If you have a pet and you love photographing animals, you might consider a career in pet photography. Now that you have decided to become a pet photographer, where do you find clients? Breaking into the pet photography niche is not as hard as you would think. Armed with a marketing plan to target the right customers, you will see your schedule flourish with furry sessions.
1. Target Marketing
Regional pet publications are one of the best options for print marketing for pet photography. Many larger cities have dog magazines that highlight a broad range of topics including informative articles important to dog owners. Many cities also offer pet yellow pages that help connect consumers with animal friendly businesses. Contact publishers to find out about submitting your images for articles or trading advertising space for article photographs is a win-win to get your name in the community. Within these publications you can also find other pet businesses to partner with.
Most people would automatically assume that a vet’s office is the best place for a display. But, just because someone has a dog that goes to the vet, does not mean they have the disposable income to have them photographed. I have found, the best places for displays are dog daycare, groomers and boutique pet stores. Partnering with pet service based businesses are a great way to find clients with disposable incomes. I have offered facility photographs for these businesses’ websites in return for a display in their lobby.
3. Pet Friendly Events
There are numerous pet-friendly events in every town from expos to festivals to run/walks. Setting up a booth at one of these events is a great way to have your work in front of your target market. Offer your photography services for the event in trade for a booth display. You will be able to get your business in front of potential clients without spending a dime. You will be listed as the event photographer in any marketing materials as well as a having a booth for participants to stop and see your work. Depending on the event and setup, you may even be able to direct participants to your website to order images from the day.
4. Silent Auctions
I love silent auctions! I can help give back to the organizations I love, while also promoting my business. I typically donate a full session along with a piece of wall art for each auction in the form of a certificate. The type of wall art depends on the level of event and the cost of admission. I offer wall art, because the auction winners almost always purchase additional gift prints from their session. Be sure that you will be able to put a small display on the table for the event. Include business cards and a sample of piece that your are offering.
I hope these 4 tips help start your marketing plan for building your pet photography business!
Danielle Neil is a Columbus, Ohio pet photographer who also specializes in children and senior portraits. She has been in business since 2008 and fell in love with photographing pets shortly after. She’s a wife and a proud pet parent to two rescue dogs and one cat. You can see more dog photography on her blog or stop by her Facebook page.