Feeling confident about marketing your photography is key to your success!
If you aren’t entirely clear on your message and what would resonate with your ideal photography clients, or you just feel that you are rubbish at writing blogs and social media posts, then this is probably holding you back right now.
It’s completely natural. When we don’t know what to do or how to do it well, we procrastinate.
But, since your photography business is your livelihood, that’s not helpful! If you want to be attracting more photography clients, you need to be continuously marketing, putting yourself out there and creating content!
Marketing helps to generate a sustained level of interest in your photography business. By putting out content that attracts the attention of your ideal clients, they will be more likely to discover you and hopefully follow you, engage with your content and, perhaps, convert into a paying client.
There’s no denying it. Marketing is essential and you don’t have time for procrastination! So, you need to boost your confidence around marketing. Luckily, I have five tips for you that will help.
Related reading: Why your photography business needs a content and PR strategy
Five ways to get more confident about marketing your photography
1 – Know who it is that you are trying to market to
Identifying your ideal photography client is a fundamental exercise and should be done before you start any actual marketing! It’s the foundation on which all the rest relies.
Despite this though, many photographers choose to gloss over this stage. They consider the whole ‘client avatar’ exercise as fruitless and a waste of time. They know marketers say it’s important, but they don’t actually believe mapping out who their ideal client is makes a difference.
My take on it is that if you’re a photographer who has so far avoided defining your ideal client, then you’re missing some of the key information that you need in order to market your photography effectively.
I know it’s far easier to ignore this stage than do the work. Yes, you can just start marketing; set up a Facebook or Instagram account and share your images, hoping that they’ll land in the newsfeed of your ideal clients. But, honestly, spending the time trying to define your ideal client will save you a lot of time and energy in the long-run.
To get started on this process, you might want to take a look at an article I have written about how to attract more of your ideal photography clients. There is also a free worksheet mentioned in there, which is available to subscribers. To access your free copy, signup here or click the image below. If you are already a subscriber, you’ll find it waiting for you in the freebie library.
2 – Know how you help your clients
This leads on nicely to my second point. Knowing who your ideal photography client is means that you can develop a clearer picture of their current challenges, needs and desires in relation to photography. Knowing these, and being able to empathise with them, will allow you to market more effectively to them.
Empathy in marketing is incredibly important
To be able to speak to prospective clients in a way that connects with them (and ultimately converts them), you need to make it obvious that you recognise their situation, understand their goals and also their frustrations.
If you know them well – as you will in your mind once you’ve created an ideal client profile – you will know what they are struggling with. You will know what their current situation is (the pain they are feeling) and the situation they would prefer to be in (their ideal situation).
The key point you need to appreciate is this. You sell photography products or services (or both), but what you truly offer your client is more than that. You offer them a transformation – you help them get from their ‘A’ (their current situation) to their ‘B’ (their ideal situation).
Before they come to you, they have a need. After hiring you or buying from you, they (hopefully) have had that need met.
An example for you. Retailers and brands don’t necessarily want or think they want new photography, but they do want to sell more of their products. It’s your job to make them realise that your commercial photography services would help with that!
Another example. A new mother may not be considering hiring a newborn photographer, but they do want to be able to remember those precious first days of their baby’s life and have quality images to display in their home. It’s your job to make her realise that your newborn photography service would help with that!
Define the transformation you offer
If you’re able to define the transformation you offer, and the benefits of working with you, in a way that feels relevant to your ideal client (rather than just telling them the features of your service such as how many images they’ll get for a certain price), you’ll feel far more confident marketing your photography to prospective clients.
The magic happens when prospects self-identify as needing your service thanks to you clearly communicating who you help and how you deliver the transformation they are after!
The other bonus of knowing your ideal client well is that you’ll also know the kind of language they are likely to use. This means you’ll be able to use that same language in your marketing, helping your marketing messages to resonate more deeply with them. It will create that sense that you understand them and that you are a good fit for them.
3 – Recognise that marketing is just sharing your passion
What is marketing to you? I love asking this question as it always brings up a variety of interesting answers!
When it boils down to it, marketing is really just about sharing the things that you are passionate about! It needn’t be a big scary thing that you feel afraid of, so try not to dread marketing or fear self-promotion. Instead, just see marketing for what it is.
It’s a way of generating awareness in your products and services, a means of building know-like-and trust that is so important in the buying process, and it’s about sharing offers with your potential clients or customers.
Marketing is simply about helping people, who need what you offer to realise that you can help, and how you propose to help.
Remember that transformation we talked about in the last point? You offer a valuable transformation to your ideal clients. Marketing your product or service that generates that transformation is not slimy sales. It is simply about helping those who need it to discover the services that you provide that will fix their problem.
By recognising marketing as this, rather than making it out in your head to be something far more terrifying, you will be able to more confidently try new things in your marketing.
Disassociate the negativity you may feel about marketing then put out offers and see what sticks!
4 – Your inner critic is holding you back (and needs to be silenced!)
If you’ve managed to implement my advice in the last point, you’ll have reframed marketing in your mind and you’ll be feeling more confident about marketing your photography.
But your inner critic can still rear its head!
If you’ve ever hesitated before posting a social media post or a blog article and found yourself over-thinking things, then do your best to ignore those critical inner voices that are stopping you from hitting publish.
Your inner critic is trying to protect you from harm, but what harm will really come from promoting your photography?
Try to balance the pros and cons of taking action with a logical head. You’ll come to realise that you’ll be better off taking action, getting your content out there and taking proactive steps that will help you grow your photography business.
Related reading: Self-promotion tips for introverted photographers
5 – Practice makes perfect!
This is a phrase I find myself saying a lot to my children when they get frustrated that they can’t do something well first time, and it’s true! Practice does really make perfect!
You can develop more confidence in your marketing over time by simply showing up more, trying different things out and seeing what sticks.
Being prepared to experiment is half the battle and with every new thing you try, you’ll learn new skills and gain something from the experience.
There are hundreds of different ways you can market your photography business, but you’ll need to experiment to discover what suits both you and your client base. There is no set formula that will work for everyone, but continually showing up will certainly help and doing so will boost your confidence.
Things that seem challenging to you today will not seem challenging in a year’s time if you experiment, test and implement things you’ve learnt.
Want my help to finally feel more confident about marketing your photography?
An invitation to join my Content Confidence Accelerator programme this January
If you need to work on your confidence around creating marketing content, then get in touch and I will send you details of my ‘Content Confidence Accelerator’ programme which is relaunching in January 2021.
Working closely with me over eight weeks, in a small group of photographers, I’ll help you master your mindset around marketing and help you finally create a strategic approach to content. It will make marketing your photography business feel so much easier!
With a content strategy and plan in place, and with the help of my personalised feedback on your work and workflows, templates and checklists to follow, by the end of the programme, you’ll feel incredibly confident about marketing your photography!
If you struggle to know what to write in blogs and social media posts and find yourself staring at a blank screen way more than you’d like to admit, this is for you!
As we enter into 2021, there is no better time to get your content marketing sorted for the year ahead and to address what’s holding you back from marketing and growing your photography business.
I look forward to hearing from you if you’d like to know more!