11 Ways to get Free Marketing for Your Photography

11 Ways to get Free Marketing for Your Photography

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One of the challenges of charging for your photography is figuring out how to get clients. You’ve got the technical know-how, but what about the business and marketing side? Strapped for cash and looking for ways to generate buzz about your photography? No problem. Marketing doesn’t have to cost much money if you are willing to put in the time. Here are 11 proven ways to get free marketing for your photography business:

Networking

Networking is a great way to get your name out there and make connections with other businesses that can lead to partnerships and referral business. Be sure to have a plan of what you would like to accomplish (meet two new people, etc.) go prepared to chat up lots of new people and finally, have a plan for follow up. It’s those follow up get-togethers for coffee that can lead to new business.

Wisestamp

Wisestamp is a free email app that allows you to turn every email signature into a mini marketing campaign-you can add your links for Facebook, Twitter and your blog, as well as include feeds so your latest update or post is featured.

Facebook

Many photographers are successfully building their business with Facebook marketing. It only requires about 10-20 minutes per day, and you will start to see your reputation grow. Why would you want to get on Facebook when you are already blogging? Because that’s where your clients are, and it’s another opportunity to connect with them in a fun, social way.

Pinterest

Pinterest is basically a way for users to collect and share images of things they like or convey a concept they want to express. It’s another great way to connect with your clients and prospective clients about creative ideas for their sessions or to express your own creative vision. It’s a very diverse platform that works for photographers who tend to be visual.

Cross-Marketing

Cross-marketing is partnering up with another business in order to help each other with marketing. Perhaps you could approach a children’s clothing store about offering a photo shoot with their latest clothing collection in exchange for holding a mini marathon session at the store?

Think outside the box and figure out where your clients are. This concept can be applied to any type of photography. Not everyone you approach will be receptive, so you keep trying until you find a good match.

Blogging

A blog is a great way to communicate with your audience what you are all about and what you offer. Your blog is basically a blank canvas to express creative ideas, share bits about your personal life, educate clients, share images and showcase products. A website is like a brochure, whereas a blog is like an ongoing conversation.

Check out this article on ProBlogger to learn how to start and set up a blog.

SEO

Search engine optimization is not as complicated as it seems. If you have a blog, it’s easy to get started. All you do is include keywords in text, tags and images that will help customers find you. For example, you could do separate blog posts about different types of services to help people find you when they are searching for that service. To take it a step further, name images with keywords, so instead of loading up 3209KL rename to “Wake Forest Wedding” so people searching for images of weddings in Wake Forest will find you. Once you understand the basics, it becomes easy to include SEO as a part of your regular activities.

Local Listings Online

Get Listed is a free one-stop service for updating local listings online. The process can easily be completed in about ten minutes, so it is well worth the time and super simple to do.

Referral Gifts

Past clients are a great source of referrals, and what better way to encourage referrals than offering incentives? Offer a service or product that doesn’t cost too much but has a high perceived value as a referral incentive. When business owners say “my business is based on referrals from happy clients” and “the greatest compliment you can give me is a referral” they are letting their clients know what they would like them to do. You have to ask for the referral.

Contests

Contests are a great way to do build buzz and build excitement for your brand. You’ll want to put together a plan that encouraging sharing so your message can be spread to new potential customers, and therefore build your base. Be sure to follow state laws and Facebook terms whenever holding a contest on your page or blog.

Getting Published

If you want to focus on building press and prestige for your work, getting published is a great way to go. You can submit images and story ideas to trade publications in your field as well as local media outlets. Once you’ve been published, you can use that publicity as a tool to promote yourself and open doors to more work. I’ve written a free guide on getting published that you can download today.

So there you have it. Some of these techniques can be implemented in the next 30 minutes; others require a greater time commitment. Marketing takes time to nurture and grow into a reliable source of leads, so don’t expect overnight results. However, if you are planning to build a business to last, then what better time to lay the foundation for success than right now?

Lara White is a professional photographer and blogger. Her free guide explains the step-by-step process she used to get featured in over 70 magazines and blogs: Get Published: A Guide for Wedding Photographers. For a weekly dose of business and marketing advice for photographers, check out her blog at PhotoMint.

