How to market and promote services as a photographer

by hooty
20 replies
I am helping a friend promote his new business as a photographer and conducting classes on photography.

Can anyone offer any good advice or strategies on how to promote this business online and offline?

Thanks! Appreciate all your answers.
#market #photographer #promote #services
  • Profile picture of the author jipolis7
    Online

    1. Starting a portfolio, blog with great content is a great start
    2. Then promoting such posts or directly services through social media ads
    3. If need long term success, focus on SEO for organic traffic
    4. Guest blogging in highly niche related sites with already having traffic
    5. Email marketing

    Offline

    1. Tele marketing
    2. Drop business cards
    3. Print publications
    4. Events
    5. Print advertising etc.

    Hope this helps.

    All the best!
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  • Profile picture of the author Aravision74
    My daughter is a good photographer and she has done several things:
    * Doing weddings and new baby pictures. As time went on, her reputation grew.
    * Sell calenders with her photos. It took some time but now she has annual clients.
    * She sold a photography class for 500€ where she would take a small group of photography students with her to go to different places in the French Alps (where we live) to take photos. Actually she could make much more if she offered a full package including hotels and food and a minibus for the excursion. In other words move into photography tourism. If you are not a painter or photographer you can pay someone to teach their art class doing the trip (and include that in the pricing).
    You can also use Vistaprint to create mouse pads, mugs, etc with your photos.
    Companies have teambuilding days that need to be covered by photo and video too.

    Hope this gives you some ideas

    André Amsing
    French Alps
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    In my opinion, your best bet is word of mouth marketing. You need to get recommendations from other businesses and people that work with photographers. For example, I've never hired a photographer, until I sold my house. So, how'd I find one? I asked my realtor if she knew anyone and she recommended some guy who came and took 34 pictures for $300.

    Network and do the same thing with people associated with real estate, weddings, special events, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenn210
    As always I'll just say I'm not a Guru, these are just my opinions, so with that being said, the first marketing tool I'll talk bout it is PPC or paid to click ads. These ads are really expensive, but they get you lightning fast results. The grandfather of them all is adwords. I started out with this one and lost thousands of dollars trying to promote products on Clickbank.com years ago. Just about anyone can sign up for an account and have your credit card drained within minutes. The thing I like about Adwords is that when you use it, the google search engine GODs seem to love it and they move your link up in search results at the same time. The probem is, there are so many established veterans using it, that you can end up paying $5 per click sometimes, so in McDonald's terms that's a Big Mac per click. My new favorite PPC is Microsoft ads. They're kind of like the little brother that's trying to get out of big bro's shadow. The competition is pretty slim and you can get away with a 5 cent per click ad if it's worldwide traffic. The campaigns are a lot easier for me to set up as well. I can usually get one started within a few minutes and they even let me prepay, so I don't have to worry about waking up to a thousand dollar charge on my card. There was a time when someone hacked my account with them before I started using prepay, but we don't need to go into that since they resolved it.
    If you just don't have a budget there a some pretty good free places to get traffic. One of the sites I like to use is Easyhits4u.com. You can start surfing on there and have clicks to sent to your sites without paying a cent. You can even specify U.S. only traffic. The problem with the site is the bounce rate. It's also frowned upon and doesn't seem to get any type of search ranking movement. But you get what you pay for.
    I've finally come to the conclusion, after seeing it on just about every marketing blog that I've read, that content is king. I've heard Bill Gates was the first one to say this on record in '96, so who am I to argue with 70 billion bucks. I know it's a lot of work, but nothing, I mean nothing will get you traffic like original articles written start from the heart. I've tried just about everything else and it's just been a waste of time.
    There are services that can write content for you, and I may have to try one of those, but I think if you just treat it like a 9 to 5 and think about how writing 7 articles a day can get you more money than 8 hours of your current work, it'll start to make a lot more sense. I've been writing for just a few days and have already seen results better than any other methods I've tried. Anyway that what I know on the topic just from what I've read online. Hope this helps.
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  • Hooty,

    Promoting Photography Services Online & Offline

    1. Contact owners / administrators of businesses, companies and associations / organizations / professional networks in travel industries and real estate niches, specifically those that specialize in local listings, especially those with sites that have room for better photos. Offer them your photography services. Entice them by showing your relevant portfolio. Compel them to take your offers by giving value-added services like brochure layouts, setting up a Pinterest and Facebook page for them in case they don't have one, etc. You have lots of options on how to do this, i.e. Phone calls, face to face appointments, emails, messages via LinkedIn InMail or Skype or Facebook Messenger, etc.

    2. Advertise in online and offline networks. For online, there's Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. For offline, there are niche magazines, local newspapers, etc.

    3. Establish your presence in trade shows, business conferences and workshops / seminars where your target audience hangs out. Give away brochures and business cards at those events. Entice them with special promos and offers designed only for participants at those events.

