Photography is a very valuable skill that is in great demand. Businesses need photos of their team in action to convey a brand image, couples want to immortalize their big day, and companies need photographs of their products. However, so many photographers, even talented ones, are failing to find regular work online, if at all. In this article, we’ll see 8 reasons why so many photographers fail to sell their services online.
Most of the time, this all boils down to them not understanding how to market their services properly. By fixing these errors, they’ll have a better chance of building a clientele and getting consistent growth. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why photographers fail to sell their services online.
Reasons Why Photographers Fail to Sell their Services Online
They Don’t Know How to Build a Portfolio
This is probably one of the worst mistakes that you can commit as a starting photographer. At one end of the spectrum, you have people who simply don’t know what a portfolio should look like, and on the other, you have people who go completely overboard and all over the place.
A photography portfolio should be both simple, but eye-catching and professional. This is also something that doesn’t require massive design skills. As a matter of fact, you have services like Format that will allow you to create a great portfolio in no time with little to no knowledge of web design. You can build a Format photography portfolio by choosing from one of their multiple themes, picking the font, and dropping your files. Once everything is done, you’ll have a beautiful portfolio site that will allow you to start attracting clients.
They Sell Themselves Cheap
Offering your services at a discount can be a good strategy when getting started, but it can’t become your sole strategy. At the end of the day, if you decide to constantly try to sell your services for cheap, all you’ll do is attract cheap clients. Not only that, but bargain hunters also don’t tend to be the most loyal, so this isn’t the best strategy if you’re trying to build a solid long-time base.
Not only that but offering your services too cheap might actually scare off some clients. Some will automatically assume that photographers who offer cheap prices will offer equally cheap service, and that’s not what you want. Instead, look around at how much your competitors are pricing their services for, and work on building a reputation.
They Think Scattering Business Cards is a Viable Strategy
When was the last time you saw a photographer’s card on a counter at a shop and thought about hiring them? Never is probably the answer. This is simply not how people find their photographers.
Either they do so through word of mouth, by conducting searches and looking at reviews, or because they were able to see a photographer’s work and decided to work with them. In some other cases, they might run across a photographer who’s offering some expertise and want to know more about them. These are all actually effective techniques, and where you should spend most of your efforts and marketing dollars. As a reuslt, photographers fail to sell their services online.
They Don’t Think Marketing Actually Matters
It’s true that a lot of work will come from clients referring you to other people, but how do you expect to get clients to refer to you if you can’t get them in the first place? Also, don’t expect all that pro bono and discounted work to bring you tons of people either. Instead, you should have a clear marketing plan in place and constantly work on it so you can start building a base. Only then will you be able to get sufficient word of mouth publicity.
They Try to Only Sell their Photography
This is another big mistake. You don’t want to sell photography only, but also your knowledge. Instead of simply trying to showcase your talents as a photographer, you should try to be a resource to your target base. For instance, you could give them tips on how to prepare for wedding photos or tips for companies trying to build a brand image. By showing that you’re an authority, this might pique the curiosity of some of your readers, and push them to inquire about your services.
Photographers Fail To Sell Online: They Don’t Send Promo Material
Many photographers also don’t do a great job at creating and sending promo material. If you’re a commercial or retail photographer, you need to have some of your material in a printed form that you can physically ship to prospects. This could be something like a mini-magazine or a brochure depending on your niche.
The internet has been a godsend for photographers, but this is not the be-all and end-all. Having some pieces like these will allow potential clients to connect more personally with your work, and see how it looks in physical form. Retail photographers can use postcards that showcase some of their work. These will be much more powerful than business cards and will allow people to really see your work up close.
They Focus All of Their Efforts Online
Yes, we understand that social media can be a great way to find clients and show what you can do. However, Instagram is full of photographers just like you who are trying to do the same thing you’re doing. You will eventually get drowned out by all the noise and become just another photograph.
If you really want to make it in this business. You have to be ready to go out and do the legwork. You have to make yourself known in your community. So, go out and see if you can help with local businesses, or work with organizations in your area. At the end of the day, people like to work with people they know and love. You’re not going to do that by spending most of your time at home behind a computer screen.
Photographers Fail To Sell Online: They Don’t Use Social Media Correctly
However, all of this doesn’t mean that social media doesn’t work. The problem is that too many have no idea how to use it correctly.
One of the biggest mistakes that photographers commit when using social media is posting a lot, but not engaging. Others engage with the wrong people and waste their time. Another major mistake a lot of business owners make is overextending themselves. Spending their time and energy on too many networks at once.
In reality, you should only be spending your time on a handful of platforms. Not the ones most think about. For instance, starting photographers have a tendency to focus a lot on Facebook for some reason. But people don’t log into Facebook looking for photographers; instead, they look at platforms like Pinterest or LinkedIn. So, don’t go for the obvious choices, and if you’re going to be using Facebook. Do so primarily to connect. Engage with the clients you’d like to work with by getting active in their communities.
These are some of the most common reasons photographers fail to make a name for themselves. If you manage to avoid these mistakes. You’ll increase your chance of building a solid client base and get consistent contracts.