You’re already taking great pictures - now get your work seen by those all-important clients to take the next step
Creating great photos is just the beginning when it comes to 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.
Luckily, there are simple steps you can take that should help you make that transition from one of the crowd to the one being commissioned for a job. Follow our tips to help your work stand out from the rest.
1 Branding and consistency
A sure-fire way to help you stand out from the sea of amateurs and hobbyists out there is to create a branding identity that you use consistently throughout whatever platforms you’re promoting yourself on - whether that’s your own website or blog, Picfair Store, or via social media.
Ideally, hire a professional to help you come up with an eye-catching, modern and simple logo that communicates everything about your business and what you can offer. Spend a lot of time researching how other similar businesses use their branding, paying particular attention to colours, shapes and even the words that are used. You don’t want something too similar to a rival, of course, but you’re likely to be in roughly the same area.
Once you have a logo and branding identity, use it everywhere to reinforce your business. Use it on your Instagram page, Facebook page, your own website, Picfair Store, Twitter, TikTok, business cards - pretty much anywhere where you might be promoting your business. Soon, clients won’t need to think twice when they see your branding, they’ll know it’s you.
2 Be active
These days, almost every client or customer will head to an Instagram feed to find out what a photographer has been up to recently.
You don’t have to be the most active poster online, but updating your followers with new images at least a couple of times a week shows anybody who’s interested that you’re still working and are likely to be taking on new commissions.
If your work has been a little dry lately - for whatever reason - you can still post images from previous shoots. It’s worth having a folder on your computer (or phone) filled with images that you can post when you don’t have anything new to share - then you won’t be scrabbling around at the last minute. When posting new work, keep some shots aside for such a rainy day, even if it’s just a couple of weeks later.
Once again, consistency is key here. Don’t post random images here that don’t align with your brand identity or style. Definitely don’t post photos of your dinner or family snaps (unless that’s all part of your identity). It can be worth setting up a separate social media feed that you keep purely for work.
Much of getting noticed on social media channels is about how much effort you put in. See it as a job in itself that you dedicate a set amount of time to - 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.
3 Keep a simple, up-to-date website
It would be easy to assume that you don’t need your own website in an age where social media reigns supreme.
However, a simple, professional website tells your clients that you’re serious about what you do.
You don’t need to be a leading expert in design to come up with something straightforward, with many website builders, including Picfair Stores come with customisable templates to get you started with straightaway - making sure to include all the appropriate branding and style messages you want to include from your business.
Once you have a website, keep it up to date as often as you can. Make sure your are prominent and easy to find - with an actual email address - as well as including links to all your social pages.
Upload new work as often as you can, again, a busy photographer gives the appearance of an in-demand one, regardless of how many clients you actually have at the moment. Use any downtime between clients to build your brand and update your website and hopefully you won’t have as much downtime in the future.
4 Collaborate with other creatives
Photography by its very nature can be a solo pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be. Working with other creatives not only potentially opens you up to ideas you might never have thought of alone, but also delivers you to a whole new set of customers and potential clients - theirs.
Look for others that you can work with in a meaningful way, which will very likely depend on the type of photography that you do. Spend some time researching people you could work with, particularly in your local area. Joining relevant Facebook groups can be a great way to meet like-minded people who might be up for a collaboration.
Typical creatives you might be able to work with include make-up artists, designers, videographers and artists. Building up a good, solid relationship with these kinds of people helps to create a network which is mutually beneficial to all involved.
Once you’ve completed the collaboration - make sure you exploit the assets as much as possible. Upload to your own channels, and ask those that you’ve collaborated with to tag you, include links or hashtags that you use, and be sure to repost to your own followers too.
5 Be friendly, be reliable
Sometimes it’s your personality and attitude which is more important - or at least equally as important - as the quality of your work.
Being a pleasure to work with and going out of your way to help a client is a key way to ensure you get recommendations and 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, being friendly and professional at all times. If you’re working on a long-term project, keeping the client updated as you make progress will give them confidence that things are moving in the right direction. Always do your best to answer questions - even if they seem obvious to you - and try and accommodate any (reasonable) request if it’s practical to do so. If it isn’t - explain why and try and come up with some different solutions that might work.
Lastly - it might seem obvious, but stick to deadlines. If something unexpected crops up, clients will mostly be understanding so long as you communicate the problem, rather than simply failing to deliver on time. If you can finish something early, even better.