5 Top Tips for Adding New Clients to Your Photography Business

Georgia McCabe has spent her 30 year career at the intersection of photography and digital technology.  As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives entitled  “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Friends…or Enemies” will appear in print in the upcoming book entitled The Relationship Age, by social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for H&H and has put together this list of tips for us, explaining how to add new clients to your photography business.

Finding customers who place real value on your work is one of the most challenging aspects of today’s competitive market. In photography this is especially true, as the industry is changing greatly. Many consumers remain interested in the services of a photographic professional, but changes in technology have created a new group of aspiring “professionals” trying to establish themselves in the field. Here are some easy tips that will help you differentiate yourself when prospecting for new clients.

1. There are numerous dedicated channels on the internet that can position you and help spread the word about your menu of services.

Photographers.com is a great site; users can search by location, specialty, or professional organization and you can upload your portfolio as well as contact information and links to your web site.  Monthly membership charges are nominal and based on the number of profile features. Findaphotographer.us offers the same basic features.

2. Remember that each potential customer has varying photographic needs.

When considering expanding into any market segment consider questions like, what is the hot trend in photographic services right now and, is there room for significant growth? Joining photography circles on a social networking website can help you determine what customers are looking for and how other photographers are addressing their needs. Although you may cater to a wide variety of assignments, you still need to specialize in a particular niche market as clients invariably hold a specialist in higher regard than a photographer with generalized offerings.

3. It is vital to know your competition!

Start by doing localized market research using the internet to search for photographers the same way you anticipate clients will find you. Try as many sites as you can, and search by specialty as well as by location. Find what others are offering and see how you compare. Try to define why a customer would choose you over the competition: Price and quality are a given, but you may find that lowering your price prevents you from delivering a quality product.

4. Photography is an inherently personal business and people generally buy from those they trust and like.

Creating a portfolio on social media sites is a great fit for marketing professional photography. Make sure that you add your unique view as a visual artist and skilled technician, leveraging all of your capabilities “to create” the right image.  Annotate your examples by adding a few words about what the subject wanted and why they liked the results. You aren’t selling snapshots, you’re selling perspective so the slightest comment about the shoot or what the subject wanted helps position you as a perceptive and capable visual artist.

5. Set up an advertising plan to publicize your specialization and unique skills.

A dedicated studio site is perfect for this and will provide flexibility for you to expound on your unique skills and technique. Make it attractive and well populated with specialty-relevant pictures and text.

Increasing your online visibility will help expose potential clients to your work. Armed with these handy tips, you will be well on your way to building a greater clientele.

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