Now that you have mastered how to start you photography business and have turned your lifelong dream into a profession, you can focus on growing it into a fruitful venture for 2018!
If you haven’t done so already (check out our blog; 10 Tips for Starting a Photography Business) then start with these two ways first to help expand your business and get more exposure for your business.
1. Get your business listed
It is important to make sure that you have registered your photography business on a local listing website such as Photographers.co.uk. Some other popular ones for photographers are Yelp and Yellowpages.com.
Registering a business on these websites is almost free, unless you use their advertising service to promote your business to get quicker results. On these websites, you get to promote your business by the number of positive reviews and responding to reviews and other queries-this way they see how active you are and thus promote you accordingly.
Google and Bing are the two most used search engines in the world. These search engines allow you to list your photography business as a local one, helping you get local traffic to your website. After all people tend to hire photographers near them or where the event is taking place so as not to incur huge travelling costs!
Read SEO Tips for Photographers 2028 to help you understand how SEO works to gain more traffic to your website and how to rank your photography business at the top.
2. Promote on Social Media
Facebook and Instagram combined have over well over 2 billion monthly active users and are primarily photo-sharing social media platforms, especially Instagram. So it makes sense as a visually creative business you want to promote your talent on these sites.
They act as an online portfolio for people who may be interested in using your service and can see for themselves the work that you do. Make sure these accounts are business accounts and not your own personal accounts, as you don’t want to mix the two if you want to promote your business as professionally as possible.
Once these two ways have been established you can focus on the next ways to help grow your photography business:
3. Use analytics on Facebook/Instagram accounts
Once you have got your social media sites up and running and uploaded a tonne of photographs highlighting what you do best, then you can track your growth, by looking at how many likes, shares, and hearts you are getting.
You can also see how many clicks you are getting to your website and from which albums you are getting most interest from. You can use this information to make better informed decisions and also discover if you’re target audience are showing more interest in one particular niche then this can help you with writing some blogs.
4. Seek out Referrals
In the past before the rise of social media, professional photographers relied heavily on word of mouth for referrals. This is still the case now, because you might get bookings from someone coming across your website, or seeing your ad in a magazine, you’ll get the most of your work from other people spreading your name.
If you don’t get referrals through them then you need to actively reach out to them to seek referrals. Don’t skirt around the issue but actually ask for referrals. Be polite and remember; it’s about thanking them for their support and trust. Not begging or bribing them to refer you!
Remember happy clients are the best way to grow your business. They are your best sales reps! Also clients are more likely to trust their family and friends when it comes to referrals that will have honest reviews.
Have a referral program in place that gives them an incentive to pass your name for the new clients to book. This could be a free photoshoot for the person who refers you, if a new client comes through them or give them print credits so they come back to you if they want to get portraits of their loved ones during special events.
What you offer could depend on what bookings you get through the referral-for example, a wedding would deserve a bigger reward than a simple portrait photoshoot session, so reward accordingly and appropriately. You want to keep their custom and keep the referrals coming!
5. Start blogging
If you have been photographing for a while then you will have a bank of knowledge and information you can share with others. The best way to share your photography expertise is through blogging (for complete novices: a blog post is basically an article you write about on a specific topic like this blog post is about how to grow your photography business!)
Hubspot an industry leading inbound marketing and sales business explains the benefits really well:
“Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.”
The key thing to remember with this is not to duplicate your content as google only recognises the content in one place-so your duplicate blog content will be futile-try to be creative with your blogs if you run out of ideas by updating them it if things have now changed since the last advice you gave; perhaps the latest equipment that’s a must have on the market or the most popular social media site to use for photographers now or a useful new feature introduced by a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram etc.
6. Get Published
There are lots of fashion, wedding and design magazines out there:
- Haute couture and High Street: Vogue, Insight or Cosmopolitan.
- Interior design: Elle Décor or Ideal Home,
- Wedding: Brides or Asiana
- Gardening: Gardener’s World or Home and Garden
Depending on the kind of photographer you are, you can contribute an article or some of your amazing photographs to these magazines or any local magazines that are targeted to particular niche. These magazines could lead to high interest in your photography business.
If you are contributing to their online magazines or articles, then make sure that you get a backlink to your photography website and you get credit for the photographic work. This boosts your SEO ranking (SEO is your new best friend when it comes to growing your business presence online!).
7. Attend events
Photography events provide a great opportunity to network with like-minded photographers. The Photography Show (17th-20th March 2018 London NEC) is an event that includes learning about the latest technology from all the leading brands, demos of the latest kit, conference sessions and a complete range of talks and seminars guaranteed to meet your needs, whatever your level.
Photography events are a reason for like-minded photographers to meet each other, compare notes and find opportunities to work with other photographers. Just make sure you take your business card with you!
Here is a list of Important Photography Festivals, Fairs, and Events for 2018 globally (top 10).
With continued hard work and perseverance you can still make this dream of yours into a fruitful business. Here is a reminder of the 7 ways to help grow your Photography Business:
- Listing websites
- Promoting on Social Media
- Using analytics on Social Media sites
- Seeking Referrals
- Publishing work
- Attending events
Good luck with your business venture and hope it becomes a success!