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How to grow your database

One of the most common questions we’re asked by the Training Barn delegates is probably one that you’ve mulled over a few times yourself: just how, exactly, do you go about growing a sizeable and authentic database of leads who – and this bit is crucial – actually want to buy your photos? We love this question, because there are so many ways to answer it. Here are ten of the best ways we’ve found…

1- First of all, make sure you’ve got a sign-up form on your website. This is extra-important for all those random people who stumble upon your website by happenstance. Not sure how to do it? Just Google it – there are plenty of tutorials targeted for your particular platform.

2- Offer a sign-up incentive, and make sure it’s something that doesn’t cost you anything – for example, a screensaver image of one of your favourite fine-art shots, or a photoshoot style guide. 

3- Be consistent on social media. Develop your voice and your style, set a timeframe, and stick to it. Scheduling apps like TailWind are a huge help, as they allow you to plan your content ahead of time, but don’t forget to play with links, too – always try to get people to head back to your website. 

4- Exhibit at equestrian events and make sure to keep signup sheets or an iPad with an email signup to hand. Don’t just get contact details for punters – speak to other stand owners, too. You never know when they might find themselves in need of a photographer. 

5- Run a competition to win a shoot. Gifted shoots don’t have to mean you lose out on money – you can make it back up again when the time comes for your winner to purchase prints. Just make sure your entry form has a tick box in which they agree to join your database – otherwise you’ll be in breach of GDPR.

6- Team up with another business to offer a joint promotion – for example, customers who purchase one thing get a discount off the other. 

7- Host a viewing party with influencers, riders, your own equestrian contacts, and business owners in attendance. It’ll be a great networking event for everyone, while also keeping your images at the heart of the matter. 

8- Seek out opportunities to be a guest speaker at an event or on a podcast. There are plenty around, aimed at both creatives and equestrians – so get researching!

9- Approach your favourite blogs and websites and ask if you can write a guest blog – but pitch a specific topic. 

10- Get featured in a magazine. This is easier than you think – just start with local and regional magazines, supply plenty of images in your pitch, and embrace your individuality. Are you a single mum balancing a full-time job, two children, and a fledgling photography business? Great – consider that your unique selling point, don’t hide it away. 

So there you have it… try utilising some of these for yourself and let us know how you get on!


Phew! And that’s just one teeny tiny section we cover in our online Business course… check it out below!