    4. Post service ads in classified ad sites, and bid in relevant projects at micro job sourcing platforms.

    Promoting Photography Classes Online & Offline

    1. Udemy. Check it out.

    2. Set up a blog with resources for photography students and beginners. Give away an irresistible offer in exchange for the contact details of your target audience.

    3. Post and advertise in local newspapers, niche magazines, classifieds and in newsletters of relevant organizations.

    4. List down competing sites and blogs, especially those with top ranking pages in Google and Bing for your target keywords. Use SimilarWeb.Com and SpyFu.Com to know what's working for those competing sites in terms of generating direct traffic, referral traffic, social traffic, organic search traffic and paid search & display traffic. Through these tools, you'll learn what they're doing to get significant direct traffic, which external sites are giving them significant referral traffic, which social networks are driving significant social traffic to them, which keywords are they using for their organic SEO campaigns, and which keywords and advertising networks are giving them good results for their paid search & display ad campaigns. You can then check out if there are content placements and advertising opportunities for you in these referring sites, social networks and advertising platforms.

    5. List down laterally relevant sites and blogs with significant traffic, specifically those with non-competing content that would most likely be interesting and engaging for your target students. Use the tools mentioned above to broaden what you know about these non-competing sites. Check if there are content placements and advertising opportunities for you in those non-competing sites, in the external sites that are driving significant referral traffic to them, and in the social networks and advertising platforms that are giving them significant social and paid traffic. As for organic search traffic, check if you can generate good content ideas from the keywords that they use for their organic SEO campaigns.

    6. Use Youtube for content placements and advertising opportunities. I think this is probably a platform where many of your target students go to find relevant content.

    * Most of these can also be used to promote photography services online ...

    Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author 55sadhikar
    Post pics on pinterest and Instagram and facebook. And put your website profile link on it and let them know that you are available to do their projects just put your phone number and contact form on your own website so that they can contact you.
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    • Profile picture of the author aizaku
      Originally Posted by 55sadhikar View Post

      Post pics on pinterest and Instagram and facebook. And put your website profile link on it and let them know that you are available to do their projects just put your phone number and contact form on your own website so that they can contact you.
      Id do this. Id also contact and invite big account holders to my pinterest boards

      -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author hooty
    Thank you all for the wealth of valuable information and advice. You guys are awesome !!!

    Thank you. Appreciate the time and effort.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    Local marketing, build some clients and get some word of mouth going. Use facebook and twitter to connect with friends and friends of friends, spread out from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourGoToWriter
    Photography is easy to market online and offline but with a lot of competitors out there, your friend will need more than his amazing artworks. The things you must to do:
    Online...
    *To set up a new website to serve as his portfolio
    *Use social media platforms to promote his masterpieces and use captions with great content to make it more shareable
    *Join social media groups dedicated to professional photographers like him
    *Create short demo videos
    *Perhaps offer referral bonuses
    Offline...
    *Do a uniquely designed business cards
    *Attend events or conferences for exposure
    *Join a photography meetup

    Hope these will help your friend's photography business! Keep us updated on the turn out.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    Create a BRAND.

    I mean your friend make photoes about a particular niche: build a blog around it, build a list where your friend explain why he took this photo etc, and also put the blog links in the emails...

    ...i mean create audience.

    Publish these photoes in sites like fotolia, flickr.....and obviously a Facebook's page.

    Try to engage your customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    I think instagram and such sites would work well for you online. For offline, if you can afford it, sponsor an event where people who sell wedding dresses go.

    Or wedding planners.

    If you don't have that kind of funds, advertise in churches (bulletin boards, make friends with pastors), attend free or inexpensive networking events where wedding planners and would-be brides go. Start your own meetup (www.meetup.com).
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    Good for you for helping out your friend.

    My advice I have outlined below - obviously you would need to provide more info like where you are located, competitors etc to really get a better understanding of your friend's situation however this might help.

    First and foremost:

    ⁃ What marketing are they doing currently?
    ⁃ Do they have a website with online booking system for classes?
    ⁃ Do they have social media pages that are being regularly updated and with current info?
    ⁃ Are they available to offer a special deal - due to the fact that they are a new business
    ⁃ Do they have a niche - wedding photographer, kids, pets, real estate, nature etc - and is this fairly clear in their marketing
    ⁃ Have they got a portfolio available to show prospective clients
    ⁃ Is their price point competitive (and not too cheap)
    ⁃ Does their prices for photography include printing and or the images on a disc or USB (wedding parties in particular love this feature)
    ⁃ Do they travel and if so is this clear in marketing

    Once this is all answered I would ensure they are working on the following - all are fairly cheap and just time consuming

