How To Build A Marketing Plan For Your Local Photography Business
Let’s face it, photography is a very creative craft that demands upfront costs (camera, gear, lighting, etc.) and requires you to spend time building a reputation in your community, so you should do everything that you can to grow your photography business with great marketing strategies.
You will need to work hard to be seen as the go-to photography expert for a given niche and drive more paying customers to your services.
If you are a new photographer or an experienced expert looking for ways to grow your presence and land more photography jobs, then you should focus on the best ways to drive qualified traffic to your site.
1. Optimize Local SEO & Google My Business
Most people rely on Google whenever they need an answer to a question. Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is like your digital business card because it is where you can talk about your work, speak to your target market, and build your business name.
Since you rely on a local client base, your photography business should focus on GMB to build a local presence. GMB is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy for local businesses that need to attract potential clients from a geographic area.
You can use Local SEO tactics to drive more business to your site, and you can also use Google My Business as a powerful way to build your brand in your local community and market. Here are five quick GMB marketing tips that you can use to reach your ideal client:
- List your business on Google My Business to enhance your online presence. Remember to fill out your profile completely to fulfill the requirements of Google’s verification process. Make sure to add category listings according to the services you offer.
- Add photos that display your business so that they can appear in Search Engine Results Pages whenever anyone searches for your business.
- At the very least, post to your GMB page at least twice a week.
- Build local search citations to improve your local rankings and your business’s credibility
- Connect with other networks where you can tap into your target audience and engage with them.
A GMB listing enables you to claim a prominent spot in SERPs and helps your small business highlight pricing, past work, and even giveaways. GMB combines the power of traditional SEO with the social engagement that you are familiar with other social media channels.
However, unlike other social media platforms, GMB positions your brand in The Local Map Pack sits above organic listings (websites) and right below the paid ads.
You will need to optimize your GMB listing, upload photo sessions, and get lots of customer reviews to improve your business page. Testimonials on your GMB listing are ample social proof and can elevate your Google Business listing.
All of these efforts will help you highlight your skills as a professional photographer to potential customers through the most powerful search engine on the planet!
Reviews on your GMB listing are essential, and the best way to get more reviews is to talk to past clients and ask them to leave you a review of your photography services.
It’s crazy to think about how much visibility you can gain without paying a single cent if you use GMB and local SEO for your photography business today!
2. Create A Professional Photography Website
A professional portfolio website is one of the best tools in your marketing strategy. Your website needs to make potential clients comfortable with you and prove that you have the skills they need to book a photography session.
Your photography website needs to highlight specific services you provide, build a connection with potential clients, and get found in organic Search Engine Optimization results. Here are five marketing tips that you can use to get more referrals with a website:
- A professional design for your photography website as it works as a virtual storefront for your business.
- A product or services page to clarify your specialties and what you offer, such as photography for Engagement or Weddings, etc.
- The ability to build new relationships with potential customers.
- A beautiful display of your best work so that you can establish your expertise.
- Contact information such as an address, phone, or a contact form to help prospective clients get in touch with you.
Your website also has to deliver fresh content about your photography sessions. You need to spell out the services you offer and cater the content differently if you offer wedding photography, portrait photographer, headshots, etc.
Since the competition for photographers is growing, you can prove your skills and value before clients even hire you by showcasing your site’s best work. This is a great way to grow social proof and build your reputation as the go-to photography for your clients’ needs.
Whenever you’re building a portfolio website, there are a few things that you have to remember if you hope to be successful. The first thing to bear in mind is that you have to establish equal representation for your work and services.
Showcase all your best photos, but also clearly explain how your service works. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can use your website’s portfolio as a quick and easy way to communicate with your clients and build a reputation before you even talk about an upcoming photoshoot!
Another critical thing to keep in mind is that your site needs to serve as a central hub for your marketing efforts. There are many ways for photographers to showcase their work and try to generate leads. This includes places like Flickr, Pexels, Shutterstock, and countless other platforms. Your website should serve as the glue that holds all your different channels together.
Whenever you’re talking to a prospect, be sure to lead them toward your website. You can build a portfolio practically anywhere on the web, but your site is one place that you’ll always have total control over.
3. Focus On Website Speed
Most business owners strive to offer a positive customer experience regardless of which niche or industry they’re in. When talking about customer experience in the context of your website, you must factor in the load speed.
The portfolio websites of photographers are often filled with high-quality images. Be sure to compress all your images so that the site loads fast enough to satisfy any leads and prospects.
Think about it, what do you do when you navigate to a website that takes forever to load?
