Why Networking with Other Businesses is a Must for Photographers

Networking with Other Businesses is a Must for Photographers

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Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

The business world loves the term networking. While it can be thrown around as a buzzword, when you break it down, it simply means making connections and building relationships.

While networking is a part of many jobs, it is essential for professional photographers who desire an income from photography. Building connections with photographers, other business owners, charities, and leaders in your community can help if you’re wondering how to grow your photography business. Networking allows you to collaborate on new projects and build a successful career.

As a photographer, clients will hire you not only for your artistic talent but also for your brand. As a small business owner, you’ll find that you are your brand. People choose to work with people they like. Networking in your community will help you put yourself out there and let people know who you are.

The Benefits of Networking

1. Word-of-Mouth Advertising

With all of the different strategies and avenues available to help with marketing for photographers, most of the time, you can’t beat word-of-mouth promotion. As the world’s oldest marketing technique, the power of word-of-mouth marketing comes from the trust people put in personal recommendations. It is important to reach out to other business owners and local leaders who share your ideal client and who you can build co-marketing partnerships with to give you both a step up in your community.

Building positive word-of-mouth can be done by impressing people with gorgeous photographs, providing thoughtful customer service, and developing relationships with local leaders. When more people know about your business, it is more likely they’ll recommend you to prospective clients.

2. Personal and Professional Support

Networking can help you build a solid photographer community, which is essential for personal and professional support. No matter where you are, whether you’re starting a photography business or are well-established, having friends in the business to turn to who are following the same business model will provide encouragement, understanding, project collaborations, and even advice.

Positive relationships with other business owners, influencers, and local organizations will help you establish yourself in the community. Having a solid reputation will make it likely that others will send more clients your way. Connections with other portrait photographers can also reflect positively on your business and build on your credibility.

How to Start

1. Find Other Professionals

To network and build your community, start locally–within your community. Seek out local leaders you admire, charities you are passionate about, and businesses you enjoy or who share your target audience. Once you start supporting them, connecting with them online, or even just becoming a familiar face around town, you’ll quickly have a strong network that will rally around you.

If you want to network specifically with other photographers, go where you know the creative entrepreneurs will be. Photography workshops, other educational courses, conventions, and creative events are great options. Introduce yourself and follow up with those you connect with. However, networking with other photographers who follow similar business models and practices is crucial. Keep this in mind when asking for or offering any advice.

Signing up for photography business classes can be an excellent way to learn new skills, further develop your business, and introduce you to photographers who experience the same challenges. Investing in further education can be helpful no matter where you are in your photography career. Classes with a community component can help you build your network of like-minded photographers who follow the same business model as you.

Keep a lookout for local networking events. If you are already in touch with creative professionals and local leaders in your area, ask them for recommendations and introductions. You might be surprised how many people are happy to meet for coffee to connect.

2. Ramp Up Your Online Presence

Today, with everyone online 24/7, it makes sense that we conduct a great deal of networking through social media, online courses, and forums. While local connections are valuable, it is possible to network and collaborate virtually from anywhere.

When building your network, people should be able to find you and your photography work easily online. A well-designed, professional website showcasing your portrait photography portfolio is a must. Ensure that contacting you through your website is easy and clearly explained.

A lot of business and communication is done through social media. Create social media accounts for your photography business, and post consistently and respond to any messages in a timely manner.

Online groups and forums can include Facebook groups, professional photographer association forums, local business owner groups, educational sites, and more. These online resources can provide you with help and advice, critiques and encouragement on your photographs, and authentic connections with the leaders in your community.

3. Be Genuine, Be Yourself

A networking relationship should be a genuine connection like any other. A mistake that many beginners make is to go into an event pitching themselves and their businesses to the people they meet. While making professional connections can benefit your business significantly, it is also vital to help and give advice where possible. There is a law of reciprocity that supports the mutual exchange of support and ideas to benefit both parties. Networking relationships, like any relationship, should be reciprocal if you want them to last.

Networking is one of the most important aspects of growing your business. As you connect with other photographers, business owners, influencers, and community leaders, you will likely receive more client referrals, learn new things from your peers, sharpen your skills, find people to collaborate with on creative projects, and feel part of a supportive community. While in-person networking can be fun and productive, you can always get started on social media and other online spots.

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Why Networking with Other Businesses is a Must for Photographers

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As a photographer, clients hire you for your artistic talent and brand. Networking in your community helps you put yourself out there and lets people know who you are. Check out this infographic for photography business networking pointers.

5 Photography Business Networking Pointers Infographic

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