Confession time: I want to book more photography clients this year. There, I said it. Even after having an amazing year, I almost always find myself saying this. And since you’re reading this post, I bet you do too.
If we’re going to get more photography clients, we need to put our energy into strategies that work. Last year I had my most profitable year and you bet imma spend my energy on the things that worked. If you’re new or struggling to get clients, follow my lead.
These are the 5 things that consistently bring me photography clients. (Feel free to steal them!)
But First, Who Are Your Clients?
Before we dive into how to get more photography clients, you need to get clear on who your clients are. Many of us shoot multiple types of sessions. Are your clients the same for each type of session or different? If they’re the same, your work is a little easier. If you work with a wide range of clients, you need to sit down and get clear on who you serve and get to know them. This will be important to do before you try any of these 5 tips (you’ll see why in a second).
Ok, no more stalling. Let’s get into those 5 client-attracting tips!
Networking, Networking, Networking
Networking is one of the best ways to get more photography clients – no matter what genre of photography you do. Attending networking events is a great way to meet your ideal client, find referral people who aren’t even clients, and get your name out there.
Now, I know there will be someone reading this who hates the idea of networking. Don’t hate-click off this post. If no one has told you yet, I’ll be the one who breaks it to you. You have to get good at networking. Photography is a people and connection-based business. You have to start making connections with people. Those connections may lead to clients or even friendships. (I’ve met some of my best business besties at networking events!) Either way, you got to do it.
Finding the right networking events: If you’re not sure which networking events make sense for your photography business, ask your clients. Find out what networking or professional events they attend. Then, show up! If your ideal client (better yet – the people who have paid you) are frequenting those networking events then there are probably other potential clients there too. Be your authentic self, and the connections, and clients, will start rolling in.
Invest Time Into Your Email List
Every photographer has their own take on building an email list. You probably already know my stance! I’ve found that for myself, and my students, the email list is where the money’s at. That’s why I make sure to set time aside and send one email a week. When you send emails consistently, people get used to reading them and you’ll see clients come out of the woodwork. I can preach on this personally because there was a month last year when I didn’t send any emails to my list. Girl, my inquiries dropped so quickly! The inquiries that were coming from people on my list stopped. Completely! As soon as I started emailing again, they returned. So if you want to get more clients, email is a great low-investment way to start.
Attend Local Events Your Photography Clients Attend
We just talked about networking events, now I want to talk about community events and non-events. The truth is, networking doesn’t just happen at networking events. It happens every day. You can meet people at the gym, at expos, in line, or at any event in your community. If you’re a wedding photographer, start stalking the dates for your local bridal expos. If you’re a maternity photographer, see what women in business events are in your area. Do you go to the gym regularly? Start going at different times of the day to see if your gym has any ideal clients. If you’re not sure what local spots to stalk, ask your clients what they do in their spare time. They won’t know you’re doing market research, and you’ll get the info you need to find where the potential clients are!
Algin Your Social Media Content To Your Goals
If you’re having trouble booking clients, look at your socials. The number one reason why I see photographers’ booking drop is because they aren’t marketing themselves well on social media. Most photographers don’t know what to post to bring in the leads. Essentially, they’re relying on the old “post and pray” method to fill their calendar. The problem is, that doesn’t keep leads coming in consistently.
You have to be intentional with your posting strategy. Let yourself think further out about your goals and stop creating your posts the day of. When you do that, you’re usually going to be short-sighted. You’re just posting what comes to mind. But when you know your goals you can start creating social media posts that align with what you want and what’s upcoming. In advance! For a simple example, if you want more weddings at a certain venue in 2024 (because that’s where the big bucks are at), then post more content showing your work at that venue. Investing your time in coming up with an intentional strategy will fill your books. If that seems overwhelming or confusing, then check out my Quarterly Content Planner. It comes with a whole lesson on how to start planning your content and how to align it to your goals. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or “lucky” to have Instagram work for you.
Elevate Your Client Experience
Hear me out…your client experience directly affects whether you’ll get more photography clients. This is true whether you’re brand new to business or you’re 10 years in. It’s true for your pre-booking experience, pre-session experience, and after-session client experience.
When it comes to your pre-booking client experience, potential clients have so many turn-offs! If you’re slow to respond to their initial inquiries. Turn off. If you don’t have an easy booking process. Turn off. You get the idea. The more put together you seem, the more likely people are to book you. They’ll feel comfortable knowing you’ll take care of them. Then, once someone does book you, you want that person to become a referral source. Make sure your client experience and after-session experience leaves people feeling prepared and special. When they enjoy their experience with you, they’ll become a source of new clients.
If You Want Better Results, Get Focused
Listen, Queen. You deserve to have photography clients chasing you down. If that’s what you want, if you want better results than last year, then you need to get focused. Repeating the same things you did last year isn’t going to get you more clients. Try any, or all, of the tips in this blog and put your all into it. I can almost guarantee you’ll start seeing more people reach out to you.