Having a photography business that you can be proud of is what all of us aspiring creatives dream about, so how do you do it? Well, you need to find affordable ways to market your business so that you can start reaching for the stars.
To give you plenty of food for thought, take a look at these 10 ways to bring your business to the masses without breaking the bank. All you have to do is work your way through this 4-minute read, and then put everything into action. Enjoy!
Lend your skills to a worthy cause
Giving back is what life is all about, and as well as making you feel great, it will associate your brand with something people care about. It’s these types of associations that can really take your profile to new heights, so why not get out there and find something?
You want to make it a cause that’s close to your heart so that you always find the time to get the project done. Don’t take on so much that you have no time for paid work, but pick a project that’s mainstream enough to send plenty of eyes your way. It’s an experience that will stay with you for years to come!
Action Step: Take a sheet of paper and write down all projects you have been thinking about in recent years. Choose one project and build a strategic plan on how to bring it to the action. Schedule your week in a brand new way: decide when and where you will work on your project. Probably, you just need to start waking up one hour earlier to have enough time to complete your ongoing tasks.
2. Blog to share your knowledge
People don’t just want to see what you create. They want to get a feel for how you do it in the first place. Blogging is a great way to share your creative journey, so why not start your own blog today?
When you don’t know where to start, the easiest way to do is Googling 5 different well-established blogs. Should they be on any niche? It would be better that these blogs are from niches related to yours. On top of that, you should make sure that 2 of them are exactly from your niche. This is an excellent method to get exposed and show your audience your expertise.
Action Step: Once you have identified these blogs, analyze them carefully to get to see what they are talking about and what their audience wants. Once you have an idea on what would work on these blogs, you can brainstorm 10 titles and end your work for the day. Start the next day full of energy and write 500 words about your top favorite titles from the list you created.
3. Offer classes and demonstrations
When you want to get people interested in your exploits, the best way to do it is to show them they can follow in your creative footsteps. Create a weekly or monthly drop-in session at your studio and do as many demos in the city center as you can.
Action Step: When you developed your creative business, you know what needs of your target audience you are going to satisfy with your services. Thus, you can start promoting yourself by observing what is missing from the local offer in your area. You may then create flyers presenting your creative services, launch a digital ad campaign, send out emails etc.
4. Enter competitions that showcase your skills
Promoting your business isn’t just about teaching beginners — sometimes you’re going to want to show off your skills to the experts! If you enter a competition every couple of months, it’ll get you to fall in love with your art form all over again. Reminding yourself why you started out in the first place is the best way to ensure that any stress you experience from all your new orders doesn’t get the better of you.
Action Step: Surf the web to find information about online challenges, international contests, and national competitions. Participate in one or two competitions, which attract you the most. Also, make a point of publicizing your submissions in the local press, your shop window, and online. It’s the best advertising you’ll ever get!
5. Join a local meet-up or group for small businesses
If you want to promote your business, you’re going to need to start networking. It might sound like a dive into the world of corporate meetings and video conferencing, but it really doesn’t have to be like that!
It’s all about getting out there and introducing yourself to other local businesses. The chances are they will need your services at some point, or they’ll be able to send a few new clients your way. If you return the favor, you’ll quickly be able to build a connection and branch out. Sounds like just what you need!
Action Step: Once you have identified local businesses you want to cooperate with, you should contact their owners. You can reach them out via email, social networking sites, or by phone. In the digital age, you need just a few minutes to find contact details of local businesses online.
6. Maintain your social networks
Kickstarting your social media doesn’t have to be all that complicated. You just need to start posting relevant content that reflects who you are. Simple right?
Okay, so there is a little bit more to it than that, but not much more! It’s all about letting your personality shine through, and not being afraid to be different. By all means, look for inspiration online, but create your own message templates and clouds of hashtags. That way you’ll stand out from the crowd and catch the eye.
Action Step: Schedule your posts using programs like Buffer and HootSuite. Once you get up and running, start targeting relevant hashtags, find a filter style that connects with your brand. Follow influencers in your niche to learn how to write engaging captions and create catchy posts.
7. Overhaul your online portfolio to put your skills in the spotlight
You need to have a portfolio if you want to show the world what you can do, it’s as simple as that! Go back through your DropBox and pick out your 10 most recent projects. Think about how you can display each of them in a visually appealing way that will intrigue the reader. If you need more inspiration, browse your competition and see how they are attracting their audience. Once you have decided which are the best projects which talk about your skills and what your business can do for your target audience, you have two options.
Action Step: You can either print them out and offer them to your potential clients. On the other hand, you can display them online in a portfolio and promote it via email. Either way you do it, it is very important to start today and use all your creativity to stand out from the competition.
8. Form strategic partnerships
As you connect with more and more businesses in the local community, there will be natural opportunities to create partnerships. If you find someone who can benefit your business as much as you can benefit theirs, then you’re really onto something. Agree your terms, be open and honest about what you can and can’t do, and they’ll be sure to do the same. Keep an open mind, and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves when you’re least expecting it.
Action Step: Analyze the needs of your prospective partner. Craft your value proposition – clearly state what you can offer to satisfy your partner’s needs. Set the requirement – explain what you expect to get from your partner.
9. Ask for testimonials
Asking for reviews and testimonials is a great way to get your name out there, and it’s not something that you should be afraid of doing. Some people will always leave a review, some people never will, and there are a lot of people in the middle. It’s this middle group that you want to target, and often all it takes is a gentle little nudge to get them to share their amazing experience with the world.
Don’t message people over and over again because all that will do is get you a reputation as a spammer. Be polite and friendly, and let your personality shine through. If you do that, it will make a bigger difference than you think. You’ve already done the hard work, so why not turn your customers into an incredible marketing team?
Action Step: If your customers don’t like to write reviews, try to motivate them. For instance, you may offer them to give feedback and receive 10% off their next purchase.
10. Turn your shop window into your business card
In the age of online shopping, there’s still a lot to be said for a stunning shop window. If you have physical premises, then make sure it acts like your business card night and day. Dress the window with your creative exploits so that the whole local community knows who you are, and what you have to offer.
Start by standing across the street and seeing if your business stands out. Next, make your display minimalist and intriguing so that it has that wow factor you need. And lastly, make sure your phone number and email address are clearly visible. That way people can contact you whenever they want. That’s how you turn your shop window into a business card!
Action Step: Decorate your shop window for holidays to help your community to get into the holiday spirit. It will allow you to attract more visitors and boost your sales. Keep your window shop design up to date. Replace decorative elements every six months to grab the attention of locals.
Author: Kristin Savage
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She is practicing regularly while reviewing new translation services at Pick Writers and constantly contributing to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.