3 Ways to Market Your Photography Business Without Spending Money

Market Your Photography Business Without Spending Money


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

A marketing plan is vital for any business, but as portrait photographers, some of the most successful marketing strategies don’t require big investments. You can watch your business grow by getting out into your community, talking to people, connecting with other business owners, volunteering, and building relationships with your current clients.

The Importance of Marketing

Learning how to market your photography business will give you peace of mind about how you will get clients whenever you need them. Building a marketing plan should not be a play-it-by-ear activity. It is vital to sit down, think through your business goals, and create a marketing plan you can follow throughout the year.

While some marketing strategies, such as mailing marketing pieces or paid ads, can cost a pretty penny, there are ways to get the word out about your business without paying a cent. If you are just starting a portrait photography business, you likely don’t have a massive marketing budget. To begin marketing your photography business without spending money, getting involved in your community as much as possible is essential. Here are a few ideas that we teach that can work for you:

Give Back to the Community

Giving back to the community that supports you is not only wonderful; it can also benefit your photography business. As a small business owner, you are considered a local leader, and leaders should help wherever possible.

Teaming up with local charities will help your portrait photography business thrive. People like to spend money with companies that do good things. Partnering with different charities demonstrates to potential clients that you are investing in your community. It also shows that your business is credible and well-established. When companies work with charitable organizations, this often leads to positive publicity as the media loves to promote a feel-good story.

Volunteering and working with local charities also mean meeting a whole new group of potential clients. Connecting with the charity’s database of volunteers means reaching people who support the same causes that you do and those who tend to have disposable incomes.

Get to Know Local Businesses

Local businesses are an excellent resource for new client referrals. Get out of the house as much as possible. Go shopping–the best way to establish contact with another local business is to buy from them. Chat with the people behind the counter and ask to meet the owner. Introduce yourself to everyone and work on building positive relationships. Proactively learn about their business and seek ways you can help them. You will be surprised at how often local businesses’ customers ask them for photography referrals.

Remember that the strongest relationships are authentic and don’t come with expectations. Shop at local businesses that you love, not because you’re looking for something in return. When you get to know other business owners, approach them with a desire to build open, genuine connections. And always begin by giving.

When deciding which local businesses to approach, consider the clientele. If you are looking to share referrals with other companies, it is important that you share the same target market. Keeping your ideal clients in mind, seek out the businesses where they will likely shop.

Personal Notes

One of the best ways to stay at the top of your clients’ minds is through relationship building. A personalized note can go a long way and cost you hardly anything.

Including a handwritten note of joy when a potential or current client has something good happen in their life adds a genuine, personalized touch. You can also use the power of social media connections to search for these life events and personal milestones. If you see that someone has had a new baby, got a big promotion, or has a wedding in the family, send a personal note. This simple act sends warm feelings and reminds your clients that it might be time to book their next portrait session.

Getting out from behind your computer and making connections with local charities, businesses, and past and potential clients is an inexpensive way to boost your marketing plan and meet the goals for your photography business. Volunteer, write notes, and introduce yourself around town.

Especially when you’re just starting, you don’t need to spend tons of money on paid advertising strategies. Relationship building in your community is one of the most impactful ways to see your portrait photography business grow and flourish.

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