Every new photographer has the same fear: What if I’m not able to get any clients? It’s a common stressor for those just starting photography business, but rest assured that this fear is mostly unfounded. The demand for photographers is pretty high, and with the right promotional efforts, you can quickly grow your client list.
As with most small businesses, you should start small and focus on word of mouth. As you grow, you can experiment with other promotional strategies that can expand your reach. Here are a few strategies that have helped many photographers gain more clients.
Reach out to friends and family
Friends and family are a great group to start with as you attempt to grow your professional network. Have a cousin who needs senior photos? Does a friend want a photographer on hand when he pops the big question to his girlfriend? These are opportunities you should jump at.
You will have an easier time securing clients you know because you’re a person they trust and have a rapport with. When working with them, you have the chance to grow your portfolio and maybe collect a few positive reviews for your work. After working with a friend or family member, encourage them to tell their friends about your photography services to get some word-of-mouth momentum.
Advertise around your community
After you’ve spoken to friends and family about photography opportunities, reach out to members of the surrounding community.
Post flyers in major thoroughfares of activity in the town or city where you live. Maybe a bulletin board at the local library or the mall would be a good spot to hang up flyers that advertise your services. Attend photography events and conferences in your community as well in order to meet other local photographers and learn about available opportunities.
Take advantage of Instagram
The internet is the perfect place to show off your work and connect with clients, and what better photo sharing app is there than Instagram? More and more photographers are generating almost all of their business from Instagram. They post some of their best photos on their profile — which serves as a free advertisement for their work.
You can also have clients post the work they’ve completed with you to spread the word even more. And don’t hesitate to follow other photographers, comment on their work, and begin to take part in the online photography community that is at its most vibrant on Instagram.
Create a referral promotion
Why not make it easy to turn one client into three more clients? When starting out, many photographers like to offer a free photo sitting or a reduced price promotion to customers who inform other clients about your services. This actually gives customers an incentive to spread the word, making that valuable word-of-mouth promotion all the easier to pull off. And with JotForm’s online tools and forms, you can make it easier for clients to add a referral code to their photo order and reap the benefits of this promotion.
Produce great work
This one’s a no-brainer. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the most obvious way to grow and maintain your client list. Producing work that is high quality and meets your client’s needs is the best way to get business. Being a professional who is kind, easy to work with, and doesn’t waste clients’ time will help you get and keep clients too.
At the end of the day, a great product and experience at a great value will win you clients every time.