We all want to get our name out there. I think the number one question I always get from those starting out in their business is “How do I get people to know I exist?” yes, we can pay for ads on Facebook and pay for ads in Google. But are they effective? It’s like throwing a ring onto a bottle game at a fair. Some rings might stick, but most will fall to the bottom of the pile.
START WITH YOUR COMMUNITY in my 8 years of business, I find the most effective and memorable marketing tack is making actual connections one-on-one with people . i started at my church. I was there with my camera for every event, every potluck- setting up a photobooth on-site for free pictures- passing out my business card. After some time, people started to relate me, my face and my camera everywhere. You might not be a religious person, but maybe asking to take pictures for your local dance class, the kid’s Soccer team, the dance club, your favorite local restaurant- whatever niche you think would be the best place to find ideal clients.
GET SOCIAL social media is king, but using it to your advantage is tricky. I requested over 500 friends from people at my church and their acquaintances so that I can start posting on my personal page about my business more than the actually business page. For those that don’t know- Facebook at least us is known for filtering out business stuff and raising friend‘s Events higher in the timeline. Then about once a month, I host some kind of live broadcast or write a helpful article like this to give away some “free“ content. The more you post, the more people learn to recognize you and trust you.
LET THE REVIEWS WORK FOR YOU Your greatest assets is your clients referring you. I ask for a review EVERY time I shoot and deliver the images. I even give them $10 credit on their account for doing so! Think about it, Let’s say that a bunch of your ideal clients are at a baby shower. And everybody is talking about who they want for Photos and your name comes up. They’re going to remember you and talk about you with their friends - if you are at the forefront of their minds because of a good experience they have had. They are more likely to listen to their friend talking at a baby shower and then seeing an ad posted. I also have reviews at the very first thing that you see on my website before contacting me.
GET BRAND AMBASSADORS If you’ve been around social media for any time, you have probably seen this word “Brand Ambassadors” floating around . A “Brand Ambassador” is a very important member of your marketing team. They love ALL your photos, they are interactive online, they might have a lot of influence online. You might want to approach like 5 people who fit this category for your company and ask them to be your “brand ambassador.” Give a free session, a free shirt or free swag if you share your posts or get five paying referrals to your company. Let your clients work for you by possibly tagging your brand ambassadors on social media if there is a special going on or a creative shoot that you need help getting people for .
EMAIL LISTS BABY! Email and and text messaging lists are still one of the top ways that people see your stuff! Every single time that you shoot, you should be gathering important client imformation- like email and phone number. Once every few weeks you should be sending out an email or text message about some type of special or event going on! Create a webinar using the FREE OBS app on your computer or make a FREE ebook to get people's emails for signing up as well!
BE OUT IN THE MARKETPLACE Set up a headshot studio an en event, start a photobooth, set up a small booth at a conference or fundraiser- anything to get your name out there. I debated for a long time if I wanted to participate in bridal shows. And honestly, I couldn't justify the cost. But if I created a simple photobooth (you can see my other business here) then I would basically get PAID to market my self! Now that's smart!
START USING VIDEO CONTENT People are over 100x more likely to buy a product based on a video over a photo. Use a slideshow app like "Quik" in the app store or "Swish" in the App store for FREE to create meaningful video slideshows with Subtitles. You might as well not even make a video without subtitles these days, let's be honest. Most of the time (over 80%) of videos are watched with no sound!
IN CONCLUSION: Be a social media NINJA by being EVERYWHERE you can, constantly talking about your business, being in the marketplace, posting everyday and making meaningful business connections. And believe you, you will get BUSY and BOOKED very quickly!
Christal Marshall is a mom of three, photographer, videographer, homeschooler and just a straight hustler.
She started out in 2011 from a camera that she bought off of Amazon for $400 and taught herself photography, graphic design and videography through youtube. Now she shoots 100,000 images a year at over 60 events.
She was voted top 20 wedding photographers in VA in 2016, 2018 and 2019. She has been featured over 50 times in various different publications.
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