Here are five tips to increase website speed and land more referrals with an optimized website:
- Compress the images without altering their quality to reduce the bandwidth and disk space utilized in displaying the images
- Leverage the power of a CDN to display multiple versions of the images worldwide while ensuring that the pictures show quickly regardless of the location they are being viewed in.
- Convert your raw files into JPEGs as they are larger and might slow down your website’s loading speed.
- Choose the size of the image you need as large image sizes hinder the website’s assets’ loading speed.
- Embed your YouTube videos into your website instead of self-hosting them.
Let’s face it- potential customers don’t have time or patience to wait for your website to load. Whether they are trying to schedule a shoot for their kids or they are just on the run, your website needs to load fast if you have any chance to book a photoshoot.
This is especially true for people on their mobile phones. You should always improve your site’s speed if you want your photography business to benefit from a high-quality and professional-looking website.
These aspects are connected to optimizing your photography website for mobile users, which is part of your overall marketing strategy.
4. Build A Blog On Your Photography Website
Photographers need to differentiate themselves from their competitors. You can do this by implementing ideas that show your skills, but you also need to use marketing ideas that reveal your personality.
Blogging is a great way to accomplish both of these goals because you can use your website blog as a place to engage with your audience intimately and honestly. It cannot be easy to build blog content that gets found in Google and generates new clients. Here are five quick photography marketing ideas that you can use to enhance your blog today:
- Post any photography projects that you have done in the past and share your journey through life story topics.
- Talk about what a person needs to consider if they are looking for a specific photoshoot, such as the poses, clothes, location, and the elements associated with an outdoor or indoor shoot.
- Put up location-specific blogs such as the top wedding venues in a specific area or the best tourist spots in a location perfect for a spring, summer, fall, or winter shoot.
- You can make several blog posts on the clothing styles that a person needs to consider for a specific photoshoot. This includes what to wear for a family photoshoot, the type of colors that brings out your best features in a photograph, or any props that one needs to incorporate in a portrait.
- Create relationship-building content so that people can learn from your expertise as a photographer. This includes offering tips and tricks on photography or advice on the best gear.
While other areas of your photography website will be focused on sales and conversions, your blog should focus on telling stories about your clients.
Your content will also make it easier to rank your site higher on organic search results. Be sure to target the right keywords and include them throughout your blog posts.
Optimize the content on your website will lead to higher ranking, more traffic, and as a result, more new customers for your photography business. In a nutshell, content is king, and you can make the most of your online presence by publishing content that potential clients are looking for in search engines.
5. Showcase Photos On Photo Sharing Sites
Being a photographer in this day and age is far more comfortable than it would have been at any other point in history. With the power of the Internet, sharing photos online has become a breeze. You might be reluctant to post your images at first. Here is a list of the eight best photo sharing sites that you can use for your photography business:
The main concern that most beginner photographers fear is the possibility of someone stealing your work. That said, there are many reasons you should be putting your photographs on the web for everyone to see.
When you make your work easy to access, there’s a higher chance that an author or publisher will stumble upon it, take an interest, and then contact you.
Many photographers have reported success in using platforms like Flickr to find new clients. Some get their photos published on the covers of books or used in the marketing material for large companies.
One photographer, Rosie Hardy, got her photo used on the cover of a Maroon 5 album after posting it on Flickr. Could you imagine the exposure these photographers get with the mainstream exposure they receive? All because they chose to share their images with the public and reap the rewards of their terrific work!
Sharing your work online doesn’t just help you find new clients. It also makes it easier for you to grow as an artist seeing as people will offer honest feedback.
6. Show Work Across Multiple Social Media Networks
Your target audience already knows that hiring a photographer isn’t cheap, so they will do much research before booking a photo shoot. Since you need to show that you’re a trusted local photographer, you need to set your business up across the Internet, so you are easily found.
Your brand is an essential part of your online marketing strategy. No matter who your target audience is, it is vital that you know how to build a relationship online to keep your customers looking for you and build trust from the first steps to secure a sale.
Some photography marketing ideas require money to get started, but some ideas like social media marketing are free to use and can have a significant impact to help you land more photography clients. Here are a few simple content marketing ideas that you can use on social media platforms to drive more business:
- Focus on image-based social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Use social media networks as a way to extend your reach in your market.
- Publish snippets from blog posts, past photoshoots, and “behind the scenes” footage to give your audience a unique experience.
- Link social media accounts back to your main photography website to help drive more website traffic and land more business listings.
- Take at least 15 minutes each day to respond to and engage with your followers on social media. You need to engage with the right people to start building a robust word-of-mouth referral system and book more shoots.
No one can hire you to do work for them if they haven’t even discovered you yet, so becoming visible to many people is paramount if you want to succeed as a photographer. Social media marketing is a low-effort, high-yield proposition that gives you the benefits of traditional advertising at a fraction of the price.
