Once you've launched your photography store, it's really important to keep the momentum going, here's some of our top tips on how to do that
- Create a marketing strategy
- Cultivate an audience for your work
- Tap into your local area
- Consider paid advertisements
- Keep your customer base up to date
- Be a pleasure to deal with
Create a marketing strategy
If you want to be successful with selling your photography, you must have a strategy. Generally, photographers are guilty of the scattergun marketing approach, which involves the odd social media post, Google ad or a sporadic email to a client. Not many photographers take the time to think and plan their marketing strategy. But planning presents a real opportunity.
Think of all the different marketing avenues you can follow, such as social media, email and networking, and create a strategy for each. It is not enough to think, "I'll post a photo on Instagram". You need to know why you are doing it and what you will be doing. For example, you might choose to use Instagram to showcase photos you want to sell as prints, whereas in an email to your client list, you might like to talk about a shoot you have recently finished. The important thing is to treat each marketing channel separately and create a bespoke plan for each one that ties into your overall strategy.
"Not many photographers take the time to think and plan their marketing strategy. But planning presents a real opportunity."
See more marketing ideas for your photography business with these top tips from professional photographer Kav Dadfar.
Cultivate an audience for your work
Creating great photos is just the beginning of running a successful photography business. You could be the best photographer in the world, but it’s still a tricky task to stand out from your competitors. Almost every customer will head to an Instagram feed to find out what a photographer has been up to recently.
Much of getting noticed on social media channels is about how much effort you put in to build your audience. See it as a job to which you dedicate a set amount of time - perhaps an hour at the start of the day, for example. Comment on the work of others, create conversations, answer questions and be seen to be engaged within your professional community to help you stand out as someone who cares.
You don’t have to be the most active poster online, but updating your profiles with new images at least a couple of times a week shows anybody interested that you’re still working. And consistency is key here. Don’t post random photos here that don’t align with your brand identity or style.
Explore opportunities in your local area
You’ll probably encounter lots of opportunities for selling your photography in your local area if you can find them.
Fairs and exhibitions are a great way to get a feel for the potential market, allowing you to chat face-to-face with likely customers, get feedback on what you’re doing and spread the word. You can find out about local opportunities in many ways - making sure you’re active on local Facebook and NextDoor groups is probably the most simple yet effective.
Keep an eye on your local newspaper’s website, and social media feeds, and follow photographers and other creatives to find out about opportunities. Having the product ready will help you land a stall or space at a local fair if you need to apply to an organiser. Make sure you have business cards or flyers to take with you to hand out to any interested parties, too.
It’s essential to be friendly and approachable at these types of events. You must also develop a thick skin - be prepared for people not to want to buy your goods or for some to downright dislike what you do. That’s OK; not everybody needs to be your customer - but you need to remember not to take it personally.
Consider paid advertisements
The age-old saying "you need to spend money to make money" also applies to your photography business. And with this in mind, you could consider putting some money behind your promotional efforts in the form of ads for your photography business. For example, a common way for photographers to advertise their photos is to 'boost' their social posts to reach a bigger audience and connect with new customers.
In this area, generally, the more you spend, the more you can tailor your ads and audience - and that could mean targeting a specific niche, demographic, or geographical region.
You could also explore other forms of paid advertising; for example, your local area may have a circular that offers advertising space at a low price. And if you're looking to target your local area, in particular, this could be a practical option.
If you go down the advertising route, it's worth starting with spending small amounts and testing different types of advertisements and audiences. And if you find one that works, having tried, that's when you could consider increasing your budget.
Keep your customers and followers up to date
Keep your customers informed with news and updates about you and your work; having a proactive approach like this could mean you end up with more sales than expected.
Emails don't need to be regular, and you should make sure anything you send out provides additional value to your photography business. Make a list of ideas, upcoming shoots, or anything relevant. Then make a note in your diary and who you want to email so that you are ready when the time comes to get in touch.
Popular holidays such as Halloween and Christmas are also a great reason to get in touch with your customers and showcase images. Make sure you always include a CTA (call to action) too. This could be, for example, a link to an album your store, inviting readers to purchase prints relating to the theme of the email.
Also, keeping your contact information correct and up to date is one of the quickest and easiest marketing fixes you can make. The best way to do this is to set yourself a reminder once a month, along with a checklist of places to review your contact information.
Be a pleasure to deal with
Sometimes it’s your personality and attitude which is more important - or at least equally as important - as the quality of your photos.
Being a pleasure to work with and going out of your way to help a follower or customer is key to ensuring you get recommendations and, eventually, repeat business.
In a world where people can be unreliable and flaky, being the complete opposite of that is what will truly make you stand out. Make sure you reply to all enquiries as quickly as possible, be friendly and professional, and always do your best to answer questions - even if they seem obvious to you.
A cut above the rest:
Being able to stand out and differentiate yourself from the competition will prove to be a real asset for your photography and business in the long run.
For more ideas, read our expert-led guide on how to make your photography business stand out.
Philip is the Editor of Focus.View all articles