When you're wrapped up into the day-to-day of your photography business, it's sometimes difficult to find creative ways to attract more clients. Sometimes the solution is so simple, it's right in front of our nose. Here are three offline client attraction strategies I've seen successful photographers use that made me wonder "Why didn't I think of that?"
Go Where Your Ideal Client Is
I'm sure you've heard the whole "ideal client" talk enough to want to pull your hair out, but it really does work! One of my photography clients does a lot of civil unions. So she decided to put up a table at a recent gay and lesbian fair with free giveaways that would lure them over and get her portfolio in front of them. Simply brilliant!
Investigate what type of couples tend to be drawn to you and use that to brainstorm ideas for where and how to reach them.
- Are they idealists who volunteer a lot of their time?
- Are they nature lovers who are only online to check out the latest Patagonia gear?
- Are they foodies that obsess over finding the best Pinterest recipes all day?
Lean On Peers
Your peers don't have to be your competitors if you choose not to look at it that way. Jasmine Star, a photographer who's become Internet famous in her field, reveals how partnering up with other local photographers grew her business faster than she ever thought possible. They swapped leads and gave each other overflow work when booked up for that date.
Give It Away
Give your photography away to local wedding boutiques, salons, spas and any other brick-and-mortar location you can think of that might come across your ideal client. I found a local family photographer this way. She gave a whole set of her lifestyle photography on canvas print to my chiropractor, who posted it all around her facility. I fell in love with her style right away and had to find out who was behind the lens.
Here are a few tips on making this one work for you:
- Make sure the shop or office agrees to carry a stack of your business cards or postcards. My chiropractor actually placed the photographer's business cards and postcards on tables right in the waiting area next to reading materials.
- It's a lot easier to get shop owners and office managers to agree to this if they have empty wall space or decor that isn't as eye-catching, so watch for that.
- Don't make your partners work for it. The photography should come finished and ready to display. Choose a presentation that fits with the style of their location. If their decor is more modern and minimal, go with a simple print-to-canvas style. If there is a luxurious feel to their space, choose ornate gold frames.
- If you can find a classy way to place your contact information at the bottom of the print and get the store owner to agree to it, this increases your chances of getting a call. It might be pricey, but an engraved plate could be an option.