As a young photographer just starting out in the industry, I (Kirk) remember feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to grow my photography business. I had a passion for photography, but I didn't know how to turn that passion into a successful career.
I spent hours scrolling through social media, looking at other photographers' work, and trying to figure out what made them successful. I felt like I was constantly running on a hamster wheel, never quite able to break through and attract the clients I wanted.
But then, I stumbled upon a group of fellow photographers who were sharing tips and tricks for growing their businesses. They were all at different stages in their careers, but they were all eager to help each other succeed. I started attending local photography events and networking with these photographers, and it made all the difference.
There were certain steps like these that allowed me to grow my business and attract the clients I wanted. I went from feeling like a struggling photographer to a confident and successful business owner. And I want to share these tips with you, so you too can grow your photography business and achieve the success you deserve!
Edited with Portra 800 +1
1. Perfect Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is often the first way potential clients get to know you and your unique style, so it's essential to make a good (and accurate) impression. You should take time to intentionally and carefully curate your portfolio, showcasing your best work and highlighting your unique style and approach. Consider organizing your portfolio into specific categories or styles of photography to make it easier for clients to understand your expertise. For example, you might separate your portfolio into sections for wedding photography, portrait photography, and landscape photography. When you make the experience of getting to know you seamless and easy, you are more likely to attract the type of clients you intend to.
2. Focus on Building Relationships
The importance of networking with other industry professionals can't be emphasized enough. By attending local photography events, joining photography groups, and make connections with other photographers, you can gain exposure and potential leads to collaborations or referrals. But remember: Building relationships takes more effort than one-and-done meetings. Always follow up with any new connections and nurture those relationships. Networking can also be a great way to stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments and to learn from other photographers.
3. Invest in Yourself and Your Photography Business
If you want to grow as a professional photographer, you have to be willing to invest in yourself. This could mean taking a workshop or class to improve your skills, purchasing new equipment to expand your capabilities, or hiring a coach or mentor to provide guidance and support. Investing in yourself will improve the quality of your work and shows how dedicated you are to your craft. Plus, because the photography industry is always changing and evolving, it's essential to continue learning and growing so you can stay up to date on the latest tools and technology for working in and on your photography business.
4. Entice Potential Clients with Exciting Offers
If you want to grow your photography business in 2023, consider offering special promotions or discounts to attract new clients. This could be a discount on your services for first-time clients or a special package deal. Whatever offer you decide to create, put the offer on for a limited time. This creates a sense of urgency and can encourage potential clients to make a purchase sooner rather than later. This will help bring in new business and set you apart from the competition. Special promotions can also be a great way to test what kind of pricing and package options resonate with your target audience.
5. Collaborate With Other Creatives
Do you know other creative professionals in your local area? These could be other photographers, makeup artists, stylists, or venues. Collaborating with others will provide an opportunity to create amazing work with likeminded individuals, expand your network, and reach a new audience. Make sure to carefully select collaborators whose work complements your own—professionals who have a similar target audience. Collaborations can also be a great way to try new things, get inspired, and to push yourself creatively.
Image edited with Ektachrome
6. Show Off Your Work on Social
Have you been marketing your business on social? Using visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase your work and engage with potential clients can go a long way if you stay consistent. If it feels overwhelming to show up on social, try not to overthink it: Share your latest projects, behind-the-scenes peeks, and before and after shots. Consistency is key, so make sure to post regularly and interact with your followers to build a strong online presence. This is also a great place for potentially returning clients to stay in touch. Remember to utilize hashtags and tagging to reach a wider audience and potentially attract new clients.
7. Focus on the Client Experience
The best way to grow your photography business is by providing top-notch service to the clients you have. As a professional photographer, you should be reliable, responsive, and have integrity in your work. Your clients are the backbone of your business, so make sure to go above and beyond to ensure they have a great experience working with you. A great experience generally entails lots of communication, being flexible and accommodating, and delivering high-quality final products. Happy clients are more likely to refer you to others and to work with you again in the future.
Image Edited with T-Max P3200
8. Get the Right Tools to Elevate Your Work
Mastin Labs offers a range of Lightroom presets, Capture One Styles, LUTS, and guides specifically designed to help professional photographers achieve a high level of quality in their work. These tools not only save you time, but they also help you achieve a consistent, professional look in your photographs. Using the tools Mastin Labs has to offer will support you in elevating your photography business and set you apart from the competition.
9. Consider Offering Additional Services
In addition to traditional photography services, you could also consider offering photo editing, retouching, framing, and printing services. By offering a wider range of services, you can provide a more comprehensive experience for your clients and potentially increase your revenue. Plus, offering additional services can set you apart from other photographers who may only offer limited options. Consider what services you could offer that would be valuable to your clients and would differentiate your business from the rest.
Make 2023 the Best Year in Your Photography Business
Growing your photography business in 2023 and beyond requires a combination of strategy and hard work. By focusing on your portfolio, networking with other industry professionals, investing in yourself and your business, offering promotions and discounts, collaborating with other creatives, using social media effectively, and providing excellent customer service, you can set yourself up for success.
With dedication and persistence, you can build a thriving photography business that stands out in a crowded market. Keep pushing yourself, stay dedicated, and never stop learning and improving. Happy shooting!