Anyone who is thinking about starting their own business as a professional photographer or wants to give their already ongoing career a new boost needs assignments. The question of how to win new clients in the photography business always comes up.

As is often the case, it’s hard to get started. The steps that make sense and what needs to be taken into account are described here.

The self-marketing

Most young professionals will not yet have an extensive network and must first painstakingly build up the contacts relevant to the business. This is difficult for many, because without a routine, self-promotion is almost always an overcoming – but one that is worth it.

Those who persevere can reach potential clients in various ways and thus obtain lucrative photo assignments. The individual measures that make sense depend both on the focus of your work as a photographer and on the budget that you have available.

Even those who are not fortunate enough to be equipped with ample start-up capital will find all kinds of opportunities to take effective marketing measures with little or even no financial outlay.

The photographic orientation

Before you start randomly looking for new clientele, you should give some thought to where you see yourself as a photographer. Again and again you hear that specialization in a certain area is essential for success.

This may be true to some extent, but it also carries a risk. If you restrict yourself too much, you always run the risk that your former dream job will only seem boring after a while, which leads to frustration. Therefore, focus your business on what you enjoy and what will remain interesting in the long run.

There are many photographers who not only take passport photos, but are active in several fields at the same time. Only if you enjoy your work can you achieve really good results. If you take good pictures and can sell them well, you will have no problems in the long run to be recognized as a portrait and product photographer. Selling photos is then very easy.

The target group

Once the photographic orientation has been determined, you can use it to define your target group and base your acquisition on it. If you want to create business portraits, you will naturally proceed differently than an architectural photographer. If you are active in several fields, you also need different, clearly defined portfolios.

Make sure that interested parties get to see exactly those images that are relevant to them. You can reach private individuals, for example, by means of a well-designed flyer on which a few of your images are already recognizable. When visiting companies and agencies, it’s a good idea to put together a portfolio specifically for the contact person and tailor it to their needs.

Addressing clients

Addressing potential clients can be done in many different ways, not all of which are always equally useful. It is extremely helpful to first put yourself in the position of the target group. The most unobtrusive way is passive customer acquisition, whereby passive does not mean that orders just flutter into your door without you having to do anything. To get noticed and commissioned by people, you need a good portfolio, which should be published in the right places.

In the photographer search, for example, you can set up a free account and upload your best pictures. Whenever someone from your region is now looking for a photographer for the wedding, a portrait shoot or other services, you are in the selection.

Based on the photographs you provide, the potential client can directly get an impression of the quality and your personal style. If he is convinced of your offer, he will then make an inquiry and negotiate the modalities with you.

This has the great advantage for you that the orders come to you instead of struggling through the tedious and nerve-racking cold calling. Anyone who contacts you via the photographer search is looking for a photographer and is specifically interested in your images.

Nothing works without references

Finding orders: Most newcomers to the industry face the same problem at the beginning of their career: you need references. Even if you’ve been doing photography as a hobby for a long time and have great photos to show for it, you don’t automatically have suitable photos for your business portfolio. However, this is a cornerstone for gaining new customers, because if you can’t show photos from the area of your offered service, you won’t be able to convince anyone to book you.

In order to get references, you usually have no choice but to offer to take free pictures with the appropriate people and institutions. Of course, you should make sure that you retain all publication rights to the photos, otherwise you will have done your work not only for free, but for nothing. Portrait shoots with good friends can be a way to go, or for budding event photographers, for example, a concert evening or a larger celebration among acquaintances.

If you bring out the best here, you’ll have a solid portfolio together in no time, with which you can represent yourself and your work. A nice side effect: If the free work turns out well, contacts and thus actual follow-up orders can already arise from it.

Categories: Marketing
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