It’s easy for anyone to hang out their shingle and call themselves a photographer these days. But getting photography clients is what separates those who ‘say’ they’re in business, from those who are actually in business.
These days, it seems like anyone with a decent camera and copy of light-room is touted as a photographer, but when they decide to make it a full time thing, they simply can’t find the clients. No matter how great you are as a photographer, if you can’t generate a steady steam of clients, then you simply can’t sustain a long term photography business.
In this article, I’ll outline a few ways you can start getting photography clients and building your very own photography business…
Bootstrapping, means that you don’t spend anything, except the profits that you make from the work you do.
A big pitfall many new photographers fall into is spending big right at the start while they still don’t quite know how the business works. They’ll rent a studio or get some expensive ads in the newspaper thinking it’ll be a big hit, and if it’s not (which is often isn’t at the start) they’re in a bit of strife.
Start out doing free things.
Get listed in Google Places, Bing Local, Yelp and other local directories.
Set up a website if you know how (this only costs $10 for a domain and a couple bucks a month for hosting).
Go around to local businesses that you will share a similar client base with and try to work out deals where they recommend you to their clients.
Even put up a a letter with an offer on all the community notice-boards in your area.
Track Your Results – Key to Getting Photography Clients
The only way you’ll know what’s bringing in clients and what’s not, is by tracking. When you track, you’ll be able to find out which sources bring in the most clients, and focus more heavily on them.
Tracking is pretty easy once you understand this little idea I’ll explain next…
Have a different ‘code’ on each ad. Like ‘AZ1’ on your Google Places ad, ‘BD3’ on your community notice-board ads, and ‘RS9’ for anyone coming from the local florist…
In the section where you tell people what to do you would say “mention code BD3 when you book for a bonus canvas print!”. When the prospects quotes the code, you’ll know exactly where they came from!
If they didn’t write it down, don’t worry! Just ask how they heard about you instead.
Don’t Focus On Being Pretty
I see a lot of articles that say the first thing you need to do is create a logo, and a brand image… forget that! It doesn’t matter!
Sure, you should get one done eventually, but it’s certainly not a requirement, and won’t make much (if any) difference to your bottom line.
Think about it for a second…
The only people who will be drawn in to your ad, or letter when they see your logo are ‘CURRENT CLIENTS’! Not prospects…
And who are you trying to attract with your marketing? New clients, or current clients?
Obviously you want new clients!
And they new clients won’t recognize your logo. It won’t mean a damn thing to them, so why would you try to draw attention to your ads with it?
Instead, work on crafting a great headline that captures your prospects attention and draws them through the ad… Something like “Ever Hear of a Wedding Photographer That Guarantees Results or You Don’t Pay a Dime?”. That’ll get the attention of a bride-to-be much better than a pretty logo that says “John Smith Photography”!
Learn From Your Mistakes
You’ll make mistakes. It’s part of like.
Don’t give up. Learn from them and grow.
Over time your business will thrive and you’ll have a solid client base, as well as a steady stream of new clients flowing in!
If you’d like more business building strategies, check out my Rich Photographer System, risk free and speed up that learning curb – I’ve done the testing and made the mistakes for you, to finally offer a proven method for building your photography business. Check it out Here
Leave a comment below if this article has helped you, or if you’ve got a question about getting photography clients