If you have a business, how to get more clients for your photography business!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ChristianH, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. ChristianH
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    ChristianH New Member

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    These are a few tips I thought off the top of my head, I am more of a internet type of person, and I'm learning photography slowly but surely. These tips hopefully will help your business they are basic things, I just want to make sure you all know about this stuff!

    1. Stand out from the crowd, if you don't have a youtube channel, twitter, facebook fan page, or other social media accounts make sure you create them and update them regularly. Your competitor probably has one of them. Keep up!

    2. If you don't have a website, get one built, and definitely make a blog, when people see you writing about photography, posting your pictures they know they can trust you.

    3. If you don't have a listing in Google Places, get one!

    4. I would really advise you to get backlinks yourself (for SEO purposes), but if you don't have the time, hire someone, you'll get your money back and probably double it!

    Backlink: EXample: <a href="http://www.thephotoforum.com">YOUR KEYWORD CITY OR STATE</a> You want to put this everywhere that accepts HTML!

    5. Use keywords (your city name, state name, or anything people would search) on your sites, social media sites (this will help your SEO a huge amount).

    6. Email Opt-in Auto Responder, from what I've seen, hardly any photography companies have these, what they do is keep your customers up to date (newsletter), you can send weekly, monthly, updates to those who are subscribed, you can give them coupons, keep reminding them, maybe they don't need you to shoot now, but in the long run they might!

    7. Article Marketing is KEY to SEO nowaday's , you can write an article on "photos are so good for your future" "why get a photographer" "Best camera's of 2011" Anything that goes with photography, you put in the promoting box on the bottom your website, there you go a nice backlink that google gives nice juice to!

    I'll be adding more soon, I really hope this helps you guys out, this is the simple stuff! I could bore you with all the advanced stuff if needed.

    I have an ebook on SEO, but I don't know if you all want to do that yourself, I would just pay someone in my opinion.

    To your success,

    Christian
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
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  2. c.cloudwalker
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    c.cloudwalker New Member

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    Interesting ideas. However, I don't have a website and don't intend to get one. I have no account with any of the social media sites and I don't intend to start. Yet my studio is doing just fine :)

    As you said yourself, you're an internet person before being a photographer. When you do become a photographer you may realize that 1/ those things are not necessary for all aspects of photography (they would do nothing for me), 2/ all the time you spend updating them is time away from shooting where you actually make your money and, when not updated regularly, those things tend to look pretty stupid.
  3. FavillePhoto
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    FavillePhoto New Member

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    I definitely agree with needing a website... Even if it is just one page with a little bit of information on it. If you don't have one, I guarantee that you are losing business. I know a lot of people who will not trust a company who does not have any sort of web presence at all, and will gladly chose one company over another solely based on that, even if it is more expensive. I, myself, am also guilty of this. I can not stress enough how important this is for your business.
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  4. vitor
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    vitor New Member

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    I agree that a website is a must if you want to make money in the industry. These guys www.idealize360.com did my website for me for pretty cheap. They also helped with a few marketing strategies. I'm happy with it.

    However, the problem for some trying to break into the industry is that they don't feel like they have enough quality material to have an online portfolio. I had that problem some 6 years ago. But like FavillePhoto said above "Even if it is just one page with a little bit of information on it. If you don't have one, I guarantee that you are losing business."
  5. c.cloudwalker
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    c.cloudwalker New Member

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    I don't know if we can ever get away from the idea, on this forum, that the only photography is retail photography but that is the only one that has anything to gain from having a website. Ok, just about the only one.

    However, there is a lot more to photo than retail. WAKE UP, people!
  6. dnavarrojr
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    dnavarrojr New Member

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    Our town does an "Art Walk" downtown the first Friday of each month during the Spring, Summer and Fall. This last one was the first day of the year with really nice weather and there was a great turnout.

    I rented a little space in a business along the art walk, set up my portable portrait kit and stuck a sign on the sidewalk with "Free Professional Photo". People came in, filled out a little card with their contact info, I took their picture and emailed them a web size along with a link to a special page on my web site offering to sell prints and a 15% discount on any portrait package if they came in to the studio. So far I've sold 22 prints and 5 portrait packages with 9 more scheduled. Next time I do it, I'm buying some ad time on the radio. And hopefully, my new studio will be downtown as well (hoping to sign a lease next week).
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  7. FavillePhoto
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    FavillePhoto New Member

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    Even if you aren't big on retail, it still can't hurt to just have a single, informative webpage about you or your photo studio with your contact information and a note saying "Call for more information". You never know when someone unexpected might find you and hire you, just because they were able to find you online. I read an article somewhere recently - can't remember at the moment, but, it claimed that some insanely high percentage (78%?) of shoppers start online first, before heading to town, or looking in a newspaper or magazine, or other resource. That's a large percentage of shoppers that have a chance to discover you when you have a website. Just my two cents. I recommend making a website to EVERY one of my clients, if they don't already have one.

