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7 Ways to Find Photography Clients
7 Ways to Find Photography Clients
Undoubtedly, the most daunting part of being a freelance photographer is finding clients. Without a guaranteed salary to fall back on, many freelancers find themselves falling back into a new full-time job because it’s simply too challenging and nerve-racking to put it all on the line. Meanwhile, others are able to keep their poise and build a successful photography business.
How can you find clients as an independent photographer? Use this guide to turn your fears of failure into an actionable, long-term strategy for growing your clientele.
- Advertise yourself.
While used mostly by employers to fill job openings, job boards can also work the other way around. Leverage industry-specific sites like Mediabistro and Elance that cater to creatives by proactively updating your profile regularly.
- Be social.
In an age of virtual-everything, it may feel like an inefficient use of your time to go to in-person meet-ups. Wrong. Consider networking events like photography exhibits, exclusive society events, and lectures a smart investment of your time and money that will lead to personal and professional growth. Not only will you meet passionate industry leaders, you will also be up to date on the latest trends and topics.
- Let recruiters do some of the work for you.
Don’t stop at job boards. Scale your visibility by touching up your digital portfolio and sharing it with creative staffing agencies like 24 Seven and Creative Circle, which can circulate your services to a wider audience.
Though it may require a more nuanced delivery, cold-contacting potential clients will allow you to curate your own workflow based on handpicked projects. Poke around sites like LinkedIn, identify potential needs, and pitch your vision. For a higher conversion rate, build an ongoing database of leads across photograph-heavy industries – from emerging advertising and branding firms, to publications, to local schools and community organizations, all of which are all likely to need ongoing imagery.
- Get connected.
Apps like Weave and Coffee were made specifically to facilitate networking between entrepreneurs, freelancers, and clients with specific needs. Similar to dating apps like Tinder or startup job boards like AngelList, these apps allow you to build a profile, advertise your services, quickly sort through inquiries, and link up with compatible business partners.
- Build your brand.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: your personal brand is the most important part of your photography business. From your posts on social media to your interactions with potential clients, make a conscious effort to tie everything together under a distinguishable brand. A logo and color scheme is a great place to start, but branding goes much further. You need to understand your purpose and mission, and effectively convey both to your audience through your website, marketing, and promotions.
- Tap into free marketing.
Extend your services to a wider audience by offering free sessions for special causes, billing your work as a donation. This will help you gain trust and traction with new clients. Also encourage your current clients to promote your work by offering a referral program with rewards and discounts.
Running your own photography business can be a scary thing. But when you do it right, it’s exhilarating, rewarding, and profitable. Keep putting yourself out there and you will see the results!