This year was the first year I've done client gifts for the holidays. For me, it was a chance to say "thanks" and have them remember me as they head into their holiday season, and most importantly, into the new year. Holiday gifts can be a great marketing tool, no matter what you choose to give. Beyond the holiday card that you send in the mail, think of giving your most appreciated clients something a little special. Here are 10 ideas to get you started: Playing cards This is the route I went with because I often have multiple contacts at … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: 10 client gift ideas to cap off the year
Photography Marketing Column
For my very first marketing column, I wrote about how to get listed in the Google "yellow pages," or rather, have a professional-looking listing on its search pages. While that recommendation still holds true, the process has been expanded upon recently, to hopefully ease the burden that businesses might feel after Google+ meets its demise. If you took my recommendation and got listed on Google, you probably know about Google's My Business website and app. This is a dashboard that shows your website traffic performance, searches, reviews, … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: How to enhance your Google presence without Google+
With Cyber Monday officially here, now's a great time to take advantage of some deals to help your photography business grow. Below are a few of my favorite tools for photographers, and some of them have some great Cyber Monday savings! Now's the time to finally invest in that customer relations management tool (CRM), much-dreaded accounting system or legal tools that you need to push your business ahead into 2019. Be sure to check out all of our holiday deals and ideas in our Holiday Gift Guide. Studio Ninja My choice for workflow … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Gift ideas to boost your business and marketing
As photographers, we spend a lot of time sharing our images and trying to market ourselves on social media. It's no secret that we spend about 20% of our time actually photographing, while the other 80% is spent on our business. In order to be effective on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, however, you have to know the platform. And you have to know your audience for those platforms. Facebook When Facebook was initially launched in February 2004, its audience was clear. It catered specifically to college students. But two years … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Know your platform
When I first got started in photography, I was constantly on Flickr. I uploaded all my photos there, browsed tons of groups and crossed my fingers that some of my work would make it to the coveted Explore gallery. While I'm no longer active on the service, I know several photographers — amateurs and professionals — who use Flickr on a daily basis. It's a great method of sharing your photos and getting feedback from the photography community at-large. It can even help in terms of showing off your work to clients. By Flickr changing its … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: What Flickr’s changes mean for photo sharing
Last Sunday, I was in Brooklyn to photograph the Brooklyn Bridge with a few other Photofocus authors after PhotoPlus Expo. As we sat down to enjoy an amazing ice cream cone from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (seriously...best ever!) we stumbled upon this flyer taped to the side of one of the freezers next to where we were sitting. It got me thinking — how can leave-behinds be effective? Understand your audience Now, obviously this flyer wasn't meant for us; it was meant for locals in the Brooklyn area. Because the mini session was … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Are leave-behinds effective?
Towards the end of each year, I have a look back at the past year and see what's worked, and what hasn't. There are a number of factors that go into this, but ultimately it starts with a lot of numbers. Did I bring in enough income, and exceed that which I made last year? Did I bring on enough new clientele, while continuing to work with ongoing clients? Based on these answers, I come up with some goals, which help me know where I need to put my marketing efforts. Defining your goals While the most obvious goal involves money, there are … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Goals, mission statements and increasing sales
As business owners, it's important that we're active on social media. It gets our name out there and lets prospective clients more easily find us. But there are a few guidelines that every business should follow — especially when it comes to photographers and videographers and their business presence on the world's largest social network. Post political opinions Before the 2016 election, one of my local pizza joints posted heavily on its Facebook page about how it was "all for" a certain political candidate. The business trashed the opposing … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: How to completely ruin your Facebook marketing
It's October. And while it's not the end of the year yet, many companies are already seriously thinking about and making plans for 2019. Most companies start their budget process for the next year in October and some do even earlier, so now is the perfect time to get in front of your clients. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Highlight a fall or winter promotion In your regular communication with clients, it might be a good idea to come up with a fall promotion you can offer them. For instance, I offered $50 off corporate headshots for … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Now’s the time to prep your plan for 2019
October is full of different conference opportunities for me, so as I start to take care of the usual client communication (not to mention deciding what to pack), there are a few marketing items that are on my list too. Business cards This is the most obvious thing, and it's one that many photographers forget to bring. Business cards are a tried but true method of getting your name out there. You can use these to network with not only other photographers but also exhibitors, instructors, and others at the conference your attending. Make … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Getting ready for your next conference
Last week, I photographed a two-day conference for the State Bar of Michigan. It was filled with education seminars, an awards banquet, networking events and more. But what stood out to me was the opening keynote. Here's the thing. When it comes to communication and responding to inquiries, many of the same rules for attorneys also apply to photographers. Responding is the most important thing you can do All times of the day, it's important to be able to respond to inquiries. These days, potential clients contact you not only by phone and … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Respond, respond, respond
The other night, I stumbled upon a post on one of the photography groups I follow on Facebook, that discussed an Uber-like photography service called ClapperX. Marketing itself as the "Uber for Videographers & Photographers," ClapperX seeks to match clients with photo and video professionals. While not quite like Uber's on-demand service, ClapperX makes it easy for clients to hire photographers and videographers on-the-fly. I saw pricing as low as $25 an hour for "enthusiastic" event videography. ClapperX is different from Thumbtack … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Is there a market for an Uber-like photography service?
