We all start somewhere. And most often that not, that somewhere is in the hidden world of being unknown. One of the most challenging things to do when you decide to open for business, is to get people to know who you are and what you have to offer. For those of you who are starting your photography business and have no clue on how to put your name out there in a town outside your hometown, here are four tips to get you started:
Create a good-looking website and invest time and/or resources in good SEO.
Most likely you’ve heard the saying: ‘if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist’. I couldn’t agree more, especially for a profession that is as visual as photography. But having an awesome website means nothing if people can’t find it. Learn how to do your own SEO or hire a pro to help you. This will make a big difference in how many people find your services.
Create partnerships with like-minded businesses.
Approach your OBGYN office and offer them to display your artwork in their waiting room (at no cost for them, of course!). Find that awesome prenatal yoga teacher and get coffee together. Think about how you can help her and go with a plan in mind. Having other business owners marketing for you to their clients (your ideal client) is one of the best ways to get people to know you. But make sure to do the same thing (or more!) for them. Partnerships have to be both ways in order to work. And in my opinion, when the client in common wins too, it is even better!
Join your Chamber of Commerce.
This is the best way to get to know other business owners in your community. Remember that networking is not about who you know, but who they know. Never attend networking events with the hope to give your business card away to as many people as possible; go with a friendly attitude, with open ears to learn about what others do and be alert when that power partnership opportunity pops up.
Attend a local baby fair.
Baby fairs are filled with the one thing you really need when starting out: hundreds of your ideal client, the expecting parent. Print your best work, design your booth and marketing material and head to that fair ready to talk and interact with as many potential clients as you can. Be friendly and helpful instead of salesy and pushy. Most parents might not book on the spot, but they’ll have your info and will check your website later. But having met in person will give you leverage versus other options that they haven’t personally connected with.
I hope these tips help you realize that getting known in town won’t happen when you’re hiding behind your screen. You have to have virtual presence, yes, but the true connections will arise once you go out there and talk to people. As children and family photographers, we capture relationships. Relationships are everything. So step outside and work on those relationships with your community. That will be the key to bring new clients through your door. And then those clients will bring you more =)