Many photographers start their photography career with little budget to promote their new venture. Fortunately, there are things you can do to grow a business with little or no money. However, there is a tradeoff. If you don’t want to invest cash to grow your photography business, you will need to invest time.
Below is a video with five things you can do to grow your business. Watch the video and I will recap and add more ideas below. You can Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Free, for more business and marketing ideas → Rosh Sillars
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The first thing you can do is connect with family and friends. Don’t be shy, let them know what you are doing. Don’t try to sell to them, give them the tools to refer you. The best free tool you can offer your family and friends is knowledge. Educate them as to what is a good referral, who are you looking for as a client, and the best way to contact you.
Network, go to free events around town and shake hands. Get your face in front of as many people as possible, while making quality connections. Share the same story as you did with your family and friends, let them know what a good referral is for you.
Develop a partner network. Find people who target the same market as you. Create a free or commission referral program. Include and refer your partners for new opportunities. If you find some don’t reciprocate, no problem. Refer the business to people who send you new opportunities.
However, make sure you send referrals to people you trust. It’s your reputation on the line and your referral partners need to treat your clients well. I would rather refer people to the highest quality partner, rather than one who sends me the most referrals. Of course, the best partners are the one who are awesome and send the most referrals.
Social media is a photographers best friend. This is especially true with all visual platforms available. Take the time to share your latest work. The great thing about social is you don’t need to sell, as much as, you need to share. People like to see your images. When your followers need or know of someone who wants to hire a photographer, you’re on the list.
Like other types of networking. Don’t sell to your followers, educate them as to which referrals are right for you. When you photograph people, tag them so they have the opportunity to share your good work.
If you are serious about growing your business, thank people. Find new ways to show appreciation. Even a simple thank you card goes a long way. When people feel your appreciation for their business, they are more likely to return and refer you to other people.
Here are some low cost ideas to help grow your photography business.
Create a simple photo card to hand out. You can design and print them yourself, or use a lab. The key is to give prospects a better idea of your style, help you stand out and be memorable. Always keep the cards with you. I prefer 4 x 6 cards because they are easy to keep in my jacket pockets or grab from a bag.
Speak to groups. People enjoy learning about photography and seeing new images. Develop your own speaking tour. You can do this locally or across the country. Continuously update your presentation to improve your talk. It’s possible, over time, organizations will hire you to speak.
Give your work as a gift. When someone does something nice for you, give them a signed photograph. Charities need auction items, donate your photos and services. It’s good advertising and sometimes these auction winners become regular clients.
This is a start. Marketing requires you develop awareness for your brand, drive traffic to your website, test to improve sales and retain your current hard earned clients.
You are a creative person. What other ideas can you think of which will support one or all of the four key marketing areas. Test your ideas until you find success.
If you have free or low-cost ideas, share them in the comments.