When it comes to your photographs, we can often be sucked in into new looks, driven by social media and creative filters and looks on social media platforms like Instagram and Flickr. But while it might be enticing to try some new looks for your images, it's ultimately more effective for your marketing if you stay consistent to your brand's image. Why those filters are so "cool" If you spend any time on Instagram, you'll see a plethora of different looks. You see the everyday public put them on their images and you see all the likes that … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Stay true to your brand
I'm about to enter my busy season — an entire month of shooting non-stop, sometimes with multiple events a day. Sometimes even multiple full days in a row! I wouldn't have it any other way. While having photoshoots lined up is great, and that ultimately means cash in your pocket, there can be a few unintended consequences. Things not related to your current photoshoots can fall by the wayside rather easily. If you have a plan in place in advance of your busy season starting, you can avoid this from happening, and keep your promotion going … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Keeping your promotion going during the busy season
With fall on the horizon, I know that I'll undoubtedly have conflicts where I can't accept every single photoshoot out there. I'm not a large enough operation to have a full-time assistant shoot it, but I still want to take care of my clients as best I can. Offer referrals to your clients when you can't be there It's already happened twice in the past month — I had to refer other photographers to clients for upcoming events because I was already booked. When a client reaches out and you can't make a photoshoot, my immediate response is to ask … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Not available for a photoshoot? Refer, refer, refer
Earlier this year, I considered entering a large art competition. I had an idea, support behind me in terms of executing it, and thought I could deliver it without a hitch. It was going to be a large-scale photography piece that would be installed on the side of a building. The problem? I underestimated what it would take, and after taking a step back, decided to pass on the opportunity. It's challenges like these that make us better as creatives and as entrepreneurs because we ultimately have to decide what's best for our business. And … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Selectively choosing where to put your efforts
You can have the greatest website in the world, but if it's not optimized for search engines, it'll get lost in the shuffle. Integrating best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) will not only help deliver your website to a higher number of people — it'll also get you some new leads that you wouldn't otherwise have. What do you want to be known for? More important than your name or your company's name for that matter, is knowing what you want to be known for. Are you looking to become a well-known wedding photographer? How about a … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Tackling SEO for photographers
It seems like the In-Person Sales model (IPS) is taking the photography world by storm. Catering to photography genres like portraits, weddings, and families, this sales tactic is a full-service photography experience where you guide the client all the way from planning the shoot to selecting what artwork and size will look best in their home. Because I focus on corporate photography, I reached out to my friend, photography business coach and IPS Mastermind instructor Mark Rossetto to share his insights. What is IPS? A good restaurant … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: IPS, the face-to-face sales model for photography
Facebook and Instagram are great social media platforms to build excitement about your images, but should not be used as an online portfolio to send your clients to. Some don’t have an online portfolio because they don’t have the budget or skills to build a website nor the desire to maintain a WordPress site. Here’s how to create an online portfolio showcasing the very best of your images and the best part, it’s free! Why have a portfolio? An online portfolio should be a collection of your very best images to showcase your skills as a … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Create a free online portfolio
As an event photographer, I'm always asked after a photoshoot when I'll be able to deliver images to clients. In today's social media driven world this is important for clients, so they can show off their event to their followers. With the corporate event clients I work with, I have standard delivery times, but I promise to deliver event photographs within 48 hours. Nine times out of 10, my turnaround time exceeds what the client expects or desires, so it just adds to the positive experience they have with me. Have a reliable workflow I've … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Prompt delivery is key