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  • the marketing ways are very useful. By Arthisuresh

  • ammumalar

    nice to read this blog. great ideas about marketing. Actually i thought it is impossible to share photos free. but this blog says about this in a nice manner. http://www.secondhandlaptopchennai.in/

  • Ramya

    The blog is so useful. I have gathered lot of information
    from the blog. By Ramya

  • I just came across this article, while doing some research on how photographers can market themselves, and was excited to see WiseStamp mentioned. Thanks for including us! We have a whole bunch of great marketing tips for photographers on our website, which you might be interested in, such as this one, about getting more exposure for your photography business. http://professionals.wisestamp.com/photographers/resources/growing-exposure-to-your-photography-business/.
    Let us know what you think!

  • Diana

    One new addition to the photography listing sites is Top photographers. Heard about them in a fb forum and tried them and they are super cool. You can list your business for free with no nagging emails at my.topphotographers.org

  • Christopher John Ball
  • Great read, thank you! There are some good tips that I havn’t tried. I just made a fantastic and free email signature.

Some Older Comments

  • Christel July 25, 2013 08:22 pm

    Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to return the choose?
    .I am attempting to find issues to enhance my web site!
    I assume its ok to make use of some of your ideas!
    !

  • Sarah Tucker April 29, 2013 07:42 am

    I had no idea about 'wisestamp'! I'll have to check it out :) Thanks for the wonderful tips!

  • Bobby Roy April 23, 2013 05:15 am

    Wonderful article and an amazing read. Really good points put through. I have been running my website : http://www.BobbyRoyPictures.com and FB page : http://www.Facebook.com/BobbyRoyPhotography for some-time now. Like it there. :)

  • online marketing March 2, 2013 12:27 am

    Thanks for some other wonderful article. The place else may anyone get that type of information in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I'm on the look for such info.

  • Victoria B February 1, 2013 11:20 am

    This has helped a lot actually. I have had a lot f trouble marketing myself. I just try to link back to my work on everything I do.
    Like here! :)
    http://www.facebook.com/victoriaboulangerphotography

  • Bryan Striegler January 31, 2013 12:42 pm

    Thanks for the free download. I have been published in some local magazines, but I think I can build my rep better by being published in a national magazine. I'm also going to start using WiseStamp and see how that goes.

  • Alina September 3, 2012 12:43 am

    I actually have a wedding blog foreverafterbridal.ca and I'm looking for ways to partner up with a wedding photographer. I would be advertising the photographers services and in turn provide my readers with inspirational wedding ideas. Please email me with any tips or if your interested I would love to see your work. Email- Info@foreverafterbridal.ca

  • Paul February 29, 2012 03:11 am

    Get Listed only seems to work within the USA?

  • Hilary Cam February 7, 2012 02:05 pm

    Great Post! You have really got me thinking about the way I market!

  • AlexStephen January 29, 2012 03:30 am

    I am a beginner , I have just started netwrkinng you can find my pictures here axn.photography

  • Bryan January 28, 2012 01:34 am

    all good, i think "get listed' is US only as it wouldn't accept a UK post code but al good, free and easy methods of adding to your marketing campaign

  • raghavendra January 27, 2012 04:57 pm

    i saw many sites for marketing the photographs
    but the best one for me is
    digital-photography-school.com!

  • rick stephens January 27, 2012 03:01 pm

    Darren, as always thanks for the very useful information. i have one question i would like to get some feedback on. does anyone worry (or care) that the more you put pictures on the web, the more people can download them or use them somewhere else without referring back to the original? thoughts?

  • Michelle January 27, 2012 09:54 am

    Looks like get listed doesn't work for AU

  • Ben @Englishphotographer.com January 27, 2012 07:09 am

    I have photos of Barcelona at www.i-Barcelona.com

  • Val January 25, 2012 02:39 pm

    Great tips for marketing. Have stated using FB as well as entering competitions and got some shots published in the press. Now need to try the the marketing to local businesses

  • Lara White January 25, 2012 03:30 am

    Facebook is going to work particularly well for photographers in portraits and weddings, but might not be the most effective strategy for a commercial photographer. You have to see what's going to suit you and your market best.

  • Dirty Seagull January 25, 2012 12:37 am

    I have literally never needed this more

  • Fuzzypiggy January 24, 2012 07:48 pm

    Like poster 1, I too have been avoiding FaceBook for various reason but "needs must when the devil drives"! I might try the competition route first before I finally sucumb to FBs lure!

