Let me guess…you’re frustrated with marketing your photography business? Maybe you’ve tried what feels like a gazillion marketing tips and strategies and you’re not sure what the heck is working? Or, nothing is working? Or, you’re on information overload, feeling paralyzed because there are so many people telling you what to do?!
I know, that’s a lot of questions.
Good news is, I have a lot of answers for you.
As a business coach for photographers, and a former wedding and family photographer and an entrepreneur for the last eight years, I’ve learned a ridiculous amount about marketing as a photographer and currently have a pulse on what’s working and not working in the photography world.
Today, I want to give you some clues as to what I see going on in the industry, specifically five marketing mistakes too many photographers are making and some simple fixes to transform your love-hate (more like, you know you need it) relationship with marketing into a love-love relationship, as in, you love knowing your efforts won’t go waste and you love what it’s doing for your bank account!
- No.01Mistake #1: Giving up too soon!
Friend, most marketing strategies aren’t a quick fix. A good handful of our favorites take time to work. Relationships take time. SEO takes time. Building a strong and reputable brand takes time. It’s easy to see the business growth of industry leaders and feel frustrated that your efforts aren’t blowing up your inbox with inquiries overnight.
Slow growth is good. It builds the foundation of a profitable company for years and years to come. Stick with those strategies that are moving the needle, even if just a millimeter at a time.
- No.02Mistake #2: Not using video!
I get it. Using video sounds like a tall order. But, here’s the deal, when you’re brave enough and disciplined enough to do the work, the scary, uncomfortable things that few are willing to do, you stand out from the crowd. Besides, I believe the benefits far outweigh the guts it takes to get your face in front of your people…
Using video is one of my favorite marketing strategies because it is…
Easy to show your personality and passion, which, in turn allows your audience to connect with you!
Easy to consume and is instant gratification for your audience.
High touch. Viewers see the real you, really fast.
Good for SEO.
Good for Facebook.
Fun! (If you use it as an outlet to implement creative ideas.)
Here are a few quick and (pretty) painless ways to get started…
Promo video to showcase your passions and strengths. Here’s a quick example of how we did this. Hint: Not everything has to be super produced and fancy. (In fact, we’ve found most of our audience prefers real and raw over neat and tidy.)
Video testimonials of your happy clients.
Short videos to answer FAQs clients and potential clients are asking you. Use these in an automated email sequence at the appropriate places in their process with you.
(If you’re looking for some more video ideas and guidance on the execution side of this, I’ve got more for you over here.)
- No.03Mistake #3: Equating working for free with an amateur status!
Yes, you deserve to get paid exactly what you’re worth. But, that doesn’t always happen overnight. We are big believers in doing work for free if it is done strategically!
I’m not talking discounting your rates down to next to nothing because some price shopper wants to undercut you. I am talking thinking about how a free shoot with the right person or business can help you build the portfolio you want; build your confidence; build key relationships; build your community; and, build your following with the right people.
- No.04Mistake #4: Missing out on maximizing happy clients!
What’s the last thing you do when you finish your process with a client? Deliver their images? I have a quick marketing win for you…start including a sentence or two in that last email asking them for a Google review.
Make it easy on them and send them a direct link. (You’ll need to have your Google My Business set up first!) No one can sell your business better than someone who’s been in the shoes of the person who’s about to (hopefully!) hire you.
- No.05Mistake #5: Only posting and blogging about recent sessions or weddings!
Content marketing is a game-changer. It is free marketing. Free marketing! The problem is a lot of photographers aren’t tapping into all it has to offer. Yes, it’s good to show your work on your blog, on Insta, etc., but, there’s so much more opportunity to reach your potential clients by adding value to their lives!
(Side note: value doesn’t always have to mean education, aka, answering FAQs, sharing about your process or behind the scenes…sometimes it’s quick, funny and relatable tidbits that bridge the gap between your business and their life!)
In the simplest terms, the key to profitable marketing is connection. So, instead of just talking at your audience with new blog post after post about your latest shoots, talk with them and start some conversations. Need some ideas on what to say? Check out my Content Creation Kit for Photographers.
If you’re making any of these mistakes, don’t sweat it. Being an entrepreneur means making mistakes and flat out failing sometimes. It’s part of the process. But, I want to help you sail through those rough waters as quickly as possible.
The best place to start, as far as your marketing plan goes, is to ditch these mistakes and follow through with the moves that are moving your business forward the most.