I still remember vividly in 2017, just woke up with this idea I have been toying with – wanting to be a photographer!
Why that thought? I can’t say, that is the power of dreaming if I can say.
I enrolled in a 3-month photography program; bought my very expensive sophisticated camera.
After the program ended.
Then the wait for a paying customer starts.
Days got into weeks, weeks into month – no one came aside friends and family!
Hey aren’t you a digital marketing expert? You may ask
I just deliberately ignored that aspect of my life. I want to know how people without basic knowledge of using digital marketing cope with their product or services, let me say just I was experimenting!
I got tired of the waiting game!.
I started using my digital marketing expertise to start getting my desired paying clients.
After some weeks of works, and said this to myself:
Getting photography clients is easy.
That statement above might sound unfair, I understand.
If you are getting it difficult to get clients for your photography business, it might sound so unfair for anyone to say such.
But that is the truth, my friend.
So, what is the truth?
Getting clients in your photography business will be easy – if you know where they are and how to get them.
If you find yourself in the above illustrations, today’s post will cover the process of getting more clients.
Let’s get started, right?
Some steps to get started
Step 1: Create some beautiful portfolio and professional shots.
You get more clients based on referrals and this is due to the quality of your previous work. If you don’t have any of this, my advice to you start building a solid portfolio of photo which will showcase your expertise to your potential clients, and this will surely increase your chances of getting some paying customers.
After building some portfolios, you need to pick your best quality pictures that express what your business stands for and represent (your niche).
Let me show some tips on how to get the best pictures from your portfolio that will stand out.
Present your best pictures.
It is common knowledge that your portfolio is as good as your worst picture. You could have 100 fantastic pictures that show your expertise but remember one poorly done shot can put some spanner into your work. So always present the best photos.
Show not more than 20 pictures.
For your portfolio to get the necessary attention it deserves, it shouldn’t contain more than 20 pictures.
I will tell you why
You shouldn’t overwhelm people with so many options, some pictures will do well at the first look, but the more you increase the number of pictures it will be increasingly difficult to differentiate the great picture from the not too great pictures.
Let the ‘’Ogas” review it
If starting your journey in photography, I think it is better not to rely on one’s judgment of picking the best photo samples for your portfolio. People that have made their marks in the professional industry should be contacted to make their input and ask them why their choices, this will greatly put you on the pedestals to know and understand what the market needs for your kind niche of photography.
So, reach out to them.
Step 2: Build and optimize a photography website.
For you to be serious about getting some paying clients over the internet, you really need to build a functional and beautiful website that expresses your photography business.
How do you build a photograph website?
For beginners that know little or nothing in web development, the best way to build a beautiful website is to use the popular WordPress and get a free theme for professional photographers.
Better still, contact those that will take the pains off you by building a professional-looking website.
Next is to optimize your newly created photography website.
So, how do you optimize your photography website for search engine optimization (SEO)
When we talk about getting clients over the internet, many of your clients can be gotten through a Google search, for you get these clients you need better ranking in search results.
Some steps to take that will improve your rank in search results.
Target the right keywords.
What you place as headlines and title will say a lot about what website is all about and it will tell Google what the pages on the website are about.
Some keywords like photography, wedding photography, portrait photography, corporate photography, these niches could be your keywords, you can also have something like wedding photographer in Lagos, etc.
Your niche should be spelled out while doing your keyword research for targeting.
Another way to target the right keyword is to blog about your niche, your blog post should contain some target keyword that people are searching for on Google. For example, aaDigital, is a digital marketing blog, so my niche is digital marketing for small and startup businesses, so I write blog posts on what people are looking for on google that will solve their marketing businesses using digital marketing.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to get the right keywords
It very simple I guarantee you.
You can get what people are searching for by using Google’s Autocomplete function.
For example, take a keyword, like portrait photography, a list of suggested keywords will show below the search bar.
This shows the most popular related search that people are looking for in Google. To get rank on this, develop and write content on the targeting keywords.
But not too fast
Developing and writing on popular keywords doesn’t automatically mean your site will rank for those keywords.
To be in a better position, you need to optimize your website for SEO.
Speed up your website
When your site takes time to load it will affect your search and ranking and this will eventually make your potential clients leave your website.
Google wants people that come across your website to have user and search experience, finding out that your site takes forever to load, then google wouldn’t want people to have such an experience again.
So, the speed of your website affects SEO.
To know if your site’s speed is ok, and to make it better, try Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool – it shows and tells you how to improve your site speed.
Step 3: Use social media platforms
What other platforms would you want to be on as a photographer to get your clients, if not on some social media channels?
Social media should be your best pal, no joking here!
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be the game changer to getting the paying clients for your photography services if well utilized professionally. Also, a professional platform like LinkedIn can also do the magic of bringing some business clients.