    On a reassuring note, though, cloudwalker, I also agree with you, that you don't want to waste your entire life invested in your website. Don't rely solely on the website to power your business. Especially as a photographer, you really want to get out there and shoot events, and talk to people, and do a little self promoting, just by doing your job. If you shoot a wedding, and do a fantastic job, I can almost guarantee that the bride will tell all of her girlfriends to use you when they get married.
  8. FavillePhoto
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    FavillePhoto New Member

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    That's fantastic! And, such a great idea for a way to increase your business! Offer something free up front to get them in the door, and see the quality of your work, and then, they're more likely to buy additional stuff after that.
  9. JDaves
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    JDaves New Member

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    I live and operate in a very small area. Over the past 5 or 6 years it seems like every mom with a "rebel" is starting a sports type photo business So I had to get aggressive to get my share of the limited business. If the people do not see your work you can't sale anything. I use a web site for sales and to show off my work, I wear shirts with my logo on them, give out 100's of business cards, rent a booth at the county Fair each year with a display of my work. I also get ad space in all the local high school yearbooks. At sporting events I hang my banners and have the PA guy give me a few plugs. You must have a very good relationship with the schools to get this done. I help the logal newspaper from time to time with sporting events and they give me free ad space a few times each years.

    My sales have doubled each of the last two years after I started being aggressive with getting my work out to the public. I also helps not only to provide very good work but to offer prices at a rate that the everyday person can afford.
  10. dnavarrojr
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    dnavarrojr New Member

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    I am at a point in my career now where I no longer want "everyday people" as clients. For the most part, I find "everyday people" to be harder to please while demanding a lower price. My little stunt I pulled at the beginning of the month with the art walk was aimed at higher end clients who enjoy art and shop in the downtown area which is nothing like the local mall where prices are much cheaper. The vast majority of those doing the art walk have a higher income than average for this area. Which typically means more disposable income to have professional photos done. More importantly, I am networking with business owners and executives who are more likely to purchase my video services which is the bulk of my work.

    I'm not knocking anyone who does go after the "everyday person". That's how I started every business I've ever owned... with low prices and advertising aimed at the majority of the population in my area. That helps to get you started, especially when you don't have the savings to weather those periods of inactivity when no money is coming in. But eventually (and hopefully) things get better, you start saving and you begin to realize that people who try to save every penny they can are the most demanding of your time. They are picky and less trustful that YOU are the professional and know what you are doing. I have found that as you abandon those clients for those willing to pay more you find people who are typically professionals themselves and they know that if they knew anything about what you did, they would do it themselves. They came to you for your expertise and professionalism and trust you to know what you are doing and let you make most of the decisions. By the time you are ready for that stage, you have built a portfolio of quality work to show that your higher prices are worth every penny.

    The high end photographers in my area are still doing extremely well. They are typically booked months in advance and continue to book new clients all the time. Because they have built a reputation as having earned the high fees they charge. Now some may disagree, but I don't think anyone can start out that way. If you don't have the portfolio to show off the quality of your work and you haven't built that reputation, you are not going to successfully compete in that market. You have to pay your dues on the low to mid end before you can graduate to the high end. A lot of those high end pros (including many here) think that if you can't compete on the high end then you shouldn't be in business at all... and I respectfully disagree.
  11. c.cloudwalker
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    c.cloudwalker New Member

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    It has nothing to do with being big on retail. It has to do with the fact that I don't do retail. Period.

    And if you think you are going to get serious commercial jobs by having a website, you are in the wrong business.
  12. dnavarrojr
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    dnavarrojr New Member

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    A "blanket statement" like that has got to be false. I don't believe that simply having a web site will prevent you from getting commercial jobs. And at the very least, even if it's not for the purpose of advertising, a web site is a great place to provide password protected proofs for clients to view. I did an architectural shoot a couple of weeks ago and I posted the proofs on my web site because the local office wanted the main office in Illinois to review them. Best way to do that is the web.
  13. bennielou
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    bennielou New Member

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    You can make a ton of bookings just doing referrals. But being social doesn't suck either.
  14. c.cloudwalker
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    c.cloudwalker New Member

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    Fook, another thread that's going to make me sound like a snob. But I don't care.

    This is also another case of people only reading a small percentage of what is being written/said. All I said in my first post was that not all photogs need a website. And I am one of those that don't. The only thing a website would do for me is some random idiot calling me who thinks I am going to shoot his next album cover for $250. I won't but I will waste a lot of time convincing this idiot I will not shoot his job. And yes, it happened not long ago because of something I said on a forum.

    Could this be why I don't say who I am? Could very well be. This kind of situation is a waste of time to me. So is a website. Get over it. Just because the internet is the latest gadget doesn't mean it is a sales tool.
  15. Bitter Jeweler
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    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a website either. Also, when contacted by the Yellow Pages guy, who was try to get me to flesh out a web listing, I told him to put nothing. I am busy enough, and don't need random phone calls for crap work. I am however having a website made, and the idea to prevent random calls, is to have the website portray that I am high end, and expensive. Exclusive, if you will. But there is also the difference of someone who is already successful, and someone who is just getting started. If you are just getting started, you should probably have a website. If you are already established, and making money, is it needed? Nah.

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