How do you promote your Photography Business?? Help

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ForTheLove, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. ForTheLove
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    ForTheLove New Member

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    Hello all, I have a question to ask.... What is the best way to promote your photography business? Currently I am solely using Facebook, what are some other not too expensive ways to promote and secure bookings... Our local phone book charges $1500 for a small add... Thanks in advance for your help!

    Melissa
    Elements of Life
    www.elementsoflife.com.au
  2. jamesbjenkins
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    jamesbjenkins Well-Known Member

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    Word of mouth is the best non-social media method that I've seen. A blog that you post to regularly is a great way to draw traffic to your images. Are you familiar with SEO (search engine optimization)? It's using keywords, metadata, captions and HTML to help Google and other search engines make your site more popular.

    But really, it comes down to you and your pictures. A highly skilled photographer with a keen artistic eye can overcome technological limitations to be successful. I don't think the same is true if reversed. Take great pictures and share them with everyone who will take a look...and this goes back to the blog again. Go out and take pictures as often as possible, not just for clients, but because you love photography. Post the best to your blog. Invite people to subscribe to your blog...

    Hope that helps.
  3. TimGilbertson
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    TimGilbertson New Member

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    I use Facebook. It's good for posting pictures and being able to tag clients in. That being said, the advertising on Facebook is a waste of money. People just tune it out.

    The best method to get business is SEO to rank on the first page of Google. There's a mountain of information about this on the web, but some big things are making sure your website titles are exactly the search phrase you'd like to rank for, and that there are lots of choice keywords in your text. It's confusing on your website where exactly you operate out of. And if I can't tell Google certainly won't be able to. The second big thing to ranking high is getting backlinks. You can submit your website to directories, get mentions from friends' websites, guest write a blog, or use a reciprocal linking tool like Infinitelink or Link Co-Op. These are good for linking your site up with other photographers.
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  4. ForTheLove
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    ForTheLove New Member

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    Thank you for your replys jamesbjenkins & TimGilbertson

    I don't really understand the whole SEO thing.. does it mean that you have to search your page alot until it comes to the top of the seach field for that name? Also I have just used WIX to create my web site and I have put in the keywords for my page for the search engines...

    Also I didn't even release that I haven't put where I am based on my page, I will fix that up tonight.. arrgh so much to think about and do, I really appriciate the help!
  5. TimGilbertson
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    TimGilbertson New Member

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    No, SEO means adjusting the way your website is seen on the web. So adding your location, getting links from other websites to yours, making sure your website is consistent throughout really helps. Google Places is a good thing as well.

    WIX is kind of a nightmare for SEO though. It doesn't give you the freedom to alter everything on your website.
  6. CCericola
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    CCericola Well-Known Member

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    Donate your services to charity.
    join your local chamber of commerce
    join the PPA and get a listing on the Find a Photographer page
    Take out ads in high school and college publications for Senior work.
    What kind of stores do your target audience frequent? Ask to put flyers at the register at local businesses.
    Participate in or sponsor community events.
    Buy a mailing list of the area you want to work in and try a direct mail piece.
    Hire a salesperson on commission.
    join a small business group
    Build your own referral network of business professionals that you send clients to and receive clients from.
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  7. 35mmwebdesign
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    35mmwebdesign New Member

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    Consider stating a blog. Not only is a blog a great way to keep people informed of your activities, and show of your work, but if used correctly it will improve your presence on search engines, which will help people find you. Search engines use incredibly complex algorithms to rate sites to best match the search criteria. By regularly posting updates relevant to your line of work, location and interests, your blog will appear higher in search results thus helping people find you.

    There are many companies offering free blog templates (wordpress, tumblr etc), so if you are looking for free ways to promote your business, sign up and start blogging.
  8. BlairWright
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    BlairWright New Member

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    If you are a wedding photographer to go the local hotels and talk to their wedding planners, bring your portfolio and offer the planner a cut of your fee (ranges 15 - 25%). They will start recommending you if you can get your foot in the door.
  9. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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  10. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    Use phonebook if you want to pollute the earth with unnecessary paper. Every time I get a phone book, it goes straight to the recycling bin! This business is mostly word of mouth. SEO is 2nd.
  11. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    I have been trying to browse thru your website and it's really quite off putting if I were looking to hire a photographer. It's really hurting you and does not show well. The font is not easy to read-it's small and sharp.
    I went to portfolio thinking it would be a showcase of your work and it's a bunch of animals. Are you a pet photographer?
    Then I saw creative portraits. There is some nice low key stuff there, but mostly... not what people are going to hire you for. You need to show your diversity here and that you can photograph what people are looking for.
    Dance is all the same person in what looks like one session.
    THEN I discovered your Fashion and portrait gallery... which is more like fairytale gallery. There is some nice work in there. All of the same 2 models. It makes you look like you have not done any more than the two sessions...
    Your kids section is kind of like headshot snapshots of a few kids. There are no real kid portraits there. Which probably should be "Children"
    Your maternity has things like 4 of the same shot... in successive order. The black and white of the one couple is wayyyy too dark.


