Book Your Schedule Solid with Photo Sessions

Every photography business needs to be marketing online. Why?

For the simple reason that the internet is where your clients are. If you’re not there (and active there), how can they find you?

Having a solid online marketing strategy as part of your overall business plan is going
to:

  • catapult you over all the other photographers in your area
  • fill your schedule
  • get the exact clients you want to work with
  • allow you to charge exactly what you want, every time

YES, YOU REALLY CAN GET NEW CLIENTS ONLINE!

Like many professional photographers, you probably do great work. You have a great studio or know how to get the best location shots. But, you desperately need more photo sessions.

You know your customers are online so you spend countless hours setting up a website (probably with ShowIt), groom your social media profiles with your best work, and maybe you even try Facebook or Instagram ads.

Then you set up all of the tools – email marketing, online scheduling, hosting, CRM’s, and more.

And maybe, you’ve spent a lot of money and haven’t seen the new photo sessions getting booked. If so, you’re not alone!

Use the following to get started…

TWO THINGS YOU MUST GET RIGHT BEFORE GETTING STARTED ONLINE

#1 – KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Before getting started online, you need to know exactly who your ideal client is.

Maybe your ideal client is a soon-to-be mother who makes six figures a year and wants high quality newborn photos.

Or maybe she’s a 55-year-old woman living in North Carolina who loves horses.

Or maybe they’re the parents of a highschool senior that’s into motocross and wants spectacular portraits.

Once you know who your ideal client is, now you need to think about where they would hang out online.

Are they on Facebook?

Instagram?

Reading online reviews?

Watching videos or reading blogs?

The more detailed you can get, the more effective your outbound marketing efforts will be.

Spend some time thinking exactly who your target audience is – it will help you with everything else you do online.

Newborn Photographer SEO

#2 – KNOW YOUR USP

Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is what makes your business unique (& more appealing). Your brand, especially online, is the overall message you want to get across to your prospect. And your brand online must be laser-focused.

Why?

Because online you only have a few seconds to impress your visitors.

What do you better than all of the other photographers out there?

Think of your ideal client and combine that with what kind of services you want to offer.

Think about your dream schedule. If you looked at each week, and they were full of (this kind) of photo sessions, what would that be?

Maybe it’s “Fine Art Newborn Imagery” or “Wedding Portraits” or whatever that is for you. It could be based off of what has the highest profit margins or what you’re best at or what you just plain enjoy doing the most.

Spend a day or two identifying your ideal client, your brand, and your USP.

YOUR ENTIRE DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY IN THREE STEPS

FORM YOUR FOUNDATION

CREATE YOUR CONTENT

CULTIVATE YOUR COMMUNITY

#1 – FORM YOUR FOUNDATION

Capture the People Already Searching for You

YOUR GOOGLE PROFILE: Start here

Before getting started with anything else online, you need to take your Google Business Profile very seriously. Google Business Profile is the first go-to tool to manage your business within Google which includes search and local maps.

By verifying your business with Google, filling out every detail, and constantly maintaining a great presence there, you’ll see your business climb in the search results for keywords relating to your services and location.

You’ll want to make sure your Google Business Profile accurately reflects your business because it’s often the first touch potential clients will have with your business. Start where people are already searching for your services – Google!

Social Rocketship Photography Marketing

YOUR WEBSITE: Your 24/7 Sales Rep

Your website is the foundation of the digital side of your business. Everything else you’ll do online will be to bring people back to your website.

When designed correctly, your website will serve as your 24/7 salesperson, giving enough info to the visitor to convert them into taking action – like booking a phone call with you.

This is a HUGE topic but at the very minimum, your website should:

  • Be easy to navigate
  • Be minimal with an emphasis on your work – your galleries!
  • Be responsive – mobile/tablet-friendly
  • Have plenty of Calls-to- Action (i.e. – “Book Your Photo Session Now!”) Make it very easy to contact you (email, phone number, etc)

CHAT & DIRECTORIES: Get in Touch

After making sure your website is set up, you need to make sure you get your business listed in all of the various directories out there.

At the minimum, you should have everything listed correctly on your Google Business Profile as well as Facebook. From there, you’ll want to add your site to as many directories as possible. It’s tedious but important.

To further engage with potential clients, you’ll want to add chat to your website. Even if you have a great contact page, with call-to-actions all over your site, the mere fact of having a chat widget on your site increases the amount of visitors that will engage with you.

