Building Your Photography Business With Multi-Source Marketing: by Larry LourceyBy
A photography studio, like any business, can’t survive without clients. You can be the best photographer in the world, but if nobody knows about you, the studio will fail. There is a reason why the term “starving artist” has been around for so long!
In the past, it was just a matter of putting an ad in the Yellow Pages, then sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring. Unfortunately, those days are gone. People are flooded with information every day. The last thing they are going to do is try and seek you out in the phone book. Think about it… if your plumbing breaks, what are you going to do? Its unlikely that you will run for the phone book or sift through last week’s mail looking for a promo postcard from a plumbing company. You will either call a friend or hit Google and search for a local plumber.
To stay competitive today, you’ve got to change your thinking. Stop looking for the Home Run and concentrate on getting Base Hits. What I mean by that is to focus on finding several places that will send you a few new clients – vs looking for one source that will send you tons of clients.
The good news – and the bad news, to a certain extent- is the fact there are hundreds, if not thousands, of avenues available to you. So where do you start? Here’s my suggestion.
First off, you need to at least have a presence on the major social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Chances are, you already have an account with at least one of these. Go ahead and make sure you are signed up with all three and that you have completely filled out the profile information. It may only bring you a few extra clients a year, but who couldn’t use a few extra clients?
Next, you need to sit down and figure out who you are trying to market to in the first place. Marketing to high school seniors is a totally different strategy than marketing to executives. Try to narrow down as specifically as possible, then choose the network that best serves your market.
For example, Facebook is your best bet for high school seniors and even families. LinkedIn is great for commercial work or business headshots. If you are trying to market to the young “mom on the go,” then Twitter might be your best bet. Choose one and make an effort to post regularly.
Once you have those rolling, its time to look for some other sources. A big one is email marketing. Any marketer will tell you that is much more cost-effective to retain an existing client, than to find a new one – so what are you doing to keep your clients coming back? I wrote a post on this a while back that you might find interesting- Marketing For Your Business.
Finally, try to seek out people in your industry who can co-market with you. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you should be making an effort to meet as many wedding coordinators, venue managers, florist, etc. as you can. Again, you aren’t looking for one person to send you 100 brides a year, but rather 10 people to send you 10 brides per year. It’s much easier when you look at it this way.
Now its time to set the plan into action. Sit down with your calendar and block off a couple of hours a week. Make an appointment to market yourself. If you don’t schedule it, chances are it will be put on the shelf week after week. The clients are out there, you just need to go get them!
Plano artist, Larry Lourcey, holds the designation of Master Photographer awarded by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in 2007. He is a PPA Approved Juror and has judged at several state conventions across the US. Several of Larry’s images have been selected for the prestigious PPA Loan Collection, including an image displayed at Imaging Asia in 2005.
While Lourcey is most recognized for his black and white photography, the breadth of his work includes vibrant photo paintings, Polaroid transfers, and photographic collages. He derives his inspiration from master painters like John Singer Sargent and Edgar Degas, while embracing the bold styles of more modern greats; such as Pino Daeni.
Photo Credit: © 2011 Larry Lourcey
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