You could be the most talented photographer in the world, but if you don’t know how to market your business, failure is almost a guarantee. A mediocre photographer with great marketing will usually succeed over the more talented photographer with weak marketing.
If you’re brand new to the business, you’re probably not a marketing wizard just yet, and that’s okay.
Even if you’re not a wizard, you can still create a marketing strategy that will help you be successful.
Your marketing strategy will depend on knowing where and how to market your business. For you to devise a successful strategy, there are some questions that you need to ask to get a clearer picture of your business. In today’s we’re going to list three indispensable questions, and how you need to answer them
What Makes You Different?
Can you describe what makes you different than other photographers? Being a “good” photographer isn’t sufficient, as you must assume that all your competitors will be good as well. You need to identify what specifically makes you unique. Is it your creative eye? Do you have an interesting, expressive style? Do you have some sort of experience that sets you apart from the pack? Whatever it is, you want to write it down. You don’t need an essay-length description on what makes you special, you only need a few sentences. If there is something that makes you unique, you should display it front and center in your marketing
Who’s Your Ideal Client?
Every successful business has an idea of who their client base is, want they want, and what compels them to buy. You should be able to determine who your ideal clients are, and you should eventually know them inside and out. Knowing who your base is will help you reach them efficiently and effectively. For example, if you know that most of your clients are young, hip college students who are active on social media, then you know you need to reach them on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Here are a few questions that will help to identify who your base is:
- What’s the average age range of your customers?
- Are they primarily of a specific gender?
- Where do they spend most of their time online?
- What’s the most common reason that they need your photography service?
How Good Is Your Website?
The headquarters for all your marketing efforts will be your website, so if it’s not up to par, your business won’t perform as well as it can. One of the most important aspects of your website is your portfolio. Use your best photos and ensure that they are in high resolution. Beyond the portfolio, your website must meet a certain threshold of usability. Here are some basic elements that you can’t neglect:
A clean layout. Don’t overwhelm the layout of your site with too many busy pieces.
Easy-to-understand navigation. Your site visitors should be able to easily navigate to any page on the site.
Readability. Visitors should be able to clearly read the text on the website. The font size should be set between 14-16 pixels. Don’t make the mistake of using a text color that isn’t compatible with the background color of the website (yes, those websites with light grey text against a white background, we’re talking about you).
Speed. If your website moves at the speed of a tortoise, don’t expect visitors to stay on your site for long. There are many possible reasons that a website could be slow, but let’s look at a few of the common ones:
- Unoptimized images. Though you want your photos to appear in high resolution, there is a possibility that doing so will hamper your site speed. If this is the case, adjust the dimensions of your photos, and scale the proportions so that the images don’t appear warped or stretched. You could also switch the format of the image, which can sometimes reduce its size.
- Too many plugins or extensions. If you’re using a platform like WordPress, it can get easy to overload your site with plugins. Bells and whistles can be nice, but they can cause significant issues with your site’s speed. Consider removing a few of these plugins if your site seems slow.
- A weak server. If you’re using a cheap web host, it’s likely that you’re on a shared server. Shared servers are known to be slow because you’re essentially sharing space with other websites. Consider ditching the shared server for a more powerful server.
Answer these three questions thoroughly and honestly. Knowing your business will enable you to market yourself more successfully, and it will help reduce some of the growing pains that you can experience when running a new photography business.