Digital photography has helped both professional and aspiring photographers immeasurably. Normal folks who would have shied away from the complexities of film and darkroom printing can easily pick up a fully-fledged pro DSLR and start clicking away. In today’s world, studios may find it difficult to attract customers when most amateurs think they can pass themselves off as the next Ansel Adams or Annie Liebowitz.
Here are a few tips on improving the marketing reach of your photo studio and positioning yourself above the weekend photographer:
Conduct workshops at schools, colleges, and photo clubs
One thing amateur photographers have is enthusiasm. Not only are they not your real competition, but they can actually be a profit center for you! Host a workshop for half a day, or even just one or two hours. Print flyers and posters and post them at cafes, local colleges and community centers to attract more students.
Reach out to high profile authors who need headshots for dust jackets
Romance novel authors require different portraits compared to history writers. You can pitch your services for free, as word of mouth goes a long way. You might even be able to get a string of jobs from the publisher. Soliciting large companies for headshot work can also be lucrative as more companies are trying to humanize their organization by featuring photos of staff members on their websites and marketing materials.
Host photo shoots for a cause
Non-profits and charity organizations always need new publicity shots for new projects. Try to contact these groups and offer your services for their brochures, posters, calendars and websites. Not only will you be helping yourself, but also those in need.
Cover community events like Special Olympics, local races, and fairs
Participants and organizers of these events would really rather have a pro snapping away to highlight memorable moments. You can also use the opportunity to advertise your business by having a booth or table display setup near the registration area.
Organize contests on social media for free photo sessions
The power of social media is undeniable, but the draw of free stuff is even more potent. You can promote your studio by holding online competitions for free photo sessions every few months. You can simply ask your fans and followers to share your posts or invite their friends to follow your page to rev up word of mouth for your studio.
Any combination of these marketing techniques can help a photography studio immensely. Just remember that not everything is confined to the digital realm. Even though film cameras may be gathering dust, good old printed marketing collateral like flyers and brochures, combined with a lot of goodwill, still have a place in every industry.