Marketing Your Photography Business in the Age of Social Media

Marketing Your Photography Business in the Age of Social Media
By Jenna Kageyama | flutter glass PHOTOGRAPHY

If you need a real estate agent, or a mechanic, or a good restaurant to try out, where would you look? By looking up any of these online, you will find the amount of search results to be nothing short of overwhelming, and photography businesses are no exception to this. Wouldn’t a personal recommendation from your neighbor or your best friend from college carry more weight? In the ‘age of too much information’ the personal referral means more than ever!

The vast world of social media can be a powerful tool to market your photography business, and best of all – it’s FREE. Well, not exactly free… you will need to roll up your sleeves and invest a good chunk of your day to growing your network. Here are some tips on how to get started:

The Website & Blog
Your website is your home base and the most important part of your business (even more than that really expensive lens you’ve had your eye on!). One important thing to remember about your web presence is, first and foremost, it must exist. Often, photographers can be visual perfectionists, and we want to make sure our website is exactly how we want it before launching. But, I have some bad news – it will probably never be exactly how you want it. So, instead of driving yourself or your web designer crazy, just close your eyes, make the site live and be happy that your business now has a pulse!

I’ll just say this as plainly as I can – if you don’t have a blog, you are doing it wrong . Yes – having an easy to navigate and attractive website portfolio is fantastic, but if you forgo the blogging, you are missing out on HUGE benefits:
• Blogs are free! You can always build a fancy custom blog at a later time.
• SEO – your posts will contain all kinds of key words for search engines to find and lead people directly to your site (don’t forget to link out as much as possible)!
• Keep everyone updated! Show clients work that is current and blog the photos that you are excited about.
• Give your business some personality. Talk about what inspires you about a particular photo shoot or event.
Your blog is the most important tool you have not to just get clients, but also to get the kind of clients that you want.

Get Reviews
If your client is not a referral, they will want to find out what other people are saying about you and your business. If you shoot weddings, I recommend WeddingWire or other similar sites – registration on these sites is free, so no photographer should not be listed! These reviews will give your clients valuable information about your performance on the job. One client of mine wrote some very nice things about how much she loved her photos, but she also included in the review, “Jenna was a ‘ninja photographer’ and I never even saw her other than the traditional family portrait time.” This tells prospective clients something that I could never really show them through my website – that I’m not going to be in their face all day and turn their entire wedding into a photo shoot directed by me, yet I will still be able to capture images that will last them a lifetime!

Facebook & Twitter
In addition to reviews, social media sites are key to developing your web presence. Facebook allows you to link up past, present and future clients. Instead of handing out a stack of cards to all the guests at a wedding, I upload a few previews of the event on my Facebook page and share them with the bride and groom. If they are active on Facebook, they will probably link others to the photos. Rather than wasting all that paper, in a few easy steps, I am sharing with everyone at that wedding who I am and the kind of photos that I take. Facebook & Twitter are also a great way to network with other professionals. I always try to link to other businesses I’ve enjoyed working with, and it’s also a good resource for my clients to see my endorsements.

Get Published
There are a TON of blogs out there hungry for great photos and great stories. Identify the top blogs that you think would be a good fit for your business. Resizing your photos and submitting will definitely cost you time and energy, but if they like your work you will get free advertising with a targeted audience. Also, many of these blogs have affordable advertising options that you may want to consider as well!

Create Synergy
All of these elements are useful alone, but making them work together will exponentially increase their value. All of my business emails contain this signature:

Jenna Kageyama 
flutter glass PHOTOGRAPHY

facebook: twitter: phone: 619.952.6780

My blog also leads people directly to my Facebook & Twitter accounts with large icons and real time updates for each! Of course, these social sites also lead back to my blog and website as well.

There are many ways to do things of course, but whether you are just starting out in the photography business or you are a seasoned professional, I highly recommend taking advantage of these free marketing options.