Today I want to discuss Photography Marketing ideas that will cost you nothing but time!

Advertising can be expensive!

Both traditional and digital channels can take a huge portion of your marketing budget each month.

However, it doesn’t have to be with my free marketing ideas to try in 2019.

We all know that marketing is one of the most challenging aspects of a profitable photography business.

However, many photographers make the mistake of letting their marketing slip when they are busy.

Yet, when things slow down, they find that the phone is no longer ringing.

Traditional advertising, such as magazine adverts are pointless in today’s digital world.

Don’t waste your money. They very rarely work.

Especially when there are so many free photography marketing ideas you can use part of your strategy.

Instead, leverage these 10 free photography marketing ideas, and you can start building a business today!

1. Google My Business

Search on Google and include a location in your keyword, such as “Wedding Photographer in Birmingham”.

See what happens?

Google Business listings are above the organic listings in their rankings.

Marketing Ideas for Google my Business

I can’t stress enough how important GMB is to your local SEO in today’s world.

The best part is it will cost you nothing.

Google my business is a free tool and is simple to set up.

However, make sure you complete your profile fully with your Name, Address and Phone number.

We call this NAP.

Ensure the details remain consistent over all your directory, contact page and social media entries.

Ready to dominate local listings?

Of course, you are…

Start sending out requests to previous clients and start gathering reviews.

Google my Business is a great way to improve your local rankings.

2. Content is king so keep blogging!

Despite what people may say about blogging, Content is still king when it comes to Google!

But it has to be GOOD content with relevance to your niche.

In today’s digital age whereby hundreds of photographers are writing blogs, being fresh and new can be challenging.

However, blogging is the best ways to let Google know that your website is active, whilst also telling your potential new clients you’re still in business.

As I mentioned before, it’s valuable to blog about things that your clients want to know.

For example, portrait photographers may post about how to prepare for your family shoot, or how to make children smile.

Wedding photographers may want to write something about the TOP 10 venues in your area etc.

Most importantly, blog articles allow your clients to see you as an active and helpful business.

Writing a good blog isn’t actually too hard. Follow my guide on How To Write A Killer Blog Post About Photography.

3. Start building an email list right away

Building a newsletter audience can feel like a daunting task.

However, The more I learnt about email marketing, the more I wished I’d of started using this powerful tool much earlier.

Here, I’ll cover some easy tips to build an email list from scratch. Best of all, these ideas are designed to cultivate a loyal subscriber base, not just those after that one-off deal.

Firstly, you need a good Newsletter sign up form on your website. There are several methods to manage this. For example, with Hustle, you can create a subscribe form then sync it straight to your MailChimp audience list.

MailChimp is free for around 2000 email addresses on your list.

Say you’re at a photography show, wedding fare or in your own studio, you can input email addresses into either your customer system or a simple sign up sheet.

email marketing ideas

Once you have started building your list, do not become a scammer!

Email marketing is vital to retain both potential new customers and current clients attention to remind them you are still around and there to help.

But they don’t want to hear from you every single day!

I personally do not send many emails, I choose a moment when I’ve written a new blog post or have an offer available.

Of course, if you have important news such as winning an award or opening a new studio, you need to shout about it.

4. Leverage the power of Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc are some of the most powerful marketing platforms.

Yet, you have to tread carefully when using these social media.

Remember, although you have a business page, potential customers could still try to hunt your personal account down.

You need to remain professional at all times.

Done correctly, FaceBook alone could have your phone ringing on a daily basis.

The goal isn’t about hounding users with post updates. It’s about the quality of your posts, more than quantity.

By thinking more about user engagement than sales, you’ll start to build a larger following. In turn, capturing more leads.

By posting the boring and quite frankly scroll past worthy “10% off voucher, book today” rubbish will not drive sales!

Your status updates have to be of value to people. Are they inspirational? Do they help to motivate your followers, and will your audience engage with you.

Basically, It’s not about always promoting. By always trying to sell people something at every opportunity you’ll find them hitting that ‘unfollow’ button.

You could also use tools such as Hootsuite to automate your posts. This allows you to post to all your social media profiles from one dashboard.

5. Run a contest or a promotion

Lets start by clearing something up here…

By running a contest, I do not mean give away work for free! Many photographers give away their work for free for way too long.

However, running a giveaway can really boost visibility to your business and help you build brand awareness.

But be savvy with the prizes.

Say for example you run a photography studio. Offer a free photoshoot, but don’t give away the prints.

You will still see plenty of entries because people want anything for free! Yet, the winner will also become a customer by purchasing the photographs from their day.

Finally, a contest will also capture email addresses for your mailing list too.

6. Give back to your local community

Do you have a local craft fair or community event?

Consider donating a free photo shoot or offer a free session as part of a charity auction.

By doing this not only gets your brand out there in the local area, but it helps you build relationships.

Again, similar to above be savvy with your prizes.

The are hundreds of possibilities to be involved in your local community. Utilise them.

7. Enter Awards & Competitions

In 2019, I won the British Photography Awards!

This alone drove over 8,000 visitors to my website. I also sold out all my upcoming photography workshops within 4 weeks. Not to even mention the endless opportunities it presented to partner with other leading photography businesses.

Why?

Simply put, people want to work with award-winning photographers!

Enter as many national and local photography competitions you can. I’m not saying your going to come away on top straight away.

I didn’t, yet eventually, you’ll get your break, and before you know it your name will be on the lips of potential new clients.

8. Offer word of mouth incentives

Word of mouth still works!

In fact, it is one of the most powerful ways to promote your photography business.

By rewarding previous customers to tell their friends about your business, will encourage them to spread the word.

For example, by offering either a free print or cash-off voucher to clients for each friend they refer, you can start to see bookings increase!

Another referral marketing idea would be to offer a free gift, such as a bottle of bubbly, to groups of two or three families who book photo sessions on the same day.

Again, there are lots of ways you can leverage word of mouth. Just ensure you don’t give too much away for free.

9. Get featured on photo blogs

There are so many photographers writing blog posts every day.

Studios, wedding photographers, and photo magazines are all publishing content online.

With so much competition… You may be thinking that your business can’t stand out?

Wrong!

What we do here, is leverage your photography business and become a guest blogger for there website.

Not only does your brand become featured on their blog, but also you can generate vital SEO backlinks!

It’s a win-win.

I’ve even had articles featured on leading press websites, such as BBC, NBC and even Routers! If you struggle, then contact my consultancy, I will have you leverage this technique within a few days.

10. Network with other local businesses!

It’s amazing how helpful local business owners can be.

For example, if your a wedding photographer, have some flyers for florists, venues or dressmakers. Even better write a blog post about the best local suppliers for wedding services.

But it has to be a two-way relationship.

Make sure you’re promoting their business, or they won’t tell their clients about your service.

Final Thoughts

Put simply, photography marketing does not have to cost a fortune.

Leverage Google my business for local SEO and implement the marketing ideas above for free!

If you’d rather be out taking photos then I’m here to help.

Which ideas are you going to try first?

Leave me a comment below letting me know which ones worked best for your business…