As photographers, we often find ourselves not marketing ourselves to potential clients, but rather to fellow photographers. We do this without knowing it, by boasting about some of our top clients on our website, the number of years we’ve been photographing, etc.

While it’s important to have some of this information present on your website and other marketing tools, what’s more important is developing a message that your client can relate with. In other words, when a client spreads the word about you, what’s the first thing they’re going to say?

How to Develop Your USP

Think about what you like to photograph, and what you usually deliver to your clients. If you’re a wedding photographer, do you focus on getting some really great action shots at the reception? Do you bring some top-notch artistic editing skills to the table?

Being a corporate event photographer, it was all about speed and consistency for me. As I schedule shoots, I almost always am asked when I’ll turn around the photos. Three-quarters of the clients are in a hurry to at least get some of them shared to their audience via social media, newsletters and other means.

From early on in my career, I made a promise to my clients that I would get them their event photos quickly. To me, that meant a 48-hour turnaround time, which I continue to stick to unless the client specifically states the photos are “no rush.”

Additionally, last year I developed a program where, if requested, I would deliver a “first-look” batch of around 10 photos from the event. These would be turned around as soon as possible, usually within 2-3 hours of the conclusion of the event.

Staying consistent with my timing and deliverables, I soon was known as a photographer who not only produced great images, but one that did so in a very timely fashion.

If you are struggling to find your USP, the place to start is your reviews. Looking back at them, is there one specific thing that’s being called out that you could be known for? If you aren’t finding much by the way of your reviews, you could also ask some of your ongoing, consistent clients what they think of when they think of you as a photographer.

The Most Important Part

Whether you know it or not, you’re known for something. Whether it be your editing style, your great demeanor with clients or customer service, you want to stay consistent. The more you can become known for one specific trait, the more that message will spread and help you achieve word-of-mouth clients.


For more on Photography Marketing, see our weekly column.