How to get photography clients with Instagram
Instagram is the number one social media platform that all photographers in respective of their niche, should try to leverage on.
Only post great pictures
Like I said earlier about building a portfolio with great pictures, likewise, Instagram, post great photos on Instagram as if you are building a portfolio for a website.
Use hashtags with your posts
Whenever you are posting on Instagram, always use hashtags, you may wonder what is in hashtags?
Whenever a post is tagged with a given hashtag, say #aadigitalng, that post enters the hashtag feed, and this will allow Instagram users to follow the hashtags that represent their interests. Another thing to note is that using hashtags makes a post to go viral, people that have not heard about it will start noticing you, checking out your portfolio, and may eventually contact you.
You can also use Instagram to connect with other professional photographers. They might give or connect you with some referrals, and you can also learn some photography industry trade tips from those that far ahead of you in the photography business.
By nature, people love free things, knowing this, you can do a giveaway that your followers see valuable, and will want to be loyal and engage you and this might even increase in your Instagram followership base.
Run Instagram ads
The last thing I will want to talk about on Instagram strategy is to run an Instagram ad campaign.
This very necessary to promote your business, and all you need to do on this is to have a marketing budget that will execute your planned Instagram ad campaign.
How to run an Instagram ad campaign
I will just list some important tips on how to run Instagram ad;
Target the right people: what is the essence of running an ad if you not targeting those that are interested in your product or services. You use Instagram’s micro-targeting capabilities to show ads to your ideal clients.
This is a big advantage in which digital marketing has over the traditional marketing. And one must use this to his own advantage.
Boosting your posts. Another way to make your ads campaign look normal is by boosting normal posts. Boosting a post makes sure it appears high in the feeds of both followers and non-followers that Instagram thinks will enjoy your content.
Add a call-to-action (CTA) button. If you’re running a standard ad, make use of the CTA button. It’ll tell people which action they need to take and increase your conversion rate as a result.
How to get photography clients with Facebook?
While Instagram may be the best image-based social channel, there are many other ways to obtain clients on Facebook, too.
Create a Facebook page
Another social media platform that is worthy of mentioning is the Facebook. If there is a need or desire to generate new clients, one needs a Facebook page. The Facebook page gives you the ability to promote your business and services to the outside world, it also gives the platform to attract and engage followers.
Facebook page platform is one the best platform that allows you to target your potential clients by running Facebook ads.
Share your work
Whenever you make a batch of interesting photos, post the best of them on Facebook. While posting your photos might not bring in new clients directly, it will help you maintain a regular posting schedule and engage more consistently with your followers.
Maintaining an active presence on your social media account is more important than you might think. Many potential clients will find you through social media. And those that don’t may check your social media profiles before deciding whether to hire you.
If those potential clients come across abandoned social accounts that haven’t been active in many months, it may impact their hiring decision. A rarely updated Facebook page shows that you don’t always finish what you start, which will have an impact on someone who is considering paying for your services.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but it’s important only to show your best work. The photos you share on social media are an extension of your portfolio. The last thing you want is for someone to back out of hiring you based on a few sub-par images shared on your Facebook page.
Run Facebook ads
Facebook ads are similar to Instagram ads in that they can increase the reach of your posts and get your business in front of potential clients.
Because Facebook owns Instagram, both Instagram and Facebook ads are run through the Facebook ads platform. So, if you’re already familiar with Instagram advertising, running Facebook ads should be a walk in the park.
How to get photography clients with LinkedIn
If you are interested in getting some business clients and also interested in portraying yourself and your photography business as being professional, LinkedIn is your sure bet source or platform to do that.
Once an account is created on LinkedIn, you can start connecting with people from other professionals that may be interested in your services which may also help them in delivering their own business goal, making it a win-win.
Though LinkedIn doesn’t rely on images as much as the other platforms mentioned earlier, but you may likely find more success publishing blog content on LinkedIn than you’ll find posting photos.
You are not too good with writing? You may start by writing articles on why a professional photographer is a must in any social event and why they should be hired.
This type of article will give direction to why there is a need for a professional photographer and it will also give credit that you are a professional in your chosen niche, so whenever there is a need to hire a professional photographer you will readily come to mind.
Step 4: Run Google ads
Advertising on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook could be effective, but remember they are outbound marketing, which means you are targeting a wide audience that is not initially interested in your services but got interested through the lead magnet you provided to get them in the sales funnel.
Google ad is inbound marketing where the people are already looking for market and niche services, it is a ready market searching for you.
You are about getting married and plans are already on, on your plan is wedding photography.
What you need to do is to start searching for a wedding photographer in your area that fits into your wedding plan.
Your google search on wedding photography will pop up lots of options as your search results, including some google ads showing the keyword on wedding photography.
To get the most out of your ad money, you should run ads targeting specific search terms on Google.