1. Facebook – This one is obvious. If you don’t already, start a business page, start a personal page, start friending your clients and tagging them in the photos you share on your business page. That alone can bring you many referrals.
2. Website – It’s worth the investment. Having a corner of your own of the internet that people can link back to and a place that’s searchable online is important. When people search “Dallas Wedding Photographer” and you’re in Dallas if your website shows up in their search results you’ve just had some free advertising.
3. Craigslist – Yep, I suggested it. There’s absolutely no harm in putting up an ad and regularly searching various sections of Craigslist for people looking for photographers. Sometimes you’ll luck out and find amazing clients. I’ve found one client through Craigslist who comes back time after time for her photos and has recommended many of her friends to me as well.
4. Wedding Websites – All those places like Wedding Wire and The Knot usually allow you to have a free listing there. Go for it, there’s no harm. I’ve not once found a client directly through these websites, but simply having those websites linking back to my website improves my search rank when brides are searching for a photographer.
5. Local Businesses – Look for other small business owners who may be able to trade services with you. Know a groomer? Offer to come by one afternoon and snap some photos of them at work and the cute dogs that come in. Print some of those and offer to put them up in their shop and leave business cards. Offer to let them put those photos online with the catch being that they link to your website.
6. Business Cards and Car Signs – These things are twofold for me. When I go somewhere and get out of my car and someone might see my car sign they might ask for a business card. It’s a great conversation starter, even if sometimes you have to start the conversations. Be friendly, smile, say hi to people when you’re out in public – those simple friendly gestures can be conversation starters and an opportunity to mention your business and give them a card.
7. Contact Local Businesses – This has been a key way for me to market my business. It can also be time consuming. Periodically you can search online for wedding planners, or wedding venues, or midwives and birthing centers. Write down their contact information and make the effort to send each one an individual email telling them who you are, what you do, and that you’d like to offer their clients a discount. If you’re into wedding photography this has been especially helpful. Many wedding planners or venues will link to you from their websites or want to meet in person and get information from you so they can recommend you to their clients.
8. Share Photos – When you shoot at a wedding venue and work with a florist, a wedding planner, a DJ, and more at a wedding make sure you connect with all of these professionals and get their information. I put the photos they might like to use on their websites online for them to download at no cost with only the rule that they must link to my website if they use them online. What a great way for brides to see other wedding professionals recommending you! This can also apply for other types of shoots sometimes. If you do birth photography or newborn photography maybe you want to connect with local hospitals and see if they would like to display some photos in their labor and delivery section. You can print and frame them and give them to the hospital (put your website on the photos). If you do a photo session at a local pumpkin patch give the photos of the kids and families to the owners so they can use those photos online and link back to you.
I’ve added a few extra spots to the Marketing class next Monday. You can attend live and bring your questions or you can reserve your spot and watch the class later. >Register here< The class costs $15 and it’s a great opportunity to go in depth with photography marketing and after the class we’ll have a questions and answers session where you can ask away about any details you might want to know more about!