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Essentials of Marketing: Tips for Photographers

Emily_Hancock_Photography_Equine-Nikon_UK_Horse-1031

As a new equine photographer, marketing your photography business may be a hard task- it can become very frustrating since it seems like nobody approaches you. When people think about marketing, they immediately assume they need to have a big budget or a lot of time in order to see any results. This isn’t true; however, you do need to be creative so that potential customers will choose your services over someone else’s.

You need to get ideas and implement them so that your equine photography business can be profitable. Below, I have summarised 7 marketing ideas- try and put them into practice with your own business:

#1: Design invitations / custom cards:

When planning ideas for spreading the word about your equine photography business, you need to try and think of ways to make your business stand out. It can be easy to solely showcase the best photos from your portfolio without using anything else to draw in new clients. Your potential customers have so many equine photographers to chose from- so why should they chose you?

You need to show them that you’re not just another standard equine photographer. Create a beautiful invitation or a custom card or letter to send to potential clients which will give you a competitive advantage over other photographers. More often than not, little gestures are what grab your potential customers’ attention and could be what gets you that first sale.

#2: Charity events:

Just look at your local newspaper and check out if there are going to be any equine events with charity purpose. Then, contact the event organizers and ask if you can go and photograph the event for free, in exchange to pass out your business cards. When you’re in there, make sure people notice how professional you are and you can be certain that you’ll make a couple of new contacts!

When you’re further down the line with your business, you can hold your own charity events, auctioning off prints and frames with proceeds going to charity. Be sure to have a local magazine at the event so they can write a great piece about the fab work you do. That little article could be the key to getting the phone ringing!

#3: Your own website:

By having a website, you’re making yourself much more available and it will be easier for people to find you if they’re looking for an equine photographer in their area.

But having a website isn’t enough. Make sure you have some kind of popup to get your potential customers’ email address. In order to do this, you need to offer them something irresistible. It can be a simple brochure of your best photos, where you include your favorite places to shoot, at what time of the day etc. You could also encourage people to sign up to your monthly newsletter so everyone can see what you have been getting up to. Once someone signs up for your email list, you can simply send them an automated message asking if they liked your brochure or even if they’re interested in hiring you- simple!

#4: Photos for testimonials:

Your previous clients can be used as a platform for gaining new clients. Offer them a 6×8 print from their previous shoot in exchange for a testimonial about their experience with you. You can share testimonials and reviews on your blog or Facebook page so that prospective clients can begin to understand what kind of experience they would have when investing in your equine photography services.

A testimonial reinforces the idea that you’re the right person for the job. With one or more happy customers up your sleeve, other people will be much more willing to hire you!

#5: Little things matter:

It’s ten times harder to get a new customer, than it is to re-entice a previous customer. So, you need to play this to your advantage. Use a calendar and note down special occasions for your customers (such as a birthday or anniversary) and send them a personalised email that includes a special discount for them. Often, previous clients just need a little reminder of how great their photo shoot was with you- it’s these little memory-joggers which could create your next big shoot!

Customers love it when you treat them on a personal level- plus everyone loves a discount. It’s the little things!

#6: Go old school:

Many equine photographers gather at equine exhibitions or competitions to try to promote their businesses. But if there are so many, how can you have a chance? You just been to be proactive and be the first one to initiate contact.

Try sending a pre-printed portfolio to the list of contacts you gathered during the equine event. By sending a physical portfolio, your work will stand out- it is literally in the clients’ hands to view. Most photographers hardly use this trick, but it is very attractive to prospective clients.

Make sure to also include a few printed post cards with some of your most beautiful images on, and include a business card and a coupon or discount code for your services. When your potential client sees all the effort it took you as well as the attention to detail, they’ll be more willing to hire you.

#7: Decorate an office:

It’s hard to find someone in the UK who doesn’t like horses. So, if you have a friend that is just opening up a business, ask if you can help them by printing some of your amazing photos to put on the wall, leaving your details in the bottom corner of the frame. You could even take some photographs of their business for them to use on their own website. In exchange, ask if you can leave your business cards or post cards with them, so that your branding is widely dispersed, always catching people’s eyes.

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to get your equine photography business started. Use these tips as a guide to helping you on your way to marketing success!