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Five Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business

Whenever I ask photographers what their number one struggle is the answer is always the same!  Marketing.

And I get it!  No one is born knowing how to market themselves.  It’s definitely a learned skill and it can feel intimidating. 

In fact, a lot of people feel so overwhelmed when it comes to marketing that they just choose not to, relying on their photos alone to find them clients.  And that, my friends, is a really bad idea.  So on today’s episode, I’m going to share five tips for marketing your photography business!

1. Take the pressure off. 

Listen, marketing is a loaded word that scares a lot of people. So if it scares you, you are not alone!  But the truth is, marketing is just a fancy way of saying communication.  It’s how you communicate with people about what it is you do!  And that’s not scary… But there are ways to do that that feel more comfortable and natural.

2. Serve don’t sell.

Marketing is not the same thing as selling and a lot of photographers get those two things confused. They use their marketing platforms to talk about their pricing and what’s included in their packages.  That’s selling, and if you lead with a sale, you are going to lose potential clients. 

Instead of selling in your marketing, serve your clients by answering their questions, educating them about how to get the most out of their time with you, and inform them on how your services can help them get what they want and need. 

This approach sets you up as an expert and builds trust.  It helps you establish a relationship with a client before talking about the sale and it turns your marketing into on-boarding, so that when people reach out to you, they are reaching out to book, not ask you a thousand question! 

To help come up with some ideas for what to say, look through your emails. Think back on past conversations. What are some of the most common questions you get asked?  For me it’s things like how to prepare, what age is best for newborn photos, and what to wear so I talk about those things in my marketing!

3. Diversify your marketing.

Social media marketing gets a lot of attention in the photography world, especially Instagram. That makes sense – we’re visual artist and Instagram is a visual platform.  

But there are other ways to market your business that are just as effective, and maybe even more effective, then social media.  

Use your blog

When you are using your blog to serve your clients instead of sell to them, that is a great for marketing. When you are blogging about things potential clients are interested in – how to prepare, what to wear, best locations in your city – that sets you up as a trusted expert in your area. It also creates content people want to read so they’ll hang out on your site longer, which boosts dwell time, and signals the SEO bots that you have a site people want to see, and that is how you rank higher…. It boosts you up!  

Build your email list! 

Through the year as you’re working with clients, ask for their email address and start an email list!  Email marketing is still a thing and it’s really effective!  I routinely book out my mini session by sending just ONE email to my list!  So yes, use social media, and also use your blog to build SEO and grow your list. 

4. Be willing to play the long game.  

Listen, marketing is a marathon, not a sprint and that means that the work you put in today won’t start really paying off until 3 months now. You need to be willing to play the long game. When it comes to marketing, consistency really is the ticket to success. That means consistent blogging, consistent newsletters, consistent sharing on social. I know that sounds like a lot of content to create, but it doesn’t have to be! Inside of Sandra Coan Certification, I teach a method for repurposing content that I call the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle method that makes consistent marketing EASY and even kind of fun!

5. Automate.  

One of the biggest marketing mistakes photographers make is a yo-yo approach to marketing. They’ll market for a while, then they get busy or go on vacation and they stop. Then they panic because sales drop, and so they market again and on and on like that. The problem with yo-yo marketing is it sets you up to get yo-yo results. Remember tip number 4, marketing is a long game, so if you are constantly starting and stopping, you’re never going to see the full potential of your effort.

The solution is to automate. Take one or two days every month or every quarter to create, plan and schedule your marketing content so that it’s running on autopilot. Your content can work for you even when you’re not actively doing it! 

Automation will help you get better results AND allow you to live your life!!! You can take a vacation, without having to worry about marketing your business.

And of course remember, you don’t have to do this alone.  Teaching photographers how to effectively market their business is part of what I teach inside of Sandra Coan Certification!  So if you need some help, if you are craving a mentor and a supportive community, follow the link in our show notes and get you name on the waitlist!  We’ll be opening enrollment again in May!