5 Ways to Increase Summer Business as a Professional Photographer
It’s peak vacation time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to attract new clients and grow your business. Here are some tips to help boost your summer business as a professional photographer.
Offer Package Deals for More Bookings
Package deals can be a great way to entice clients to book with you, whether it’s a mini session or followup photo session. Be sure to add a discount to encourage the second booking! Here are some examples of photo sessions that go hand in hand:
Engagements and Weddings (and Anniversaries!)
Boudoir and Couples
Maternity and Newborn
Family and Pets
Seniors and Grads
Schools and Sports
When you diversify your options to include that followup session, you open yourself up to more experiences with the same clients, and they will remember you for every milestone. Building customer loyalty can encourage repeat business through the years.
Utilize Upselling Techniques
After a client books a session with you, it’s time for the in-person sales to start. Be sure to communicate your Print Packages early on, so your client is aware of the options for preserving the beautiful work you created that they’ve already invested in.
Proof Prints and Proof Books can be a gateway to larger print product purchases, along with having Swatchbooks and Studio Samples to show firsthand. When you provide proofs, your clients are able to see all of the images from their session, choose their favorites, and even preview the print quality if they choose to order Photographic Prints or BayBooks. Beyond Prints and Books, you can offer bigger ticket upsell items, like Wall Displays and Pacific Albums. You can also offer discounts for clients who purchase multiple products.
“My samples are so essential to my business. Showing my clients and potential clients these custom and timeless pieces makes booking and sales so much easier. It’s a great way for my clients to imagine the way their own products will look.”
- Allison Pheleita | Roseville, CA
Leverage Social Media and SEO
Although the algorithms are always changing and new platforms are continuously added to the mix (have you followed us on Threads yet?!), social media can be a great way to connect with potential clients and promote your business. When you post regularly on your social media accounts, use relevant hashtags and location tags to make sure you’re showing up for in-app searches. Be clever and descriptive with your captions and alt text as well - this could put you on the list of organic Google searches pulling from social media platforms. You can also run social media contests or giveaways to generate excitement, engagement, and extended reach.
Aside from connecting with clients, social media allows you to network with other photographers. Joining Facebook Groups and contributing to the new forum-style format of Meta Threads could help to get your name out there and learn from other photographers. This also gives you visibility into any opportunities, so you can make yourself available for jobs that other photographers can refer you for. Needless to say, another benefit of being part of industry conversations is that you can keep your skills fresh, following tips on what other professionals are doing.
Aside from social media, it’s important to keep your Google Business, Yelp and LinkedIn profiles up to date alongside your website. The more exposure you have across these various platforms, the more ‘searchable’ you are among potential clients who will rely on updated information.
Backlinks are another often-overlooked tool that photographers can use to gain exposure and a boost in search engine rankings. Through your networking, don’t forget to ask if this is a possibility on fellow websites.
Partner with Local Businesses and Organizations
Tap into your community as a resource for reaching new clients and boosting business! Partnering with local businesses can open doors both figuratively and literally. Although it’s ideal not to provide your services in exchange for exposure, fellow business owners could be an exception, especially if they offer to promote your business to their clients. This scenario becomes a trade rather than a one-sided gesture. Throw in a referral code for a special offer, to help encourage the booking!
Along those same lines and especially for photographers just starting out and wanting to build familiarity/awareness, you can offer to take photos for local events or non-profit organizations. This is a great way to give back to your community and build your portfolio.
Another way to partner up with local businesses is by showing your work in a gallery, restaurant or other public space. This can draw attention to your work, especially for landscape or urban photographers whose viewers will recognize and appreciate local landmarks as the subject matter.
“Oftentimes, people want art to decorate their home and are looking for something they resonate with. Something that has sentimental value to them. I keep about 95% of my gallery work local to the region in which I live for that reason."
- Richard Bacon | Bend, OR
Create Time-Limited Offers
Time-limited offers are a great way to encourage clients to book a session or order print products with you. You can offer discounts, free add-on products or services, or early bird specials. This is especially handy with mini sessions, and as you communicate the slots filling up, clients will feel that sense of urgency to book.
Business is not over after the session and print delivery! Repeat print orders from previous client sessions can keep a revenue stream, even as the weeks, months or years go by. Our Integrated Partners like Pic-Time and ShootProof not only offer built-in galleries and shopping carts, but they also provide automated marketing campaigns that help remind clients they can still order prints from their galleries. It’s a beautiful thing, and an impressive feature to take advantage of.
If you’re ordering direct through Bay Photo, be sure to keep an eye on our weekly specials, so you can pass along the savings to your clients!
After all is said and done, we’ll leave you with an important reminder - Have FUN! Photography is a great way to express your creativity and capture your own memories. So relax, take your own vacation if a refresh is needed, and enjoy the process.
Share with us in the comments how you're strategizing or rejuvenating!
Jennie Crate, Allison Pheleita, Richard Bacon