I am often asked about the best ways to market a photography business and how to get your phone ringing. After a little brainstorming, I crafted a list.
I am breaking this list up into bite-sized pieces. This will give you a chance to give each method a fair shake, and see they mesh well with your workflow, demographic and business model.
Ways to Get Your Phone Ringing – Part I of IV
1. Write blogs
This is a tedious task, and sometimes we just forget to get this one done. Unfortunately for us, Google likes fresh content, and the more frequently we post, the more traffic our websites are likely to receive. One blog won’t do the trick. Be consistent and stay on top of it. Once and done will have little effect. Also, try not to write a blog from the perspective of a salesman. In other words, don’t blog “we do this, and we do that.” Instead, write from the perspective of an expert offering information on how things are accomplished, or just offer things to consider. Being perceived as an authority puts you in a better position for lead generation. Remember to create value, and not just writing your sales pitch.
2. Call to action
Gotta have em! If you don’t ask a potential client to do something, the likelihood that they will do what you want is slim. At every chance, make sure you are guiding your client towards contacting you, inquiring, booking, etc. Your calls to action are a key element in your sales funnel. Without them, you have given your potential clients nowhere to go, and they might just decide to click away from your website.
3. Social media
Do we really need to elaborate on this one? In this era, you are going to find most of your clients searching for service providers online. Let’s face it; we live in a lazy society, where people don’t even know what the yellow pages are! If people don’t need to put out the effort, they won’t. If you’re generating a TON of buzz on social media, people will find you. The trick to creating the buzz is to post stuff that’s not only about you and what you can offer. Rather, things that address pain points or offer something interesting and positive for your clients. You can offer tips, or repost cool relevant articles. You can also post success stories. The point is that you appear human, and show potential clients that you actually care about more than just making a sale.
It should go without saying that showing your work on social platforms is a great way to appear on the radar of a wider audience. A word of caution on this one: Be consistent. If you are posting all sorts of work that doesn’t look like the same photographer made the images, you aren’t giving your clientele a good indication of what they’d really get if they worked with you.
4. Referrals and Testimonials
Nothing makes a potential client feel better about visiting a professional than hearing about a positive experience directly from their friends, colleagues, or relatives. We have no idea how many people can be reached, and we have no idea who will ultimately hear about the experience. This is why every client needs to be treated to an experience they will never forget! Also, don’t hesitate to ASK those clients for reviews and testimonials. Share them, make videos of them, and post them everywhere you can. You are spreading the word and ultimately helping yourself in the process.
5. Networking groups and associations
Don’t expect that you’ll nail a ton of business with members of these groups. However, the key here is to foster friendships and relationships. Again, we are not just focused on the members of the groups, but rather who they know. It takes time to build these relationships, so don’t try to force things on your first day of membership. The more involved you are with the groups, and the other members, the more people will begin to trust you and/or befriend you. It’s a slow and methodical race, but this can yield great benefits and results. Remember, people do business with people they like. This is your opportunity to engage an audience, show your personality, and build trust.
Gary Vaynerchuk said “It’s easy to dream about it … Much harder to execute it ….Work!”
Put in the time and effort to maximize the return on each of these ideas. Don’t shrug them off as either too far out of your reach or too difficult to accomplish. You’ve got this! The hardest part is to start doing something. Pick up some momentum and keep the wheels turning! The key is to keep at it, and be consistent.
Once these methods are in your arsenal and you’ve made them a regular part of your routine, you can embrace some new ideas.
In the next installment, I’ll be throwing out a few more ideas to get that phone ringing. Until next time, happy shooting!
If you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop me a line and let me know how things are going for you.