Day in and day out in my business, I work in photography PR and marketing. I help professional photographers get featured in the media and create and plan content that their ideal clients want to consume and which gets them noticed!
Many times, I have been asked how I came to work only with photographers. So, if you’d be interested to find out why that it is too, here’s my story….
A career in Communications
I graduated from Uni with a BA (Hons) in Communications in 2002. After the most amazing 12 months spent backpacking around South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand and, after a final stop-over in New York, I was raring to settle into a career.
Within two weeks of being back on British soil, I’d landed my first job in PR. I worked with local and regional clients, helping them to use the power of media publicity to promote their businesses. I quickly caught the PR bug!
From there, I moved to work at the luxury paint and wallpaper brand, Farrow & Ball. There, I managed PR activities both in the UK and across Europe, gaining valuable national and international PR experience.
Then, I became PR Director at an integrated marketing agency. For four years, I led PR campaigns for national and international clients; my team created marketing content and secured invaluable media publicity. There, I promoted everything from funeral directors to national charities, and housing associations to superyacht manufacturers!
In 2011, my PR campaign for the British Tinnitus Association’s ‘Tinnitus Awareness Week’ – which involved working with celebrity influencers and international DJs – won a Chartered Institute of Public Relations Regional Gold Award – a career highlight for sure!
At this point, in 2012, now with ten years of experience behind me working in PR and marketing roles, I took the leap to self-employment.
A career-defining encounter
My eldest son had just been born and I knew I wanted professional photographs of him. Newborn photography was not as popular back then as it is now, but I realised the value in capturing this previous stage and there were a few local photographers for me to choose from.
Karen Wiltshire of KW Photography is a Dorset-based newborn and family photographer. Her baby portraits literally leapt out of the screen at me when I visited her website for the first time. I loved her photography style and knew instantly that she was the photographer I wanted to hire.
Of course, I wasn’t disappointed! I adored every image that Karen created, recommended her to all my friends and instantly built a rapport with her.
Once I set up my own business in 2013, Karen and I began working together. I identified ways I could help Karen to grow her business. Her work was amazing! I knew that with just a bit of help getting the word out, she could reach more people.
During the six years Karen and I worked together, she invested in ‘done-for’you’ PR and content marketing support because she recognised the importance of marketing to the success of her business.
She realised that promoting her business in the media would be an impactful way of reaching potential clients – she just needed help to get her story in the press. She also recognised that creating regular blog content for her website would get her noticed and help her climb the rankings on Google – but finding the time to create the content was a big challenge for her.
Our work together led to local, national and even international press articles, as well as radio interviews and feature opportunities in glossy magazines and photography trade titles. Karen has also been able to maintain top-ranking positions in Google for search terms relevant to her business, securing her valuable visibility online.
The success of the work I did for Karen led to her kindly recommending me to other photographers. This, combined with the fact that I was taking steps to position myself in my own marketing as a specialist in PR and marketing for creative businesses, led to me developing a client base almost entirely of photographers.
Related reading: Pitching, Publicity and PR for Pet Photographers – Zoe Hiljemark on the Pet Photographers Club podcast
Finding my niche in photography PR and marketing
Finding my niche in photography PR and marketing wasn’t straightforward though. I’ll be honest, I initially had some resistance to the idea of niching down into the photography industry and to exclusively helping professional photographers.
I guess I was fearful that by niching down, I would no longer be considered for work outside of the photography industry.
Was there going to be enough demand for my services? Would the photography industry prove to be a good fit for me long-term? And, could I make it work without leading to a conflict of interest between clients? These were all questions I had at that time.
But, with the encouragement of my business coach, Laura Phillips, back in 2015 I took the leap and made the transition to being a PR and content marketing consultant exclusively to photographers. That decision was the best decision I believe I’ve ever made in business!
PR and content consultancy for photographers
Since then, I’ve been fortunate to get the chance to work with many incredibly talented portrait photographers. Many are the leaders in their field; multi-award-winning photographers who are well renowned in the UK and abroad!
Any fears about a lack of demand were unfounded, and there’s never been a conflict of interest issue since the photographers I work with are in different areas across the country. I’m careful to only work with one photographer per region.
Word-of-mouth referrals continue to bring photographers to me. And, as I have transitioned from working part-time to full-time in my business, my own marketing efforts have increased too. This has helped me to get visible in the professional photography community and to become known as the go-to PR consultant for photographers.
I have done PR talks at photography events, networked at photography shows, hosted online training, created blogs that have helped to rank highly on search engines and have organically built an email list and shared a regular newsletter with my latest articles and tips, and free resources.
Also, I have created a Facebook community – called PR-Savvy Photographers – where I share PR and content marketing tips, advice and offer accountability for photographers who are keen to up their marketing game.
In addition to my 121 consultancy services, I also now have a coaching programme called the Content Confidence Accelerator which allows me to help more photographers who are struggling to market and promote themselves.
Helping photographers grow their businesses
So, in truth, the photography industry found me, really. But I’m so glad it did!
It’s now nine years since I set up my business and, in that time, I’ve had the honour of working with baby and family portrait photographers, wedding photographers, boudoir photographers, pet and equine photographers, wildlife photographers and those who train and mentor other photographers.
Securing local, regional, national and international press coverage, and creating content that boosts my clients’ rankings in search engine results and attracts clients, is the work I love to do!
Photography PR and marketing services
I’m passionate about helping photographers promote and grow their businesses because I want to see them succeed.
Experience has taught me that too many small businesses fold simply because they didn’t adequately market themselves. I don’t want that to happen to your photography business!
To find out more about me and my photography PR and marketing services, check out ways of working with me. Do also join my free Facebook community – ‘PR-Savvy Photographers‘ to gain tips and advice on how to use media publicity and content to promote and grow your photography business.
I’ve also written this blog post outlining the ways you can work with me if you’re looking for outsourced marketing content and PR services.
Don’t forget to subscribe to get access to my free downloadable PR and marketing resources for photographers and to receive tips by email. Subscribe here or click on the image below.
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