or individual that could use your services.
2. Have a Creative Business Card
One of the core tenants of photography marketing is to always have a business card. In our opinion, your business card shouldn’t just be an ordinary card with your contact info either.
After all, people are buying into your creativity when they hire you. If your business card is not creative, what are they going to think of your work?
To get creative with your business card, consider including some of your work on your card’s backside or learning more about metal business cards.
Anything you can do to make your card pop will boost your chances of getting work.
3. Donate Your Skills
When you donate your work, not only do you get to feel good about yourself but you also get to increase your exposure.
We know a lot of photographers that donated their skills to animal shelters, homeless shelters and more that were discovered by businesses because of their charity.
When you donate your skills, be sure that the organization you’re providing work for does something to credit you. This can be by allowing you to watermark the bottom of your images or by having a profile of some sort on their website that celebrates you as a photographer.
4. Tap Your Immediate Network
You’d be shocked to know who your family knows. Believe us when we say that.
Some people try every photography marketing tactic in the book only to learn that their mom or dad knows a business owner that regularly hires photographers.
So, start asking around. Give business cards to your loved ones so they’re ready to talk you up if the opportunity presents itself.
We can’t stress enough how powerful your immediate network can be in scoring your work.
5. Get Set Up on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. To make meaningful long-distance connections, it’s important that you get on the platform.
Being present on LinkedIn means that you can engage in groups specific to your niche, share insight regarding photography with your network, and can begin to build credibility on a platform that attracts tons of business owners that could use your services.
6. Share Your Work on Social Media
It can be hard to be open to sharing your work on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and the like. Still, in today’s day in age, being open with your work is integral to staying at the top of consumer’s minds.
You don’t have to hit your friends over the head with your work with tons of posts a day. Instead, figure out a schedule that works for you.
Post a “photo of the week” or “photo of the day”. Respond to people’s feedback and be sure to share feedback with other people sharing their photography.
If you post with the intention of contributing to your community rather than blatantly marketing, people will begin to look forward to your posts!
7. Start Blogging
This is a photography marketing tip that we lose a lot of people on.
“Why should I write to sell my photography skills?”
The truth is, there are a lot of people out there that can do what you do. Maybe not exactly but certainly close enough that the untrained eye can’t discern the difference.
Because of that, it’s important that you sell people not just on your work, but on you. A great way to give people insight into who you are, your love of your craft, and the expertise you carry is to blog about it.
The more blog posts you write, the more traffic you’ll pull onto your photography website through Google and the more client leads you’ll enjoy.
Wrapping up Photography Marketing Strategies to Bring in Clients
If you’re struggling to bring clients in amidst an increasingly difficult photography landscape, we recommend leveraging our photography marketing tips above.
Each of them has the potential to allow you to build strong connections in a hard market which can fuel your business for years to come!
Want more tips on how to make the most out of your business? If so, we have more content waiting for you on Small Business Brief that you should start reading, now!