Sometimes a photography business feels like a roller coaster.
One week you’re on top of the world, running from sessions to ordering appointments to consultations. You’re juggling more business than you can keep up with and it feels great to be in such demand.
Then a few weeks later, anxiety creeps in as things slow down. Wracking your brain for new ideas to book sessions, you cross your fingers that something you’re doing will make the phone ring SOON.
To smooth the wild fluctuations in demand for my photography, I spend at least an hour every week marketing my photography business.
Even when I’m booked solid, I do these marketing activities to keep future business in the pipeline.
Here’s a handy free weekly marketing checklist of 8 of my simple, but powerful ideas for photography marketing help that get clients on your calendar.
Now that you’ve downloaded the marketing checklist, let’s dig into the details of 4 of the marketing activities I do each week.
1) Get social
Photography isn’t top of mind for our clients like it is for those of us who LOVE photography. Instead, we have to stir up memories for our clients of the fun they had with us during their sessions or of how much their kiddos have changed since they were last photographed.
Don’t post a discount offer on your Facebook page in an attempt to book sessions.
Instead try these ideas:
- Post an amazing image from a client’s session (and tag them)
- Share an Animoto video of their session (and tag them)
- Write an article on your photography blog about the fun you had creating the client’s experience – and share that blog post on social media by tagging the client as well. People LOVE reading about themselves.
If you’re slow or haven’t photographed any sessions recently, pull out images from sessions in the last year to bring back the excitement your client felt in that session.
2) Send a gift
Within a year of a session, I like to give an unexpected gift to those clients I want to come back.
I don’t give the gift at the time of the session.
Instead, I wait 3 months to a year after they’ve placed their order and surprise them.
The gifts I send are always photography related and are easy for them to share my images with others. I don’t spend a lot on these gifts, but the impact they have generates a huge buzz for my business.
Gift idea #1: This gets me a few new clients every year. I send Photo notecards from whcc with a favorite image of their session on the front gets. My clients send these to their friends and on the back it has my contact information. If my clients don’t entertain in their homes, their friends may not have seen the wall art I created for them. This lets me show off my work to their friends with a gift my clients love using.
Gift idea #2: I also use Sticky Albums to gift my clients unexpectedly. With Sticky Albums, clients get a digital album of the images they purchased from their session. They can easily show off their images on their phone or tablet to their friends. I often use Sticky Albums as a gift within the first 3 months after their session, making it easy for them to gush about their experience when it’s still fresh in their minds.
3) Give back
Local charitable auctions are a great source of new clients for me.
Sure there are lots of details that need to be covered to ensure I attract the right clients. I figured those details out after I donated to several auctions and found I wasn’t getting clients.
Now, I can track $25,000 in revenue each year to auctions I donate my photography to.
Find a charitable auction in your market and donate your photography services to a lucky bidder. Start by:
1) Contacting local private schools
2) Calling your favorite charities
3) Asking your clients if the charities they support are looking for silent auction donations
4) Reaching out to pre-schools in your market
4) Do lunch
Some of my best clients were referred to me by other small business owners in my community.
How do I get them to send me clients? By helping them first.
It all starts by me doing business with them. They see I’m a supporter of their business and not just someone who wants something from them.
I introduce myself when I’m shopping locally.
I ask questions about their business to get to know them better and learn what their challenges are.
And then, I invite them to lunch where I can learn whether or not they’re a fit for a co-marketing partnership. One of the first times I did this, my co-marketing partner sent me a $4,000 client!
If you struggle approaching co-marketing partners and knowing what to say, my Co-Marketing starter kit can help.
There is lots of competition in my market, too, but by consistently working on my marketing, I keep my calendar booked with the clients I want.
If you aren’t photographing the clients you want, run through this checklist every week and do these activities to keep your photography business healthy.