Marketing your photography business on the internet:

22 01 2009

A question I get asked daily is “how do I generate more business as a photographer”?

I wish there were a simple answer to that question, fact is there isn’t but I’ll outline a few ideas that have worked for me.

As a start out photographer your marketing budget is usually fairly limited so one searches to find cheap . A general rule of thumb is that alternative marketing strategies require manual labour and as you get busier, and your marketing budget increases, the trend is to rely on paid advertising more and more.

A good place to start is the internet:

  • Most internet directories offer free listings (beware of getting convinced to sign up to a “premium” service unless you’re sure of the true benefits associated, too many sites promise leads and don’t deliver but tie you into lengthy contracts that can cripple a new business). If you search properly there are hundreds of local directories available. Try punch IVOK into google for instance and see all the sites that appear in the search results.
  • Generate a web presence; to begin with it’s not necessary to create a website – sites like www.pixmag.ning.com offer a free facility for photographers to load their portfolios and interact with customers and the public online.
  • Join photography forums and communicate within your community – the larger your network of “associates” becomes, the more opportunity you will have for collaborations and common growth. (Don’t fall into the trap of isolating yourself from other photographers, rather network as much as possible).
  • As you start to grow, remember to increase your advertising budget accordingly – you’ll soon be able to afford ‘adwords’ and other proven web advertising.

Once you’ve created a market presence on the web it’s important to find alternative avenues to drive traffic to your business, this could be via direct marketing, flyer distribution, shopping store exhibitions, magazine adverts and face to face networking.

A common mistake businesses make is slowing down marketing efforts when they are busy, resulting in a flattening growth curve.

Try to maintain consistency in your advertising; if you’re advertising in a magazine for instance then budget for at least 5 recurrent (and similar) advertisements before gauging the response – ad agencies will tell you that your average client needs to see a logo thousands of times before they recall it as a household brand.

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