40 Things To Maximize Your Marketing Strategy
What is your marketing strategy? How do you promote your photography business? Do you use social media, emails, leverage SEO, blog posts, or all of the above? If you want to run a successful business, you're going to need a marketing strategy. You can hire a marketing company and spend a small fortune, or you can do it yourself marketing - for free or close to free.
Here is a list of tips (40 of them, actually) to help you improve and maximize your marketing.
Social Media Marketing Ideas: There’s no getting away from the role that social media can play in any marketing strategy. It’s free for the most part, and it can help drive people to your website. Keep in mind that Facebook is showing Pages less often in users’ newsfeeds which dilutes its impact or versatility.
1. Your social media handles should be everywhere you can display them including email signature, brochures, business cards, and website. You want to maximize your social media exposure and following. And, of course, make sure you use social media, not just have a presence and handle.
2. Your social media icons should be on every page of your website to make it easy for viewers to click through to your social media accounts.
3. Add social sharing icons to your website as well to make it easy for viewers to share your site page on their social media accounts. The most common are Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
4. Create a YouTube channel and encourage clients to follow you. Include the link along with your other social media handles.
5. Have a welcome video for potential and new clients on your website and social media, including your new YouTube channel. Talk about yourself and your work. This video is your video brochure but shorter.
6. Create Pinterest boards with ideas for your clients. For example, if you're a family photographer, you can create boards with outfits ideas, beautiful spots for outdoor photography, ideas for poses, etc. Wedding photographers can give client ideas for poses, wedding venues, dresses, pictures of bridal parties, etc.
7. Want to see who's pinning your ideas? Type in: pinterest.com/source/yourdomainname. By understanding what people are repinning, you'll get a good idea of what people like about your boards. You could then thank them in their comments section for repinning.
8. Learn from your competitors near and far by following them on social media. If you're not following other photographers, you are missing an opportunity to learn from others. Don't just follow those in your own country, either. Follow photographers around the world. How do they market their business?
9. People love quotes on Instagram and other platforms. (You'll find a lot of them on Instagram!) Try putting a powerful quote over one of your images and posting to social media. Don't forget to tag your business and include your website somewhere in the picture.
10. Posting regularly to Instagram gives people a glimpse of your work and can increase your social media profile. It's an instant portrait gallery of your work. Include your business name and website to help drive users to your site, and whenever possible add an interesting caption or information about the picture.
11. Make sure that your social media accounts are organic and dynamic. Having them isn't the same thing as using them regularly and posting engaging, quality content. You should occasionally pin a good post to the top of your FB page, so it will be the first thing viewers see when they go to your page.
12. On Facebook, you can create a URL with your business name by going to Facebook/username. It will be easier and better for people to remember when you're plastering your handle everywhere.
13. Create a Facebook ad to promote your work. It's an instant way to increase your exposure, and you get to set the price and set the parameters for the audience.
14. Create a social media ad campaign (pretty easy to do on Facebook). You can run an offer through the ad and track sales as a result of the ad.
15. If you have a blog (and you should!), make sure it has social sharing icons as well as a comments section. Engaging readers and viewers is always a good thing.
16. LinkedIn isn’t for everyday use as a photographer, but as a small business owner, it is. If you run any promotions, write a new blog post or newsletter, make sure to post it on LinkedIn as well.
Email Marketing: Building a good list of subscribers is critical to the success of any small business. The versatility of an email list is undeniable because it can help you promote your business, make announcements, and engage clients.
17. Professional emailing systems can make emailing clients more efficient and offer a better chance of landing your email into their inboxes rather than spam boxes. There are several professional emailing systems; most also allow you to create newsletters as well. MailChimp is free. Vertical Response and Constant Contact are two popular providers but aren’t free.
18. Some countries have strict anti-spam laws which are why using a professional emailing system helps ensure you comply.
19. Do you have a professional email signature? You should have one if you don't. Create your own or use a design company like Wisestamp.