Bonus points: create an automated follow-up sequence with your visitors booking them on your calendar!

#2 – CREATE YOUR CONTENT

Nurture the People Wanting Your Photography Services

CONTENT: Show Your Expertise

There’s a saying online that content is king. What does this mean to you as a photographer?

Easy, your job is to showcase your skills that prompt your ideal clients into hitting that contact button. Your use of galleries will be vital but be sure not to overlook videos as well as adding your own blog.

Crafting your own unique voice is part of your overall brand and why clients will end up choosing you over another photographer.

The key with content is consistency. Whether you choose to post daily, once a week, or once a month, is up to you but you must post.

Being active online shows your potential client that you’re involved in your business. Craft a content creation calendar and stick to it, month in, month out, year after year.

SEO: Get Found Online

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of adjusting and, well, optimizing your website in order to achieve higher rankings in the search engines.

This means your website come up first on the first page of the keywords being searched for (organic search – without paying for it).

Google Your Business

There’s a LOT to this but here are a few quick tips:

  • Include keywords in your page titles
  • Keyword-rich page descriptions
  • Add keywords to any photos added to your site
  • Make sure all of your content has keywords listed throughout
  • Make sure to include a sitemap

This is a just the beginning. SEO requires near-constant work for your website to stay relevant in the search engines.

EMAIL: Keep In Touch

Regardless of what kind of photography business you have, keeping in touch with your own clients will bring more business your way.

This is where your blog and latest photo galleries come in handy – you already have the content in place, now you’re just giving your people another way to view, if they hadn’t yet before.

You can share news about your business, any specials, especially around key holidays, and so on. Make it easy to join your newsletter. Have an opt-in on your website as well as linking to it from your social media profiles.

These days, people are more selective with their emails so you may choose to offer an incentive – a series of tips and tricks, etc.

Decide on your mailing schedule – for most photographers, once a month is ideal.

#3 – CULTIVATE YOUR COMMUNITY

Close Your People Into Paying Clients

SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect Online

When it comes to digital marketing for photographers, we cannot overlook the importance of social media. It may not bring the biggest bang for the buck, but it’s important to maintain an active presence on the major platforms.

Besides your email newsletter, social networks provide a place to connect with your past clients and possible new clients. You can post your amazing photography on these networks and provide yet one more place where your ideal clients can find you.

How much time you want to spend on social media is up to you – it can be an easy time suck. That said, be sure to at least post on a consistent schedule as well as interact with the people who posted on your page.

REPUTATION: What Others Are Saying

Do you know what’s being said about your photography business? You should! It could be drastically affecting your business. We can’t overlook how online reviews factor into the purchasing decision-making process.

You should encourage your clients to leave you a great review after a successful photo shoot. You should also be sure to interact with those who leave you reviews, good or bad.

Always be gracious and professional because the vast majority of people are “lurking” and reading both the reviews as well as what you share in response. As far as where to focus your efforts, as of now, Google and Facebook are the big ones.

ADVERTISING: The Key to Scaling-Up Fast

Social Rocketship Photographer Marketing

So far, everything we’ve covered has been free. In other words, besides your time investment, SEO, social media, etc., are all free.

Advertising online is not free but it can be extremely effective and a powerful boost to your overall digital marketing strategy. With the amount of data available, you can create hyper-specific lists of people to advertise to.

You can even create different campaigns that target specific cities and neighborhoods, income, and more. It goes back to who your ideal target is and what specific service you offer.

How much you decide to invest is up to you, but once you see some initial results, you can scale up quickly by investing more. Set up an ad campaign, start out small, and scale up as desired.

THE KEY TO WINNING ONLINE

MARKETING

Most of the above is marketing – the work you put in to actually get visibility online. The cost is time (& someone actually doing the work). It won’t necessarily translate to immediate sales but doing the marketing work is a must for long term results!

ADVERTISING

If you want more immediate results, then we recommend running ads on platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. The cost is money (& someone actually doing the work).

If you run targeted campaigns, then you will see appointments getting booked from your website – a great feeling!

CONSISTENCY WINS

When it comes to digital marketing, the key is consistency. Whether it’s posting on social media or SEO or your email newsletter, you must create a routine and stick to it.

By dedicating even just 10-20 minutes a day, you can create an effective presence online.

As you do the work online, your photography business will grow. You’ll get to the point where new clients contact you with their credit cards in hand ready to book the next photoshoot you have available!

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