I often get texts or emails from photographers who are just starting their businesses, asking similar questions, so I just decided to write a few posts about it all! The first most common question I’m asked is, “What’s the best way to get my name out there?”
Of course, this depends heavily on what type of photography business you plan on running. As a wedding photographer, I’ve found it helpful to advertise on The Knot when breaking into a new city. It’s definitely on the expensive side, but if you book only one wedding from your listing, you’ve most likely broken even already. I also had fantastic success at my local bridal fair. In fact, the year that I hosted a booth at the PBBA Midland Bridal Expo, I booked my full year of weddings in the first 3 weeks of January! I know lots of portrait photographers who visit high schools, mom groups, or offer tutorials for moms or seniors to get their foot in the door. In whichever way you choose to get out there, I’ve found it’s so important to have 3 main things online:
- A strong and accessible portfolio.
Website building doesn’t have to be expensive. Sites like Squarespace have super-simple DIY templates and how-to videos to guide you through the process. Just be sure that your entire site is well-organized, user-friendly, and works on all sorts of devices (especially phones and tablets!). Also be sure that photo files are small (so they will load quickly) and saved in SRGB color space!
2. A personable Bio, with simple contact info.
I think the key here is to stand out, without being too wordy. Think about asking someone close to you to describe you and your personality. And don’t forget a simple way to contact you, directly from the page!
3. An easy-to-understand, and desirable product.
Anyone should be able to look at your site/IG page for 3 seconds and immediately understand what you shoot, where you’re located, and what your style is. If there is any confusion at all, it’s hasta la vista. Remember, new eyes have no context for who you are or what you do, so be sure to keep it SIMPLE.
As one last note, with all of this online talk, don’t forget to physically get out there as well. Visit bridal shops in your area, get connected with other creatives, etc. One great way to do that is to join your local Rising Tide Society, or attend a workshop (I offer several every now and then!) where other creative geniuses such as yourself will be present. Be generous and kind, and friendships with mutual business benefits will blossom. And once the ball gets rolling, word of mouth will be your best friend! Promise!