How much do you spend on marketing your business

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by hjoseph7, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Allot of people think that by launching a website with a few of your best photos they are going to draw business like bees to honey, but a website I heard is only about 5% of it. These days launching a website is not that expensive. I only pay about $12 per month, or $120 per year to keep it up. However, I might as well shut it down, because it would not make much difference.
    Having a website is good don't get me wrong because it makes you look more professional, but there allot of photogrpahers that don't even have one and are doing fine. Other than a website where else should I advertise to get a steady stream of customers coming in. I know this is a loaded question because, I know, it all depends on how much money you are willing to put up. I tried the business cards, the flyers, even put an add in a small newspaper where a friend of mines works, but so far I might as well be howling at the wind. Any pointers ?
  2. Nice pic of The Balck Widow, Jeanette Lee.
    I think your question can't be answered unless you give more info about what type of 'steady stream of new customers coming in' are you trying to attract? Weddings, Print Sales, Portraits, Editorial, Commercial, Fashion...?
    Without knowing exactly what you're trying to sell, and to whom, it would be impossible to give much helpful direction.
  3. I know, it all depends on how much money you are willing to put up.​
    Marketing isn't just about spending money and advertising. Indeed, some of the best methods have little to no monetary cost.
  4. Allot of people think that by launching a website with a few of your best photos they are going to draw business like bees to honey,​
    Only those with little or no marketing savvy believe that.
    That's why (a lot) of people make no money in this industry.
    Any pointers ?​
    1) Throwing money at a problem does not solve the problem.
    2) There are no magic bullets that drive traffic.
    3) A solid (flexible) business plan is more than necessary.
    4) Saying "here I am" does not bring business.
    5) Great photos do not generate income.
    Your post causes me to believe you need more than marketing ideas.
    Focus on what you want to produce, who you want to market it to and where you want to market it.
  5. I'm struggling with marketing ideas as well. So far, I've gotten more gigs from Craigslist, which is entirely free, than from my ads on Google and Facebook. (Only went with Google because they sent me a free $100 AdWords coupon, which I've since burned through and gotten exactly one client so far.) Building a customer base takes time...
  6. Kevin is right. Photography is an extremely competitive business and to succeed you need to excel in a defined niche and be in a location where there is a real and continuing market for your services.
    Showing "a few of your best pictures" on a web site means nothing if they are not the kind of images that people need to purchase. Looking at your work I am unsure if you are wanting to do weddings and portraits, commercial work, sell art prints, etc. Yo need to ask yourself what kind of clients you are looking for and why they would choose you over someone who specializes in that genre of photography.
    Photography is like any other business - to really succeed you need to truly excel at what you do. Also, you need to be the consummate businessman with a knowledge of accounting, administration, marketing, service and developing a business plan for the short and long term. Throwing money at scattershot mailers, newspaper ads and flyers showing nice pictures is a waste of time until you have addressed all the other issues.
    Good luck - it's a marathon not a sprint.
  7. Harry,
    For my business, slide scanning, (aside from stock photo sales) my targeted customers are nation wide. I do no spend much at all on advertising.
    This is because my Web pages do very well on search engines for many terms related to 35MM slide scanning.
    My point is, optimizing a Web site so that potential customers find it, should be part of the marketing plan.
  8. When I ask this question, a lot of people have answer along the lines of "get referrals". Now, I find it difficult to find referrals if you are having difficulty building a base to begin with. Don't get me wrong, I myself have done about 15 weddings but with the age range that they have been, none have friends getting married. There is always networking with vendors, but that too can be tricky, because finding someone that will give you the time of day is like finding a needle in a haystack.
    Unfortunately I can't totally agree with John's statement. These days it doesn't seem like you need to know much about photography to succeed in the business. I have seen 'photographers' produce horribly blurry and dark wedding pictures and yet be booked the entire year. And no, they are not the "we will do your wedding for pennies" type.
    It baffles me.
  9. Here's a vote for J.Harrington. Optimizing your website, should be done BEFORE spending money on Google.
    Then comes adwords.
    To Ker B, there will always be idiotic consumers, don't let it get you down, focus on people who will appreciate your quality.

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