A few years ago, I met someone from my church who ran a graphic design agency. While our meeting wasn't work-related, it was good to pick his brain a bit and hear some of his stories. He told me that, years ago, he had put all his eggs in one basket. He had one main client and hired 10 people just to work on that client. It was a major chain in the midwest, and it covered 90% of his company's overall income for the year. Then that company changed leadership and went with a different agency. He had to lay off almost all his staff because … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Never become satisfied
You might not have noticed it, but when you went to set up a Facebook account to share to in Lightroom Classic or CC recently, you were greeted with the following message: "Facebook is Discontinuing Sharing from Desktop Applications: Starting on August 1st, 2018 Facebook will no longer allow applications like Lightroom Classic to post photos on your timeline. You can continue to use this feature until then, but after that date it will not be possible to share photos directly to Facebook from Lightroom Classic." So, what's this mean? Well, if … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Facebook drops Lightroom share; a look at other options
Before your next photo shoot is secured, it's important to think about the education process for your clients. I'm not talking about giving away trade secrets here — quite the contrary. Educating your clients shows your expertise at your craft and the business of photography as well. It also shows the client that you care and have some great ideas for them. Gather Information For example, you might be contacted about submitting a quote for a corporate promotional shoot. The most important thing here is to answer as quickly as you can. But … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Educating Your Clients Improves Your Chances of Landing Their Project
One thing I keep hearing from photographers — "the photography market is saturated." Undoubtedly, the area you live in is filled with other photographers looking for gigs. The fact of the matter is that if you can differentiate yourself, you'll have no problem securing photographic work. Being Thoughtful I've written in the past about regularly checking in with your clients. But there's more you can do than just sending off a pre-written e-mail. Do something that goes beyond just a basic holiday card sent in December. A friend of mine … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
I shouldn't have been surprised on Wednesday, when Instagram announced its latest product — IGTV. Focused on taking the vertical video format a step further, IGTV is a new app that could be YouTube's biggest competition yet. As photographers, is IGTV something we should embrace? Is it worthwhile to try out yet another social network? The last time I talked about a new option was with Vero. And while I was big on it at first, I've not used it in the last month. Will IGTV suffer the same fate, or will it be in it for the long haul? What is … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Is IGTV the Next Big Thing?
We all know the phrase, "Keep it Simple, Stupid." There's no reason to go in-depth or overanalyze something when it can be done in a simple way. The same can be said about pricing your photography services. There's a few key things to take into account when you're thinking about pricing. While most of us have a standard rate we work off of, this can be interrupted by things like requested discounts, or when you have a larger job that requires more work. Have a Standard It's important to have a standard rate that you work off of. This … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Keep it Simple Pricing Strategies
As a corporate photographer, I get e-mails from potential clients pretty regularly through my website. Most of these e-mails are requests for quotes or checking my availability. I try to respond to e-mails pretty quickly, and for the most part, the potential clients answer back. But there are always some that slip through the cracks. Why Don't Potential Clients Respond? There are three main reasons I've found that potential clients don't respond, even after reaching out to you directly. You're One in One Hundred In this case, they've … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: What to Do When Potential Clients Don’t Respond
Every photographer, one day or another, will be asked to give away photos. This is something that most photographers either have a strict policy about or decide on a case-by-case basis. While the idea of giving away your work might be a tricky one to accept, it's also something that might help you in your goal to become a full-time photographer. Let me explain. Why Would You Give Away Photos? I've written in the past about volunteering your services for non-profit groups to get your work out there — and this is no different. If you've … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Should You Give Away Photos?
At this year's NAB Show, Chris Do, CEO, and Founder of Blind, controversially stated that vlogging is effectively dead. As social media continues to evolve, with the introduction of Cake.co and other networks, can the same be said for traditional blogging? Blogging has been around since the mid-90s and has been a staple of the internet world. Whether it's keeping up with your family's adventures to finding the latest and greatest recipes, blogs make up a big piece of the worldwide web. For photographers, blogging has been a way to get our … [Read more...] about Photography Marketing: Is Blogging Dead?