In today’s competitive market you need to be noticed and these days there are lots of cost effective ways you can exploit that in order to help put your name, and your business, out there.
There have probably never, ever been more people out there offering photographic services, and while it’s great that what was once such a closed profession is now so wide open to everyone, it also means that the competition has never been stiffer, and you’re going to have to do something pretty special if you want to stand out from the crowd.
The good news is that for the self-motivated and marketing-savvy individual there are plenty of opportunities out there to spread the word about what you’re doing and to provide much more of a profile about who you are, what makes you special and why someone looking for a photographer might consider booking your services.
All of these things are important now because the ground rules for the photography business have changed, and clients are increasingly becoming more discerning. Some will be booking on nothing more than price, but many others are looking not just at the quality of the pictures you can produce but also at you as an individual to see if you sound like the kind of person they might want to spend time with. Increasingly the rapport you can create between you and the client is important and if you can put some of your character into your sales material then it will all help to establish who you are.
Take care with your website
The first thing you need to think about is a strong website, and here again the key is to try to come up with something that will stick in the mind of those who visit it. All the usual rules apply: it has to be welcoming, easy to navigate and it’s crucial that it loads quickly, otherwise your visitor will simply head off to the next site. More than all this, however, it needs to have something distinctive about it that will make it memorable.
There are websites out there that stand out because they are brilliantly designed, or maybe they’re just so quirky that you can’t get them out of your mind. If you’re focusing on a niche – say you’re looking to concentrate on themed or vintage weddings – then maybe this needs to be emphasised from the moment that someone lands on your home page. You’ll lose bookings from those who aren’t into your specialist area but you’ll attract more of the people you’re interested in and so the trade off can work well.
These days, and I know that Kat and I are singing off the same hymn sheet on this one, the importance of the website has slightly diminished on the back of the emergence of the blog, and this really is a way that you can shout about who you are and send a message out to your prospective clients that you are not only a great photographer but also someone who is innovative, exciting and fun to work with. Get your blog right and it can become a magnet that attracts regular followers who enjoy hearing about what you’ve been up to and what your latest assignments have been. You need to work at it to keep it continually up to date and it’s important to adopt the right tone and to make it lively and interesting to read, but it could be one of the best ways there is to build your profile.