I think you will agree with me when I say:
It’s REALLY difficult for a photographer to market themselves.
No one seems to know they exist. Right?
I hear a lot of photographers ask how they can gain more exposure for what they do. I too have asked myself why no one knows who I am. I understand the question because I have asked it before myself. How do we market ourselves to the public?
The solution is easier than you might think.
Are you thinking like a photographer, or like a customer?
In this post, I will explain why your skills and equipment mean absolutely nothing to your customer and how to change your marketing approach.
Do you often post your photos in a photography group, or a similar forum? If you do, then you are probably thinking like a photographer, and not like a customer.
Your customer doesn’t know you or your photography. The only people that know about your photography is your competition. Photographers don’t hire other photographers to shoot their portraits. Right? 🙂 So it is probably not the best way to get hired.
“I haven’t had anyone in years do photos of us (my husband and i), so I don’t know what would make me hire someone, honestly, other than price and portfolio.” — A potential customer on Facebook.
“Personally, I wouldn’t know where to look for a photographer. I would love to have family photos done every so often, but since I’m a transplant from Seattle, I simply don’t know where to look.” — Another Facebook comment about finding a photographer
Like I am saying your potential customer has no idea what to think of you because they don’t know anything about your photography. Not yet anyway, right?
Let me sum it up another way.
Your customer doesn’t care about you.
They don’t care if you have a Nikon or a Canon. They don’t care what lenses you use. They don’t care how long you have been shooting. They don’t care if you have worked for Chuck Norris or not.
What your customer, or potential clients, DO care about is what you CAN DO FOR THEM.
I am not trying to be mean, but this is the truth of life and marketing. They care about you as a person, but not as much as what you can do for them.
What they want to know is how much you charge and what your pictures look like. That is about it. How does your photography benefit them? In other words, what do they get out it?
So how do you market to them knowing this?
1: Market your images with proper SEO.
Believe it or not but most photographers care about photography and not SEO or marketing. I know it’s a complete surprise, huh? So what you need to do is hire a professional SEO or start doing some reading up on SEO. Here is a resource for you to get you started. 8 simple ways to improve your image SEO. It’s not too difficult at all, but if you really don’t want to do it, I would suggest you hire someone or pay someone to help you with it.
2: Build relationships.
I like to use social media to post in groups that support photography. Printers for instance. If a printer does an amazing job for me, I will post an ad for them on my site.
If I am a landscape photographer I share my images with realtor groups and people that need to show others how nice this place is.
If I am a portrait photographer I share my portraits with framers, families, studios, and other places that use portraits.
3: Display your work, prices, and ways to get a hold of you on your website.
Your website needs to address a few important things quickly and easily.
- What does your work look like? Every photographer is a little different. People need to see what makes your work unique.
- How much do you charge? What do they get for that price?
- How can they schedule an appointment with you? Do you work locally? Do you come to them, or do they come to you? What is your address etc.?
- What can they expect from a session with you? How long will it take? What if the weather sucks? Do they get all of their images or just a few? Who does the printing? Do you do any editing? Is it extra to have some editing done?
These are just some of the questions you should address on your site.
The key is to put yourself in their shoes. And then do your best to answer questions they may have about how your photography can benefit them.
That is about it.
If you want to know more about marketing and SEO in general I suggest heading over to http://www.timothyeberly.com and checking that site out. There are articles on their you can read to get a better idea of how to improve your website’s SEO and performance.
Every photographer is different and will shoot with different styles and looks, so don’t get hung up on all that. Just start telling the right people about what it is you can do for them and how it will make their life better. 🙂