Marketing for Photographers: 8 Tips to Book More Clients

Photographer Tips

October 26, 2020

Nikkolas Nguyen

A bride and groom stand next to and look at each other on the balcony of 800 Congress in Austin, Texas. Image overlaid with text that reads Marketing for Photographers 8 Tips to Book More Clients.

In cutting my teeth as a Wedding Photographer in Austin, I learned that there really isn’t a formula to booking clients. No, there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to marketing for photographers, rather, there are so many avenues that one can (and should) pursue that, initially, it can feel a little overwhelming. 

One of the reasons that I’m so proud of the content shared at our Southern Love Workshop, is that we openly embrace this multi-faceted approach to marketing, through our diverse collection of expert voices. The weekend really does afford you a great insight into an array of marketing angles and techniques and set you up for success as you take your first steps down these avenues.

For now, here are my 8 top tips for marketing your photography business, specifically aiming to book more clients. 

1. Know Your Ideal Client

Simple: you can’t market to your ideal client unless you know who they are. Honing in on your dream client allows you to craft a strategic, precise, and targeted marketing campaign that directly hits them. 

For me, this meant honing in on wedding photography as my genre of choice and marketing myself as such. While I shoot destination weddings, as an Austin local, it was important to market myself to future brides and grooms in this city. As soon as you visit my website or Instagram the first thing you’ll note is that I market myself as just that: an “Austin Wedding Photographer.” 

Knowing your ideal client takes creating clear business goals. Take some time to ask yourself some important questions, casting vision for the direction that you want to grow in:

  1. What location do you want to serve clients in?
  2. What primary services do you offer?
  3. What style/genre of shoot do you have the most experience with and evidence of in your portfolio?
  4. Who are your primary competitors?

2. Focus on Instagram

Establishing a cohesive digital presence is paramount. One of the principal areas of marketing for photographers is the online space. As a photographer, you want to be highlighting your work and growing a network on a cross-section of social and digital platforms. This tip about Instagram and several that follow have to do with establishing a digital presence.

Instagram is an unmissable tool for any photographer. It is one of the best free methods of marketing for photographers! A mood board, portfolio, and networking platform all in one. 

Attendees at the Southern Love Workshop prep for photographing a couple at Pedernales Falls State Park in Texas.

Build a consistent cadence on your Instagram, utilizing IGStories, Reels, and IGLive to show your personality and let your audience into your behind the scenes content.

Make sure that you set up a business profile and be sure to drive your audience back to your website as often as possible. After all, your website is going to be the key to converting followers into paying clients! 

3. Don’t neglect Pinterest 

Pinterest is a vital tool for any photographer. According to The Knot, every year 40 Million people utilize Pinterest to plan their wedding. That is a feast of potential brides looking to find their dream photographer! 

Pinterest is much more than simply an inspirational mood board. When used strategically following the app’s best practices it is a great way to boost exposure and hone in on your ideal client. Check out Pinterest keywords and other ways to get the most out of your account.

4. Create a Website

Your website is going to be a one-stop-shop for showcasing your work and booking new clients. Check out our blog post “How to Start a Wedding Photography Business (and be profitable)” on my tips for choosing a website host platform. 

5. Blog Writing

Do you have a blog on your photography website? If not – it’s time to get writing. Blog writing is one of the key components of marketing for photographers since it allows one to maximize your website SEO through strategic links, keywords, and more. 

The blog component of your website sets you up as an expert in the industry, demonstrates your expertise, while also helping you to rank highly on Google’s search page. If you want to improve your chances of being found organically by clients as they browse the web, then adding a blog element to your website is a great place to start.

6. Build Your Email List

One of the best ways to build a customer base is by establishing an email list. Converting your social media followers into email subscribers is a vital step if you want to make sales. The reality is that social media followers are little more than ‘cold leads’ – they are invested in your brand enough to follow along, but no more than that.

Email subscribers are your ‘warm leads’, they have taken an additional step in committing to following your business and have actively said ‘yes’ to your communication. 

Attendees at the Southern Love Workshop in Texas work on their laptops as they learn about how to market as a wedding photographer.

7. Marketing Realistic Price Tiers

As you get started in your photography career, one of the key hurdles to overcome is converting your network into paying customers. Self-promotion can be exhausting, but the reality is that until you build a following, your initial customers are likely to be in your personal contact network.

As you start out, it can be a little daunting to start charging friends and family members for your services. I get it! That transition can feel sensitive at first. But remembering that you are establishing a business and offering a valuable service is important! 

Consider creating a staggered pay tier for your customers. Perhaps you want to offer a discount for returning customers? Maybe you have a special deal for close friends and family? Maybe you have a structured pay system offering great rates for quick sessions while establishing higher prices for a full service. 

8. Learn From An Expert

The best way to grow your skills in marketing for photographers is to learn from others in the industry. Marketing is an ever-evolving beast. There is wisdom in leaning into your industry network and drawing advice from other photographers. 

If you aren’t surrounded by a community of photographers, if you don’t have mentors or more experienced friends in your world that you can pull on for advice, then I’d encourage you to focus on this. And even if you do, there is a major benefit of getting outside of your usual circle of friends and mentors so you can expand your learning beyond your current circle.

Attending a photography workshop is a great way to take action on this tip. While social media can be a great way to connect with others in your industry, one of the most valuable takeaways that I’ve had from attending workshops has been a community of hungry, innovative, creative photographers who encouraged me and taught me as I established myself in the field!

marketing for photographers doesn’t have to be a mystery! If you’re ready to invest in your photography business hit the button below to learn more about Southern Love Workshop!

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Attendees at the Southern Love Workshop in Texas pose to take photos. Image overlaid with text that reads How to Book More Clients As a Photographer: Read These 8 Tips.
Images of attendees working during the Southern Love Workshop. Image overlaid with text that reads Marketing For Photographers: 8 Tips to Book More Clients.

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