Marketing Your Photography Business or Services

By SnapSquad - December 08, 2018

Your photos are awesome but they need to be promoted to sell and for you to get new jobs. The thing is, photography is your passion, not marketing. This said, you do realise that your passion is now your business and that makes you feel, at times frustrated, frankly irritated or simply at a loss. Luckily for you, there is such thing as easy to grab marketing techniques (no rocket science, I promise) that you can master in no time to get your business rolling on success lane. Good techniques to learn and apply are often the result of observing what you should not be doing; of what you have been doing wrong all along. So I invite you to check on your present tactics and find out how to correct your wrong marketing moves.


Who are you really?

The first question may surprise you and yet, think about it: photography is a full-time people business that works both ways, with you wanting to attract a certain type of clients on one side, and on the other side potential customers wanting to find a photographer with the right personality for the assignment they have to offer. Make no mistake, your profile is what people will react to. So who are you? What makes you different in the world of photography? Are you a likeable human and what do you stand for?

The image you promote is all over your website, your blog and every social media account you may have. There too, show what you love and what you love doing. Use social media as a platform to voice your personality and unique style.


  • Mimicking other and successful photographers. It is good to know what others in the profession are doing and even learn from them and find yourself through them but it is quite a different thing to copy them. You are a passionate photographer, so be creative, be yourself and build your own unique photo business.
  • Boring your readers with doing what every other photographer does. 


Before you rush into investing in any form of marketing, make sure you have clearly defined the type of client you want to attract to your business.  Look back on clients you have worked with so far and read their testimonials (keep testimonial preciously) to find out what you appreciated, even enjoyed most during those assignments and what they appreciated with you as their photographer. With that, draw a portrait of your ideal client: required assignment and budget (business, wedding etc.), age bracket, social background etc.

Checking out how or where these clients got in touch with you will be also good guidance.


  • Trying to catch any sort of client out there by being over-active and everywhere at once on social media, with flyers, emails and what not.


I have two keywords for you to remember: Focus and Strategy. You want your business to make money and expand. To do this you need a plan that will:

  1. Focus on the targets you want to achieve to make a good income first by working out your prices.
  2. Work out a strategy to attract clients to your business.
This again will require you to have determined the ideal profile of your clientele and be clear about it.

You are not sure on how to work out a marketing plan? There are a number of websites and forums that will put you on the right trail. In order to succeed in your business, you absolutely need to make the effort and spend some time getting it right.


  • Not having a marketing plan. This is the number one mistake photographers usually make.
  • Building your marketing plan based on what others are doing. Assuming their success is the result of a strategy of which you have no idea, you are heading towards big disappointment. Again, do not simply copy what others are doing.
  • Scattering your marketing effort all over the place (go back to the previous chapter).


This is quite a long chapter which has to start with a “SCREAM”: Schedule marketing time! Jot it down on your weekly calendar and never, never neglect it. No potential client will ever find you or your photo studio if you are not marketing your work; put it this way, they won’t even know you exist. No marketing = no clients = no photography business.

1.Networking Social Media

Social media is certainly a great tool to make yourself visible out there, however, not all platforms will serve your business interests equally. Rather than getting overzealous with wanting to market your photography by opening multiple accounts, you need to slow down and become an observer to find out which platform(s) is really appropriate for you. This goes back, again, to your targeting the right clientele and checking on feedback from your existing clients on how they found you in the first place.  You could, of course, test several platforms at once and progressively narrow it down to a couple that works for you.    
Consulting other photographers will also be a good lead to pick the best platforms; generally, though, it seems that Instagram is the preferred platform for photography. 
Whatever your choice of platform, remember to make it a people’s place. Show your work but also your face.


  • Neglecting precious marketing time.
  • Scattering your efforts all over social media platforms and wasting time. Pick a couple of suitable ones and organise automated posting.
  • Showing your work constantly yet being invisible and impersonal.
2. E-Mailing

(a). Building up an E-mailing List

If that is not obvious, you need a list and you will need to build it yourself. It is possible to buy lists online but even if it seems like the ideal and easy solution I would not recommend it. Nothing beats a list that you have personally put together. I know it will take some time to work it out, so think of a good clients’ e-mailing list as a beautiful ripe fruit: it needs time. Build your own list right from the time you meet interested people or your first client and do not neglect your friends either; like word of mouth, sharing e-mails can go a long way.                                                                                                             
Photography is a people business that will grow with relationships that you will have built along the way and I’ll come back to this further down.

