13 Photography Marketing Ideas Made Simple

You’re always going to need more customers. However, you have to make sure that you have the right clients looking at your business.

Below are some of the best photography marketing ideas that can help you attract clients. These strategies are what you need to be working on to grow your photography business.

Be aware that you don’t need to implement all of these activities right now. However, try to use these ideas overtime to attract enough clients to sustain a successful business.



Strategy #1: Build a Customer Database

The customers are the greatest asset your business has. Having a customer database is the best way to measure your growth. It is important to create a web-based database for leads and customers.

Your clients need lots of attention. You should categorize your clients into several categories.

They should include:

•Current clients
•Past Clients




Strategy #2: Write Notes of Joy

Write and send notes to people that you have photographed and to people you would like to photograph in the future.

Look at newspapers and social media in order to get inspired by people doing awesome things. Add names of people you would like to photograph to your database and send them a personal note.

Notify why you would like to photograph them and tell them about your company and your photography.


Strategy #3: Find co-marketing partners

Look for companies and professionals where your typical client spends their money. However, make sure they are not in competition with your business.

Some ideas of places you could find professionals or businesses are at your perfect client’s favorite restaurants, gyms, shops.

Give these businesses your contact information and suggest to them that you should work together on a co-marketing campaign. Some ways to do this are through email mentions or shared events.


Strategy #4: Donate to Silent Auctions

Silent auctions are a great opportunity for a portrait photographer. Attending these events is an easy way to get clients. In order to find a silent auction, google a silent auction in your city and see what there is.

Private schools and charities have these once a year or more. Find places that host these where you have connections in or find a cause that you believe in.

These auctions are looking for services that are valuable to the audience and your photography is a good investment to them.


Strategy #5: Engage Your Network

You should already be engaging your network in your business plan, however, it is easy to forget. You should engage with people that can actively market for you because your business needs a referral program in order to stay strong.

A referral is something that can lift your spirits if you are ever doubting your ability or feel discouraged.

Getting your friends and family to market for you is a simple way to get your name out in public in order to gain clients.


Strategy #6: Share Your Expertise

Over the years, the amount of knowledge you have gained is excellent. Spread this knowledge to people around you or to potential customers. Share your unique photography skills to people who want to take better photos.

Offer your services to them as a guest speaker and prepare a presentation on photography basics. Bring samples of your work and demonstrate to them some of the methods you use.

You can be a guest speaker in places like:

•Church group
•College classes
•Sports leagues
•Community events

People will automatically listen to you if you reach out to them, and in this brief encounter, you can meet high numbers of potential clients or referral sources.

As well, they will all perceive you as an expert in photography who can teach them significant ways to improve on their own.


Strategy #7: Create Your Own “Dog Whistle”

Dog whistles are a metaphor to get the right clients.

You should target your marketing pieces only to clients who find them appealing. Remember to create something that will captivate your client and make them stick with your strategies.

The right type of “dog whistle” is a tool that can attract your customers and keep them glued to your business.


Strategy #8: Partner with charities

To continue your efforts with the silent auctions, continue to reach people with disposable income to donate to charities. In fact, people who donate to charities serve as the best photography clients.

There are tons of charities out there that serve different needs, and they need someone to partner with.

Ask these charities if there are any upcoming events that you could photograph.

You could ask if they need pictures for their websites or new headshots taken. You should invite them to your studio and take pro- bono portraits.

Make sure to have the write proposal to present to the charity in order to find a partnership that is a good match. Attract the right kind of clients to your business with well-branded designs and marketing materials.


Strategy #9: Get Featured

Look into magazines, blogs, and newspapers that need good stories. Think of a photography piece that shows off your skills and can benefit the audiences targeted.

Find relevant places to share your ideas with and remember to network and be persistent.

As your network grows, places, where you can be publicized, will increase. The more times you are featured in magazines or blogs, the more recognized you will become in your field.

Furthermore, you gain clients and be seen as a leader in photography.


Strategy #10: Create a Referral Program

Create an in-depth and professional referral program that can help your favorite vendors, family, clients, friends, and potential clients.

Seek out places to ask for referrals such as venues where you have photographed in the past. Make sure to provide something in trade for a referral.

This could be things such as:

•Images for their website
•Displays for their store
•Product photography

You can use rewards to incentivize your referral sources. Make sure to let a client know that you would appreciate it if they can refer you to their friends. Think about what these clients would like to receive in exchange for a referral.

This is a good opportunity in order to co-market with local business owners.


Strategy #11: Host an event

There are hundreds of small business owners who are looking to network. There are thousands of people ready to support a cause. And there are millions of people who would love for an excuse to get out of their house. Host an event in order to reach these people.

Some event ideas are:

•A pet charity event
•A Holiday home tour
•A business networking event

You don’t need a studio in order to host an event. Co-host an event with a business that can provide products and services to your customers such as a yoga studio, gym, chiropractor.


Strategy #12: Use Value-added incentives

Get ideas from companies such as Clinique that gives out free gifts with purchases, which customers cannot resist.

Some other value-added incentives are:

•25 free holiday cards for sessions booked
•Wedding save-the-dates at no charge
•25 Graduation announcements with a minimum monthly order

These value-added incentives can be used as a promotional deal to reach clients without having to discount your products. You can also use these incentives as a way to get clients to purchase more of your products.


Strategy #13: Send an Amazing Holiday Card

Make these holiday cards personal by featuring your family in them.

Having yourself in your own photography will get people talking about you and will show your clients that family is important.

This is a marketing move to demonstrate your love for your family, photography, and your clients. Choose a good audience to send these to and begin the process of getting clients to admire your work.


Plan of Action:

All of these methods are strong marketing moves to make your photography stand out to customers. Make sure to not only read about these tactics but begin to implement them into your photography strategy.

You can begin this process by:

•Trying three of these activities in the next 12 months
•Track the success of each marketing activity
•Determine which strategies are the most successful

These methods will make you a smarter and more confident photographer, as well as positively impact your business along the way.

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