There’s no question that competition is tough for just about any small business or freelancer these days. And have you noticed that the market seems to be flooded by photographers? It can get a little overwhelming and even depressing at times, but we’re here to tell you not to stress.
Competition is healthy for any business, and if you’re good at what you do, you have the potential to succeed — as long as you’re prepared to do the work. No, not just taking nice photos (sorry!) – we’re talking about marketing. Below we’ve put together a really simple list of the things you can be doing to ensure that you stand out in a time when clients are spoilt for choice.
1: YOUR WEBSITE
Sounds obvious, but hear us out. Not just any old website will do. If you want to look like a professional, your website needs to tick a few boxes or with one glance at it, your potential clients may hit the back button and keep searching. First of all, make sure it’s fast loading. More than a few seconds and people get bored and frustrated. If you think yours is slow, chat to a web developer who will be able to make a few (affordable) tweaks to help. Next up, make sure the content is good. And by content, we don’t mean the photography – we mean the words. If your copy is messy, confusing or full of typos, that screams unprofessional. Find yourself a copywriter (or a friend who can write) and get it written properly. If you really want to compete, then you might want to consider getting help with your SEO too in the form of an SEO copywriter.
2: SOCIAL MEDIA
Believe it or not, in the case of social media, less can be more. Rather than put yourself on every platform, posting every now and then, choose one that you’ll use consistently (for photographers, Instagram is definitely the winner unless you already have a big Facebook following) so that when someone checks up on you, they’re impressed by your content, can see you engaging with your followers — and they don’t have to wonder whether you’re still in business since you haven’t written a post since 2014.
Testimonials are worth their weight in gold. Seriously. Because who wants to listen to you talking all about how wonderful you are when they could instead hear that from previous clients? The perfect time to ask for a testimonial is about a week after any project has been finalised since they’re still excited about your work, but it doesn’t look like you’re hassling them straight away. The best places to have them write their review are straight to your Facebook reviews section and/or your Google My Business page and then you can copy and paste that to your website testimonials page. If you have anyone willing to do a quick 30 second video testimonial, say, “YES, PLEASE AND THANK YOU!” – they can record it on their phone and you can upload it to YouTube to then embed on your website and share to social media.
Perfect for newer businesses with more time on their hands, face to face networking can be a very powerful way to meet potential clients (or referrers) and grow your influence. You can try formal groups like BNI or for a lower pressure approach, search MeetUp for local groups. Feeling a bit shy? Try finding some Facebook groups for local business owners and start by getting to know them online before heading out to a “real” meeting. When you do show up, be sure to dress to impress, bring plenty of business cards, and prepare your elevator pitch (a quick summary of what you do and how you’re different).
5: SPONSORING & COMPETITIONS
If business is a bit slow at certain times of year, it might be a good idea to look at sponsoring events, sports teams, local schools or businesses who in turn let you advertise your business across their marketing collateral and at events. If you do corporate head shots, maybe look for local businesses who are in need of professional photos and offer them a bulk discount in exchange for a mention in their next newsletter. And if sponsoring isn’t for you, you could do a competition instead and run it via your Instagram or Facebook page. Just be sure to check up the rules of running comps via those platforms as they’re all different and you don’t want to have your account suspended for doing the wrong thing.
6: CUSTOMER SERVICE
Another obvious one, but remember to follow up with your clients after you finish working with them. Make sure they’re happy, ask if you they thought there was room for improvement, and consider offering a referral reward (like a gift card or movie voucher) if they send any new clients to you. It’s a fantastic way to encourage them to talk about their experience with you and grow your business with no effort.
It can be tough to get seen in Google, especially if you’re not seen on the first page of search results. That’s why it’s fantastic to join a directory (or three!) as many potential clients go there first since it makes it so easy for them to find heaps of photographers in one place. At Photographer Collective we have different membership options depending on how much you’d like included on your profile, and best of all, it’s super easy to set up – you can save it and forget about it, then simply wait for new clients to find you. We’re always promoting the directory through social media and PR opportunities so the exposure creates more leads for you. Feel free to learn more about the directory here.
Ready to take things to the next level?
If you have any questions about the list above and need pointing in the right direction, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly – we’re always here to help.
Over to you
If you liked this article please share: