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Photo Contest Insider Blog

Marketing Mistakes that Photographers Make

July 29, 2016

Even if you’ve only been in the business of photography for a short time now, you will still understand the importance of marketing. While it’s something we all know we should be doing, some of us understandably just don’t know how!

Marketing mistakes within photography businesses are unfortunately rife, so how can you ensure that you’re on the right track? Here are the most common marketing mistakes that photographers make and by drawing attention to these, you’ll now know what to avoid!

Not Having a Marketing Plan:

The number one mistake photographers tend to make when it comes to marketing, is not having a marketing plan in place at all! Marketing is something that takes plenty of thought, research, and knowledge – not to mention trial and error. If you feel as though you need to pursue a better marketing plan, you’ll find everything you need to know in our previous article, ‘Online Marketing for Photographers’.


Marketing Your Services in Places Where You Won’t Find Your Ideal Client:

Marketing can require a lot of time and effort, so imagine wasting that valuable time by marketing your services to people who simply aren’t interested in them! This often happens when a photographer spends too many hours in the wrong place (either online or offline) trying to push their work. Instead, study your audience in-depth and think long and hard about who your ideal client is, based on the photography services you offer. For example, a wedding photographer’s marketing plan should look very different to the marketing plan of a sports photographer. What websites, publications, and social media platforms does your ideal client consume the most? Invest your time and energy on these places instead.

Not Displaying Photography Service Prices:

You may think that it turns a potential client off when they see you clearly stating your prices, but in fact, the opposite is true! Founder of Finao Christine Perry-burke explains: “One of the big ‘oops’ that will cause prospects to pass you by is not putting any prices on your site. It’s just assumed you cost too much. People do not want to write to ask for prices when they have many, many options to choose from and the other options make it easier. When we come looking for information we want to find it and price is a big part of that.”

Acting like a Robot (and Not a Likeable Human):

If there’s one thing to keep in mind when marketing your photography business and services, it’s that you need to act like a human! We’re all so used to (and bored of) people using the same generic language and interactions over and over again. Unfortunately, this also extends to the photography world, and some photographers find themselves unable to connect with their audience on a deeper, more meaningful level. In turn, this reduces the number of clients lining up to work with them, as they’re going to opt for the bright, bubbly, and charismatic photographer instead. Embrace your personality, ditch the robotic interactions, and ensure that you are connecting with your potential clients on more of a ‘human’ level.


A Lack of Phone Communication:

There are often times in any photography business where you need to pick up the phone and talk freely with your client. Too often, photographers are limiting their communication with clients to email only, meaning that there are usually significant time lapses in between the conversation. Relating back to our previous point, speaking to your clients on the phone (when necessary) allows you to connect with them more freely.

Working for Free…All the Time:

There are certainly some instances when a photographer may willingly work for free, for example, perhaps with a charity or a not-for-profit organization whom they wish to support. Photographers at the very beginning of their career (i.e still studying the medium) may also exchange an hour or two of their services here and there for experience and exposure. However, as soon as you feel confident about the quality of your work and clients are actually asking you to take photos for them, then you need to be receiving monetary compensation for your services. To not do this actually sends a poor message about your business, as you are marketing your photography work as ‘not good enough to be paid for’.


Not Gathering Testimonials:

Testimonials and customer reviews are one of your best free marketing tools, because they give you credibility and encourage others to work with you, especially after they’ve read such kind words about you! Photographers who aren’t seeking testimonials from clients are truly missing out on this.

Paying for Facebook Advertising, Boosts, or Likes:

A lot of business owners think that they can spend a hefty amount of money on Facebook advertising (whether it be through boosting their posts, advertising their page to a specific audience, or paying for likes) and then that’s their marketing efforts sorted. While Facebook is a wonderful tool to promote your work and connect with others, it can be incredibly expensive to pay for advertising, and usually, just not worth the expenditure. Opt for more affordable (especially free) marketing options first and it will save you a lot of heartache in the long run. Need some ideas? We’ve got a whole list of them here.


There you have it – some of the biggest blunders photographers make when it comes to their marketing! Have you been doing any of these? If you have, don’t stress too much, as you’re certainly not alone. Now that you’re aware of these marketing mistakes, however, it’s time to turn them around and get your photography business’ marketing plan on the right track. Best of luck!

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