How to Create a Marketing Strategy for Photographers
When it comes to growing your photography business, whether you’re brand new to the industry or a veteran photographer, creating a strong marketing strategy is essential. While you’re busy with your current clients and simultaneously trying to book new ones, marketing your business can often fall to the wayside. Learn how to create a marketing strategy, and you spend less time finding new clients and instead have them find you.
A marketing strategy is a plan of action dedicated to promoting and selling your service. This can include tactics like content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and even paid marketing. In this article, we’ll help you understand your objectives, determine your goals, and outline what a robust marketing strategy looks like.
Benefits of a Marketing Strategy
As with any aspect of your photography business, nothing should be done without a proper plan in place. You wouldn’t go to a photoshoot with a new client without knowing what type of photos they were looking for, what lenses you need to bring, and at what location you’ll be shooting, right? You don’t want to start marketing your business without a solid plan in place either.
With a strong marketing strategy comes a deeper understanding of what your audience is looking for. When you determine what your goals are and how you can achieve them, you can begin to test strategies with your audience to see which of those strategies or what content resonates best with your preferred clients. As well, you can discover what your competition is doing through market research and see how it is working for them. A marketing strategy allows you to be proactive with your business’ growth and align your strategy with your ultimate goals.
Start With a Marketing Plan
Understand what your bandwidth and budget is for marketing your photography business. Then, brainstorm how to create a content marketing strategy that includes email and social media. These can all be very affordable for a new or small business owner.
Once you understand what you or your team is able to take on, plan out how you can create and source content for these channels.
Figure out Your Buyer Personas and Ideal Customers
Once you have a general idea of what marketing tactics you’d like to pursue, it’s time to understand your ideal client. Focus on your target market and begin to understand what type of person would be your perfect client. First, they would have to be relevant to your brand and style.
From there, understand:
- Where this perfect client ideally lives
- How old they are
- Their profession and income
- Their interests and hobbies
- What their personality may be like
Photography shoots can be an extremely personal occasion. If you’re shooting for an advertising company or magazine, you’ll want to know exactly what the producer and director are looking for, what kind of style they prefer, or how they envision their product to be shared. Be sure that the audience you’re targeting is made up of your ideal buyer personas that prefer your style and vision.
Do Competitor Research
Next, it’s important to understand your competitors within your niche. Find a few photographers that have a similar subject matter or style as you and take a look at how they’re marketing themselves.
Do they have a great social media presence?
Is their website user-friendly and easy to navigate?
Do they have options to contact or book directly within a form on their site
Are they writing blog posts or articles that position them as a thought leader in your niche?
Not only can this help you understand your competitors and target audience better, but this can help spark some creative ideas that you can try for yourself. If there’s a particular subject you feel you’re an expert on, write an article about it and publish it on your website. Work on building your social media following and interact with others on those social platforms. Find ways to make yourself stand out among your competitors and build recognition to your brand.
Decide on Your Marketing Goals
As you continue to learn how to create a marketing strategy, you’ll realize you won’t have a solid strategy without specific goals.
Ask yourself the following:
- Do you want to build a larger email contact list?
- Or perhaps you want to establish a large presence on social media?
- Or do you want to find clients in a new location or area?
Whatever your goals may be, make sure your strategy aligns with those new objectives.
Determine Your Tools
Once your goals are decided, it’s time to research what tools you’ll want to use to achieve those goals.
Email Contact Database
Building an email contact list is a great way to reach out to your target audience. One easy way to grow your email contact list is by adding a link to subscribe to your newsletter at the end of your blog posts for clients to learn more about that particular topic they were reading.
Agency Access Directory
Another way to focus on your desired client base is to make the most of the notes, tasks, and tags options within the Agency Access Directory. For each contact you have listed, you can add notes about them that may help you have a more clear and direct conversation with them.
You can add tasks such as the calls or emails you’re going to make, so you have a series of to-dos with your leads and clients that will keep your marketing moving forward.
Finally, you can tag the clients with custom tags like “new client” or “referred by x.” Using these tools can help keep your client directory organized and segmented for you to continue a conversation that’s relevant to them personally.
Using project management tools such as Trello or Todoist helps keep your digital marketing strategy organized. You can create tasks, set checklists, and add due dates for different projects to keep you on schedule and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Search engine optimization can be a challenge, but SEO tools like Semrush can help you understand what keywords your photography competitors are ranking for. As a result, these tools are crucial to guiding you through your content marketing objectives. With them, you can work on expanding your online audience by optimizing your content for relevant and highly searched keywords within your niche.
Determine Your Channels
Now that you have your tools, determine the channels you’ll want to use. You can start with the low hanging fruit of social media. Social media is free to use and can often act as your digital portfolio. While it does take time and dedication to grow your audience on social, it can be well worth it. Many users still see it as another form of word of mouth and often share the content and accounts of those photographers they love.
Email marketing and blogging can take a bit more time, but are absolutely worth the effort. With a strong content marketing strategy, your emails and blog posts can serve as resources for your ideal client, building trust between them and your brand.
At the same time, you can incorporate essential SEO practices into your blog posts that will help you rank higher on search engine results if you use keywords properly within the post, killing two birds with one stone.
Execute Your Marketing Strategy and Keep Track of Metrics
It’s time to take action! Execute your planned marketing strategy and begin testing your tactics. But it’s not a set it and forget it practice.
You must keep track of metrics throughout your journey, so that you can see the progress you’re making and adjust as necessary. Be sure to pay attention to your email opens and click throughs. If your email opens aren’t a good percentage, revisit your subject lines. If not enough people are clicking through on your emails, test a different link or button to entice them to click.
Another way to see how your digital marketing strategy is working is to pay attention to how many leads are actually contacting you.
Are they calling you?
Have they been filling out your online form?
How long are they staying on your site?
Become familiar with your Google Analytics dashboard to understand your website performance and the demographics of the audience that’s viewing your website. Remember, marketing isn’t a one-time project; it’s an ongoing and ever-changing journey that is worth the hard work.
Understanding how to create a marketing strategy for your photography business is smooth with Agency Access. Whether it’s support from our Creative Directory with thousands of creative contacts at some of the world’s leading companies or the List Builder saving you time in creating mailing lists, Agency Access can help elevate your marketing plan in no time.
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