How to get
more photography clients
(11 smart techniques)
You finally decided to take the plunge and start a photography business. The question is: how will you get clients? We list 11 smart techniques on how to get more photography clients, today.
1. Profile your target group
To make it in photography, don't try to please everyone. Instead, find your ideal audience and focus on them. For example, if you're a fine art photographer, target people who love your style and will pay for your work.
And if you're a wedding photographer, build relationships with wedding planners, venues, and publications that cater to couples. Don't try to be everything to everyone - just focus on what you're good at, and your photography career will flourish.
2. Network to expand your portfolio
The more people you know, the more referrals you can get. So, connect with anyone related to your photography. Again, if you're a wedding photographer, network with venue managers, wedding planners, decorators, makeup artists, other photographers, and past clients.
A few happy clients can start a chain reaction. Also, to build trust with potential clients, have your past clients leave great reviews on your social media. Social proof helps persuade people to trust in your expertise.
3. Shoot for free (initially)
Starting out as a photographer and want your first paid gig? Here's a cool trick: offer free photos to people who can recommend you to others. They can share those photos on social media and recommend you to others.
But keep it quiet - don't advertise that you're giving away freebies. The sooner you get that first paying gig, the quicker your confidence and career will grow!
“Offer free photos to people who can recommend you to others. ”
4. Focus on getting referrals
To land your first real photography job, spread the word among friends and family. They could be your first paying clients, and it'll be easier and less daunting to work with people you know. Plus, they'll be happy to refer you to others.
Next, try working with social media influencers and other pros. These can be a great source of valuable referrals. Try offering some free photos upfront, since this might be necessary to get things moving.
5. Start collaborative partnerships
Working with others is a fantastic way to build your portfolio and get referral jobs. If you're a freelance photographer, teaming up with makeup artists and new models is a smart move. They're often looking for their first paid gig and need pro-quality portfolio shots.
So, offer your photo skills while they offer their talents, and create a winning partnership. Just make sure everyone benefits from the deal, and don't forget it's only until you start getting paid gigs.
6. Teach photography at schools
Teaching photography is a great side hustle for freelance photographers. It can also open avenues for getting photography clients. How to book more photography clients if you're teaching photography?
As a photography teacher, you meet many people, which expands your network. If one of your students requires photography services, they might just get in touch.
You could also use the experience to create a course of your own and make a steady income from that (with little maintenance).
“Did you know: research shows professionals with a booking system receive up to 20% more bookings. ”
7. Create a professional portfolio website
No matter your photography genre, you need a website to announce yourself to the world. Your website is like your home on the internet. Though many photographers nowadays prefer using an Instagram profile as a website, we don't recommend this.
Several hosting providers offer simple website options consisting of a few pages. You can build these on your own using one of the available templates.
Anyone with zero knowledge of coding can get it up and running. So, it doesn't make sense not to have a website. At the least, use it to show a contact form, address, and other essential pieces of information that you can't put up on Instagram.
8. Use our free appointment scheduling software
Did you know: research shows professionals with a booking system receive up to 20% more bookings. That's a lot of extra work, especially if you're just starting out.
Instead of going through the hassle of manually discussing each and every appointment through email or DMs, try Vev's free online appointment scheduling software for photographers. We'd love to know what you thinkof it, too.
9. Be (very) active on social media
These days, social media reign supreme as the greatest platform for social and professional interactions. Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram have opened avenues to interact socially and engage like nothing we have ever seen.
These are powerful tools that requires patience, perseverance and a solid social media plan of action to market your services effectively. Each social media platform requires a distinct approach. As a professional photographer, you have to come up with an appropriate plan for each.
10. Join social media groups and communities
Social media groups of like-minded people are a great way to expand your network and get recommendations and referrals. Workgroups, neighborhood groups, family, and friends: join as many social media groups on WhatsApp and Telegram as possible.
You never know where you could get a referral or a recommendation. Always show your profession on your profile picture, for instance by holding your camera. Make sure to introduce yourself and explain you're doing professional photography so everyone knows you're there.
11. Get started with email marketing
Business contacts collected at events, appointments, and referrals should be maintained in a database. These emails are your contact points for future work.
You may have met someone at a photography event and exchanged personal cards. But what are the chances that the person will remember you after three months?
Especially if you don't follow up with an email or a phone call. Just as you would have a system to call people, you should also have an email marketing system worked out that keeps you relevant and fresh in the minds of your prospective clients.
The balancing act is, however, tough to fine-tune. How many emails should you send, and what should be the frequency?
Get more photography clients with these techniques
Getting your first paid photography client as a freelance photographer can be easier than you think. Of course, you need to have a concrete plan in your hands, and you should be ready to get to work.
Most people get their first paid gig within the network of family and friends, and that's always a great place to start. But there are a bunch of other avenues that you can tap into.
Be it using social media to your advantage, teaching as a side hustle that expands your network, or using appointment scheduling software like Vev. Leave no stone unturned. Hopefully, the above list will help you get on the right footing.
Frequently asked questions
Why do most photographers prefer to teach?
Teaching photography is a great side hustle. Plus, online teaching opens the avenue for a steady income, especially if you can set up a course. It requires little maintenance and a steady income.
Can social media help you find clients for your photography business?
Social media is a great tool for connecting with friends, family, and professional colleagues and tapping into their networks. It's a great way to connect with someone requiring photography services.
Why is it important for photographers to have a business website?
Your website isn't only your platform on the internet; it's your 24/7/365 salesman. It can even collect contact details and appointments when integrated with booking software like Vev.