When you make your first steps into the big, bad world of professional photography how on earth are you going to find people who will pay you real money for what you do?
This video explains what I did.
You are pretty much unknown, competing with other photographers who are more experienced, and better established than you.
What do you do? Do you hope someone will find you and ask you to work for them?
Unfortunately, hope doesn’t work as a marketing strategy.
What does work, is getting out there and making things happen so that your photography gets in front of people who might want to buy it
There are four main ways that you will find photography clients. Some will work for you, some won’t. And one or more of these will give you immediate results, whereas other will take longer to pay off.
The four ways you will find photography clients are:
1. Generating Inbound Enquiries
This is where clients find you when they are looking for the type of photography that you do. Usually they find your website. It is the ideal way to find customers and works for all types of photographers. Finding customers in this way is fantastic but takes constant effort to get your website to the top of Google. I recommend that everyone works on this and we have module on this.
2. Direct Outreach To Potential Customers
When you start out it’s unlikely that you’ll have any customers coming directly to you. Sometimes being direct is the best approach and that means reaching out to potential customers. This works particularly well if you have a well targeting niche, you can work out ways to contact the person you need, and if you can identify a time when they will be looking for a photographer. For example – event photography. It works less well if you can’t identify a time and person to contact when your photography is needed.
3. Building Awareness
Making people aware of the work you means that when they need a photographer you’ll jump into their mind and they’ll make contact for you. Or you may cause someone to like your photography so much that they just have to contact you. You can generate awareness through social media and by creating interesting and relevant content for websites, blogs and publications that target the same niche as you. You can also generate awareness by networking and meeting people who might be interested in what you do.
4. Working With Partners
Other people, businesses and organisations could help you reach customers. Trade shows and art fairs are designed to get people interested in certain products and services, could you fit into one of these? Websites exist that sell art and stock photography and could be great channels to sell your work. Other businesses have similar customers to you, and they should be opportunities to partner with them.
These methods all work to find clients. When you start out, you need to pick at least one that will get you some clients. And you should also work on the others as part of your long term strategy.