When it comes to marketing your photography business, follow what marketers have been using for decades to sell their products, the 4Ps. This marketing mix – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion – are the four pillars to starting or expanding your business. As a photographer you aren’t necessarily trying to push product off the shelf, but you can still apply these principles to help shape your business:
Product is what you are selling to a consumer. In this case, you’re selling a service to a client who needs photography, whether that is a couple looking for a photographer to capture their wedding or a business client who needs corporate headshots. How you position your service also determines your product – what is your specialty and how are you branded? What makes you and your work different from your competition? Review your past work to see where your passion lies – reflect on which assignments were your favorite and what is your prevailing aesthetic.
This is the amount your client pays for your services. When setting your price, it’s important to consider what your market will take, what the competition charges, and what is the perceived value of your service. Whether you charge a day rate, an assignment-based fee, or by the hour, you should have a clear understanding of what you are worth, what your costs are, and what your deliverables will be.
This is how you promote your service to others. Do you run advertising, PR (press, seminars, trade fairs), social media, or rely on word of mouth referrals? Is there seasonality to your services? If you are a portrait photographer with Seniors as your client, obviously back-to-school is one of your peak seasons and your promotions should reflect that.
Where your clients will access your service or where clients are looking to buy your services. Are you a destination photographer? Or do you specialize in local events? Will you shoot on location or in studio? Just as you need a photography specialty, you can also get into niche markets – perhaps there are lesser known or underserved cities and towns where you can distinguish your services.
And don’t forget the most crucial ingredient – People. Since this is a service-based business, how well you interact with your clients and the customer service skills of your employees, plays a major role in your studio’s success. Your photography brand needs a personality and hopefully it’s a likeable one!