Taking action on these 10 things will catapult the growth in your photography business and most importantly get you more sales. Following this list will help you work with more of your perfect clients, do more of what you love, and get paid what you are worth.
Having the camera in your hands is where you want to be right?
If you’re striving to make photography your main source of income you need to realize that it’s all about the marketing.
Picture your best friend Jonah tells you that he wants to open a pizza restaurant. He went to college and got a business degree… you know he has always wanted to open a place… and that he loves pizza.
You’re excited for him.
I mean, the way he talks about his new pizza restaurant makes you excited to just hangout there. Doesn’t even matter what the pizza tastes like!
So some time passes, and finally it’s time for Jonah to open up his pizza restaurant. You get there a little early because he wanted to show it off to his close friends and family. You start even feeling a little jealous.
When you walk in it smells like pizza and Jonah is there with this big grin on his face.
He had about 5 hot pizzas waiting for you as his family and friends walked in.
You take a bite.
Look, does it even matter what it tastes like…
You have been pre-conditioned to love this pizza and Jonah regardless.
My goal with this post is to get your photography business to sell to clients that feel this way about you and your pictures.
Nurturing prospects online can seem overwhelming so I put together 10 actionable tasks you can take today. Remember what you do today will help your photography business forever.
What’s unique about your business?
1. Your Webpage Needs to Show What Makes YOU Unique
This might seem more obvious, but did you know taking the time to do this could have a massive impact on your sales?
It’s just true. Sorry but if your business looks like everyone else and if you market yourself like everyone else you will fail.
You must differentiate yourself and your business from the other 100 photographers in your neighborhood.
A good way to do this is to create several unique beautiful pages on your photography website. These aren’t your homepage, about page, contact page, booking page, calendar page, or your portfolio pages. Yes those pages should be nice too but this is a special piece of content that is unique to you.
For instance, make a page about a specific location and why you love shooting images there. Write about it, show pictures about it, maybe even have a video on the location.
This leads me up to the 2nd action you should take that will change your photography business forever.
2. Make A Landing Page for Each Niche of Photography You Shoot
What’s a landing page?
It’s a standalone page where a visitor goes after they click a link from one of your social media sites, an email, or through your internal site navigation.
A correctly done landing page has a single goal. The goal is a call to action. That action could be getting someone’s information, selling something, or whatever.
Your call to action should be geared to target your different photography niches. The goal at the very least getting an email address and best case scenario a down payment for a session.
Hypothetically, if you have 5 different wedding packages you don’t need to set up a different landing page for each one. You really don’t have to go that far… but if they all are marketed to different types of people then maybe it wouldn’t hurt to test it.
Lets say your photography business has four main niches: weddings, family portraits, baby pictures, and animal photography. A good productive use of your time would be to have a landing page for each one of them.
When you are constructing a landing page remember you are gunning for the conversion.
People’s attention spans are small and although people may be looking for you, you still don’t have very much time to make a lasting impression.
Your prospects are trying to click away and your website’s job is to keep them there. The goal of the landing pages is to make sure the client feels good about you and choosing you to spend their money on.
Think about this: People aren’t going to just open up their wallets and hand you cash without knowing they are getting EXACTLY what they are looking to buy.
IMAGINE being able to have a client pay for their services before YOU even need to talk to them. All this landing page hoopla is worth it if that happens am I right?
The job of the landing page is to sell…
If you are thinking it’s going to be some work. You are right BUT, the great thing about a landing page is once it’s done it’s done. You may need to tweak it from time to time to TEST if your goal is to get the highest conversions possible OR you may have the mindset if it works I’m leaving it alone. I don’t care what you do – it’s your business, I am just trying to give you the information you need to make a good decision for your strategy.
Helpful tip for landing page creation: Focus on ease of use for the prospect and the questions you know they will have.
Some questions to think about answering are:
- How much is it going to cost?
- What do I wear?
- Where should we go?
- What time of day?
- How long have you been in the industry?
- Do you have any testimonials?
Those are just a few questions I could think of people would ask their photographer. Don’t use them / use them it’s up to you.
Prove to the prospect that you are the one for them. Destroy their pitiful doubts of you.
3. Create an Email List. Set up Sequences
All the social media presence in the world doesn’t compare to the power of email. For instance… what if you have 200,000 followers on Instagram – but then Instagram changes their algorithm. Since you do not own that platform Instagram just says tough luck.
The social media companies are looking to MAKE THAT MONEY.
Soooooo they are going to do everything in their power to keep people using their platform and keep people spending money on ads.
With an email list it is different. You own that list. It is a business asset, and personally it is my most valuable business asset.
So you may be asking to yourself what would I do with an email list?
- Email often. The more the better.
- Write to your list like it is your best friend, even if you have a big list.
- Always be showing off your beautiful irresistible offers.
Imagine having a platform where you can speak to all the people that want to hear you.
The importance of staying in touch with your inner circle of connections is vital for business.
Let your list know what you are up to in your business, what’s new in your life, etc.
The cornerstone to a successful photography business is nurturing prospects and warming them up to feel like they have no choice other than to choose you to take their pictures.
All I do is give out free tips to help photographers just like you connect with more customers! At the very least be entertained by my life.