7. Share & Build Stories Around Photos On Instagram
Photography is all about creating a creative story around moments that matter for your clients. If you want to reach and promote your photography business with a broader audience, then you can’t go wrong with sharing your photos on Instagram.
Instagram is built around sharing images and building a personal connection. This means that Instagram is the perfect social media network to build marketing ideas around! Here are five simple marketing tips that you can use when you build your online presence through Instagram:
- It is important to note that great photographs are not taken, but they are created. This means you need to invest efforts in the editing process to make sure that you create a breathtaking final product.
- Leverage hashtags’ power and use them strategically according to the type of photographs you take to help people find your work.
- Post your photographs on Instagram at a time when most of your audience appears online to engage with it to increase your chances of making it to the Explore Tab.
- Carve out time to hold meaningful conversations and engage with your followers. You can do this by responding to their comments on your photos or ask them questions, which makes them view you as an active part of the community.
- Create a mini session for potential clients. Show your audience what they can expect to experience when they work with you!
Be sure to build a creative story around each photo that you publish. Treat your photography as a work of art, and make a personal connection with your readers by crafting a narrative to engage your audience further.
Establish a story to go with each image will make people feel more connected to the photographs. Your stories can help future customers get rare behind-the-scene peaks at how you work each photography session. Build a story is the easiest way to market your business and engage your followers.
8. Run Facebook Ads To Drive Qualified Leads
Facebook ads are another way that you can bring in more leads. Unlike other marketing tactics, you can pay Facebook to show ads with specific messages to your target audience.
The best thing about Facebook advertising campaigns is that they can be very targeted based on the specific demographic you’re trying to market yourself to. Here are five tips that you can use to save money and get the most out of your Google Ads budget:
- Choose a relevant Ad Image that entices your prospective clients to take action. This means that you need to select an image that perfectly encapsulates what your photography business stands for or the mood of the photography session that you are offering.
- You need to select the target audience according to the type of photography you are offering. So, if you are offering family portraits, you need to target the real decision-makers – mothers. You can easily select the age range and the location where you want to reach your target audience.
- Facebook ads allow you to target the audience based on their behaviors. If you want to build engagement on your ad, it will be displayed to people who engage the most with your posts, such as asking for advice or leaving comments.
- When you create a Facebook Ad, you should be heavily focused on the client. This means you need to understand what they are looking for to create an ad that offers them what they search for.
- You need to include a Call to Action in each Ad that you create on Facebook that directs the audience to a landing page.
Facebook Ads can influence what people want to spend their money on. Photographers reach out to a vast client base that they can later target based on their demographics and interests. You can pay for prospecting ads on Facebook, or you can run remarketing ads to engage with people who already visited your website but did not convert.
These options make Facebook Ads an ideal solution to reach potential customers, and you can take advantage of your social media accounts to book future photography sessions!
9. Run Google Ads In Your Area
As we have already discussed, your customers turn to Google when they need to find information or answer a question. This means that you need to do everything you can to get the right message to your ideal client at the right time.
Google Ads are one of the best photography marketing ideas because they get your message right in front of potential clients when they are ready to buy from you. Use these five Google Ads tips to get the most out of your marketing budget:
- Before you set out to run ads on Google, you need to evaluate your photography website. Check if it’s easy to navigate or loads quickly. Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of money on sending traffic that fails to convert.
- Carefully select the keywords you want to rank for to determine who sees your ad and interacts with it. You can use Google Keyword Planner to choose keywords for use in your photography ad campaign.
- You can place different keywords under different Ad groups, which means you can select two types of keywords if you are posting an ad on wedding photography and engagement photography.
- While creating your Google Ad, observe the value you offer to your prospects, and motivate them to take action. Learn all you can about the type of photography they are looking for and what information they need before deciding. If you can answer these questions, you have better chances of converting your prospects.
- View your audience’s behavior through Google Analytics and see how they interact with your ads so that you can improve your next Google Ad campaign.
To ultimate goal of marketing online is to get your ideal clients to meet with you in-person. It would help if you wrote your Google Ads to target your message to show that you are the best photographer for their needs.
Use Your Marketing Strategy To Reach Prospective Clients
It’s tough to build a photography business, but you can use the nine proven marketing strategy tips to grow your email list, book potential clients, and increase the number of photoshoots you have each month!
Photography Marketing FAQs
Even with a limited budget, photographers should focus on local SEO, social media marketing, and visual ads to book more photoshoots.
If you want to grow your photography business then you need to get found, build trust, and convert potential clients. You can use SEO copywriting tips to get found in Google and drive more business.