How to Grow a Photography Business

The number one concern for most photography businesses is how to get more clients. You can have all the right equipment, overflowing talent, and creative ideas that could transform the landscape of the photography industry, but if you don’t know how to grow a photography business, all of that goes to waste. 

If you find yourself struggling to get your photography business off the ground, or if you’re looking for ways to expand significantly, doola offers help. In the meantime, check out the following tips to expand your photography business.

15 Proven Tips to Expand Your Photography Business

When looking for how to grow a photography business, a combination of strategies is what works best. Here are the 15 proven tips to consider:

1. Increase Your Online Presence

Before turning to any kind of business in person, people first do an online search. This means you need to have an online presence — otherwise, clients won’t be able to know your business exists. A website is key, but so is having a presence on social media. 

You need to offer quality content that engages your target audience, which means you also need to know what your target audience is and what kind of content they’re interested in.

2. Collaborate with Other Photographers or Businesses 

One excellent way of quickly expanding your potential client base is to collaborate with other businesses or photographers. If you know florists who do a lot of weddings, for example, you can both benefit from a collaboration. 

You take pictures of their flower arrangements, which both of you can then use on your websites, and the florist can also recommend your services to their clients. If you have a particular skill as a photographer or have equipment that a colleague doesn’t, it can work for both of you to collaborate on a project that calls for that specialization. 

There are countless businesses in which a collaboration like this can help. You can reach out to bloggers, wedding planners, influencers, and even wedding venues. 

3. Offer Referral Incentives 

Incentivize existing clients by offering discounts and other benefits if they refer you to other people. This is one of the easiest ways of getting new clients without having to pay for marketing. It also helps keep your existing clients interested in your services. 

4. Attend Photography Workshops or Trade Shows 

When you attend photography workshops and trade shows, you’re getting a chance to network with other professionals in your industry. This helps to build your contact list and can even result in referrals and collaborations. 

Workshops and trade shows also help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technological advancements. Knowing what the trends are makes it easier for you to stay in sync with what your clients may want. 

5. Create Compelling Content for Your Website 

The goal of having a potential client visit your website is to engage with your content and ultimately, hire you. This can only happen if you have compelling content that keeps the person on the site long enough to take the next step. 

Compelling content is more likely to be shared on social media, which helps new people find your business. 

6. Utilize Search Engine Optimization Techniques

Search engine optimization makes it easier for your potential clients to find your site when they’re searching for pertinent keywords. It’s important to think not just about specific keywords but also locations so that those who can most benefit from your services can find you higher up on search engine results. 

7. Invest in Paid Advertising to Reach a Wider Audience

Paid advertising helps you reach the exact audience that you want to reach, giving you the freedom to target as broadly or narrowly as you want. Paid advertising attracts more people to your site. Some types of paid advertising include:

  • Display ads
  • Search ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Social media ads
  • Remarketing ads

These ads are affordable and provide feedback on how the audience reacted, allowing you to prepare for future marketing. 

8. Create a Compelling Portfolio to Showcase Your Best Work

You need to put your best foot forward when getting new clients. That means showing your best pieces in a portfolio. Keep in mind that you are not your target audience. Even if you’re not a big fan of food photography, for example, you may want to include that in your portfolio if you have an example that showcases your skill. 

Try to include photography that shows off diverse skills and captures different feelings. Many clients want to see versatility. 

9. Offer Additional Services or Packages 

Providing additional services or packages helps upsell to existing clients. This means getting them to spend more on an additional service or to upgrade the package they’ve chosen. You may want to offer photography mounting services, for example, or unique ways of showcasing a picture, like mugs or shirt transfers. 

You can also offer longer sessions or a VIP experience with location shooting. Find ways of catering to the kind of client you have. If they like luxurious experiences, a VIP option might be the right level of enticement. 

10. Participate in Photography Competitions

A photography business is one of the best solopreneur ideas, but it can be tough to get recognition. Photography competitions are a great way to get your name out there and meet others who are in the industry. In many cases, you can even win prizes that could include equipment or money. 

11. Submit Work to Publications for Exposure

You can also receive exposure by submitting work to various publications. If you take photographs of animals, you can submit them to companies that create calendars, or magazine editors, among others. If you have a skill at photographing clothing, why not try fashion magazines? Try online and in-print publications for the most exposure. 

12. Provide Excellent Customer Service 

If you offer your customers the respect and attention they need, they’re more likely to recommend you to others and leave positive reviews. These kinds of reviews attract more clients. Customers who are satisfied with your services are also much more likely to become repeat customers. 

13. Collect and Display Client Testimonials

Testimonials give your business the credibility it needs to grow. Potential clients are interested in hearing about the kind of experiences others have had with your services, so displaying testimonials on your website, blog, or social media is crucial. 

14. Organize Photography Workshops

Photography workshops allow you to meet people who may be interested in photography or who are photographers. You can pick up new skills, learn about equipment, and make the kind of connections that can lead to collaborations and even partnerships. 

15. Offer Special Packages or Discounts For Off-Peak Season Bookings

There are months of the year when you may have fewer clients, depending on the kind of photography you specialize in. To keep your business growing, you can offer discounts and special packages for clients who choose to schedule bookings during the off-peak season. 

It can attract clients who might not otherwise have been able to afford the services and entice previous clients to book that second or third session.  

Giving Your Photography Business a Boost With doola

If you’ve been searching for how to grow a photography business or even how to start one, turn to doola. We offer help with everything from how to start an LLC or C-corp to achieving compliance and getting your taxes done. 

We also provide bookkeeping services that help keep your invoices in order so that you have financial control of your business. Contact doola today to learn more about our bookkeeping services


How can I attract more clients to my photography business?

Consider engaging with clients online through social media. Create content that will attract your target audience to your website and keep them coming back. You can also try paid advertising. 

How can I improve my photography skills to stand out from the competition?

A good way to do this is to attend photography workshops. Ask other photographers to critique your work and offer constructive criticism. There are also online or in-person courses you can take to improve your technique or learn how to use new equipment. 

How can I price my photography services effectively?

One of the easiest ways of pricing your photography services is to calculate all your costs and then add a profit margin. Other people prefer value-based pricing, which considers the quality of your services and the value you provide to your clients. 

How do I build a portfolio to showcase my work?

The first thing you need to decide is what the portfolio’s goal is. If you’re trying to get a particular type of client, then you need to choose images that will attract them. Meanwhile, a portfolio that showcases your various skills can include a variety of image types. Once you have the images in order, have someone else look through the portfolio and offer their thoughts. 

What legal and business considerations should I be aware of when starting and growing a photography business?

To start a photography business, you will need a business license and a tax ID number. You’ll also need insurance. It’s always helpful to have legal help when beginning a business so that all the paperwork is in order. 

doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

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