    What it boils down to is you really need some work on your website. You need to get rid of the million categories that are showing poorly for you. I'd combine the dance, creative portraits and fashion portraits into one gallery and get rid of a LOT. Show only the best of the best and not a multiple of anything.
    Maternity needs to be cleaned out big time. I'd keep that and the Children category, but you need to get some actual children's portraits in there.
    The equine stuff doesn't show well in most of them they appear to be snapshots without thought to the extremely busy backgrounds. Why there is a race car photo in there is beyond me. You have a LOT of out of focus shots, under exposed shots and horizons that are tilted and need fixed in there. I'd combine it with the just for fun category and again, trim it down to the best of the best.
    Your landscapes and cityscapes show best of all of the images. I'd also combine those with the Just for Fun stuff... Unless you are hoping to get hired for it in particular.
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  12. thephotochick
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    thephotochick New Member

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    Word-of-mouth is definitely how I end up getting most my business, with my Mom2Mom group & events in second, and Facebook in third.

    It's funny, I won free advertising on Google recently, and according to the analytics, I've not had one click via those ads. I think maybe we are all accustomed to tuning ads out. I still don't know if I will continue the adwords after my freebie time runs out. Depends on the end results.

    Mom2Mom is great way for me to get myself and my business out there. I'm a member of a Mom2Mom group (they're all over the place!) and I help with design ideas, getting the word out, setting up, etc. I take my portable studio set up with me to the Mom2Mom events and offer mini photo shoots on the spot, hand out cards and flyers, answer questions, and book appointments. It's really inexpensive for me to reserve a spot at the event, and I get in touch with hundreds of parents! I also make the mini photo shoots really inexpensive, usually between 1 and 4 poses, offer them a printed photo (just with my printer i bring) or a CD with watermarked images for a few bucks extra, and a coupon for a future sitting. I really put the pressure on these customers to book a "real" appointment, and I often get them. Even just posting on my Mom2mom's Facebook group has gotten me customers.

    That brings me to Facebook, which is kind of like word-of-mouth anyway. My friends like me, their friends like me, a friend of theirs sees my page and the photos I took of a friend and calls me for more info. It's just a bit quicker than my friend calling their friend who says their friend is looking for a photographer for their wedding. lol. I make no sense, do I?
  13. LaineAp
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    LaineAp New Member

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    some good and very useful ideas in here.

    you surely should start a blog, it costs nothing but you time and is pretty effective and enjoyable.

    you can interact with people posting similar things and sharing the same interests, as well as describe and sho off more of your, let's say, last shoot. people always love to see behind the scenes.

    also, a very SEO friendly thing as well, as mentioned above in the discussion.

    I would say that my blog (www.laineapineblog.com) gives me also lots of pleasure and fun. the upkeep takes time, but gives back something invaluable: the opportunity for your clients see the 'human' idea of you. your thoughts and ideas, not only you work presented in just photos.
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  14. dimakuzmich
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    dimakuzmich Guest

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    First of all, SPEND AS MUCH OF YOUR MONEY YOU NEED FOR ADVERTIZING YOU BUSINESS, BECAUSE IT YOU START GETTING ORDERS AND MONEY IF WILL DEFIANTLY PAY OFF. But Probably one of the best ways to promote you photography business is to put your business on your car and make a big print all over you car that you drive, but make it attractive.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2012
  15. PhotoGav
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    PhotoGav New Member

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    I went to your web site on my iPad. Flash required. if I were a potential client, you'd lose me right there I'm afraid.
  16. StudentofPhotography
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    StudentofPhotography New Member

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    I would recommend Google Adwords, though it can be expensive, you can really fine-tune your key words and only spend say $5/day or $50/month. But prevent using broad key words. If you live in a big city, like Salt Lake City, use a small town name, not SLC as that is too broad. Fact is, your competition probably does not advertise this way. The Google staff can be VERY accomodating too. I feel like a salesman from this post, lol. $1500 for a Yellow Pages ad is ridiculous! Good luck!
  17. GerryDavid
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    GerryDavid Active Member

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    In my marketing research, ive read that a low skilled photographer with great business sense will do much better than a great and awesome photographer with poor business sense.
  18. GerryDavid
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    GerryDavid Active Member

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    Ive heard that advertising a photography business on your car is a great way to ensure your car will get broken into.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2012
  19. bratkinson
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    bratkinson Well-Known Member

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    In my local (free) suburban newspaper today (I call it "The Enquirer", with all the local blah-blah-blah), I found a 5x7 glossy card-stock advertisement for a local photographer. It contained a nice picture of two children on the front. On the back, another nice picture and a Mothers' Day offer of one free 8x10 signature portrait with a session purchased by Mothers Day. At the bottom, it has their phone number, address, and facebook address.

    With perhaps 2000-3000 homes distribution between the 3 communities for this paper, I'm guessing $2-3000 for the one-time insert, all done by the community paper publisher/printer. It would be interesting to find out what kind of response it generates.
  20. GerryDavid
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    GerryDavid Active Member

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    I wish my area had a free paper, for this sort of thing. Back in Canada they had a free weekly paper that was delivered to 60k houses in 5 regions. It was dirt cheap to get an advertisement put in, I dont remember the prices now but a couple hundred would get you at least 10k houses. And considering you can get the advertisements for dirt cheap as well, thats not a bad plan. :) You can get 1000 4x6 double sided postcards at gotprint.com for $58 *as of last night when I placed an order, it was $12 cheaper a month ago* and 1000 5x7's for about $85.

    the us post office does offer a bulk mailing system and its pretty cheap compared to regular stamps, but you have to purchase entire mail routes, so you can pick the nicer neighborhoods, but the other half of the cards will probably get sent to the not so nice neighborhoods as well.

    I was reading my ppa professional photographer magazine today *had time to kill* and the one article had a good idea. the guy asks his senior portriat customers if they would like a family portrait before their child goes off to college, not a bad idea. :) the person that wrote it asks each customer they have if they are interested in the other type of photography they offer, even business clients.

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