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3 photography marketing tips and tricks that really work!

Photographers understand that marketing is key to attracting new clients and growing their business. However, marketing strategies are constantly changing, so what has worked in the past won’t always work in the present or in the future. In this article, we’ll share three photography marketing tips and tricks that actually work based on our 12+ years of experience running a successful multi-shooter studio!

The list of marketing strategies for photographers is long and includes topics such as social media (Instagram, short video for TikTok and IG Reels, Pinterest, etc.), paid advertising (Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.) , SEO (search engine optimization), wedding conventions and fairs, online directories, etc. In this article, we will mainly focus on referral marketing and save other topics for subsequent articles.

Note: This training is directly taken from our free one-hour masterclass entitled “3 steps to get an extra $100,000.” If you want to learn more about amplifying your business with more leads, more revenue per customer, and higher sales conversions, we encourage you to sign up. here.

1. Make Sharing Viral Effortless

Whatever the shoot, provide same-day teaser footage to clients and other vendors involved in the shoot, along with clear permissions, instructions, and even guidance to make sharing more likely and more punchy.

Most photographers share images with vendors and clients after they have selected and processed all of their images, which can take weeks or even months after shooting. But by then, much of the hype and interest had cooled. Sharing the same day or in a few days multiplies the distribution of images and makes each person involved in the shoot a marketing engine for your brand. It works for almost all types of shots, from wedding to family to event photography.

Action Steps for Image Sharing

To implement this policy, follow these steps:

  1. Rate your best images throughout the shoot.
  2. Using Lightroom Mobile and Lightroom Presetsedit a set of teaser images from your “favorite” images during a break or shortly after shooting.
  3. Send the images to clients and other vendors of the shoot, such as stylist, florist, designer, event planner, venue/location manager, etc.
  4. In addition to the images, include clear permissions allowing them to use the images on their own social networks, asking them to tag you when they share them or link to you if they use them on their website. (More information on SEO in the masterclass).
  5. You can even take it a step further and provide full filming/vendor credits, sample captions, or event tips for the best ways to post. These can streamline the process and help you maximize your visibility.

2. Create same-day slideshows

If you’re shooting an event, like a wedding, Bar Mitzvah, or other party, then a same-day slideshow is one of the best marketing hacks to help you get more referral business.

At the event, show off 20-30 of your favorite images from previous moments of the same event with an iPad, laptop, or even projected onto a screen (if the DJ can handle it). Next to the presentation, place some of your business cards. Of course, get approval from the client and the event coordinator before doing so. With a large number of images, this simple strategy can boost your referral business.

Think about it. Every event you shoot is filled with guests of the same life stage, age range, and target audience as the actual customer. The problem is that most photographers never end up pitching their work to these people because by the time the images are delivered and shared, often weeks later, very few people see them. To fix this, we’ve started showing same-day slideshows.

Every slideshow we create on the day generates at least two to three additional customers who are sold and ready to book! It’s literally one of the best marketing tools, and it’s also a rock star move that makes customers ecstatic when they see the images. Create buzz at every event you shoot!

Action steps for same-day slideshows

The process is similar to the teasers mentioned above.

  • During the event, display your favorite images on your camera.
  • Once you have a moment of inactivity, transfer those favorites to your phone via your camera’s Bluetooth/Wireless app.
  • From there, load them into Lightroom Mobile and add a quick preset. For all our work, we use Visual Flow Presets.
  • Then with the images in Lightroom, just click the slideshow icon.
  • If possible, send the footage to a DJ to display on the projector.
  • When streamlined, the process can take as little as 15-30 minutes from start to finish. On a busy day, if available, have an assistant work through the process.

3. Use stylish shoots and giveaways

Next, let’s talk about collaborative style shoots. Between your paid jobs, make a list of your favorite vendors for a stylish shoot concept. These vendors are other businesses that match your ideal target audience in terms of location, demographics, age, etc. They need images, and you need a network, so it’s a win-win situation!

The stylish shoot concept can be a chance to play around and create images for you and your vendor team rather than doing what customers want. Nothing new so far, right? But here’s the hack. Instead of models, find actual “models” with a giveaway on social media. How you handle the giveaway is entirely up to you, but just check the terms and conditions of the social media platform. Use it as an opportunity to grow your social media presence and engagement. And by using real models, you have a high chance of converting attendees or even selected models into real customers.

Action steps for collaborative shots

  1. Come up with an interesting concept to pitch to a group of vendors (makeup artists, florists, venues, designers, planners, etc.).
  2. Present the concept and get your team together! Be very clear about expectations and timing.
  3. Determine rules and methods of entry. You can use a third-party giveaway plugin like Gleam.io or just stick with something simple like using each platform’s native tagging and commenting systems.
  4. Create a marketing image that each supplier will share. It’s super easy using mainstream design software like Cloth.
  5. Require all collaborative vendors to announce the contest on their social media accounts on the same date and time.
  6. Pick the winner and run the shoot!

Benefits and results

Do it right, and let’s talk about all you’ll get:

  • Strengthen supplier relationships.
  • Provide 50+ awesome final images that could be used for websites, portfolios, etc.
  • Create content for the blog and for several SEO-based articles, which we will talk about in other articles.
  • Provide 50+ images for social media that can be posted over time as you see fit.
  • Practice new techniques and create new conceptual works.
  • Grow your social media accounts.
  • Get more referrals from vendors involved in stylish turning.
  • Turn attendees and winners into customers.

As you can see, collaborative style shoots are one of the best ways to tick all the boxes in one shoot!

Conclusion

Even though marketing and technology are constantly changing, referral marketing will always be one of the best (and easiest) ways to convert and grow your business! We hope these three articles and the action steps listed above help you do just that!

In future articles, we will review other marketing hacks, tricks and secrets such as SEO, abbreviated viral marketing, directories, etc. If you would like more information, please see our free full one-hour masterclass on ways to add another $100,000 to your photography business.