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Okay, let’s face it. Growing a photography business? It’s effing hard! You may have your amazing portfolio and advertisements laid out on your social media pages, but even with those, you’re still invisible as fuck.
You should know that building a business requires more than raw talent. You also need to have a knack for marketing. Whether you’re an emerging photographer or a seasoned veteran, marketing yourself in the industry is an important factor of success. Other than working on improving your photography skills, you should also be working on your branding and marketing expertise.
Now you probably think that you’re acing the marketing game, but if you’re not getting clients despite your efforts, then you’re screwed.
Check out this list to discover the marketing mistakes you probably didn’t know you were doing, and then follow our tips to avoid making them:
Photography Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Being Boring and Too Professional
We’re not saying you should be acting like an immature brat, but most of us think that hiding behind a professional front is impressive.
Yes, being professional is necessary, but sprinkle some personality into your brand. Trust us, your potential clients will feel more comfortable reaching out to you when they know they’re not engaging with the CEO of Google.
One way to put in personality to your brand is to change that boring bio of yours. Most people won’t give a shit about your history in photography and they obviously won’t bother reading your three-paragraph essay on how much you love to take photos.
What are the things that excite you? What do you do aside from photography? What makes you unique as a human and a photographer?
Let your personality shine through to your clients and get them to know more about you.
Focusing on Likes, Followers, and Shares
Sure, social media can seem like a number game. And hey, congrats on your 2,000 followers! But let us ask you, how many of those 2,000 actually give a damn about you? Exactly.
We know what you’re thinking. The higher the number, the more legit you look to your audience. This is simply a myth. Focusing too much on numbers will lead you to neglect the purpose of social media—and that is to consistently engage with your audience and earn loyal clients and supporters.
Forget about these metrics and focus on the relationship you are building with your audience. Are you creating interactive posts? Do you engage with your followers or do you wait for them to engage with you first? Are you personally responding to their comments?
Remember, it’s better to have 100 followers that are true to you and your brand than 2,000 random followers who aren’t interested to collaborate or work with you.
Marketing on the Wrong Social Network
It’s fair to say that Facebook is a great platform to begin with when you’re new in the business. But when you’ve been in the industry for quite some time now, you must gain a better understanding of your clients and their behavior.
If you cater to commercial photography projects or corporate clients in general, you might want to consider LinkedIn or your own website. If you focus on portrait clients for weddings and birthdays, Instagram and Pinterest will be good choices.
Then again, every marketing and business goal is different. Stop copying your competitor’s photography marketing strategy and don’t be fooled by the popular crowd. What works for them might not work for you.
Charging TOO Low
A common misconception among new photographers is that charging low rates will give them a better chance at landing gigs. While this may be true, this will become a headache sooner or later. You’ll be frustrated with the fact that you’re doing so much work at such a dirt-cheap price (been there, done that).
Sure, you want to be perceived as that “affordable photographer for every occasion,” but if you’re making photography your main source of income, you’re not gonna last.
Don’t let your clients lowball you over and over again. Know your worth as a photographer, value your efforts, and attract prospects that value your photography.
Your time is better spent on the marketing efforts that bring you clients who’ll invest in your business and who’ll appreciate what you deliver.
“I’ve already started charging low prices—what should I do now?” You can start by slowly increasing your rates. Yes, we’re sure some of your clients will start dissing you about your new rates. But who cares? Who cares if they think you’re now charging too much? They don’t know the time and effort that you poured into your craft. YOU do.
So don’t worry too much, you’ll eventually find a client who’ll invest in your skills and the rest will follow.
Snubbing Other Photographers and Community Groups
Solo indulgence. Now that attitude can lead you nowhere. Being overly confident of your skills and thinking that it’s better to stay away from the “competition” will not help your business and your skills grow.
Whether you are doing photography for a living or as a hobby, building a relationship with other photographers will help you with your own success. Plus, we’re cool.
But how does this help my photography business? Being part of a photography group can offer a lot of opportunities, starting with collaborations.
Collaboration projects are fun and exciting. Aside from exchanging advice and tips with another photographer, you’ll have the chance to be introduced to your co-photographer’s circle and meet new people who might potentially refer you for future photo projects.
As a photographer, you need to put yourself out there and build a network of true followers and photography groups who will help your business grow.
Photography marketing, in general, isn’t quite difficult to do, but the consistency, dedication, and persistence in your efforts are. Come up with a marketing plan that fits your goals and experiment with strategies that work for you.
With the right perception towards photography branding and marketing, you will eventually reap what you sow and land gigs that you’ve always dreamed of.