Does this sound like your typical morning?
Do the morning routine. Exercise. Walk the dog. Shower. Get dressed.
Hustle to get your family out the door.
Think about your photo shoot from two Saturdays ago.
Look at all the amazing photos you took.
Wait for the phone to ring.
Check your appointment calendar.
Go buy a donut.
It’s discouraging to see an empty appointment book at times. After you’ve booked your first appointments from those in your immediate circle, you’ll soon need to start looking elsewhere for more. As your photography business grows, you’ll always be on the hunt for fresh clients. If this sounds daunting or scary, take heart. Gaining new clients is completely within your control. The trick to finding new clients is to simply to get out of your comfort zone and find them.
The good news is that we don’t live in a vacuum. New clients are everywhere! Just step into any business, bank, store, or sports arena, and you’ll see people. Families, couples, children, and children to come are your clients in the making. And because Every.Single.Person today has a camera phone, you can relate to them. Everyone today is some kind of a “photographer,” so it’s okay to talk about what you do. There’s no need to worry about complicated explanations, since most people know the difference between snapshots for Instagram and the long-lasting art that’s meant for their wall. Marketing good photography today is easier than ever.
Now, how do you reach these clients that are everywhere? What can you do today to build a new client, or 2, or 3 or 4? Our challenge to you is to OPEN YOUR MOUTH. If you want to make your photography business flourish, you’re going to be doing some marketing. Don’t let that scare you. This is good news for your business! It’s completely up to you how many jobs you line up, but to get there, you need to promote yourself by talking up your trade. It’s obvious, right? If you’re hoping for that magical day when all your leads come in by word of mouth, keep in mind that there’s really no secret to the magic - word of mouth has to start from somewhere. It starts in talking to people yourself.
If you’re wondering how this might work for you, imagine a scenario like this:
You stop at the bank, and the teller says, "How's your day going so far?"
You: "Great, I've just been finishing up some photos for a client.”
Bank teller: "Oh, are you a photographer?"
You: "Yes, I am! Do you like photography?"
Bank teller: "Well, I'm not good at it, but I do love to take pictures."
You: "Oh, fun, me too! You know, I offer free photography tips in my monthly newsletter. If you'd like I can send it to you. Let's exchange emails and I'll also give you my website.”
Bank teller: "I would love that!"
Once you have their contact information, you can start getting in front of them regularly through newsletters that are full of valuable content, specials and offers! Then, when they are in need of a photographer, you are the first one they think of. This is how a client is born! In fact, this is how a strong and sustainable business is built!
Photography itself is an artform. We enjoy a craft that is rich in expression, creativity, and emotion. On the flipside, though, it has the same needs as any other business. Marketing is an essential part of your photography business, but the great news is that it’s simple to do and you can do it just about anywhere. Be in the habit of sharing what you do and why you love it. You can truly turn your business over in no time by being willing to get out there and share about your business and grow your email list! If you are confident in what you do, your clients will have confidence in you.
Need help with the newsletter content that the bank teller wants? We’ve got you covered. (Link)