20. Include an email opt-in on your website so that clients or potential clients can opt-in to receive your newsletters, emails, or promotions. It’s illegal to send mass promotional emails without someone’s consent.
21. Create a newsletter for clients as part of your opt-in and mailing list. Newsletters are a great way to keep clients engaged and informed, but making them about more than just you as a photographer is a good way to keep people engaged. Offer clients tips and provide general education about photography.
22. Provide incentives for people to become subscribers by offering them something in return such as a free download or booklet of photography tips for clients.
23. Don’t overdo it. Sending too many emails (more than twice a month) could drive away subscribers.
Offline Marketing: There are other things you can do offline to market your business, promote your work, and build clients. Getting the name of your business out into the community among potential clients is important. There are several ways you can promote your business with few costs but (hopefully) good returns on your investment.
24. Sponsoring a local event, like a nonprofit fundraising event, can help promote your business while doing a good deed.
25. Sponsor a local athletic team, and you can put your business name on their athletic uniforms.
26. Give away free portrait sessions to local auctions for charity. Schools and nonprofits are always in need of auction items. Donate a session or portrait package. In return, you’re helping your community and building good karma.
27. Put your logo on marketing materials and tchotchkes. High-quality brochures, unique and attractive business cards, even things like pens, magnets, flash drives, and calendars are all good ways to promote your business.
28. Consider going a beyond generic tchotchkes and printing some t-shirts or hats with your logo to give your best repeat clients.
29. Thank you, clients, by hosting an Open House at your studio. Hosting an evening thank-you event for clients is always appreciated and can get former clients in the door to see your latest work. Create a display to show-off some of your best work. Encourage them to bring a guest.
30. Be a speaker! Let’s face it. You’re a photography expert, or you wouldn’t be able to make a living off of it, so sign up to speak to groups about photography, particularly if you specialize in one genre. For example, are you a landscape and architectural photography? Speak to a local garden club, preservation club, or architectural conference about your work.
31. Teach a class for clients and friends in your studio. Offering a one-night class in your studio is a great way to get past clients back in through the door and excited about your latest work. You can do a 90-minute class on topics such as: How to Shoot Indoors using Natural Light; Tips on Using a Flash; and Digital Camera 101.
32. Offer a Groupon or other discount. By creating an offer on a mass discount site like Groupon, you’re further expanding your profile while getting some free publicity.
33. Offer a rewards program for referrals. Word of mouth is one of the surest ways to bring in new clients. So, reward current clients for referring their friends who become clients.
34. Networking group for marketing. Join a networking group focused on small business marketing. Learn from others without needing to reinvent the wheel! Networking groups are excellent places to find mentors. Ask about how others are promoting their businesses. Remember, they don’t have to be photographers for you to learn from their marketing strategies.
35. Meet-up with other photographers either through a formal meet-up group or convene your own group.
36. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential client. Who is your most likely client, and how did they hear about your work? Think about their demographics and that can guide you in directing your marketing plan.
37. Donate your skills to a worthy cause. Nonprofits and schools are often in need of a volunteer photographer. Giving a few hours of your time can gain you valuable exposure to those audiences as well as giving back to your community.
38. Bring in a marketing intern for the summer. Summer (hopefully paid) internships give valuable experience to college students while supplying employers with extra assistance. Most photographers think to hire a photography student, but why not hire, instead, a business or marketing major to help you create and implement a marketing plan?
39. Strategically participate in shows and conferences. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, consider hosting a table at a local wedding show for vendors. It’s a good way to meet potential clients in a targeted way.
40. Spread your brochures, business cards, and other items with your information all around town in coffee shops, libraries, and even stores. If you’re a children’s photographer, for example, ask if you can leave brochures or business cards in a children’s boutique.
Once you begin thinking like a marketer and promoting your business, you’ll find that it becomes easier and you become more creative at marketing your business. You also will make new connections along the way opening up other doors to new marketing ideas and possibilities.