The business of photography is a very competitive marketplace. It’s harder to set yourself a part now with how easy it is to buy a new, state of the art camera and take decent pictures as an amateur. Many people wonder now, why pay for the expensive services of a photographer when I can do it myself? If your sales are down and you’re having trouble getting and keeping clients here are some marketing tips that could boost your sales and your confidence!

1. Remember the reason you became a photographer in the first place! I’m sure there is a reason why you chose this cut-throat and competitive career choice. Obviously you are passionate about the art and you felt you could make a living doing it. Get in touch with your passion and drive again.

2. Get back to basics. Marketing your business does not have to be as costly as you think. Sure it may take some extra work, but why not take a look at your client database and start rekindling those relationships. Try some old fashioned marketing and send out some postcards and newsletters with a more personal touch. For example, handwrite each signature and mention something particular about that client or family where they know that your card to them was not mass produced. Also, send them some coupons or specials and mention that it’s only offered for a limited time to special clients. If customers think that they’re getting a deal, and you performed great work for them, they won’t be able to resist! Perhaps you don’t really have a long client list and you need to generate some. Set up a drawing for a free location session with a free 8×10. Use a social media site like Facebook or twitter. Maybe even set up a drawing at a local specialty store geared toward your audience, like a children’s boutique. Showcase one of your finest photographs and compliment it with a gallery frame next to the set up to draw extra attention. Again, if someone thinks there’s a chance they will get something for free, they will sign up! Turn your boring business cards into a mini portfolio! Use these small cards to your advantage. Have one side with your information and then the other side with several of your favorite portraits.

3. Get educated! If you want to get ahead of your competition, make yourself stand out. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say on your website and business cards that you’re an award winning photographer? Or be able to say that you’re a certified photographer? There are so many resources out there that are just not tapped because you’re unaware of them. Check out to find out more information about becoming certified. You can study in your own home, or work and it will benefit you so much. Also, check out your state photography organization and find out about local print competitions and compete! If you win, don’t you think a client will choose you over someone who isn’t certified or an award winner?

I’m writing this because as a first year photography student I had no idea these resources were out there. We’ve had speakers come and I’m thankful I was informed so that I can utilize these resources to make me more marketable. One of my goals in the next year is to become a certified photographer beyond getting my degree in photographic technology. Why not? I hope that you take these tips into account and maybe even research a little and try some out for yourself.

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