  • Anotherphotographynoob January 24, 2012 09:59 am

    Mostly market my photography for fun, but great tips anyways :-)

    Http://facebook.com/anotherphotographynoob

  • Lara White January 24, 2012 09:12 am

    Jason,

    I didn't have that experience myself, but perhaps its better to use it as a guide only. thanks for pointing that out!

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer January 24, 2012 06:13 am

    UPDATE: I clicked on the link under LOCAL LISTINGS ONLINE and was on the majors ones listed, but after adding my business to some of the others I immediately started receiving unsolicited phone calls asking me to buy SEO services.

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer January 24, 2012 05:08 am

    Networking is really the major way to get new bookings for one's photography business, that and referrals from customers you probably met at a networking event!

    When I attend a networking event I always bring my camera with me and post the photos both on my site and on Facebook tagging people I know, etc.

    http://jasoncollinphotography.com/blog/2010/3/11/florida-holocaust-museum-networking-event.html

    At the least this starts to put into people's minds that you are a photographer and if someone every expresses a need to them for photography, hopefully they will remember and refer you.

  • Lara White January 24, 2012 01:57 am

    Bharat,

    I think you will find certain things will work better for your situation than others. Once you figure out which strategies are most effective for you, you can focus primarily on those.

  • Lara White January 24, 2012 01:56 am

    Thanks Craig, will do!

  • Teme Valley Photography January 24, 2012 01:51 am

    Just found this site. Some excellent articles.

    Great ideas and tips for free marketing. Having a presence on Google + is also worth a mention.

  • bycostello January 24, 2012 01:46 am

    all about SEO.. for me anyway...

  • raghavendra January 23, 2012 09:42 pm

    This is a fine marketing your photographs.
    Few things could also be added in the list
    500px.com
    flickr.com

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/

  • Helios Monocular January 23, 2012 05:31 pm

    Very beautiful blog for those who want marketing for their photography.you very beautifully explain the photography marketing in eleven ways.I’ve been avoiding it like the plague until now. But more and more stuff is happening there. I believe I’m going to miss out if I don’t get on there soon. My other half is always looking at Pintrest too. Maybe I’ll take a look there also.so this is great blog and discuss more tips.

  • Bharat Justa January 23, 2012 02:17 pm

    great article! Apart from the facebook page...I've done everything! Now I just have to post pictures.

    And post a link to blog here.

  • Craig george January 23, 2012 05:31 am

    What a fantastic advise paper, I'm always looking for creative marketing ideas, and there are a few on here that I hadn't heard of, thank you.. And keep it coming.
    Craig ( wedding photographer )

  • Lara White January 23, 2012 04:39 am

    Erik, that is a perfect example, and proves that you don't need to buy expensive ads in order to market your photography services. Now you have press, you can use that press as a tool to open more doors for you and make further connections.

  • Erik Kerstenbeck January 23, 2012 03:53 am

    Hi

    Great article and tips - I will have to read through this many times! I usually do not do this, but I lugged my camera to a local Java Hut and asked if I could take pictures of the Barista, Danicka. She was shocked, flattered and looked fablulous! The owner, Bob, later saw the picture on our Blog and loved it.

    About a month later, he asked us to shoot a Red Carpet Event for the local Chamber of Commerce. We did, made some money and got a ton of contacts. Our shots are being published in local papers, Chamber News Letter and were requested from a California Senator.

    Sometimes, you just need to get out there - great things can happen!

    http://kerstenbeckphotoart.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/our-barista/

  • THE aSTIG @ CustomPinoyRides.com January 23, 2012 03:38 am

    Hey thanks for sharing! I've been looking for ways to do this, especially very recently when I started offering my car photography services.

    I just used to shoot for my blog http://CustomPinoyRides.com but recently I found that there are clients who want some high-quality photos for their private use.

    I've tried networking, facebook, blogging, seo, contests, and a little bit of cross-marketing. But I think I better try the rest of your suggestions. Thank you for sharing!

  • MikeC366 January 23, 2012 02:08 am

    Looks like I'm going to have to suck it up and join Facebook at last. I've been avoiding it like the plague until now. But more and more stuff is happening there. I believe I'm going to miss out if I don't get on there soon. My other half is always looking at Pintrest too. Maybe I'll take a look there also.

    Have been online for years now, but always been hesitant in posting my life online. You do hear horror stories. I've only had my blog since the first of this month..lol..

    http://366andallthat.wordpress.com/

    Mike.

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