Getting your business name out there is probably one of the most important aspects of running a business.
If you can’t reach your target clients, then you can’t make a profit. I am going to share 10 ways to market your business effectively without spending a ton of cash.
This is the new business card in the internet era. Chances are if you don’t have a professional website, then people will go elsewhere. Your website should have professional photos of your work and branding. Along with easy to read information about your services, location and pricing, your website should be so easy to navigate that a kindergartner can do it.
2. Social Media
We all know this one, but are you fully utilizing all social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)? Post daily to increase traffic and awareness. Schedule your post during busy times of the day to help get your post seen by more followers. When posting on Instagram, make sure to include tags on your post that include your location, your type of photography and other pages that feature photos.
Back to making your website work for you. If you do not have a pop-up or way to capture information of the people who visit your site, you are missing out on a great lead source. MailChimp has a great free mailing system that allows you to create a pop-up to sign up for your monthly newsletter. Hello Bar, also is a great free toolbar you can place at the top or bottom of your website to capture info. Send out a monthly newsletter to existing clients offering incentives instead of offering a discount without devaluing your services.
4. Network Locally
Partner up with local businesses that might share the same target clients. Think of creative ways to team up with local businesses in a way that benefits both parties. For example, I have teamed up with a local farm. They allow me to use their beautiful land for portrait sessions. In return, I advertise to other photographers that they are allowing portrait sessions on their farm for “x” amount. It’s a great relationship.
5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When a client searches for a photographer in your area, does your name show up first on Google? There are ways to make your business and post be on the first page of listed businesses. There are SEO plugins so that Google can find your post and relate them to searches. Think of Google as blind and they need help to see your post. When using tags on your post, be specific as possible and only tag about five keywords. When uploading your photos to your blog post, make sure to name them a keyword or phrase. Try to blog at least once a week. The more content, the more views.
Word of mouth advertisement is the best compliment. We love referrals. Treat each client like they are your highest paying clients. In return, they will refer their friends and family when they need a photographer. Make sure to reward them with a referral bonus, so they continue to spread the love. Examples of referral bonuses would be a print credit or special gift with their next portrait session.
This may not get you instant clients, but people will react. It gets your business name out there and associates your business with your local target market. Offer a free session at a local auction for a good cause. Maybe your local school auction? Local children’s hospital? Most times the organization will offer to promote your business for being a sponsor or participant in the auction or charity event.
Lots of new businesses are using fun videos to get clients’ attention. Animoto is a site that you can use to create short videos to promote your business. These are awesome for wedding or senior photographers who have a special niche. People LOVE seeing your work presented in a non-traditional way and it gets them excited.
9. Get Published or Featured
Submit your photos or an article to get published or featured on other blogs. For example, you may write an article for a local moms group on how to prepare for family portrait sessions in your area. You want to come across as a professional and people will take you more seriously.
10. Customer Service and Products
Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.
I love this quote. It is so true for every business out there. Customer service is so important. Deliver more than what is expected. Go above and beyond. Your products should be an extension of your brand. Offer your clients what no one else does. Stand out from the crowd.
All these marketing strategies won’t cost you extra money. They are available to anyone and work for new or established businesses. Starting up a business or relocating a business can be difficult. If you can get your name out there, the possibilities are endless. Here’s to success!