The Marketing Side of Photography
Marketing is probably one of the last things a photographer thinks about when starting a photography business. You’re probably too excited to just get out there and start taking amazing photos. Being excited about a new venture is completely normal and important, of course! What’s equally important is for you to have plan in place for your new business, especially marketing.
Marketing will allow your business to be seen. It will spark growth, conversation, and recognition. If you don’t give attention to the marketing end of photography, your business might end up as just be a hobby and not a business.
Photography as a business is tricky. Not only do you need to market your brand, but you also need to show the person behind the lens (a.k.a. YOU), demonstrate your photography skills, and at the same time capture the attention of potential clients. This means that you need to have a happy balance to showcase your personality and professionalism.
Let’s take a look at some of the best marketing ideas that you can use to build your marketing business today:
1. Have a great looking website
Before anything else, your utmost priority is to have an up and running website. Having a website is a crucial element to having a successful business in this day and age, be it a photography business or not. Having a place where you can visually display your work is key to your photography business. It is a professional way to build your brand; it gives you full control of how you represent yourself and your work.
Do you find yourself saying “I need a website but I don’t have the budget for it yet”, or “I need a website but I don’t know how to build one”, or whatever it is that follows “but”? I’m telling you right now: Starting your own website couldn’t be easier than it is today, and it’s certainly affordable.
There are options available for every budget, so don’t let finances keep you from building a website. Check out some options below that might help you:
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Remember: The goal is to have a website (of course a decent one!), but it doesn’t have to be fancy nor expensive.
2. Tell a story
Telling a story is the best way to market your business and engage your audience.
I don’t just mean telling the life story or history of photograph’s subject. There are many other stories you can tell. For example, you can describe how the photo was taken, the journey to achieve a specific photo, or the preparation needed for the shoot. Build a creative story around each photo that you publish. By establishing a story to go with each image will make your audience feel more connected to you and your subjects.
As I mentioned, it’s important to tell your story and connect with your audience. You may now wonder, “but how?”
There are many available platforms to tell your stories aside from your website such as Facebook, Instagram, 500px, and the like. My personal favourite: Instagram. It is a highly visual platform making it the perfect platform to showcase your work and gives you ample amount of space to write your story. You can share your photos almost instantly and it’s continuously updating its features which you can maximise to tell your stories even better.
Whatever platform you choose to have presence in, a few tips I’ve learned:
- Don’t be afraid to be personal, and mention even the small details while the photo was being taken.
- Always provide a link that points back to your website to drive traffic.
- Engage with your followers. Reply to all the comments that come in on your photos.
3. Build your brand through blogging
I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase so many times before, but I’ll say it again: Content is king.
The blog section of your website is one of the pillars to the success of your website traffic. Regularly publishing blog content will make it easier to rank your site higher on organic search results.
Higher website rank = more traffic = more potential customers for your photography business
It’s not enough to just publish blog content. Be sure to write about something valuable your audience would actually want to read.
Without getting too technical about SEO, here are a few tips to help you write for the web:
- Write catchy headlines with your targeted keywords. A great headline can attract and engage readers while sending signals to search engines that help rank content.
- Write long blog posts broken down into short paragraphs. The longer the blog, the better it will rank, but be mindful of paragraph breaks. Paragraph chunks help search engines understand your content topics therefore increasing the search-ability of your content.
- Use a conversational tone. Don’t repeat your target keyword 100x in a single blog post. If search engines see your focus keyword plastered in every spot available, they’ll classify it as keyword stuffing.
- Use images/videos. People in general have short attention spans, so you need to keep them interested by breaking down your content with visuals.
- Link relevant information. Links are great ways to improve both the value of your content, and your SEO rank, so when you can, provide links for your readers.
Marketing can seem daunting at first, but it’s an essential part of building a photography business. Don’t worry too much about making mistakes or not being an expert.
The important thing is to start. Try one or two of these tips and add more as you go.
Be conscious about promoting your work and put effort into building your own brand!