4. Set up a Booking Calendar
So you can talk to your prospects without being a master planner and scheduler. A booking calendar is great.
- Prospect goes to the calendar.
- Prospect selects date.
- Prospect selects time.
- Booking calendar emails prospect to remind them about the time you’re talking.
Having a system in place like this gets you on your way to start automating getting clients without needing to text or call leads back and forth all day.
I use a company called Calendly for DM Standard. It’s free unless you want the extras but honestly the free version is plenty for a photography business.
My focus is to connect photographers to more customers so naturally I am going to need to talk to photographers. Each individual photographer is different and in a different stage of their business. The conversations can get pretty private and personal so therefore I don’t broadcast them out to the blog.
In a photography business having a calendly calendar is crucial too.
A booking calendar works – You input your availability so the calendar knows when you are available and then embed it on your website. When a client visits the calendar they tap the day and time they want to talk and then bam. You’re good. Calendly even email’s them to remind them of the call.
First, I want to explain what a calendar booking system will do for your business:
- It’s Free!
- Schedule photo events and client meetings without the back and forth emails and phone calls!!!
- Will save you lots of time!
- Automated reminders for you and your clients!
- Timezone detection!
- Automated scheduling!
To get a calendar go to calendly.com – there are other options out there but this one is free
Sign up and there you go.
Follow the process to make a calendar.
I suggest making two different calendars, one for when your photography sessions are taking place, and one for when you follow up with your clients after they put down a deposit.
1st Calendar: When the photography session with the client is actually happening.
- This is the incentive for the prospect to pay a deposit. It is to hold their spot.
- After the deposit is paid the (customer now yay!) gets redirected to the 2nd calendar which is when you talk about their shoot…
2nd Calendar: After the prospect pays their deposit… this is the day and time of when you talk about what the client wants. Here are some guidelines.
Think about the user experience always.
- Make sure you set up days and times where you are available.
- The purpose of this is to make your life easier.
After this is setup you will spend much less time on the phone with “leads” and more time on the phone with actual paying clients.
Try to imagine: you’re a prospect that goes onto your website looking to book a photographer. After you have it all set up ask your family and friends how they feel the experience was. The best feedback is constructive.
5. Figure Out How to Accept Payments Online
Some businesses just use PayPal and there is nothing wrong with that. I mean whatever makes it stay simple and whatever gets you paid right?
Well… there are several options out there.
Currently, the one I recommend to photographers is a company called stripe. They make it easy, you can set up forms on your site, even set up recurring payments if you get a client to get on a bi-monthly family photography package (yes those clients are out there).
6. Get Several Strong Case Studies
Do you know what a case study is?
Not a testimonial but a case study.
So here’s the difference. A case study is an actual experience someone had. A testimonial is someone’s feedback of the experience they had.
They are both extremely powerful but it is much harder to get a solid case study and here’s why…
A testimonial is usually a couple sentence long saying “Jonah was great, he did whatever we asked, blablabla.”
Still really valuable content for your website, and I’m not saying to just throw out testimonials.
A case study is so powerful. Imagine giving your past clients some questions and seeing if they would answer them on a video.
It is just so real and raw, and there is nothing better than that for a business that is trying to sell online.
7. Write About Your Shoots
Every time you shoot you can be posting a well thought out, specific, and meaningful story about your experience.
I know this seems like a lot of work, but if you let your past work do the advertising for you, this is how people that don’t know you will start to yearn for the experience with you.
Showing the random person why it’s important to hire a true professional photographer is going to be a large part of your battle when you are just starting out.
You as a business owner want to do everything you can to decrease the doubt people may have about hiring a photographer.
Focus on these doubts.
Everyone’s number one thing that scares people from hiring a photographer is the money.
A great place to teach people the value of what you provide are in these posts.
You can even follow these posts… and actually would be best followed with your clients testimonials or if you can get one… a case study.
8. Think About Where Your Prospects are Seeing Your Prices
Do not have your prices out for display on your website unless you feel as though your customers will hire you regardless of the price because they relate to your content so much.
This is because no matter how good you are or how many recommendations you may have from other people… your future clients will naturally shop for a photographer.
The easiest way for a client to shop you is by price because they do not know of any other way.
Think about it, you go on Facebook and people get all crazy, love pictures, comment on pictures someone takes with a little iphone.
So really think about whether it is worth it for you to have your prices out on display.
9. Relatable Content
Go back and look at the content you have on your website.
Make sure it is relatable to your perfect customer.
This goes for every part of your website.
- Homepage – Introduce yourself | What makes you unique? | Why you?
- About Page – Why are you a photographer? | Did you do anything before photography? | What do you do for fun?
- Contact Page – Are you easy to get a hold of? | Do you have the social media networks your clients are using because maybe they will want to message you on there?
- Calendly Page – Why is someone going to want to talk to you | Why is someone going to feel like you are worth it to put a deposit down for their shoot?
- Portfolio – Is it organized? | Is it beautiful?
- Pricing – If you have it on your website… Does it look intimidating or inviting?
10. Design Your Website With The Objective To Get Leads
After all the entire purpose of your website is to reach people that are looking for a professional photographer, turn the website visitors into prospects which in turn convert into paying customers.
What can you do to help your website run like a well oiled machine?