4 Must Do Photography Marketing Activities


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

I get a lot of questions about what photography marketing activities I do to attract clients who invest in my portraits.

So I wanted to show you a snapshot of my photography marketing calendar looks like in my high-end portrait business.

Much of what I do when it comes to marketing isn’t traditional. I don’t run ads or send postcards.

And 90% of my photography marketing activities cost me less than $100.

But I don’t do things that anyone can do, either.

I spend time on activities that LOOK like they cost more.

Things that take more time, but help show how I’m different than anyone who is competing with my style.

I’ve narrowed down

4 Must Do Photography Marketing Activities

The marketing wheel included in the Autofocus Photography Marketing Calendar

my marketing activities to 21 must do marketing activities for photographers I do over and over all year long.

You can grab them all here as part of my Autofocus Photography Marketing Calendar.

Sure there are other ideas out there. But these are the EXACT, proven ideas I use year in and year out to get me fewer, better clients.

I don’t need 200 clients and neither do you if you are following the boutique business model of fewer, better clients. I need 50 really great clients a year. That’s 1 per week.

Here are the 10 marketing activities on my calendar in a sample month. Some take as little as 15 minutes, but I plan time on my calendar so that they get done and don’t fall through the cracks.

Here are 4 photography marketing activities I do:

1) Prospect

4 Must Do Photography Marketing Activities

I read the local newspaper if not daily then at least a few times a week. I pull out stories about interesting people in my community who I think could make good clients: high school kids who have done something cool, business people who have accomplished something big, home owners whose home is featured, business owners who are making a difference, etc. Once a month I write a handful of notes of joy to them with a copy of the article and a sincere note of congratulations or interest. My notes of joy note cards feature my photography on the front so they can see what I do, too. I order these note cards from White House Custom Colour.

2) Speak

I’m going to the local high school to speak to the freshmen and sophomore students about Photoshop. Why? This puts me in front of potential senior portrait clients. I can show off my images to get them excited about what I do and create awareness for my business while giving them a sample of what it’s like to work with me.

4 Must Do Photography Marketing Activities

I love teaching and inspiring others.

3) Volunteer

I’m involved in an organization for local high school students who are entrepreneurs. For one hour, I take professional, but fun head shots of each of the students so they have an image to represent their business.

4 Must Do Photography Marketing Activities

One of the Sangamon CEO students’ fun head shots I created.

They get the opportunity to experience me as a photographer and see some of my casual senior portrait work that hangs in my studio.

Now they know (and like) a photographer who could do their senior portraits. My volunteer efforts with this group open the door to get me get lists of high school juniors to market to with direct mail, too.


4) Direct Mail 

A few times a year I send out gorgeous promotional pieces that position me as worth more in my market. I print 3,000 – 5,000 at a time to save on the cost per piece and then I use them for SEVERAL years. For the past month,

4 Must Do Photography Marketing Activities

This fold out new birth piece is one I’ve used for years. You can get it at bellagrafica.com

I have been saving new births that are published in the newspaper. I have my studio manager (you could have a high school intern) look up the addresses of those who have had a baby.

First, I see if they fit into my target neighborhoods. I don’t want to generate business from people who likely can’t afford my photography.  Then, I send them this gorgeous piece with a personal note congratulating them on their baby. I’ll send out 15 – 20 of these pieces with notes this month and I will get at least 1 new client from this activity alone.










If you have questions on how I do any of this, ask below.

And if you need clients and aren’t sure where to begin with marketing, my 12 month Autofocus Photography Marketing Calendar is a good place to start. It includes the 21 must to marketing activities for a high-end portrait photographer.

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