Making money as a photographer can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. This is the part of the photography business that's more than just taking good photos.
Maybe you have even tried lowering your prices for your services (which I don't recommend), but you're still not bringing in more business. Here are five easy ways to schedule more sessions. Check out these five easy ways to increase your bookings.
1. Know yourself
What ways are you able to distinguish yourself from other photographers in your area? Once you have the answer to this, you'll be better prepared to work on the other suggestions. This also includes knowing your clientele. What is the target market that you're looking for? Is it High School Seniors and doing Funky Fashion sessions, is it business photography and taking pictures of products for businesses, or something else that makes you special?
Get out and talk. This may sound scary for some. But you've got to get out there and talk about yourself. Stop waiting for them to show up or find you.
Once you know your desired type of client, look for opportunities that will put you in front of those types of people. You can look for networking events or even school functions depending on your desired clientele.
2. Referral program
A referral program is a great opportunity for your existing clientele to help you build your client base. Look at ways of rewarding your existing clients for them sending new business your way. Some possible ideas include five referrals and a free session or a free print. Look at what is most realistic for a client to possibly reach.
3. Website and social media
Make sure that you have an easy to navigate website that works flawlessly on a computer and mobile device. More and more consumers are using phones to search for you. If your site isn't mobile-friendly, they will move on! I personally use Photobiz for my Frievalt Photography site and also this site you are reading this blog post on. I love that I get to speak to a real person when I call them and all of their sites are 100% mobile-friendly. Click here to get a discount code for Photobiz.
Create a social media page(s) if you haven't already. This is a great teaser force sessions you've already had and to show people your work you can share a session on your client's page then all of their followers also see the session. Side note, make sure to watermark images you post to social media.
Connect with local business owners and look at ways to help support each other. The image above I created for a local Sports Training company using my Frievalt Flares. They train high school athletes who are my target market, so working with this company gets my images and name in front of my niche demographic. Plus I get paid for the sessions!
Put together an event with your local salons or spas and combine your services into an attractive package. If you already have a newsletter look at ways that other businesses can be featured and then they will want to share that newsletter with their clientele.
Working with charities not only feels good, it can be a great way to expose your business to many new potential clients. As photographers, we have many ways we can help charities with our photographic talent. I've done free sessions for my local Humane society to help pets get adopted, given free sessions for charity auctions, and even created posters with celebrity headshots to help advertise for fundraisers.
One of my favorite charity events is Help-Portrait which anyone can be a part of. Help-Portrait is a global movement of photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists using their time, tools and expertise to give back to those in need. The concept is simple. Create photographs for those who normally can't afford to have professional images created for them. It always takes place in December, so you are providing images just in time for the Holidays!
These are just a few ideas. The main point is to work your business on a daily basis looking for ways to increase your clientele. Make a commitment to do one thing every week to boost your session bookings.