The ‘snowball effect’ refers to the exponential growth and impact that can be achieved through sustained publicity and marketing efforts.

Just like a snowball rolling down a hill, gaining size and increasing in momentum with each spin, a single piece of publicity has the potential to generate increasing visibility, credibility, and opportunities over time for your photography business.

It’s a phenomenon I’ve seen in action endless times both in my own business and while working with photography clients. So, if you aren’t familiar with this concept, keep reading.

In this blog post, I’ll explain in more detail what the snowball effect is in the context of photography PR and marketing, and how you can harness its power to boost your visibility.

What is the Snowball Effect?

The snowball effect is a process that begins, in the context of PR, with an initial burst of exposure.

That exposure may be in the form of an editorial feature in a high-profile photography magazine. Or it may be a mention in a consumer lifestyle publication, an interview on a podcast or radio show, or a news story about your photography business in a local paper.

This first piece of publicity becomes the catalyst for further publicity.

Put simply, the snowball effect is when your photography brand, your services or your marketing message are promoted through a third party (a media channel or a blog, website or podcast), and that visibility helps you to achieve even more profile-raising opportunities.

Zoe Hiljemark PR and marketing services for professional photographers

Promote your PR wins to boost your visibility

As the initial exposure generates buzz and interest, the snowball effect begins to take shape.

When you promote your PR successes such as podcast interviews and media features, on social media or to your email list for example, people see that and take notice.

A positive opinion is formed of you in their minds as they see you getting featured, quoted as an expert and being associated with leaders in the industry.

Social shares of this publicity by you and others (friends, peers etc) helps to amplify the reach of this promotional content even further.

Influencers in your niche, such as other photography experts, mentors and thought leaders, may show their support through likes and positive comments. This adds further credibility to your rising status, since you benefit from them endorsing you and aligning themselves with what you are sharing.

Media outlets may also even start to take notice of your rising relevance.

With each subsequent mention and interaction, your visibility and credibility grow. This creates a ripple effect that extends far beyond the reach of your initial piece of publicity.

Related reading: How to secure publicity for your photography business

What are the benefits of the publicity snowball effect?

1) Increased brand awareness

As a snowball rolling down a hill gains momentum, it also becomes larger and more noticable. In the same way, your photography brand or message reaches and potentially resonates with an ever-broader audience as a result of the snowball effect.

Buzz builds as more and more people discover you and find what you are sharing to be of interest.

2) Growth and expert status

This heightened visibility can lead to an elevation in your status as a thought leader in your photography niche, but also in a practical sense; you likely gain new followers on social media, more subscribers to your email list and potentially more leads and enquiries for your photography services too!

3) New and exciting publicity for your photography business

The beauty of the snowball effect lies in its ability to sustain momentum over time. What began as a small ripple of publicity can potentially evolve into something bigger – perhaps something far beyond your wildest dreams!

You may receive offers and opportunities you would never have dared ask for previously. That could be free editorial opportunities or profile-raising interviews on top TV, radio shows and podcasts, perhaps paid speaking gigs at photography shows, ambassadorship opportunities with photography brands, and more.

All this essentially puts you in front of more people, boosting your visibility and presenting more opportunities for people to discover your photography services and products.

4) You become the photographer on everyone’s lips!

The result can be that you become considered as the ‘go-to photographer’ in your niche or locality. You are highly regarded and seen to be a leader and expert in your field. You are the photographer whose name is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and you are being talked about positively.

“There’s only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.”

Oscar Wilde
A press release about your photography business could lead to a mention in the press
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

How to leverage the snowball effect

So how can you harness the power of the snowball effect to propel your photography business into the spotlight?  

Here are a few key things to consider:

Pitch yourself

Realise that you must start somewhere if you are to secure that essential first piece of publicity that could start off the snowball effect.

Don’t be afraid to pitch the media, put yourself forward as a guest blogger or make yourself available as an expert willing to be interviewed.  Publicity opportunities for your photography business don’t usually land on your doorstep at first, but hopefully in time they will.

Related reading: How to write a press release for your photography business (and free template)

Be strategic in your PR approach

Carefully plan your publicity efforts. You will need to consider your target audience, craft compelling messaging that will interest them, and choose the right channels to reach out to.

Develop a relevant target media list and keep this in mind at all times. Pursue publicity opportunities for your photography business that are relevant and potentially high-impact, rather than take a scatter-gun approach to publicity, responding to anything and everything PR-wise that presents itself.

Related reading: Common PR mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Show up consistently

Maintain a consistent presence across multiple platforms to build your visibility and to keep the momentum going over time.

Regularly engaging with your audience through social media, and by sharing what you are doing in your photography business, will help you to stay top of mind and build a sense of connection. You can do this by publishing blog posts, email newsletters, and video content, for example.

Related reading: The daily habit that will help you attract more photography clients

Seek out collaboration and partnership opportunities

Partner strategically with influencers, industry leaders, and like-minded but non-competing brands to expand your reach and tap into new audiences.

Collaborating with others gives you access to their audiences and can be a great shortcut to success. You get to reach more people more quickly.

Offer remarkable value

Remember though that in exchange for access to an audience beyond your own, you’ll need to share valuable content in the form of expertise, tips, insights, images, stories etc.

Be sure to provide lots of value to collaborators. Be generous with your knowledge and be open to sharing what you know, without limits.

With this mindset of serving journalists and the audiences of those you collaborate with, you earn the chance to get visible and benefit from the amplification of your message. The snowball effect is accelerated when you’ve been generous with your input and others feel compelled to share it.

Related reading: Visibility tips for photographers: Celebrate successes to stand out and get noticed

Want more publicity for your photography business?

Join my free PR-Savvy Photographer’s Facebook group where I share PR tips, tools and insights into how to get featued in the press, as well as how to create compelling content that will help you to attract more of your dream photography clients and get your website more visible in Google search results.

If you’re ready to take PR seriously, there are also options to work with me. I can either support you through my done-for-you PR service or teach you what you need to know about how to secure publicity opportunities for your photography business through my group mentoring programme.

The Photographer’s Visibility Blueprint™