(b). Keeping the Content Attractive                                   

Write compelling messages. Inform everyone of your new products, your special offers, your “special days”; create small privileges to make the recipients on your list feel like VIPs. Keep your content informational and engaging if you want the recipients to react and contact you back.

(c). You’ll certainly want a response to your e-mails. Keeping this in mind, you’ll have to let the recipient know who you are and what good you could be to them. If your list is also made up of other businesses, let them know how you can assist them in promoting them and you could help maximize their marketing by being their photographer.

(d). Automating E-Mailing     
This may sound contradictory to the above (Maintaining a Human Touch) but it is none of the less a very tempting tool to use. After all, automated e-mailing can reach hundreds of recipients in a matter of seconds and with one single click. How awesome is that?!                 

Well, I hate to put a lid on your enthusiasm but generalising messages that would become irrelevant to their recipients is not what you want to achieve; not to mention that your e-mails will probably be caught by spam filters.                                                                                       

Automated e-mailing however, could be suitable to inform of some updates, spread the news about a special event you’ll want all your contact not to miss of and of course, photos.                                                                                                                 
E-mailing is a great tool (and the cheapest too!) that can definitely promote your image and develop the presence of your business in the social media which is why you must keep a clear goal while using it with engaging messages tailored for a targeted audience.


  • Not using a mailing list.
  • Purchasing ready to use e-mailing lists. Build your own.        
  • Being impersonal and only business as usual: Be a people person.
  • Being unattractive to your readers: be informational and engaging.
  • Sending generalised insensitive messages through automated e-mailing. Customise!!

3. Blogging                                                                                       

Blog as often as you can. Set yourself a rhythm and post regularly. Keeping your blog alive with fresh content will not only help you achieve better ranking with Google but also let your clients and followers know that you are in business.                                                                                 
Being a photographer, you do not have to write lengthy posts but keep on showing what you’re up to with your work, events you join and some of your more personal side. You can keep it short, interesting and relatable for you clients with a helpful content and even share interesting resources from other bloggers.                                                   

Keep focused on YOUR targeted audience; it’s them you are writing for and not the whole world.                                                                                 
Remember you are in a people’s business, so connect and stay connected.


  • Blogging with no regular schedule.
  • Posting too generalised contents.
  • Not being helpful to your audience.
4. Using Promo Video

Your first reaction to the concept of using promo video may be uncomfortable; after all, what you want to promote is your work behind a camera, not in front. Breathe!

Here are some information I have gathered for you:                             

  • By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (85% in the US). (Cisco)
  • One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. (Forrester Research)                                         
  • YouTube is the second most trafficked site, after Google. (Alexa)        
  • 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. (Wordstream)

Video marketing has become the top online marketing tool of the new century. All this while I have kept emphasising the importance of the human touch in marketing a business. Emotions are what drives people and what better way is there than engaging yourself on a video and letting your potential clients meet you in the flesh (almost!) and in the action? Consider your video promo like an Interactive CV that would showcase yourself in your life and at work (while shooting) and why not backstage after shooting?
You may not be able to shoot and edit a promo video by yourself, so set up a budget for it and hire a videographer. Meanwhile you will most certainly enjoy checking out photographers’ promo video on
My personal favourite is Spunky Art Photography.


  • Ignoring new online marketing tools
  • Being scared of standing out from the crowd.
  • Not using video


How do you price your work? This question brings us back again to the targeted audience. Are you looking for genuine, loyal, long-term clients? Or do you want to attract cheap bargain hunters whose values are based on price, not quality? 

Discounts will attract some clients; however, you would not want them to always wait for the next discount to purchase one of your works. If you are not sure on how to price your work, go back to networking with colleagues and check out related websites.


  • Not displaying your prices. People will not write to you to find out.
  • Not charging enough.
  • Using discounting as a marketing trick.
  • Making pricing decisions based on bargain hunters’ choices.


This is mostly on keeping a good client’s date base.

  • Keep an up-to-date portfolio of your work.
  • Keep your client list and mailing list religiously updated.
  • Keep track of how clients find out about you.
  • Keep all testimonials like a precious dowry.
  • Keep track of referrals by clients a reward those clients.
  • Keep up contributing to the community by donating free coverage of an event or free short sessions.
  • Keep networking and getting involved with professionals and your local community to build up friendships and trust. Good relationships can do wonders to propel your business.


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