    ⁃ Regular social media posts - Facebook and Instagram
    ⁃ Mobile optimised website
    ⁃ Email marketing to any contacts they have captured
    ⁃ Attending trade shows for their niche - ie. if they are a wedding photographer getting a stand at the local wedding expos or partnering with a bridal boutique, hair dresser or make up artist
    ⁃ Affiliate partnerships - with people within the industry and even consider a referral offer for these people
    ⁃ Signage for car and possibly a uniform so people know who you are
    ⁃ If you're working with kids do they have a safety check (they call these blue cards in Australia and it is a police safety check)
    ⁃ Speak with friends, family and anyone in your contact circle and let them know what you are doing
    ⁃ Advertise on Google Adwords (if you have the budget)
    ⁃ Create a DL flyer

    For classes I would consider the following:

    ⁃ promote your classes in a community directory
    ⁃ try and get editorial in local media with a photo
    ⁃ promote at local colleges, and education campuses
    ⁃ share the info on social media
    ⁃ give a spot away as a prize / offer
    ⁃ partner with someone else and do the classes with a well known 'guru'

    That's all I can think of for now

    All the best!!
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  • Profile picture of the author stargirl
    This is a very very large topic, but as a photographer myself too, I can offer some ideas. This is in no way a comprehensive answer, but I hope it will shed some light on the problem.

    If your friend has some money for promoting his business, then one of the best ways is paid advertising (Facebook and Google). If the services or courses he sells cost at least, lets say, $60-$80, then paid ads should work well. For cheaper products they can be more challenging.

    Of couse, for paid advertising to work, he should have a nice looking website with some selected photos in the areas he wants to work in. Make the focus of the business clear to the potential customers. An online store or ability to sell courses straight from the website will help (even if they're "offline" courses). At the very least he should start a mailing list and get people on it, so it will be cheaper to market to them later.

    Paid traffic is a great way to get in front of a large audience quickly. With Facebook ads you can also customize the target audience in many ways, by where they live, what their interests are, age group and so on.

    Keep in mind though that with paid traffic it's something one should learn properly. It's easy to spend a lot of money if you don't yet know what works best. It could be a good idea to take a course on that first from someone who has been using paid advertising and gotten good results.

    All the best to your friend and his business!
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  • Profile picture of the author anhvu
    Hi,

    In my opinion, creating a website if don't have website design skill, just hire for it. Then upload photos with the price for each photo. then start to drive traffic to the website.
    How to get traffic? 2 best ways are SEO and social media. About social media I highly recommend use Instagram, that's the best place to boost photography online business. Hope this help

    - Anhvu
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  • Profile picture of the author netbull
    1) Search and utilize proper keywords or keyword phrases for your sites content.

    Online search engines look for certain keywords that they might show in their results page. In accomplishing this, getting the correct keyword and keyword phrase can be a high requirement in ranking in high in Internet search engine results. You could write your own content or you could employ someone to accomplish it for you. five) Write Posts that can lead traffic in your site.

    Submit articles to sites that would include the exact same subject that your site bargains in. If you sell car components write pr releases and articles about vehicles and car components. Attach your sites description and solutions at the finish of the article as well as the link.

    2) Join forums and make online communities.

    Capture a market and show your expertise and credibility. When you found a good foundation for your site, people will trust you as well as your site and can pass to a lot of people their trust. Traffic will surely increase mainly because they know that you offers what ever they need.
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  • Profile picture of the author scotty2hotty
    Personally I think classes on photography is a little vague. I think he needs to find a specialty first and then run with that. ex:

    Wedding Photography
    Long Exposure Photography
    Nature Photography
    City Scapes
    Photoshop Editing
    Face Shots
    etc.

    He's going to have a damn hard time trying to get into the photography market without "niching down" first.

    If he wants to get into the local market then I would recommend facebook groups for his specified city. Find out what he wants to teach and use those groups/profile/ads to promote it.

    Honestly it doesn't have to be as complex as some of the aforementioned answers if he knows what his goal is and he is specific enough about it.

    But imo "photography classes" is much to vague to get the attention of a focused market. If you decide to run ads with those semantics I am predicting you will spend more money that you make.

    Just my honest opinion. Let me know what his specialty is and also his capacity/modality of teaching. I'm certain I can give you more concrete ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author andyfyou
    I would highly recommend utilising Instagram and growing via this platform - have a friend who has made a tidy little business doing this and even got a job with a fairly big Aussie publication doing this. Also depends on the type of photography they enjoy taking - is your friend a travel photography? Wedding? Events? Or just photographs everything?

    Definitely Instagram and a blog/website with a portfolio first and foremost.
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  • Profile picture of the author dance music
    Message fitness network marketers in your area (Beachbody, Advocare and etc). These people need good quality pictures to promote their brand in facebook and instagram. Tell them you can give them a group discount for their downline.
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